on May 20, 2015
I have been looking at the new 34" widescreen class of monitors for about 6 months. I was initially excited about the LG, but after reading many complaints about its light bleed and other quality issues, I decided to wait. For reference, I am using this as a home office monitor hooked up to a recent MacBook Pro 15" via Thunderbolt -> Displayport running at full resolution at 60hz.
Appearance: Winner Dell
Both monitors are nice looking. Dell has a flatter, simpler bezel that disappears on the sides when the monitor is off. The Samsung bezel is more pronounced, though still nice looking. I consider this a marginal win for Dell and highly subjective at that.
Ports: Winner Samsung
While Dell has a greater variety of ports, including two upstream USB3, MHL (which I have no idea what to use with), and miniDP in, in addition to regular DP, and HDMI, I really appreciated the Samsung's two HDMI inputs. This allowed me to run two different HDMI sources in for the PBP/PIP function, namely an Amazon Firestick and a DirecTV box. I also prefer the port arrangement of the Samsung, which has every port on the back and facing out and away from the back. The ports are substantially easier to get at and they work better with a monitor arm (or any cable management device) because they tend to point out and away from the monitor and towards their source rather than down, which requires a sharp turn to stay out of line of sight. The sharp turn of the chords on my monitor arm for the Dell arrangement (down facing ports) actually puts enough pressure on the arm joint that I had to adjust it to avoid inadvertent swivel. And even though the Dell ports are well labeled, it still hard to get stupid non-reversible plugs in without being underneath the monitor.
PIP/PBP: Winner Samsung
Both the Dell and the Samsung have similar PBP/PIP options in general. The Dell offers a neat feature wherein you can tie different upstream USB inputs (two are provided) to different inputs (e.g. to control different computers peripherals). However, the Samsung is more functional in a variety of ways. For the Samsung, you can characterize each input so that the resolution is a better match for the source, e.g. you can characterize the HDMI input as an AV source rather than PC, and get a better formed 1080P picture. The Samsung also has much better sound options for the PIP windows. A critical flaw in the Dell is that while you can set the sound source to either the "main" window or the "sub" (i.e. PBP or PIP), there is no way to tell the monitor to default to one or the other when turning on the PBP/PIP window. What this means is that if you use the PBP/PIP for TV, every time you turn it on, you then have to go deep into the menu structure to turn sound back on. This is very annoying for a feature I want to otherwise use frequently. My recollection is that the Samsung allowed me to set this up such that any time the PBP/PIP window was on, it had sound priority.
Menu Structure and Control: Winner Dell
The Samsung uses a joystick on the back that you have to "click" in to make selections on, while the Dell has four buttons on the front that are some sort of capacitive sensor activated or the like. A nice feature of the Dell is that you can set two of the four soft-touch buttons as shortcuts to frequently used features, such as sound level, PIP/PBP, input source, etc. Unfortunately, you cannot set one to a shortcut to sound source, which would at least mitigate the problem discussed above. Overall, while I find neither totally awesome to use (and there is no Dell monitor software for Mac), I preferred the buttons on the front of the Dell to the joystick on the back of the Samsung. The Dell arrangement works better on my monitor arm because with the Samsung I would always upset the arrangement of my monitor on the arm while fiddling with it, not to mention that it was harder to reach on the Samsung.
The menu structures of each are fine, though I find the Dell to be slightly simpler and more straight forward, though the Samsung has a greater variety of features, in particular AV related features.
Both the Samsung and the Dell come with decent stands. As mentioned above, I use a monitor arm that was able to hold each easily with a VESA 100x100 attachment.
Sound: Winner Dell
Both the Samsung and the Dell have adequate sound. The Dell has slightly more powerful speakers (2 x 9W) versus Samsung (2 x 7W). I think the Dell sounded slightly better in a TV and music test, but this is highly subjective.
Viewing Angle: Winner Dell
I had read that the VA panel on the Samsung would probably have worse viewing angle as compared to the IPS panel on the Dell, but I did not expect it to be as severe a difference as it was. With the Samsung, especially with a test pattern, you could see major color shift even just from one side to the other without changing view position. When changing view position, it was much more pronounced. When looking at one test pattern, whitish grey lettering became noticeably tinged with pinkish purple towards the edges. And when viewing any sort of picture, tv, etc., the Samsung was much more sensitive to viewing position changes. While the Dell also suffers from a bit of change when changing position, it was much better from a fixed position looking from edge to edge and also held its color uniformity much better when changing viewing position.
