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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  • CSMR - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    High pixel pitch will increase legibility of text, and everything vector-based. Reply
  • Guspaz - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    In terms of pricing from Dell themselves, I'm seeing the U2711 at $849 CAD, and the U3011 at $1599 CAD. Considering they offer the same class of resolution (2560xSomething, although I'd rather see 2560x1600 on the U2711, at least it's still 2560), a similar set of inputs, and the U2711 is a bit better in calibrated colour accuracy (and way better uncalibrated), it really looks to me like the U2711 is the better buy. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    Same class of resolution? The pixel pitch on the 30" is .2505, the pixel pitch on the 27" is .233 - clearly a much tighter image. They aren't in the same resolution class by a long shot.

    I agree, I'd love to see a 2560x1600 .233 pixel pitch monitor - or better yet, a full 30",16:10 monitor with that pixel pitch. That would make my current 3-way conundrum - buy a U2711, a ZR30w, or wait for that 120Hz 30" monitor, a much easier decision. Especially if it were 120Hz. The dang 16:9 ratio of the U2711 is what makes it such a tough choice; I just don't want to support the industry using that format in any way - but I do want to throw in my vote for small pixel pitch as well as use a monitor with as fine a screen as I can get.

    ;)
    Reply
  • Iketh - Saturday, January 15, 2011 - link

    How are you supposed to get 2560x1600 .233 pitch on a 30" screen? That's physically impossible. May want to read up on what pixel pitch is, and the reason why a smaller screen with the same resolution will always have a lower pitch. Reply
  • adiposity - Sunday, January 16, 2011 - link

    If you read his comment carefully, he didn't say that. He said either:

    a 2560x1600 @.233 pitch

    or

    a 30" 16:10 monitor with .233 pitch
    Reply
  • Hrel - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    Dang, look at those response times! No guitar hero being played on this thing. Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, January 15, 2011 - link

    7ms GTG. How often does a PS3 refresh frames--24fps? That's 42ms.

    I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you only play Guitar Hero on PC emulators with a CRT @ >140Hz.
    Reply
  • aguilpa1 - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    the OSD is the same as the Alienware 23" 120Hz LCD's, even copied the light up touch panel but went with blue instead of red. They may have considered the 120Hz option. Also the Optx 2310's have panel overdrive which mitigates the response time and removes the lag. I noticed on some reviews of the 2310's they are not doing this and reporting the panels have to much lag especially in 3D mode but if you set the panels to game mode and enable overdrive the visible lag problem goes away. I did that to all three of mine. Reply
  • MeanBruce - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    Dude, It's the same OSD because Dell bought Alienware a few years back. Same design group. Pretty sure all the 24in panels Dell/Alienware are assembled in the same little factory in Meheeco. Reply
  • aguilpa1 - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    yup I know this, I was just saying, when I ordered my three 2310's they were from Dell. On a panel that is supposed to be their flagship they should have also stole the quality of design, the 120Hz, the overdrive engine and not just the OSD from the 2310's. Reply

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