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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  • kchase731 - Thursday, March 01, 2012 - link

    I have 2 of these side by side on my desktop. I bought them for $299 ea. free shipping. im very very pleased with them. I replaced 2 aging dell 2405's and these look really good. Im not a graphic designer or developer or gamer, i use them for work I like having the desktop real estate and these accomplish that well, maybe not perfect but like i said im not a designer and they seem very good for the money. i used a colorimeter to calibrate them, they seem accurate and crisp, im very happy with the purchase, and am strongly considering adding a 3rd. Reply
  • mike8675309 - Thursday, March 01, 2012 - link

    Get this resolution into a 21" display and have it be at least as good as this and I'd buy a pallet of them to hold me over until retirement. At a 24" size, I'll just take two as it really is just too big to be perfect. As a software programmer (more actual code, less pretty widgets) those extra lines of resolution are valuable.

    Now if the company I'm working for today would just let me buy my own monitors.
    Reply
  • Mithan - Thursday, March 01, 2012 - link

    I purchased this monitor back during the Black Friday sale they had in November and I love it.

    It sits next to my Dell 2407WFP which I love as well and replaces some crappy 24" Samsung TN panel that died on me.

    My only complaint with the LCD is that the vertical viewing angle isn't as good as the 2407WFP.

    However, for heavy gaming and web browsing, it has been an excellent LCD and I am tempted to buy a second to replace the 2407 that is taking longer to reach full brightness than it used too.

    Its a kick ass LCD, especially for $300. I would recommend it to any gamer in a heart beat that doesn't want a crappy TN panel but doesn't want to spend $500 either.
    Reply
  • mtoma - Friday, March 02, 2012 - link

    I also thought that 120 Hz is good for movies, I even bought an LG and I watched movies in 120 Hz, for that reason only. Well, the movement scenes are .. uncanny, the feel like I watch some theatre piece, are toooo fluid. The action/movement scenes feel rushed. Too rushed. And, it makes sense: the movie, released to users in 23-24 frames/second, looks best on lower refresh rate panels.
    Of course, in other desktop applications (games, Internet, office apps), that refresh rate does not ruin the experience, it is ok. But in movies... no way, no way.

    On the subject of panel-integrated webcams, I agree that they suck. But, I believe that in smartphones (the expensive ones - Nokia Lumia 800 for example) they don't suck, actually are pretty good. So, I feel that desktop enthusiasts deserve the best technology possible. I really think that with a bit of effort, the PC world can match and even surpass the Apple world in technology and design (the design and the component consolidation are the reasons I wish a good integrates webcam in LCD-s/OLED's).
    Reply
  • sethsez - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    You're wrong about movies. Unless there's some interpolating going on (which might very well be the case), 120 Hz should be significantly BETTER for 24 FPS material than 60 Hz.

    The thing is, 24 doesn't divide evenly into 60. So you wind up getting unevenly repeated frames in order to match the monitor's refresh rate. Meanwhile, with 120 Hz you can repeat each frame 5 times and be done with it, ensuring an equal level of time between each unique frame.

    What you saw was almost certainly interpolation, in which the monitor actually attempts to create new frames in between the original ones. It looks like garbage and has given 120 Hz a bad rap it doesn't deserve.
    Reply
  • woodelf - Friday, March 02, 2012 - link

    Here's my problem with this review and others (of both this monitor and others): I have no basis of comparison. Other than the Apple monitors, I have never even seen an 8-bit IPS monitor in person. And the last time I got to play around with an Apple display enough to determine how the color was (not as good as my CRT) was 2-3 generations ago. Best Buy doesn't stock anything but crap for monitors, and ditto for every other store I've managed to get into. Likewise, work monitors are (1) all cheap Dells and (2) running XP and ugly custom-built software, and I'm not doing any design work on them in any case, so I don't have anything to really judge against.

    Unfortunately, all I know from reviews is that S-IPS > eIPS > TN, and TN isn't good enough for my eyes. What I *do* know is CRT monitors (I'm a little behind the times). So, can anybody compare the color fidelity of an eIPS to a quality CRT (ideally my slowly-dying Sony GDM-FW900)? I get that S-IPS or H-IPS would definitely be preferable, and I suspect I could see the difference, at least in some circumstances. But this monitor is much more comfortable for my budget, so if it's "good enough", the sacrifice in quality is probably worth it to me. From looking at screenshots in reviews, I really can't tell the difference between a well-calibrated U2412M and U2410--but I don't expect that is representative of actually sitting in front of the monitors.
    Reply
  • GullLars - Saturday, March 03, 2012 - link

    I've been using this as one of 3 monitors for 8 months now, and i'm very happy with it.
    My main monitor is a Dell Ultrasharp 27" (2560x1440), and i have this U2412M and another monitor in portrait mode (flipped) on either side. Upgrading from two old TN monitors, 1x 24" 1900x1200 and 1x 22" 1680x1050, using the new configuration is great.
    Using these U2412M vertically for reading documents and web sites are great. It gives a much more "roomy" feeling.
    Reply
  • jiffylube1024 - Sunday, March 04, 2012 - link

    I've got the Dell Ultrasharp 709W -- it's a 16:10 27" LCD with a 1920x1200 panel. If they did a 27" 1920x1200 eIPS for a cheap price (<$500) I'd get it in a heartbeat, and I'd bet it would be a huge seller. Reply
  • kunstderfugue - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Something i don't understand is: How is 16:10 better than 16:9? In the end, it's only 120 more lines; and i don't see how that makes for a better experience. Reply
  • woodelf - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    It's not just 120 lines, it's also an inch (or so, depending on the overall monitor size). In the case of a 24" monitor, that extra inch makes it possible to see an A4 or letter-size two-page book spread at actual size, and still see your menu bars. In fact, the 16:10 aspect ratio is almost perfect, with a little room on one side for some pallets or tool bars. Reply

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