Colors: Tie ... once calibrated
I think both monitors can produce great colors. However, the Samsung does not come calibrated from the factory and the original settings looked pretty terrible. Luckily I had read about that before I bought it so that I did not immediately package it up and send it back. I do not have professional calibration equipment, so my calibration was based on reviews I have found online and my own preference, but I think both perform really nicely. A really nice thing about the Dell is that it comes with a calibration report from the factory and comes out of the box in very good shape. There are still adjustments to be made based on taste (particularly with respect to brightness), but I think both can achieve similar performance.
Black Level and Light Bleed: Winner Samsung
VA panels have an advantage over IPS panels (read: IPS glow) in terms of black levels, and this was apparent. The black level on the Samsung was significantly better than that on the Dell when calibrated for similar brightnesses. With that said, it does seem like the Samsung exhibits a bit more "black crush" in dark scenes.
As for light bleed, the Samsung blows away the Dell. There is almost no discernible light bleed on the Samsung while the Dell definitely has the tell-tale corner bleed. It appears to be better than the LG, and it is not so bad as to make dark scenes unenjoyable, but when looking at a flat black background, the Samsung is far better.
Text Clarity and Sharpness: Winner Dell
You may have noticed that I liked a lot about the Samsung and thought it better than the Dell in many ways, but this was an absolute deal killer for me. I could not, no matter how much tweaking I did, get the Samsung to have crisp text. It was either not sharp enough, such that the text appeared fuzzy on the edges, or it was too sharp and looked to have the artificial white halo--particularly on smaller text. I think this may have something to do with the fact that the pixels on the Samsung are in an elongated orientation, whereas the Dell is more typical squarish orientation. As I mentioned before, the Dell came out of the box just right, while the Samsung took lots of tweaking, and I still couldn't get it right. Ultimately, the text clarity bothered me so much on the Samsung that I ordered the Dell, and now I have the Dell and the Samsung is on its way back. I suppose there is some possibility that it is my Mac that is a part of the issue, but I have a hard time believing that given my Mac has looked great on many other screens.
Overall Winner: Dell
Though I really liked the functionality, port arrangement, and black level of the Samsung, ultimately the text clarity and much better viewing angles of the Dell won me over. I hope that Dell will consider giving me a better sound control option, but I doubt it. I will just have to live with it until a reasonable 34" 4K monitor comes around!
Here is a link to a flickr gallery with pictures: [...]. I have also attached the photos here.
on July 31, 2015
I really wanted to love this monitor. I've tried LG and Samsung's versions and they weren't quite up to snuff so I happily dropped $1100 on this monitor (I bought it a few months ago, before the price crashed). I was sure that it would be very high quality, and the 3 year warranty gave me extra peace-of-mind.
There is a lot to like about this monitor: you couldn't ask for more inputs, the built in USB hub is great, the stand is nice and sturdy and the picture quality in the middle of the screen is phenomenal.
Unfortunately, my monitor has MASSIVE backlight bleed - see the photo below. If you want to use this monitor for web browsing or data entry, you will be fine. However if you are a creative professional and there is the slightest chance that your work will entail any colors other than white or yellow, you have to stay away from this monitor. The backlight bleed is that bad.
Unfortunately, Dell's service has been equally useless. Their phone support literally hung up on me, and their web support is currently refusing to do anything for me because they made me send them photos of the monitor with a light background under "normal office lighting." which conveniently masks the problem.
Sorry to break it to you, Dell, but creative professionals (photographers, videographers, etc) don't use normal office lighting. My studio is kept dim for a reason. And it doesn't matter if bright colors wash out the problem - the vast majority of my work involves dark colors somewhere near the edges.
If I could return this thing, I would. But for now I'm stuck because Dell refuses to honor their promise to their customers and I can't ethically sell such flawed product to anybody else
on December 11, 2014
Got this primarily for use with a Mac Mini to replace an older iMac from 2008, because the newer iMacs no longer come with 16:10 resolutions like they used to. I also use this extensively with a Windows laptop, and have used it with an Xbox 360 (now attached to my U2414H).
For comparison I also have a Dell U2414H and an ASUS PA248Q.
Overall the U2415 is an excellent monitor. The panel size is very comfortable, and although it's only slightly larger than the U2414H (24.1" vs 23.8") it feels like a larger difference than that when actually using it, thanks to the 16:10 aspect ratio. As other reviews have noted, the anti-glare coating is indeed much lighter than the one found on the PA248Q (or U2412M, which is very similar). On the U2415/U2414H I don't see any "sparkling" or graininess like I do on my PA248Q, but it still does just as good a job at reducing glare. The thin bezel looks very sleek, and although I would have liked to see symmetrical borders on all four sides, realistically that probably isn't doable on a standard edge-lit LCD. The backlight has to go somewhere.
