Dell U2412M Brightness and Contrast

Despite the larger size of the display compared to recent 23” monitors I have reviewed, the U2412M says it can produce 300 nits of light at maximum output, which should certainly be bright enough for anyone to use. It’s worth noting that I usually set the display around 5 nits too high before calibration, to allow for a little headroom when ColorEyes generates the curves. However this also means that maximum light output, once calibrated, might be around 5% lower than maximum due to the curves inside the ICC profile.

White Level -  XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

Despite this possible limitation, the Dell still put out 294 nits at maximum brightness after calibration, and 39 nits at minimum brightness. This was plenty bright for my work area, even with bright overhead lights, and the combination of the high brightness and anti-glare coating made it easy to see the screen.

The weak area for IPS screens has always been the black levels, with them being much higher than those from VA based displays. The U2412M did well here, out performing all recent non-VA displays with a nice, low black level.

Black Level - XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

With this combination of black level and a very bright screen, we would expect to see a decent contrast ratio to come out as well, and the Dell delivers here.

Contrast Ratio -  XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

Beating the specified number by over 10% is always nice to see, and the contrast on the Dell is very nice. It easily outperforms most TN displays, though it's not able to compete with the combination of LED lighting and a VA panel from BenQ. It was also very stable across the spectrum, with virtually identical ratios at maximum and minimum brightness.

While the center stayed nice and bright, the edges showed a good amount of fall off in comparison, and an overall variance of around 6%. The areas with higher brightness uniformity issues were also the areas with higher dE values on the uniformity testing, just as we expected. Looking at black uniformity, thanks to the bright corners this wound up even worse, with a variance of around 14%.

Taken as a whole, the contrast ratios are good, and while there is light fall-off at the edges of the display, it does not seem to have a noticeable effect on color quality.

Dell U2412M Color Uniformity and Color Gamut Dell U2412M Input Lag and Power Use


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  • DarkUltra - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    - I know that as soon as I check the comments there will be a thread with the same theme: “I don’t care about 1080p monitors, I only want 16:10 aspect ratios!”

    And don't forget the 120hz thread! You really should mention 120hz in your reviews, it should affect the manufacturers and readers so we can move to this new standard. Even as slow as 8ms gtg response time will benefit as 1000/120=8,33. The pixels change sooner, too. But lower response time will make things look sharper when they are moved around.
  • DarkUltra - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    120Hz will drastically improve your desktop and gaming experience. Here is a few reviews and testimonies.

    - Wonder in amazement as the 120Hz display produces an easily observable higher fluidity in the animation.

    - The ASUS VG236H was my first exposure to 120Hz refresh displays that aren’t CRTs, and the difference is about as subtle as a dump truck driving through your living room. review-our-first-look-at-120hz

    - Doing precise image editing, as another example, is an area where faster display processing times are desirable.

    - 120hz lcd Smoother motion and the lack of RTC artifacts leave a highly positive impression, making you unwilling to return to 60Hz. samsung-sm2233rz_5.html

    - I ran Fraps and found using the display’s 120hz mode that once the framerates were up above 80 there is an amazing solidity and 3d- like quality to the gameplay. Once the framerate hits 100+ – well, the effect has to be experienced to understand it. t=1486357&page=4

    - I saw a 120hz monitor at my local MicroCenter and was totally amazed by how smooth the mouse moved on the desktop, makes my 60hz monitor looks absolutely dated.
  • Sabresiberian - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    Very nicely written, thanks Dark! Reply
  • colonelclaw - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    Meh, so now I want 120Hz too.
    Any news on whether 16:10 IPS panels are headed towards 120Hz?
  • peterwargo - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    I just bought one of these last week when there was a good discount code available from Dell. I've been looking for years for a decent 24" 16:10 screen for my Mac Pro, as my aging Samsung isn't really that happy anymore. But I love the form factor, and being visually-handicapped, good contrast control and clarity are a big deal for me.

    I'm a Mac user 90% of the time, but I've never been happy having had both the 24" and 27" LED cinema displays on my work machine. The glare is annoying, and I'm really cheesed off at Apple for providing only one input (MDP) and a short cable as well. Then, there's the price.

    Frankly, I'm in love the this screen. The anti-glare is excellent, and the contrast is every bit as good as the Apple screens (tried 'em side-by-side). Additionally, the menus are reality easy to read and navigate -- again useful if you're visually handicapped. I still haven't found a fast way to switch inputs (gotta really read that manual), but that's a minor nit -- I don't often switch between my Mac Pro and my Linux box.

    Speaking of connectivity, I was able to find a decent MDP->DP cable on Amazon for $6 or so, and it works fine with the Radeon 5780's MDP on the pro. No issues, leaving the DVI and VGA ports free for other machines.

    The best part is that I paid less than 1/3 of the cost of the 27" Apple display, and far, far less than even a used 24" Apple display. I think I need one at work now.
  • Voo - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    I assume the monitor comes with different profiles like the more high-end dells,

    Could you test the input lag with the game profile? I heard some claims that that reduces the input lag to some degree, so it'd be interesting to see whether this is true and to what degree it helps.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    My past experience is that unless the LCD is *really* slow on internal processing, the "game modes" rarely have a noticeable impact on lag. Reply
  • cheinonen - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    Since the internal lag was just around 2 ms, even if there is a game mode that improves it, the most you can see is 1-2 ms of performance, which is really meaningless IMO. Perhaps if the lag was 15ms or something much larger, but 1-2ms of gain is the most you could see with this. Reply
  • Voo - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    I thought maybe there was something they could also do about the panel response time, but it makes sense that that doesn't work. And reducing up to 2ms is rather uninteresting then.

  • dingetje - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    thanks for reviewing a 16:10 monitor that's also affordable.
    next time you review a 16:9 screen I won't bitch about the review ;)

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