Straight out of the box, the Dell U3014 feels like a huge monitor. I’ve reviewed a lot of 27” displays this past year, but even then the U3014 is a different size beast. As is standard for Dell, the monitor comes packed well, but using cardboard and other recyclable components instead of Styrofoam that breaks apart easily and it’s good for repacking. Removing the panel and attaching it to the adjustable stand takes just seconds, and I’m still amazed so few vendors can get this simple thing right. No screws, no manual needed; it just slides into place and clicks right on.

The design itself hasn’t changed much since the U3011, though it does have a few noticeable features that other vendors would be smart to implement. On the left of the display are two USB 3.0 ports and a card reader that handles most common memory card formats. Inputs available consist of DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPort, and a Mini DisplayPort. The presence of MiniDP and the lack of a VGA input are two big things to notice here. Dell ships the U3014 with a DisplayPort to MiniDP cable, and having both inputs means that a single cable can work with a video card that has either output. It also lets you hook it up to two different DisplayPort sources, such as a desktop and laptop, which becomes more essential as DisplayPort is the main standard now. It was a nice change of pace to be able to simply connect to any source instead of hunting for a cable. The lack of VGA shouldn’t affect anyone at this point, and it helps to reduce costs by dropping the price of an analog to digital converter.

The Dell also has a DisplayPort output, which lets you use Multi-Stream Transport (MST) to hook up another DisplayPort monitor directly to the Dell U3014. I tested this with the Nixeus VUE 27 that I mentioned earlier and found that it managed to work well, with a couple of caveats. Every time I’d come back to the computer, which goes to sleep automatically after 30 minutes in my case, the Nixeus wouldn’t power back on. I’d have to power cycle it for it to be recognized, but since the Nixeus sometimes does this when it’s the only monitor, I can’t be certain if this is an issue with MST, the Dell, or the Nixeus. Unfortunately, I have no other DisplayPort monitors around to test right now.

Also, I sometimes use the Nixeus for audio since it has internal speakers, and with 30” monitors on my desktop I can run out of room for speakers pretty easily. When feeding audio over MST, it's very crackly and features lots of breakups, like trying to do a Skype call over a 56k modem. Since audio typically works fine on the Nixeus, I have to assume this is related to MST and that it might not handle audio perfectly. I never saw an issue with video over MST, but audio did not work well at all.

Finally the U3014 has a connector for USB 3.0 in and two more USB 3.0 outputs next to the connectors, and a power output for the Dell SoundBar that connects to the bottom of the display. One feature that is missing that Dell displays usually have is rotation. Having a stand that raises high enough for a 30” monitor to rotate would be a bit large, and most people probably aren’t going to rotate it, but it certainly does make hooking up cables much easier.

Setup of the U3014 was as straightforward as you can get. I used the MiniDP input as my video card is a DisplayPort output, then hooked up the Nixeus directly to the U3014 using its DisplayPort cable. After connecting the USB cable I installed the card reader driver, installed the software packages Dell provides, and everything was ready to go.

Dell has one of the best OSD designs out there I think, with a simple menu system that keeps controls moving in the same direction, with unlabeled buttons that have their use put up on screen, so it’s easier to tell than trying to look for a silk screened label in the dark. This time I think that Dell made a step back with the U3014 by moving to touch sensitive controls. When your hand approaches the buttons, ones that you can use light up to indicate that you can hit them, but I found them to only be so-so in responsiveness. I really wish Dell had kept the traditional hard buttons but added the auto-sensing lights, and then it would be an ideal setup. As it is, it is only "okay" because of this change.

As an IPS display, viewing angles are basically perfect. The screen is so huge that any flaw in this area would be really bad, but in this case I don’t see any shifts in brightness until I get to at least 45-50 degrees from a few inches away, and then the very edge starts to darken a bit. IPS is still fantastic in this regard.