The stand is solid and I appreciate the broad range of ergonomic adjustment. I also love Dell's quick-release system; attaching and detaching the stand is a snap. The casing is plastic, not metal, but it doesn't feel cheap. The paint job matches nicely with the Mac Mini and other machined aluminum Apple products, although I would have preferred an all-black package rather than the two-toned black/silver look. I like black with silver accents, but not with solid silver parts. This is of course just a matter of personal taste though. The only functional complaint I have about the stand is that the cable hole could do with some enlargement. When you use almost all of the inputs (like I do), it actually becomes impossible to thread some types of cables through the hole, such as a standard power cable which has a relatively thick connector on the end. You start having to wire up your workstation in a certain order, so that the thick-headed connectors get threaded through first while there's still enough space for them to fit through. A larger cable hole doesn't seem too unreasonable a request.
The U2415 does have an option for 100x100mm VESA mounting which is much appreciated. I shouldn't have to mention it, but you'd be surprised how many monitors don't support 4 holes in the back. While Dell's implementation is elegant (the VESA mount is hidden behind the factory stand, so you remove the stand to expose the mounting holes and replace it with any other VESA-compliant stand of your own) it does have one downside. Since the factory stand must be removed to use the VESA mount, you can't use the VESA mount for other things like attaching an Intel NUC to the back of the monitor with its VESA bracket, unless you can somehow use the monitor without a stand (unlikely).
The healthy selection of modern inputs (2x DP 1.2 (one full and one mini) and 2x HDMI 1.4a/MHL 2.0) is highly appreciated, and I have made good use of all four at once on occasion. No such thing as too many inputs. The DisplayPort output for daisy-chaining is also a very valuable addition which allows me to run all three of my monitors from my laptop's sole DP output, when I used to be limited to just a single monitor before. The monitor also has a 3.5mm passthrough so you can route the digital audio from the HDMI or DisplayPort inputs out to headphones or speakers, which is very useful. I personally prefer rear-facing connections to down-facing since I find them much easier to access, but I know this causes problems with people who want to wall-mount, so I can't really complain about the choice to go with down-facing ports.
The monitor also includes a 4-port USB 3.0 hub, but the implementation of this is rather disappointing. The PA248Q, as well as Dell's own U2412M for that matter (the monitor which the U2415 replaces), have their USB hubs on the side of the monitor, which is a great place for them and I used my PA248Q's USB hub all the time. On the U2415 (and U2414H) the USB ports have moved to the bottom to join the rest of the I/O, which makes them much less convenient to access. I haven't used the USB hubs on either monitor at all, it's just a lot more of a chore to get things in and out. If you're hooking up devices which you won't be plugging/unplugging a lot like a mouse or keyboard then ok, but for things like flash drives the USB hub just isn't very usable at all, which is a big disappointment to someone who values productivity and functionality, and a step backward from its predecessor, the U2412M and other monitors of its generation. I understand the monitor has thin bezels, but that doesn't stop you from putting USB ports on the side. The monitor doesn't have to be razor thin in depth to have thin borders around the screen area.
The OSD controls are capacitive buttons (touch-sensitive) which is kind of annoying, and they also don't light up at all so you can't see what you're doing in the dark. Even when you had physical buttons that didn't light up, you could at least run your fingers over them to feel where the buttons were. With capacitive touch buttons, running your finger over a button is the same as pressing it. Touch detection also seems a little spotty, the buttons are sometimes not very responsive. Overall these are rather frustrating to use and I would much prefer physical buttons.
The image quality looks superb to me, although I'm not any kind of artist or graphic design professional so I won't comment too much on the accuracy of the colors. Subjectively though, I'm quite pleased with it. Backlight is pretty uniform on the one I got, no obvious bleeding anywhere (keep in mind backlight bleed always varies on a unit-by-unit basis). The IPS glow on this monitor is a LOT more pronounced than on the U2414H, which is disappointing. Relatively speaking, it's a pretty normal level, about the same as my PA248Q, but after seeing the U2414H exhibit such low levels of IPS glow, it's quite disappointing that benefit hasn't carried over to the U2415. This isn't really Dell's fault as they only pick the panels from whatever selection LG.Display (or any other LCD manufacturer) offers, but it is still something to note.
I previously stated in an earlier version of this review that the U2414H used an A-TW polarizer to eliminate IPS glow and the U2415 did not, resulting in greater IPS glow. This was actually an assumption on my part based on my observation that the U2414H had much lower IPS glow than the U2415, coupled with the fact that LG.Display produces a panel matching the exact spec of the U2414H (23.8" 1920x1080 6+2-bit AH-IPS) which includes an A-TW polarizer. However, it has been brought to my attention this is actually incorrect, and that the U2414H actually uses a variant of that panel which does not have the polarizer. I apologize for the misinformation, although my original point still stands; The U2415 unfortunately doesn't have the same low levels of IPS glow as the U2414H does for whatever reason.
