Dell UltraSharp U2311H review
If you've been drooling over the gorgeous Dell UltraSharp U2711 and UltraSharp U3011 monitors, but been put off by the giant-sized prices, then hope is at hand. Dell's 23in UltraSharp U2311H combines a high-quality IPS panel with a Full HD resolution, and, best of all, it costs a third of the price of its super-sized stablemates.
Even before you turn it on, the UltraSharp U2311H makes a strong first impression. The crisp, square design and matte grey and black plastic give it an air of class which eludes the likes of Viewsonic's VP2365wb. Practicality hasn`t fallen by the wayside, though. The stand twists left and right, rotates into portrait mode and rises up and down by 100mm. Connectivity runs to D-SUB, DVI, and DisplayPort inputs, plus a four-port USB hub.
After installing the monitor driver supplied by Dell, we weren`t entirely impressed by the image quality. Colours appeared wildly oversaturated, and in gradient tests we noticed obvious banding artefacts.
However, changing the monitor to its Custom (RGB) setting, leaving the individual Red, Green and Blue controls set to maximum and uninstalling Dell's driver swiftly improved matters. Our test images and Blu-ray discs now looked amazing, and the gradient test showed a smooth transtition from black to white with no banding.
Putting the U2311H to the test with X-Rite's i1Display 2 colorimeter produced impressive results. Its colour temperature of 6,466k and average gamma of 2.2 were almost perfect, and colour accuracy was good too, with an average Delta E of 2.2, and a peak of 6.3 in the blues. Contrast was impressive, with a recorded ratio of 945:1.
The U2311H isn't quite as accurate as some of its rivals, but that's balanced by precious few weaknesses. Input lag averaged only 12ms, and while the E-IPS panel's response time isn't as quick as monitors with TN panls, it didn't bother us during gaming.
In fact, the only thing that might temper your enthusiasm for the U2311H is its price: it's significantly more expensive than the A-listed ViewSonic VP2365wb. The Dell gives a slightly more even performance, but with ViewSonic's zero-pixel defect guarantee and equally fine colour reproduction, the UltraSharp U2311H has to settle for second best.