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CNET First Look
Dell UltraSharp U3011The Dell UltraSharp U3011 is an impressive monitor and the most feature-rich 30-incher out there.
-Can you pack too many washed-up action stars into an action movie? Did you see The Expendables? It made me wonder. Can you pack too many features into a 30-inch monitor? Dell is certainly hoping the answer is no. I'm Eric Franklin from CNET and here's what I think after spending a little time with the Dell UltraSharp U3011. The Dell takes nearly everything great about the U2711, adds 3 inches to its screen size, increases the already high resolution, and throws in even more on-screen display or OSD options. This, in it of itself, is nothing to write home about; but when we consider the vast majority of 30-inch monitors, OSDs are limited to brightness suggestion options only. The fact that the U3011 includes a full array of OSD options is quite the bonus. Once again, Dell delivers the best design OSD of any vendor. Ergonomically, the Dell is typical of what we've seen in other 30-inch monitors offering tilt, rotation, height adjustment but no pivot option. The Dell has a host of connection options including two DVI, two HDMI, DisplayPort, Component, VGA, four USB downstream ports, one USB upstream, and an SD card reader, making this one of the most robust monitor connection arrays we've seen and also making them difficult to reel off in one breath. In movies, we saw deep blacks and accurate color that look great on the huge 30-inch screen. Faces looked natural with no egregious color tint problems. Those cat people in Avatar are supposed to be blue, right? It's difficult for a game running at such a high resolution to look bad and indeed StarCraft 2 looked quite stunning on the Dell. That high resolution has definitely spoiled me as I found myself walking slowly back to my 24-inch monitor stuck with that sad, bitter taste of regret in my mouth. I digress. You know what? The U3011 is the best 30-inch monitor we've yet seen. The only problem is the price. At $1350, it's almost a third more expensive than the Dell UltraSharp U2711 which is just 3 inches smaller and includes mostly the same features with less real estate. Because of this, we still recommend the U2711 overall; but like the action stars of The Expendables, if the need and means arise, you can always go bigger.