Power Consumption

The 30-inch category of displays have always been power hungry, and the U3011 is no exception. Laws of physics still apply here, and when it comes down to it, there's just a lot of area to fill with photons. The U3011 specifications note that power use of 250 watts is maximum, 110 is typical, and standby is around 1 watt. 

LCD Power Draw (Kill-A-Watt)

At maximum brightness, the U3011 draws 144 watts. At minimum, 73. That's just slightly below the ZR30w, but not really enough to make it notably better or worse. 

We don't measure it directly, but subjectively the U3011 feels surprisingly cool. There isn't a ton of heat which seems to come out the top grilles, nor a ton of heat coming out the front (unlike my BenQ FP241w monitor array which seems to noticeably warm my face). 

Conclusions and Final Thoughts

The U3011 is an all around good performer, though I find myself wishing that contrast and Delta-E were just a bit better so it was an unequivocal winner in all the right areas. That said, it does have a number of advantages over the HP ZR30w, namely an OSD, a wealth of input options, and audio pass through. Where the HP ZR30w bests the U3011 is with its excellent display arm which feels subjectively sturdier and beefier, and its slightly better color performance and input latency. Heck, maybe there's something to be said for not having that display controller SoC.

If accessory inputs like an extra DVI and HDMI port are what matters (not to mention the option of having 5.1 audio out), the U3011 is the better choice. As an all around desktop display, the ZR30w edges out in my mind purely because of the slightly better display performance and build quality - it feels solid and just seems to have a much beefier display arm. It's a tossup that ultimately comes down to what features are really most important, and price. Right now, even price is a tossup, as the two are priced within $10 of each other on Amazon. Personally, having HDMI with audio pass through and all the scaling options makes the U3011 the better pick, but again that's just my take. Now the question is: who will be first to market with a 120 Hz 30-incher?

Input and Processing Latency
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  • IceDread - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    Good review!

    I read the ZR30w review earlier and that's the monitor I'd like to purchase when I upgrade from my 24" screen.

    Input lag matters as does colour.

    I have a hp 24" and tried a dell 24" which was 100$ more expensive and the hp had better colours and better (lower) input lag. It feels like Dell is falling behind HP.
    Reply
  • MeanBruce - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    I agree, Dell is falling behind! I have owned three Dell Ultrasharp panels loved all of them, amazing color DisplayPort when no one else had it. I am looking for a 27" now and have no idea what to purchase. Anand says even the Apple displays are really not as amazing as their cost would dictate, and zero ports on those things. Does anyone make a glossy 27inch RBG LED with ports for $1200? Reply
  • misterjohnnyt - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    Made In china = GARBAGE, sure to fail quickly.

    Oh, and if you buy chinese junk, you are also supporting extreme human rights violations, slavery, forced child labor, fascism, evil, environmental raping, and the downfall of America.
    Reply
  • Alexstarfire - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    Is that a joke? I only ask because I doubt you don't own or haven't purchased anything that was made in china. Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    I have my Dell U2711, a pity it supports HDMI1.3 as 1.4 specification allows 4k resolutions.

    1.3a only supports 1920*1080, which means display port or DVI is still required for PC connections. Can't blame U2711 of not having it since 1.4 wasn't ready back then, but not having 1.4 support on product that's just came out is not forward thinking enough
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    HDMI 1.4 only supports 4k at 24/30FPS. To do it at 60 FPS you need displayport 1.2. Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Saturday, January 15, 2011 - link

    Oh didn't know that. What a crappy interface :)
    I am not a big fan of HDMI to begin with, but all AV receivers nowadays uses HDMI.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Saturday, January 15, 2011 - link

    HDMI is designed by and for the TV industry, anything not needed for that is generally not included. 1.0 was a single link DVI interface. 1.1 and 1.2 just added additional audio formats. 1.3 doubled the bandwidth (to DVI levels) allowing higher resolutions (2560x1600), bit rates, more audio formats, and 100mbit ethernet over a sub channel. 1.4 added 3d and 4k support, but unless 2560 or 4k devices start moving towards high end consumer TV installations there really isn't any need for higher resolution support in the home theater market.

    DisplayPort is aimed at computer users and goes higher end. In the short term though it's double bandwidth will probably be used mostly to multiplex displays. AMD's 6xxx cards take advantage of this for eyefinity by allowing you to connect 3 displays to a single DP port using a breakout box. This will also simplify cabling for large video wall type installations.
    Reply
  • James5mith - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    Everyone should have one of those Husky Torx drivers. They are extremely cheap, like $5-$6 and are super compact and easy to carry in any bag or toolkit. They come in handy all the time in the tech world, and no geek should be without one for the price. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    Totally agreed, I've got that Husky Torx set and another with normal phillips/slot bits that have literally paid for themselves a thousand times over with how many things I've repaired using them. :)

    -Brian
    Reply

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