OSD Controls and Menus

I didn't mention OSD controls on the previous page because they're somewhat interesting on the U3011. Remember that HP stipulated that their ZR30w has no OSD because there's currently no control SoC for it. Well, Dell has one, and they definitely use it and provide an OSD for the U3011. 

First up, the buttons are very understated and are located in the bottom right. The power button glows steady blue when powered, and pulses orange when in standby. What's interesting is that each button is unmarked - the bottom one glows blue when you hover your finger above it about a centimeter away, and tapping on it brings up the OSD and lights the other buttons. The button doesn't depress but doesn't seem capacitive - something optical is going on. Either way, button presses consistently work without issue. By default there's no button press sound (thank goodness), but you can turn one on in the menu if you really need it. 

The quick pop up has presets, brightness and contrast, input source selection, and a menu button for launching the big OSD. It's easy to navigate and just like other Dell OSDs, but with fancy buttons-that-aren't and that cool hover feature. 

There's options inside the sub menus for fill, 16:9, 4:3, aspect-correct, and 1:1 scaling of inputs - everything we want from a panel. In addition, there are the ever important settings for color space clamping - sRGB mode is there alongside AdobeRGB modes which don't clamp the color space. There's also gamma settings and presets for game, standard, and custom color modes. 

Console Gaming and Audio Controls

There's really nothing to complain about with the U3011 OSD other than the audio settings. You can put them in 2.0 audio out mode, something which is absolutely perfect for use with a PS3 or Xbox 360 connected over HDMI.

The problem is that there's no volume adjustment parameter exposed in the menu - it acts like line out undoubtedly because that's what Dell intended it to be used for. It'd be nice to get volume controls in that preset menu beyond being able to select between 2.0 and 5.1. 

That's a pretty nice segue into some discussion about what audio input options the U3011 supports over HDMI. I connected up a PS3 and played GT5 and a copy of Inception, both of which looked excellent and played perfectly. The PS3 saw LPCM 2 channel and 5.1 channel as options, obviously the U3011 doesn't have a hardware decoder onboard. I connected an Xbox 360 over HDMI and did the same, which worked perfectly. No doubt Dell's rationale for not providing volume controls on the OSD is that it's line out, or you'll use it with their speaker bar, but it still would be awesome to get that for when you're using headsets. 

U3011 Hardware Impressions and Specifications Viewing Angles and Color Quality
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  • 3dbomb - Saturday, January 15, 2011 - link

    I currently have a 22" 1680x1050 monitor. Fujitsu Siemens. It's hard working with it. I use 3D software that really wants more screen real estate. Even 1920x1200 would be a step up for me.

    However I struggle with readability of text and fear going for a really high resolution will make text harder to read.

    So what I'm after is a monitor that is bigger than 24" (I do own a 24" Samsung monitor that I use in the living room and its 1920x1080 resolution just isn't that great. So screen size is the most important thing with a decent resolution and black level. I'm sick of watching videos against dark grey.

    Anyone care to make a recommendation that's as cheap as possible? I'd even consider a TN panel if it was a fine example of how good TN's can be.

    Also I believe my 22" monitor has 5ms and I can tell you scrolling web pages is horrible. I have a 20" CRT next to it and the difference is very noticeable for me. So perhaps I'm one of the few that are susceptible to higher latencies. Reading long pages is actually nauseating for me and that goes away completely on the CRT.

    So to sum up

    Bigger than 24"
    Very good latency
    Good but not necessarily amazing black level
    At least 1920x1200
    Bargain price

    Anything out there for lil ole me? You guys seem to really know your monitors.
    Reply
  • snuuggles - Saturday, January 15, 2011 - link

    There are some new 27" 1920x1080 120hz monitors supposedly coming out soon-ish this year. I know that's not quite the resolution you are looking for, but it sounds like you, like me, are very sensitive to moving image issues. That is something I'm really hoping the 120hz input will resolve. I really really *really* regret giving away my iiyama 22" diamondtron a couple years ago. What an idiot I was, best display I ever owned.

    Other than resolution, the new Acer HN274H might be something worth looking at.

    HTH!
    Reply
  • snuuggles - Saturday, January 15, 2011 - link

    Woops, I just re-read your comment and noticed you already have a 24" 1080p monitor that is not sufficient.

    Sorry, I think that 120hz for you might really be good, but there is *nothing* higher than 1080p@120hz even in the pipeline.

    Sophie's choice!
    Reply
  • 3dbomb - Saturday, January 15, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the feedback. I know there isn't much between the 16:9 1080p 1920x1080 displays and the 16:10 1920x1200's but that extra height would solve a lot of problems for me with the 3D packages i use. One thing I decided I would stop doing years ago was window and panel shuffling. So its essential for me to have everything open on two screens. I can't quite manage that at 1680x1050 but believe I could at 1920x1200.

    I guess I just have to live with the refresh rates for the next few years. Probably end up going for one of the 1920x1200 27"/28" displays or around that. 26" is probably as low as I'd want to look at 1920x Great for the youngins with 20/20 vision but I'm an old fart now and need more screen and less ppi hehe.

