Dell U3011 Review: Dell's New 30-inch Flagshipby Brian Klug on January 13, 2011 9:17 PM EST
Brightness and Contrast
For brightness we display white and black levels at maximum and minimum brightness as allowed by the OSD, and divide the two to get contrast. We use the same colorimeter described earlier. In this case, an Xrite i1D2 with ColorEyes Display Pro. For the U3011, dynamic contrast is turned off, contrast is set to maximum on the OSD, and the brightness control is varied across its possible dynamic range.
The brightness dynamic range on the U3011 isn't really amazing. In fact, it was a challenge to get the display to 100 nits for calibration (it required changing contrast and carefully balancing brightness and contrast controls on the OSD). One look at the contrast ratio plot however, and it's obvious what Dell did here - sacrifice dynamic range control for luminance but in so doing keep contrast extremely stable across that range of brightnesses. It's a tradeoff which actually makes a lot of sense, even if it isn't readily apparent when you're playing with the display, especially because the contrast OSD control visually makes a much larger difference than brightness which actually controls the CCFL power. I took a lot more data, but between max brightness and min brightness, contrast is pretty steady at around 750.
It's a bit unfortunate that the IPS in the U3011 isn't a bit more contrasty, especially when advertised is around 1000:1 with dynamic contrast off. Still, not bad.