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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  • cjl - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    1) All LCDs these days use overdrive. Whether advertised or not. It's the only way that an LCD can get a response time better than roughly 15-20ms.

    2) This is an IPS panel. The Alienware is a TN. TN panels are able to do 120Hz better than IPS. That's one reason why this isn't 120Hz.

    3) 120Hz 2560x1600 is not doable with any current display connector other than possibly DisplayPort. Dual link DVI is only able to drive it at 60Hz, and HDMI can't even get up to native.
    Reply
  • MeanBruce - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    Ordered an Asus 6870 DirectCU from Newegg, it has 2 DisplayPorts regular not mini. Will I have to use both to run 120Hz 2560x1600? On this or HPs 30inch? Reply
  • cjl - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    Neither is capable of 120Hz operation, so it doesn't matter how many connectors you hook up, it will never run faster than 60Hz. If someone were to release a 120Hz 2560x1600 panel, I believe that the newest DisplayPort standard could drive it with one connector. Other than that, no existing connector could pull it off. Reply
  • DanNeely - Saturday, January 15, 2011 - link

    HDMI 1.3/1.4 have the same bandwidth as DVI, so they could drive a 2560x1600x60hz display. Reply
  • MeanBruce - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    I gitcha ;) and agree, Dell should have put so much more into this panel, or should offer another 30inch with full RBG and a remote for switching inputs and volume tied to the Soundbar. Reply
  • Breit - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    What about the 10Bit color support? Where you able to test it during your review? I personally own a Dell 3011 but have never seen any option to enable it on my ATI/AMD GPUs (neither 5870 nor 6970) even through different connection options (DP, DVI, HDMI). It must be a professional-only feature, at least for the red GPU camp?! Maybe this is the way to gain access to a calibrated Delta-E below 1.0 ... ;) Reply
  • Toshio - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    For those interested in this monitor for gaming, here's a comparison of Dell 3007WFP-HC and 3008WFP:

    http://www.digitalversus.com/duels.php?ty=6&ma...

    Unfortunately, none available anymore at dell.com :(

    I personally own the 3007WFP-HC basically for gaming and I can tell you lag is not noticeable at all (just as it was with the original 3007WFP).
    I'm not sure what method was used to measure lag in the U3011, but if it's similar to the older 3007WFP-HD I think we got a winner here.

    As somebody else said, we would like to see this monitor's specs compared to previous Dell models. The ones I've personally tried are:

    2408WFP (first revision) - Horrible Lag, no good for gaming at all. Average lag accordign to digitalversus: 69ms
    3007WFP - Unnoticeable lag, good response for FPS gaming.
    3007WFP-HC - same as previous.
    3007WFP - I haven't tried this one but most reviews show terrible input lag.

    What you'll find as common ground is that lag-free monitors don't have DSP (thus no OSD) and only DVI inputs, while the ones with more inputs and features (HDMI, OSD, monitor scaling) have noticeable lag. If Dell managed to cut lag while giving good features we surely have a good alternative in the U3011.
    Reply
  • mac2j - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    Should have been RGBLED

    Should have been 120Hz which is totally supported by the current generation of graphics cards through displayport 1.2 or HDMI 1.4
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    HDMI: No. I'll go light on the technical details, but it doesn't have enough bandwidth to drive 2560 at 120Hz (it has about half as much as necessary). Frame packing actually makes this really ugly - for 3D as defined by HDMI it only has enough bandwidth for 1080P 24Hz.

    DP1.2: Yes. However this monitor has been out for a few months, which is to say that it came out before anyone had a DP1.2 display controller ready. DP1.2 displays won't be out until later this year.
    Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, January 15, 2011 - link

    HDMI: yes
    DP: yes
    DVI: yes
    VGA: yes

    No one said it has to be at 2560. In an FPS, 1680x1050@120Hz is better than 2560x1600@60Hz.
    Reply

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