    Would love to check out one of these 30" monsters in person but no shops near me carry them, so hard to make a judgement on the massive resolutions vs readability.

    Thanks again.
    Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, January 15, 2011 - link

    1. When all-black is displayed on the U3011, is there a white-haze on the left and right edges? Or are those blacks just as dark as the center black? I'm guessing there will be a haze, with no polarizer.

    2. On max brightness, if you put your ear to the back vents do you hear any buzzing? The 3007-HC had a buzz problem by design.

    3. No 120Hz is disappointing.

    4. Lag is disappointing, and it makes this monitor not necessarily better than the old 3007. IMHO, 1 frame (16ms) should be the worst-case budget. And that's an eon for electronics.
    Reply
  • zappb - Sunday, January 16, 2011 - link

    1080p vs 1200p

    For more vertical height - just move the start bar to the side of the screen and set it to auto hide, that must buy at least 30px right? so that gives true 1920 x 1080 as oppossed to 1920 x 1170 or 1150 depending on the setup (down from 1200) - so the vertical heigh argument becomes less and less significant.

    For monitors, it just depends on what's effective for you?

    Who cares about 1080p vs 1200p vs 1440 vs 1600 etc... It all depends what's effective for you to get more work done.

    The Hazro HZ30Wi - uses a great LG IPS panel similar to the U3011. I have two of them in a dual 30inch setup in Work. This home setup is the Dell 3008WFP and a Eizo EV2333 (VA Panel).

    I've disconnected one of the Hazro's in work and just use one 30inch screen. At home I primarily use the Eizo EV2333 (it's got a fantastic picture and easy on the eyes), which is a 1080p monitor and not the 3008WFP.

    I always thought that more monitors = better, but In the 2 x 30inch setup with the Hazro's

    1 I was staring directly at the bezels and couldn't see the end sides of both screens very well.
    2. my eyes where getting sore and tired even - firstly the text is small, but it's also feels quite far away with 5120x1600 pixels - especially at the sides (I'm getting old I guess).
    3. The world felt drowned out, I'm in professional services and it didn't help me focus on actual work and didn't make me more money or able to finish work quicker.
    4. Even increasing DPI, it started messing up the dialog boxes on our ERP software (maybe bad programming - but I couldn't click into certain boxes in the software), which limited how high I could scale the text.

    I found the Hazro better than the Dell 3008WFP but I don't think they will be reviewed here because Hazro's not very well setup to sell to the states, their main markets being the UK and Europe.

    Eizo just released a new monitor that looks like the perfect setup

    2560 × 1440 native resolution
    850:1 contrast ratio
    270 cd/m2 brightness
    DVI-D, DisplayPort, and Mini DisplayPort inputs

    Full spec here:

    http://www.eizo.com/global/iblick/spec/?id=SX2762W

    It looks to be a nice sweet spot between the expensive Colour Edge series and the high end Dell's. (My guess is this should cost around the same price as the U3011) but probably uses the same panel as the U2711 and 27inch Apple cinema display.

    Would also love to see some Eizo's reviewed by Anandtech.
    Reply
  • 3dbomb - Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - link

    I think there is a big difference between 1080 and 1200. Giving advice like just move your taskbar works for both resolutions. I already have my taskbar on the left and still am always wanting more height in everything I do. From browsing to using 3d apps. Watching 16:9 videos is such a tiny part of my computing life that having a display designed just for that seems wrong to me.

    I do hear you on the DPI settings though. Windows 7 promised such great things for scalability and delivered on none of it. Here's hoping Windows 8 allows for changing the DPI without breaking the UI.

    I have found that using Firefox with a little addon called Theme Font Size changer

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/the...

    Really helps with readability. Those tiny tabs and hard to read urls can grow to any size you like without breaking the UI at all. It's made Firefox another reason to sit as my main workhorse browser.

    Now I just need a tweak or hack of some kind that will let me change the default size of icons in the taskbar / quicklaunch from the tiny 32 point to something beefier like 64x64. It's another example of how Windows 7 promised so much on scalable PNG icons and delivered a half baked result. Sigh.
    Reply
  • J3S73R - Sunday, January 16, 2011 - link

    Your first paragraph expresses my thoughts exactly! I really wish they shouldnt have "stalled" at 1080p... I want more! Reply
  • optics261 - Monday, January 17, 2011 - link

    i had this monitor and had to return it... (not an easy task with such a big box) ... it was just too strong in terms of an anti glare coating. all I saw was glitter in any of the lighter areas of the screen (most web windows)... Put my macbook pro w/antiglare next to it and the macbook was preferrable.

    I ended up preferring no anti-glare at all and went with the Apple cinema display, with a few less inches. I'm happy with my choice.
    Reply
  • Steve M. - Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - link

    I guess I'm inclined when reading an article from AnandTech that has the word "Review" in it to see technical performance results as opposed to impressions and specifications. Can't we get specs on the web? Reply

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