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Alan Fackler

Jan 12, 2012

Dell UltraSharp U3011

At A Glance

Monster Truck

Great text reproduction; vibrant colors

Tonka Truck

Small amount of moire; no portrait mode

Exceptional Price/Performance Ratio

Dell’s 30-inch U3011 features an anti-glare hard coat to reduce reflections, and the 2560x1600 display tilts, swivels, and is height adjustable, but it can’t pivot into portrait mode. The monitor is outfitted with two HDMI and two DVI ports, as well as one analog VGA and one DisplayPort input. USB hubs are always convenient, and Dell obliges with one upstream and four downstream USB 2.0 ports, along with a seven-in-one multicard reader in the side of its bezel.

The U3011 turned in a solid performance as we ran it through our gauntlet of DisplayMate benchmarks, producing some of the crispest text we’ve seen in tests that examine font clarity and readability. The monitor also did well on pixel-tracking tests that expose digital noise, and it produced stellar results in color-ramp tests that evaluate the display’s ability to produce smooth color gradations.

Dell's U3011 strikes a good balance between price, performance, and features.

Dell’s monitor performed slightly better than NEC's pricier PA301W in the ringing and overshoot tests, but we did detect a small amount of moiré when we watched the Blu-ray version of V for Vendetta . The U3011 exhibited a small amount of noise in suits, faces, and background signs. This, and the fact that the monitor can’t swivel to portrait mode, are enough to deny it a Kick Ass award. We didn’t encounter any issues or flaws while playing games, though. All in all, Dell has produced a fine display with a very reasonable price tag.

$1,400, www.dell.com

THE VERDICT

Dell UltraSharp U3011

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