Dell U2311H: E-IPS, Full Adjustments, and DisplayPortby Chris Heinonen on September 27, 2011 12:20 AM EST
Dell has had a nice OSD setup for a couple of generations now that uses four soft keys to control all the settings. Brightness and Contrast of course allows access to those controls, but the majority of the settings are located under the Color Settings menu. Input Color Format can switch between RGB and YCbCr when using the DVI input. Gamma allows a choice between PC gamma (typically 2.2) and Mac (1.8)—though note that since OSX 10.6 the Mac gamma standard has changed to the more common 2.2 gamma setting. Mode selection allows you to choose between Standard, Multimedia, Game, Warm, Cool, and Custom (RGB) modes. If you choose the Custom mode you get the option to calibrate the white balance at a single point using Red, Green and Blue gain controls. Here's a gallery of the various OSD settings.
If you are using any input other than the DSUB15, most of the choices under Display Settings are locked off since they aren’t needed with a digital video signal. Other settings simply allow you to customize the menu interface, including position, time out, transparency, and switching between landscape and portrait orientations. Finally the personalization menu will let you change the default behaviors of the soft buttons to whatever settings you need to frequently access, though Auto-Adjust and Input Source are the only two choices available beyond the defaults. A quick selection of Portrait/Landscape orientation for the menu would also be nice for people that often move the monitor position around.
For an in-monitor calibration, the Dell offers very little beyond the single RGB control if you are in custom mode. This does let you dial in a specific point (I chose pure white) to the D65 standard, or another color temperature if that is required. Beyond this, the gamma only offers two settings and there is no RGB Low option for calibrating another point, so this is as far as you can go without using software for the calibration.
One of the hallmarks for IPS displays has been wide viewing angles and the Dell 2311H keeps this up. Moving off to the sides, and from top to bottom, brightness and color stay at very good levels until you start to move to extreme angles where you wouldn’t be able to use the display for work anyway. This also allows you to easily use the monitor in the portrait orientation without having large color or brightness shifts while reading or editing a document. As panels gets larger, having these viewing angles becomes more and more important.