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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  • fausto412 - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    Monitor Calibration and Reviews

    I see all these monitor reviews where the monitor is calibrated for most accurate colors and blacks and all that...how does a person who bought the monitor go about getting it calibrated? are there local places who do this stuff? when they do it do they save the calibration on your screen?
    Reply
  • cheinonen - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    For calibrating the display you need a colorimeter or spetrometer and software. Most include some sort of PC software, or you can use something like DispCalGUI for free. Since these involve using the LUT in your video card, you can't have it done somewhere and then bring it back home, though you could borrow/rent hardware to get it done most likely.

    For testing, I use an i1Pro for the calibration, which runs around $1,000 new, and an i1DisplayPro for testing the black level (around $300) since it is more accurate at reading low levels of light, but worse at measuring colors. You can use something as simple as an i1DisplayLT, though it will start to drift over time and after 2-3 years you can't rely on it to be accurate anymore and would have to buy another one. The Colormunki series has a spectro that is pretty cheap for use with a monitor, but a cheap spectro is still $400-500 or more.
    Reply
  • ggathagan - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    If the big box stores were smart, this is the kind of service they would offer : in-home monitor/TV calibration using a customer's actual setup. Reply
  • hechacker1 - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    They do, THX calibration and whatnot, but they charge an insane amount. Basically, it's better to just buy the colorimeter and do it yourself with various software.

    It's a good investment if you have many screens. Once you have it, it's a pain to work on any non-calibrated monitor, knowing just how bad it is.
    Reply
  • Confusador - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    "...still, I thought the explanation on the previous page would be useful for everyone."
    It was, thank you for keeping it in. It's always nice to know the rationale behind the testing method.

    On a side note, I'm glad to see Dell at least trying to have a reasonably priced 16:10, but it still saddens me that we haven't seen much improvement in monitors (in terms of price/resolution) for so long. I can only dream that with high resolution tablets coming out, we'll see some of that trickle into desktops. For me at least, vertical space is at a premium because I have the horizontal covered by virtue of simply having more than one display.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    I know right? Next gen tablets and phones are running higher resolutions than like 80% of laptops out there, and the average desktop display isn't faring much better. I don't see how market economics are allowing display manufacturers to create these amazing new 10" displays yet desktop displays have languished for so long... Reply
  • ggathagan - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    I doubt you'll ever see that trend in discrete monitors.
    The entire reason for higher resolutions for a laptop/tablet is due to the physical constraints on the screen size.
    If you want a higher resolution for a desktop monitor, you buy a larger monitor.

    From a manufacturing standpoint, I would guess that quality control issues increase geometrically when you work with larger physical sizes. It's probably a lot easier to create a high resolution screen at 10 inches than it is at 24 or 27 inches.

    Unless there's a compelling reason to do so, I doubt screen manufacturers are eager to take that on.
    Far better to concentrate R&D efforts on 120Hz IPS panels and the like.
    Reply
  • Zolcos - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    One way you could improve this part of the review is to use the same chart method that you used for power draw -- each monitor having two bars, one for "real world" input lag and one for "worst case" input lag. Reply
  • toyotabedzrock - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    No tests of how it handles color gradients?

    If we are to pay more for an IPS display then it needs to be 8bit.
    Reply
  • MadAd - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    1200 lines is a start, but am still waiting for the ultimate answer to a monitor upgrade

    24", 120hz, 1200 lines and displayport

    is that too much to ask?
    Reply

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