The U2415 uses an actual dimming circuit to control brightness, rather than PWM, meaning there is no possibility of backlight flickering at any brightness level. Most people don't notice LCD backlight flickering, but this is still a nice design decision for those with sensitive eyes, and for those that like to use their monitors at low brightness levels. It also means there won't be any visible flickering if you capture video of it with your phone or something, which is a nice bonus. My PA248Q uses PWM backlighting and flickers quite noticeably in video, something that always annoyed me in the past.
The response time on the U2415 is quite good, and I haven't noticed any ghosting or blurring issues of any kind, even in fast-paced games. The latency on this monitor is also extremely low, which is nice. The notion that IPS-type panels are too slow for gaming is a myth that just needs to die, it's leftover stigma from the days of 50ms response times. It's also a common mistake to confuse response time with latency. The feeling of "controller lag" when you press a button and there's a delay before seeing it register onscreen is called latency or input lag. Response time has nothing to do with that delay, response time is something COMPLETELY UNRELATED that just happens to be confusingly named. And yet people still keep saying you need 5ms or less for gaming... Like I said, myth. Needs to die. A slow response time leads to "ghosting", or afterimages/motion trails left behind moving objects. Even a display with a 500ms response time can react instantly to your controls if the latency is low, and it will feel very responsive. Fast moving stuff will just be really really blurry. Fortunately, an 8ms response time is very fast and like I said, there are no ghosting issues with this screen, even on fast-paced FPS games. The obsession with 1ms gaming monitors has been blown way out of proportion. High refresh frequencies on the other hand (120Hz+) can make a difference, although the U2415 is just standard 60Hz which is perfectly acceptable in my opinion. I tried overclocking this monitor in the NVIDIA control panel and with ToastyX's Custom Resolution Utility, but it didn't make it out of the low 60's. So that's a no-go for you tweakers out there hoping you can get 75Hz+ out of this panel to unlock some hidden potential. The monitor goes up to 75Hz at lower resolutions like 1024x768, but at full resolution anything past ~64Hz or so gets completely rejected by the display controller with an "out of range" error.
ON-SCREEN DISPLAY (OSD)
This is where I take off a star. The OSD has a number frustrating things about it. None of them are really dealbreakers for most users, but they add up enough for me to subtract a star, especially since a company as experienced as Dell shouldn't be making ANY of these mistakes.
First of all, the input selection menu doesn't have an auto-detect option. If my desktop was the last machine I was using and I come home and hook up my laptop, I need to switch the input manually even if nothing else is powered on and the laptop is the only device sending a signal. And that means I have to deal with the annoying unresponsive capacitive buttons again and again to switch inputs back and forth all the time. Very frustrating. I have an old Dell 1600x900 TN monitor from like 2010 that has auto-detect as an input option, and yet a $300+ UltraSharp in 2014 doesn't. Come on guys, figure it out.
Secondly, another omission which will be a huge problem for some users; there is NO 16:9 scaling support, only 5:4 and 4:3. The lack of 16:9 scaling basically means any device that outputs a 16:9 signal (such as game consoles, DVD/Blu-ray players, or other media devices) the image will be stretched to fill the whole 16:10 screen rather than simply displaying at 1080p with black bars on the top and bottom. Most computers will support scaling on the GPU side so you'll have no problem running 1080p with black bars in games (which can be advantageous since most games use HOR+ scaling, which long story short means you can see more of the game on 1920x1080 than you can on 1920x1200, it sounds counter-intuitive but most games do scale like that; wider ratio = more stuff onscreen, regardless of the resolutions in question), you just need to make sure you set the GPU to handle scaling instead of the display. So for computers this won't really be a problem in most cases, but for consoles I would consider this a dealbreaker. I tested this with my Xbox 360, it DOES stretch the image. No black bar support for consoles or media devices, unless the new generation of consoles supports GPU scaling (I don't have one to test unfortunately). Anything 360-era or earlier will be stretched for sure. You'll be better off getting the U2414H instead. This is a glaring oversight on Dell's part, one that really is inexcusable.
It would also be nice to have some kind of volume control in the OSD for the 3.5mm audio output. Consoles like the Xbox 360 don't really have any sensible kind of direct volume control themselves, and it's often too loud with no way to make it quieter if you're plugging headphones directly into the monitor's 3.5mm output. Just a minor thing. I don't know of any monitors that do this other than ones with built-in speakers so I can't really complain much, but I thought I'd bring it up anyway. I think Dell intended the 3.5mm output to be used for speakers, not headphones directly.
