Last year I spent time with one of the first UltraHD monitors to be come out and came away convinced of the benefits. Even though the screen size was not much larger than my usual display, the extra clarity and detail was totally worth it. It sealed my decision to buy a MacBook Pro Retina when it was updated last fall as well. Now we’ve seen the field of UltraHD displays expand considerably and so we now look at another 32” UltraHD display, the Dell UP3214Q.

The Dell UP3214Q is very similar to the ASUS PQ321Q that I looked at last year. Both are 32” and both feature a 3840x2160 resolution. They are also both saddled with one of the current UltraHD weaknesses: a requirement that you have DisplayPort 1.2 MST support to get 60 Hz refresh rates. However, the Dell UP3214Q does have a few higher-end features that the ASUS lacks to help set it apart.

The first feature is that it supports the full AdobeRGB color gamut and not the more limited sRGB gamut. Since these initial UltraHD monitors are expensive and more likely to be used by professionals than home users, this support can go a long way. Second it has built-in support for Dell’s calibration software that lets you set two presets to be whatever settings you desire. If you have day and night settings, or different settings for online vs. print, this can be accomplished.

It also offers a larger selection of inputs than the ASUS model. With HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort, and MiniDisplayPort options you can connect it to two 60Hz UltraHD sources at once instead of just a single PC. This is most useful for those that wish to use it with a laptop as well as a desktop. Like many of the upper-end Dell displays it also features a 4-port USB 3.0 hub as well as a media card reader on the side. Unfortunately all of the USB 3.0 ports are hard to access on the rear instead of placing a pair on the side. I swap out my monitors more than 99.9% of the population but I hate having the USB ports being so hard to access.

The updated Dell design features a metal trim around the border which gives it a modern, semi-industrial look and also seems to work as a way to dissipate heat. I found this out as trying to adjust the monitor from the top after it has been on for a few hours can cause it to get quite warm. An IR temperature gun gave me readings of almost 130F. I’ve had monitors get warm to the touch before but the Dell UP3214Q is certainly the hottest so far, and that's quite surprising considering it uses LED backlighting. The stand that the Dell includes is also a new industrial design but still includes height adjustment, tilt, swivel and a way to route cables. There is no pivot so if you want to use your 32” UltraHD display in Portrait mode you’ll need to use the 100mm VESA mounts with a different stand.

Dell also has their on-screen menu system that I still think is the best in the business. They’ve made an unfortunate move to touch-sensitive buttons but the overall user interface is still the same. From an ergonomics perspective the Dell is an overall winner. I’d like to see them find a way to side-mount the inputs so they are easier to access, and move a couple USB ports around, but overall it is good.

Viewing angles, as an IPS display, are fantastic. I’d be hesitant about a TN panel of this size because off-angle issues could arise far too easily but it is not a problem with the Dell. With specs, ergonomics, and the on-screen display of the Dell UP3214Q there is not much that I find issue with...well, other than a high price, but that's expected.

Dell UP3214Q
Video Inputs HDMI 1.4a, DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort
Panel Type IGZO IPS
Pixel Pitch 0.182mm
Colors 1.07 Billion
Brightness 350 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio 1000:1
Response Time 8ms GtG
Viewable Size 32"
Resolution 3840x2160
Viewing Angle (H/V) 176 / 176
Backlight LED
Power Consumption (operation) 100W Typical, 170W Max
Power Consumption (standby) 1.2W Typical
Screen Treatment Anti-Glare
Height-Adjustable Yes, 3.5"
Tilt Yes
Pivot No
Swivel Yes
VESA Wall Mounting Yes, 100mm
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 29.5" x 19" x 8.4"
Weight 20.3 lbs.
Additional Features 4 port USB 3.0 hub, card reader
Limited Warranty 3 years
Accessories MiniDP to DP Cable, USB 3.0 cable, power cord
Price $3,499 (Currently $2800)

 

UltraHD Today: Still Not There
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  • inighthawki - Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - link

    Are you referring to the ud590? It's hardly a "direct competitor." It's not only 4" diagonal smaller but it's a TN panel, and lacks quite a few input types. Or are you referring to the ud970, in which case would you please post a source to the $800 price tag, which sounds unlikely.

    On top of that, remember that you then need 2 video cards to power 4/6 monitors (nvidia supports 4 but only in span with the fourth as an "extra" display) so you won't even be able to tile them properly by default. On top of that have fun trying to play a game across all the monitors. At least with a single 4K display you can render at 1080p and have a seamless scaling across the entire display. With 4 or 6 monitors you'd have to run it in the standard "eyefinity" style 3x1 configuration which is nice, but also will cost you with resolution. At that point you're going to need not just two GPUs, but likely two high end GPUs. When all is said and done I don't think you'll save much once you take into account the disadvantages of the setup on top of the price.
    Reply
  • nevertell - Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - link

    You have never been truly productive with a computer, have you ?
    A multi monitor setup enables me to do things just that much faster. While you could argue that a 4K monitor would allow me to do stuff side by side on the same panel, at the end of the day, when the new resolution becomes the norm, you have to develop content for 4k. And the only way to see your results is to see them at 4k, so you have to have another panel. Single display setups are meant for lazy office people and content consumers. And even then, playing a game with a surround monitor setup is much nicer than having one large monitor.
    People used the same kind of software back in the days of 1280 by 1024, 1024 by 768 and 800 by 640. And even though most of the software for today is written for 1080p or 1200p panels, the fact still remains, you cannot operate Visual Studio in half of that. Hell, it's a nightmare to run Visual Studio on 1336 by 768, let alone something like 960 by 1080p. Even though application UI's appear scalable, scaling them is a last resort. So yes, when we will catch up to 4K on the software side of things, we will need multiple monitors again. But yes, of course, for a web developer of today, being able to edit multiple stylesheets, javascript and html files at the same time AND seeing the result largely in scale is truly great. Unfortunately, most enterprise developers rarely need to edit countless files at once and the php/css people just simply will not be able to afford these displays.
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Sunday, April 06, 2014 - link

    What do you mean by "run 4K at 1080p"? That makes no sense.

    If you are talking running those 4 monitors to get a total screen space of 3840x2160, sure, you could do that, but you entirely miss the point of having a high-density monitor. The pixels on a 39" 1080p screen are the size of a truck. Maybe suitable for using as a TV viewed across your living room, but not as a monitor a couple of feet from your face.
    Reply
  • mczak - Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - link

    A wall of TN panels is fairly pointless if you can only see the center one due to the poor viewing angles :-). Reply
  • cheinonen - Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - link

    AdobeRGB vs. sRGB, HiDPI vs. Regular DPI, Apples to Oranges Reply
  • cheinonen - Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - link

    I tested with both Nvidia and AMD cards and had the same issues with both. Reply
  • toncij - Sunday, April 06, 2014 - link

    Yes, that information could help, since not every test was done on Nvidia/AMD and the same driver. Also, it would help a lot to hear if those problems also happen with ASUS and Sharp, to compare those products. Anandtech made a review already: http://www.anandtech.com/show/7157/asus-pq321q-ult... Reply
  • jasonelmore - Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - link

    Where the hell is HDMI 2.0? Its done and being produced, why isnt it in these new devices? Reply
  • SunLord - Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - link

    It takes more then 6months to go from a finished standard to fully certified working silicon let along shipping it in quantities to enable mass production of consumer devices. Reply
  • willis936 - Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - link

    I'm not sure this is right. Companies usually are making and testing IP while a standard is in the works. In some cases they're out before the standard is done. Reply

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