Dell U3014
Video Inputs 1xHDMI, 1x MiniDP, 1xDisplayPort, 1xDVI-DL
Panel Type IPS
Pixel Pitch 0.25 mm
Colors 1.07 Billion
Brightness 350 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio 1000:1
Response Time 6ms GTG
Viewable Size 30"
Resolution 2560x1600
Viewing Angle (H/V) 178/178
Backlight GB-LED
Power Consumption (operation) 60W Typical
Power Consumption (standby) < 0.5W
Screen Treatment Anti-Glare 3H Hard Coat
Height-Adjustable Yes (3.55")
Tilt Yes
Pivot No
Swivel Yes
VESA Wall Mounting Yes
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 27.15" x 19.00" x 7.93"
Weight 16.20 lbs. w/o stand
Additional Features USB 3.0 Hub (4 port), Headphone Output, Card Reader, DisplayPort out with MST
Limited Warranty 3 Years
Accessories MiniDP to DisplayPort cable, DVI-D cable, USB 3.0 cable, Cable Tie, Power Cable
Price $1,499

 

Introduction and Backlight Design Brightness and Contrast
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  • JDG1980 - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    It was just reported today that a no-name vendor is releasing a 50" 4K TV for $1500 (the same price as this Dell monitor). I hadn't expected prices to drop that quickly. Although this particular 4K TV probably isn't suitable for monitor use (too big, not clear if it supports 60 Hz, probably has a crappy TN panel) it would be great if it was the leading edge of a new wave of inexpensive 4K TV sets. If there was a 32" 4K TV that supported 60 Hz input (HDMI only goes up to 24 Hz at that resolution, you need DisplayPort for 60) and was reasonably priced, it would make an awesome computer monitor with better DPI than pretty much any existing desktop solution. Hopefully we won't have to wait too much longer for this. Reply
  • cheinonen - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    Sharp has a 32", 4K display but I believe the MSRP on it is around $6,000. I also believe that it has issues running at 60Hz over a single DisplayLink, but the person I know with one was still working on this issue. So one exists, but it costs a fortune right now. For that $1,500, 50" 4K, I really can't imagine how they're getting there with any sort of quality right now, but we will see. Reply
  • Andrea deluxe - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    ok... year 2013 and 33ms of input lag?

    dell and company... are you kidding people?
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    They're not kidding anyone; they're targeting people for whom the perfect color balance that requires two frames of processing to achieve is more important than getting a latency score that doesn't matter outside of gaming. Reply
  • hackztor - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    Low input lag can be had in the 3007wfp-hc (I still use this as my main gaming monitor, and 3011 as my secondary). This monitor did not include a scaler so input lag was low, now all monitors want to put hdmi and display port on so they can be used with consoles hence higher input lag. Reply
  • kasakka - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    But the scaler has long been one of the best parts of the high res Dells. I've been using a Dell 3008WFP for years now and due to the high res, many new games just aren't playable at native resolution without multiple GPUs. Thanks to the scaler, I'm happily playing at 1920x1200 which runs well at full detail. Compared to leaving scaling to the GPU, the scaler on the Dell does a far better job resulting in much less blurry picture.

    For the record I have not been bothered by the input lag either, which I think was reported being somewhere between 20-30ms on the 3008WFP.
    Reply
  • mike55 - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    As Chris mentioned, TFT Central found that there was very little input lag in game mode. ~3.2 ms for pixel response time, and virtually no signal processing time. I'm confused as to why the results are different. Why would using an oscilloscope produce different results? Reply
  • bebimbap - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    If you are even thinking about gaming on a 60hz monitor you shouldn't be complaining about 33ms input lag coming out of this one. If a frame is 16.7ms @60hz 33ms is 2 frames, compared to using a 144hz of only 6.9ms per frame, or ~5 frames in 33ms. So even though you are missing only every other frame in reactivity compared to a quicker 60hz monitor, you are missing 4 out of 5 frames compared to a 144hz.

    if you need something faster you could always go for a TN based benq or asus 144hz 24"/27" gaming monitor they have 1-2ms input lag and lightboost but only up to 120hz.
    I have both a u3011 and a vg248qe and I cannot game on my u3011 anymore after gaming on a vg248qe @120hz with lightboost. But I do everything else on the u3011, photoshop, movies, browsing, etc, again everything other than gaming. when i'm not gaming the vg248qe acts as a nice blank screen or pallet space for photoshop.

    again if input lag is important to you, get a TN based 144hz asus or benq you will be VERY happy. do not look at PLS/PVA/IPS it's just a waste of time.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1 - Monday, April 15, 2013 - link

    Remember, they are the same people who put extreme crappy 1366x768 panels on notebooks.
    So shittyness is synonymous with Dell.
    Reply
  • cheinonen - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - link

    Everyone still puts 1366x768 panels in laptops, as I noticed my Dad's Sony and sister's Acer both rocking those on vacation a couple weeks ago. I wouldn't say that's a Dell problem, but an industry problem. Reply

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