Introducing the Dell U2412M

For every monitor review that I’ve done for AnandTech so far, I know that as soon as I check the comments there will be a thread with the same theme: “I don’t care about 1080p monitors, I only want 16:10 aspect ratios!” When widescreen displays first came out for desktop LCD monitors, virtually every model was a 16:10 display. The 20” Dell I have on my own desk is 16:10, and almost every vendor made 16:10 panels.

As the price of flat panels dropped and HDTV adoption took over, more and more desktop panels migrated to the HDTV aspect ratio of 16:9. The reasons behind this were easy to understand, as you could produce more displays, reuse panels across PC and TV lines, and have a lower cost across the board to let you sell them for less. Most people were more than happy to pay less for a display than to pay 2-3 times as much for those extra 120 pixels at the bottom of a display. As this happened, 16:10 panels became relegated to higher end models, almost always as IPS panels and often with high end features like AdobeRGB colorspace support and more.

Dell finally decided to address this with their U2412M display that features a 1920x1200 on its 24” panel. The U2412M is also an eIPS panel that is natively 6-bit but uses A-FRC to display 16.7 million colors. Dell has managed to bring this monitor in at $329 and can often be found on sale for under $300, while most other 16:10 24” panels come in at $500 or more. What did Dell have to do to hit this aggressive price point? Let's find out, starting with the specifications overview.

Dell U2412M Specifications
Video Inputs D-sub, DVI, DisplayPort
Panel Type eIPS
Pixel Pitch 0.27 mm
Colors 16.7 Million (6-bit with A-FRC)
Brightness 300 nits
Contrast Ratio 1000:1 (Typical)
Response Time 8ms GTG
Viewable Size 24"
Resolution 1920x1200
Viewing Angle 178 H, 178 V
Backlight LED
Power Consumption (operation) 38W
Power Consumption (standby) Not Listed
Screen Treatment Anti-Glare with Hard Coat 3H
Height-Adjustable Yes, 4.5" of adjustment
Tilt Yes
Pivot Yes
Swivel Yes
VESA Wall Mounting Yes, 100mm VESA
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 20.22" x 21.89" x 7.10"
Weight 8.73 lbs. without stand
Additional Features 4 port USB Hub, Power Management Software
Limited Warranty 3 Years
Accessories Power Cable, DVI Cable, USB Cable, VGA Cable
Price $329 at Dell.com

The stand with the U2412M is very adjustable, with tilt, swivel, pivot, and height adjustments available to the user. There is a 4-port USB 2.0 hub with two ports on the bottom of the display and two that are more accessible on the side of the display. The one port you might find missing is an HDMI port, but as the HDMI port is trademarked and requires licensing fees, and adds nothing that other ports don’t offer on a display with no speakers, I’m not particularly sad about the loss. Most HDMI transmitter chips are limited to 1920x1080 resolution as well and that would just be another cost that really adds no benefit. DisplayPort is starting to become more and more common now and I’d prefer to see those ports instead.

Dell U2412M Design, OSD, and Viewing Angles
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  • Touche - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    +1000 Reply
  • cheinonen - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    Measuring the refresh rate of the backlight is on the list of things to try to do going forward. It should be added soon, though I'm not certain if it will be in the next couple of reviews or not. Reply
  • Zolcos - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    It's reassuring to see this product, not just because of 16:10 but other good-yet-all-too-rare choices like anti-glare, displayport, and a relatively non-shiny bezel.
    Personally, I'm still holding out for 120hz at any resolution better than 1080p. If a monitor with the exact same feature set and resolution as the one in this review came out with 120hz, I'd literally buy it today, even if it was TN and cost twice as much.

    That's my realistic side anyway. I still have dreams of 1920x1440 since widescreen (while great on its own) is an inefficient use of space for multi-monitor setups, but that's another debate entirely.
    Reply
  • Zds - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    The main advantage of the HP unit is not S- but 8bit colors. IPS vs. S-IPS is not crucial, 16.7M real colors can be. Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    6-bit vs. 8-bit isn't the whole story, either.

    The other part of the story is how wide a gamut the backlight can provide.
    Reply
  • James5mith - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    "I can criticize the black uniformity as the corners were a bit bad, though being a lot better in this area will likely require going to an LED backlighting system or the emergence of OLED displays for the desktop, both of which are very expensive compared to this."

    http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.a...

    First line of the information: "Enjoy widescreen performance, any way you want it. With a 24" 16:10 panel, IPS technology and LED backlight, the U2412M provides a brilliant view, plus amazing adjustability to suit any style."

    So the LED backlight isn't helping it to get any better. It's already there, and apparently not very good.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    The point was to use something other than edge LED backlighting, though that's not entirely clear from the wording. I'll see if I can fix that... Reply
  • Zoomer - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    How about reviewing this or a similar monitor? Now that is real bare bones, and real cheap. $400 or $250 for a 27" H-IPS if AT has some friends in Korea.

    http://www.overclock.net/t/1215866/reviewed-400-25...
    Reply
  • frombauer - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    Would this be better in lag and response time compared to the Dell 2209WA? I own this one, and it's good enough for gaming to me. But I wanted more resolution. Reply
  • Touche - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    Get a Sony GDM-FW900 :) Reply

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