Another gripe with the OSD is a very very tiny one, but I'm going to say it anyway: the power LED controls. Most monitors don't have any controls for the power LED, so this monitor is at least a step ahead in that respect. Normally, the power LED (which is thankfully white) is solid during use, and pulses slowly when in sleep mode/standby. Inside the OSD you have the option to control whether the LED is on or off during use, but oddly enough there is no control for standby mode. Slow pulsing is the only option. You'd think Dell would give you the option to have the power LED off while the monitor is off, especially since they give you the option of having it off while the monitor is ON, but nope. No option. Not exactly an emergency, but quite strange at the very least, and it might annoy people who want to use this monitor in the same room they sleep in. Of course if the pulsing light REALLY annoys you, you can always hit the power button and turn the monitor completely off, but that cuts power to the USB ports and depending on what you use them for (phone charging cable overnight with the handy high-amperage charging port in the back for example) that might not be a very desirable solution.
The OSD overall is just somewhat lacking, especially for something carrying the UltraSharp name. There's no picture-in-picture or picture-by-picture modes, somewhat limited image adjustment (no saturation control or gamma adjustment, other than choosing between "PC" or "MAC"). The input select has no auto-detect option as I mentioned earlier, and the only scaling modes offered are force 16:10, force 5:4, and force 4:3. There's no 16:9, there's no maintain aspect ratio, there's no 1:1 direct pixel mapping. ANY of those would have allowed for 1080p w/ black bars on consoles along with a myriad of other configuration possibilities, but alas, none of those are present. I guess a less complex display controller is the price for the low latency this monitor achieves.
It should also be noted for Mac users that DisplayPort 1.2 and daisy-chaining doesn't seem to work with Macs. The monitor has a setting in the OSD that lets you change the DisplayPort revision between 1.1 and 1.2, and it's set to 1.1 by default for compatibility reasons, and it's a good thing too. When I change the setting to DP 1.2 mode, the Mac Mini 2014 is not detected, I only get a black screen, despite having Thunderbolt 2 which is SUPPOSED to leverage DP 1.2 for its display capabilities, and a Haswell processor with a DP 1.2-capable iGPU. For whatever reason, it just doesn't work. Naturally daisy-chaining is also non-functional, since DP 1.2 mode is required for that. I'm inclined to blame this one on Apple or Thunderbolt 2's DP 1.2 implementation since my laptop works fine in DP 1.2 mode (from a pure DP port, not Thunderbolt) and Apple loves doing weird things instead of following basic common sense standards.
But anyway, that's another thing; if you change to DP 1.2 mode and find out your computer is no longer detected, it's not exactly obvious how to change it back. Dell, in their infinite wisdom, designed the software so that you can't actually access the full OSD unless you have a signal from a working computer. If you don't have a signal, then pressing any of the buttons only brings up an input selection shortcut menu, with no way to access any other part of the OSD. This means you can't change any of the monitor's settings while your computer is off or not detected. Brilliant. However, there is thankfully one exception. If you need to change the DisplayPort revision back from 1.2 to 1.1 for compatibility, there is a hidden function on that input select shortcut menu. You can navigate to one of the DisplayPort options and hold the green checkmark button for ~8 seconds or so. A prompt will come up asking if you want to switch DP revisions. I would really prefer that Dell didn't implement these kinds of things as hidden functions. That option needs to be plainly visible, because otherwise you have no way of finding out about it unless you Google it or consult the manual, which is very inconvenient when you can't access your computer, because Dell doesn't give you a paper copy of the manual, just a CD. If you need to switch the DisplayPort revision to read the manual in the first place, you have a problem. In the name of saving trees I'm all for digital manuals, but if you're going to do that at least design the product to reduce the chance that you would need to look in the manual in the first place as much as possible. Meaning less hidden functions and more labeled functions.
(EDIT: I have heard some troubling tales of people having problems with the daisy-chaining feature on the U2414H when putting the computer to sleep, specifically that the monitors sometimes fail to wake up with the computer and must be turned off and on again or in extreme cases disconnected from power entirely to start detecting a signal again. I just wanted to check in and add that I have been using daisy-chaining in my daily setup for many months now and I haven't noticed issues of any kind with my U2415 or either of my U2414Hs (I have two now).
Also I noticed the stands for the U2415 and U2414H are actually not identical, they are very slightly different both in height and in the base dimensions. Just a fun fact. You would only notice if you put them back to back.
It's been 8 months or so, the monitors are holding up well. End log-err, uh, edit.)
Anyway... overall, really a superb monitor. The OSD just falls a bit too short of my standards, along with the terrible capacitive touch controls and the repositioning of the USB hub to the bottom. With those in mind I can't give it a 5-star rating. But if you're just planning to use this monitor purely with a single Windows computer, and not a Mac or a console or all three, I wholeheartedly recommend the U2415. In fact I recommend two or three.
on March 8, 2015
I replaced a triple U2410 setup with this single U3415W. It's stunning.
