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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  • beachhead2 - Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - link

    Dell outlet has these from time to time for $899. When they pop up, they go fast. I got one last week and it's top notch (coming from 2408WFP). I'm using it primarily for PS CS5. I calibrated it and I'm well pleased with my prints. Awesome display. Reply
  • godel - Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - link

    It's a pity they didn't go to LED backlighting instead of CFL.

    The monitor is already over a thousand bucks, so a few extra dollars shouldn't matter much, and it would benefit greatly from a reduction in power consumption, as well as the reputed gains in picture quality that comes with LEDs.
    Reply
  • cjl - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    LED is a benefit for power consumption, but it can actually be a detriment to image quality. This monitor's CCFL backlight allows for a wider color gamut than WLED would, which is why they chose it. Reply
  • spilled - Thursday, January 20, 2011 - link

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrjDbWU_43A

    Great video showing the clear input lag winner. A shame... without the lag, and with the audio output, this would be a nobrainer for me. The limited inputs on the z30 make it less attractive, but still moreso I think.

    As an aside, I did a similar comparison to this using my M6500 and a trusty dusty 2001FP I still have from 10 years ago. About 1/3rd of a window similar in size on that test behind for the old Dell.

    Things have gotten better, but for $1300+, I think I'll sit the fence.
    Reply
  • pkoi - Friday, January 21, 2011 - link

    I really like seeing displays reviews benched with meaningful metrics.

    I want MORE,,,
    Reply
  • iaw4 - Sunday, January 23, 2011 - link


    why do all the 30" monitors miss speakers? (the DELL speaker bar for the 3008 is worse than my worst notebook computer. I don't need much, but the DELL speakerbar is really bad.) and yes, many people just like having a one-in-all monitor. heck, I would even like a webcam in it, but I understand that this is not a common need. I would also not tuner while we are at it, but again, this is not needed.

    but speakers?? come on.

    for lack of speakers you should subtract a half-star.
    Reply
  • JonathanMEdwards - Monday, March 07, 2011 - link

    DisplayPort has some problem with power management. Won't wake up after going to sleep. Too bad, it's a really sweet monitor visually.

    http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/periph...

    http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/periph...
    Reply
  • Manhar - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    The review states that there is no pivot mode.

    Are you sure that this has no pivot and cannot be used in portrait mode?

    Dell have confirmed in writing to me that it can pivot and do the portrait mode!
    Reply
  • voganville - Saturday, March 12, 2011 - link

    I want to use two of these monitors side by side. I have an Nvidia GTS450. Will it work? Reply
  • ruzveh - Sunday, May 29, 2011 - link

    I dont understand why 30" Monitor so expensive than usual 40" TV? Is it really worth buying a 30" TV than 42" or 46" high end TV at the same time? If resolution is not the priority or preference or use then better to go with TV than a monitor. Anyways we r still way behind the technology like how Anandtech rightly introduced us right at the start. Reply

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