Review: Dell U2711 LCD Monitor

I've had this monitor for a month now and I've to say that it's phenomenal. I was using the Dell 2405FPW for 5 years until the U2711 was released, almost matching the resolution of the 30-inch (2560 by 1600), at almost half the price. It's a bargain.

The resolution is outstanding at 2560 by 1440. Yes, there's 160 pixels missing from the bottom compared to a typical 30-inch, but coming up from 1920 by 1200 it doesn't really matter.

The colours are vibrant, which is great. The text is a bit smaller, of a size you typically see on 13-inch laptops. It took me a while to get used to the smaller font size.

This set is still non-glossy. But apparently, Dell has applied some anti-glare coating. I've read on forums that some customers disliked it but I've no problem with it - I didn't even detect it was there.

Compared to a 24-inch (1920 by 1200px), the U2711 isn't much taller, it's much wider. I can fit two webpages, 1024px each, and still be able to see icons on the desktop.

Backlight bleeding is barely noticeable. It means if your widescreen movies still show the letterbox black bars, you'll be less distracted.

The U2711 also works well with my PS3 via HDMI. I'm not sure of the audio capabilities but I use a 2.1 speaker plugged in with a 3.5mm jack. One thing to note is you'll have to set the audio settings on your PS3 to output 2.1 sound to make sure they output all the sound, dialogue, effects, surround, etc.

Gaming on the PS3 is very enjoyable. The games are upscaled and there's a notch of graininess. Not really an issue unless you're sitting really close. Everything looks snappy and I don't notice any lag but I'm don't really play FPS games.

Note that this monitor would require a decent graphics card with dual-DVI output. If you want to game at the maximum resolution, then you need a powerful card.

This is a huge physical monitor. My table is really small and it took up almost half of it. But not regrets.

I managed to get this LCD at US$690 equivalent in Asia, Singapore. It's well worth it. This set is going to last me for a long time, until the slimmer LED version comes out in who-knows-which year.

I would recommend this monitor to graphic designers, photographers or anyone who multi-task a lot.

- For Mac Users -

I'm using this on a Mac Pro and have powered it on two graphic card, not both at the same time. It's plug and play, no drivers required.

On the ATI Radeon X1900XT, you won't be able to see the dual boot screen if you hold Alt after the startup (that's if you're using Boot Camp). On the ATI Radeon 4870, it works just flawlessly.

- For technical reviews, just visit the links in my comment section. I found and used them while researching on the U2711.

- Update: 21 Jul 2011 -

After a year or so, my Dell monitor started having brightness flicker. It seems to affect just the DVI (both ports). I called up Dell and they sent me a replacement (refurbished) monitor the next day to my doorstep. Didn't lose any downtime. Excellent service.

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