I compared this monitor side by side with a Samsung S34E790C. Out of the box, the Samsung was a disaster. Crazy text clarity issues, bizarre orange tint. No amount of config or over the phone support from Samsung could resolve it.
The Dell U3415W was literally perfectly configured out of the box. Clarity was excellent. Colors perfect. I returned the Samsung and kept the Dell. Highly recommend this monitor. I've wall mounted it. The curve is subtle but honestly does help. I use it for design, coding, and gaming. This monitor, in 4k, would be an absolute stunner. I hope Dell pursues that.
on January 10, 2015
It could be a 5 star monitor but mine is a generous 3 star.
-Nice stand with slim bezels around the panel, easy to assemble, slew of ports.
-The backlighting on the panel is uneven and I have a slight pink hue toward the left side of the display (the left side leans toward the red spectrum, and the right side toward green, even after calibration).
-IPS glow/backlight bleed is prominent. Perhaps I'm overly sensitive to these things cause I do Graphic Design for a living (I doubt many people would even notice during normal use) but for this much money and coming 'factory calibrated', I expected better.
Eye strain sets in quicker than when using my old 1440p monitor, not sure if this is due to PWM on low brightness or the 8ms response time, but the faster 6ms response time option seems to cause choppiness and is unusable.
Will be returning this monitor and purchasing from a different vendor.
on November 11, 2014
I decided I wanted a new 24" IPS monitor with a 16:10 aspect ratio (1920x1200). I spent hours researching which one to buy and I narrowed it down to the Dell U2412M, the ASUS PA248Q, or the Samsung S24C650DW. I couldn't find very many reviews for the Samsung S24C650DW and it seems its common for the 850 series to have display failures, so I decided if the LCD is similar then I should count it out. Deciding between the Dell U2412M and the ASUS PA248Q was harder. The ASUS has HDMI and USB 3.0 but the Dell seems to have better reliability reports and reviewers claim the display is better. So then I decided to go for the Dell, but I looked on Dell's website and noticed the new U2415, which seems to be the replacement for the U2412M. It has HDMI and USB 3.0 like the ASUS, but it also has a very slim bezel (almost none at all!) and an improved anti-glare coating (I read the U2412M's anti-glare coating is kinda thick and can give things a grainy appearance. Same for the ASUS.) Now that I have the monitor here I am very impressed. The display is beautiful. It comes with a color calibration report and my Mac mini automatically installed the color profile and recognized it as the U2415, so the driver for this monitor must be built into OS X Yosemite. The silver base also matches nicely with the Mac. Well done Dell!
on March 13, 2015
The box that the monitor comes in is packed with many interlocking pieces of cardboard. It's the extra hard cardboard, harder than the box Amazon sent the monitor in. I feel sorry for anybody who decides to repack this monitor to send it back because it will test your patients. Just getting it out of the box may have you breaking a sweat.
The monitor looks good and uses high quality plastic / metal combo for the base. The metal serves as a frame, while the extra hard plastic makes it feel like its a solid piece of aluminum but it is clearly not, still very appealing and durable.
Being a big fan of glossy displays, for their crystal clear image that improves my focus and immerses me into the computer environment, I have always hated matted displays because they were so dull looking. When I heard about this monitor's semi-gloss display type, I was apprehensive to take a chance with this monitor. I am so glad I did, as this is a combo blend really is the ideal image projection for your eyes. It has no glare, the only downside of glossy displays, and it definitely does not look like your run of the mill matted display - I am so relieve. The picture just pops out at you - this is the real standard, I think.
If you are wondering whether to go with the 25inch or the 27inch, reconsider with these points. A) The bigger the screen size, the more eye and mouse movement you will need to take. Sure you can calibrate your mouse, but the combination of your eye movement, mouse tracking and cursor speed can be a tricky subject. B) 25 inches is even crisper quality than the 27 because it packs the pixel resolution in more than a 27 inch. Think about that in tandem with reason A, and you will see that for most use and purpose, going with the 25 over the 27 is just great.
Make sure to calibrate your monitor. I am using between 30-35% power consumption (there is a meter in the menu). I was able to achieve this feat by setting the monitor and computer operating systems to use complimentary settings. For example, on both my computer and monitor, I set luminance to be a cooler (7500K). This results in white space being less yellowish, and more neutral white (lightning white, is what I call it). On the computer OS I set the RGB gamma to 2.6 wide, (OS Default is usually 2.2) which results in more boldly saturated colors. These two settings allowed me to reduce brightness, and increase contrast, leading to a beautiful screen ideal for multimedia - high contrast, stronger colors, and a white that is better on the eyes.
Calibrating can be a pain but in the end, it is worth it.
