Dell U2412M - 16:10 IPS without Breaking the Bankby Chris Heinonen on February 28, 2012 9:00 AM EST
Conclusion: A Good 16:10 IPS Display
After using it, the Dell U2412M comes out with a lot of positives and no big negatives. The screen has a nice 16:10 aspect ratio that makes it feel roomier than a normal 16:9 display, and it has a nice adjustable stand that made it easy to fit on my desk. The contrast ratio was good, power use was low, and the response time for gaming was also very good. The overall dE values were acceptable but not fantastic, and the screen was relatively uniform.
The main negatives I can come out with are that the dE values get slightly high for blues, but they do that on any monitor that doesn’t display the full AdobeRGB colorspace. Similarly the frame lag numbers look bad in comparison to other displays, but this is our first attempt with a new testing method and I made sure to select the worst-case scenario numbers as well. I can criticize the black uniformity as the corners were a bit bad, though being a lot better in this area will likely require using something other than the current edge-lit LED system or the emergence of OLED displays for the desktop, which would definitely increase the cost (by a large amount in the case of OLED).
In the end, would I buy the Dell U2412M for myself? Yes, I probably would. The fact that you can find it for $300 or less on sale fairly often and that it calibrates to a decent dE value makes it easy for someone to use as a general-purpose desktop display. Viewing angles are good, I still like the adjustability of the Dell stand, and the larger work area made for a good combination.
The closest competitor seems to be the HP ZR24w, which features an S-IPS panel but otherwise looks remarkably similar. I haven’t had a chance to see that in person so I can’t elaborate further, but that was the only 16:10, IPS panel at Newegg that came within $75 of the U2412M. I really think Dell has taken everything out of the display that they can (e.g. reduced to a 6-bit panel, no LUT, no HDMI) to produce a panel that is affordable but still very good for most people, and far beyond the 16:9 TN panels that many people might be upgrading from. It’s certainly not perfect, but it’s good enough for most people, and it is what I would want as a bare minimum if I was in the market for a 24” monitor.