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 - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    And HP has possibly a higher led pwm frequency, which itself would be worth the price difference. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    Better service?

    Hm. When one of my backlight inverters went on my U2410, Dell immediately (as in, the very next day, it turned up) sent me a BRAND NEW U2410.. seriously, it was ~1 month after manufacturing date.

    I checked that it was flawless, then 2 days later they took my old one away. I even got to keep all my cables, so now I have a stack of display cables.

    I'm not actually sure how you could get better than that.
    Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    And I love them both. I run them in a triple monitor setup with my Precision M4600 (Precisions display, plus both of the U2412M's)/

    Are they the best display out? Of course not. Are they are a GREAT bang for the buck, yes!
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - 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..."
    The U2412M has LED backlighting.
    Reply
  • starson - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    It's most likely edge-lit, so I assume he meant that it would have to be an true back-lit array to improve that aspect of it. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    That was what I thought as well, but then he should write that, too, don't you think? :P There is a name for what he wants: full array (with local dimming). Reply
  • cheinonen - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    I said LED backlighting to differentiate from LED edgelit, which is what every monitor is out there right now, but I will clear that up. Sorry for the confusion. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    Yes, that was very confusing. Backlight just means anything that lights the LCD. It does not differentiate between edge/full array. CCFL is also a backlight, but it is mostly just used as edge lighting. LED can do both (and local dimming as a result). :-) Reply
  • IceDread - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    Well, that's a dream I have.

    Does anyone know how far from my dream we are?
    Reply
  • rscoot - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    If you want to spend $15 or 20k for a monitor and find a couple thousand other people willing to do the same, I'm sure some company will accommodate you as best they can. Reply

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