I am extremely satisfied with the quality of this monitor. I can't believe how good my computer environment looks right now.
on December 19, 2014
PROS: Great text and picture quality for a sub-4K monitor; excellent wide viewing angles; great anti-glare coating (semi-matte/semi-glossy); very good gaming performance; modern style; compact stand but still sturdy and stable; good physical adjustments; USB 3.0 hub/ports.
CONS (possibly, for some users): No VGA or DVI input; does not automatically detect/switch to the input port used (need to manually select the input port when changing inputs); somewhat difficult access to USB ports (all on the back); brightness and color uniformity are very good on my set but are not perfect and can vary from set to set, which may bother some users.
I purchased this IPS monitor directly from Dell (Model No. U2715Hc, Mfg. date: Oct. 2014). The installation was easy - you just snap the monitor stand to the panel and plug in the supplied mini display port (mDP) cable into the back of the monitor and the other side of the display port (DP) cable into your PC (or vice versa). You can get an HDMI cable if you don't have a DP or mDP port on your PC. Windows recognizes the monitor immediately as Dell U2715H, so there is no need to install any software, although I normally install the monitor driver as well. As long as your PC/video card supports DP and HDMI 2560x1440 resolution it should display that native/optimal resolution when using either DP or HDMI inputs. Although I normally use a DP cable, I also used the monitor with an HDMI-to-HDMI cable that also works well for me in the full 2560x1440 resolution at 60 Hz without having to do anything extra. This may be comforting to some, as there has been some controversy, in general, about HDMI inputs not displaying the full 2560x1440 resolution, which may depend on the PC video card (display output) used. Keep in mind that the monitor comes set to the full-size DP input, so you need to manually change the Input Source using the touch controls on the monitor if you use a different input (mDP, HDMI 1, or HDMI 2). The monitor does not automatically detect or switch to the actual physical input port used. Also, each input port keeps its own picture settings, so you may want to adjust picture settings (brightness, etc.) the first time you use that input. The monitor works great with both my desktop PC running Windows 8.1 and with my laptop running Windows 7. My desktop has an NVidia GT 640 video card, and my laptop has an AMD Radeon HD 8750M video card. I use a DP-to-DP cable with my desktop PC and a DP-to-mDP cable with the laptop, so that I can easily switch the monitor between my two PCs using the two cables.
Out of the box the picture was very good, just brighter than I like it. I reduced the brightness down to 25 and kept the contrast at 50. The only other change I made in the monitor settings was to switch to the Multimedia mode instead of the Standard mode, as the colors appear somewhat brighter and stronger in the Multimedia mode. You can also use the Game mode or set your own RGB levels in the Custom mode. I always run the monitor in its native 2560x1440 resolution, as the native resolution is the best for picture and text quality. On a 27-inch monitor this resolution means about 109 pixels per inch (ppi) pixel density, which is better than a typical pixel density of about 94 ppi found on 24-inch 1920x1200 monitors. Everything, including text, looks proportionally smaller (by about 15%) on this monitor than on such 24-inch monitors, which makes the text on this monitor look sharper but not too small. Even very small fonts look very sharp on this monitor. The higher display resolution also means that you get more screen area to display additional content in a single program or side-by-side programs. I was also considering BenQ BL3200PT 32-inch 2560x1440 VA monitor based on its very good online reviews (and based on a very good Dell 2408WFP VA monitor I used until recently) but now I am glad I got this higher pixel density monitor that makes text and graphics look sharper. A 27-inch monitor seems to be the best for the 2560x1440 resolution. I also considered ASUS PB278Q, a 27-inch 2560x1440 PLS monitor (similar to IPS) and made comparisons with my Dell U2412M and HP ZR2440w monitors, both very good 24-inch IPS monitors with the 1920x1200 resolution.
The higher pixel density makes everything, especially text, look sharper on this U2715H monitor compared to the above referenced 1920x1200 monitors. Pictures and graphics look great also thanks to the somewhat wider color gamut that provides better and brighter colors. For example, bright red colors (e.g., red roses, red dresses, red text and graphics) actually look bright red and not like orange-red displayed on most monitors. Other colors also look strong and more natural. This monitor also has much lighter anti-glare coating that allows brighter and stronger colors while eliminating unwanted ambient light reflections. The picture contrast is very good. White backgrounds look more white than on any other monitor I have seen. The brightness and color uniformity are pretty good across my panel, with very little back-light leakage - but these can all in general vary from set to set (for the same model) and some people notice them more than others. In my normal usage I do not notice any back-light leakage or color/brightness non-uniformity. I notice them only faintly when displaying a single darker color across the screen or across larger area of the screen for monitor evaluation purposes. However, some of these situations could occur during normal usage for some users. The monitor has excellent wide viewing angles, as the picture does not fade at all or change colors when viewing from side angles. I also evaluated the above-mentioned ASUS PB278Q monitor in a store after adjusting its settings the best I could. While PB278Q is a very good 27-inch 2560x1440 monitor, U2715H looks visibly better regarding the picture and text quality, sharpness, contrast, black depth, white backgrounds, color strength, and physical appearance.
Dell U2715H is a great 2560x1440 monitor for home and office applications, web surfing, software coding, engineering work, and similar use. It may be less suitable for graphic design if a wider color gamut or near perfect color and brightness uniformity are important. I bought this monitor to be used mainly for PC gaming, but also for school, office, and the Internet type of use. When it comes to the fast response time, low input lag and high frame-per-second (fps) games, some TN monitors are still the fastest, but they normally have lower picture and text quality and much worse viewing angles when compared to good IPS/PLS and VA monitors. Nevertheless, some people still prefer faster TN monitors for gaming. Another thing to keep in mind when considering fast (120-144Hz) monitors for gaming at 2560x1440 resolution is that you would probably need two or three high-end video cards (GPUs) in your PC, plus a motherboard and a CPU that can support multiple GPUs, and a power supply with enough power to achieve these high fps levels in many popular PC games when using high-quality game settings. Monitors with 1920x1080 resolution could be a more reasonable choice for many people who want to play 120-144 fps games using high-quality settings, as that resolution requires much less GPU power than the 2560x1440 resolution. For a 4K/UHD monitor with 3840x2160 resolution you would likely need a high-end PC with multiple GPUs to run games at 60+ fps using that resolution with high-quality settings.
This monitor is great for PC gaming. Playing Far Cry 4 at 2560x1440 with high video-quality settings was very smooth in general as well as during fast moves and while driving fast on mountain roads with an amazing amount of fine detail for computer generated graphics. I did not notice any visible lag, ghosting or tearing, and it did not appear to matter in this game whether the V-Sync was on or off. My single GTX 970 GPU normally runs at 50-60 fps in Far Cry 4 with high video-quality settings, and on few occasions would run to about 80 fps or drop to about 40 fps. At the highest, Ultra video-quality settings my PC would output about 10 fps less while being somewhat less smooth from time to time (GPU related). So if you are thinking about getting a 144Hz monitor, you would need at least a dual graphics card/GPU to consistently get 100+ fps in 2560x1440 resolution. There are other factors that can affect the overall gaming performance, such as the video game software, GPU and its drivers, overall PC hardware/software, various settings, etc. I have the latest NVidia GPU driver, and my PC system has Intel i7-5820K 6-core CPU, X-99 motherboard, 16 GB of 2133MHz quad-channel DDR4 system memory, GTX 970 GPU, WD 7200 RPM SATA 6 Gb/s HDD, and Windows 8.1. I use the monitor in its Normal mode, as the Fast mode did not appear to make any visible difference. Colors and details in newer PC games with more sophisticated graphics look stunning and without loss of fine detail in darker and night scenes. Shadow of Mordor, Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag, Shadow Warrior, Skyrim, Dying Light, Bioshock Infinite, Counter-Strike GO, and other games also look great and play smoothly on this monitor. I am very happy with this U2715H monitor. Overall, this monitor is a top contender for anything except if you want/need colors beyond the standard RGB spectrum or near perfect brightness and color uniformity. TFT Central has a good professional review of this monitor with more technical details.
Update: Jan. 3, 2016
After about a year of regular/heavy usage my U2715H monitor still performs exceptionally well. Few months ago I upgraded to Windows 10 and also added a second GTX 970 video card (2x SLI) for better PC gaming performance with latest games at 2560x1440 and high video quality settings. All my PC games, including GTA 5 and Batman: Arkham Knight, now play nicely above 70-80 fps, with most games above 90-100 fps, without any noticeable video display tearing, ghosting, lag, or stutter. I don't use any V-Sync or other adaptive sync features, and this monitor does not support G-Sync. On the operating system side, there is no noticeable difference between Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 performance, in gaming or otherwise.
on April 15, 2015
This monitor has one of the best picture quality I've seen, everything so crisp and vivid.
But I cannot give it more then three stars because of quality control.
My first unit had severe backlight bleeding, so I request a replacement to Amazon and I got it today.
With much excitement, I examined the screen on the new unit, but exactly same looking backlight bleeding was observed.
I'm not requesting another replacement because I do not want to bother anyone anymore to carry the large package back and forth.
I really REALLY LOVE this monitor, but Dell needs to work one this backlight bleeding.
P.S. cameras tends to exaggerate the blacklight bleeding, so the actual unit doesn't look as bad as my picture.
But since the product's selling point is color accuracy, this is disappointing.
on March 1, 2015
Excellent picture quality as can be seen by all the pictures I uploaded.