At a time when you can buy a 24-inch LCD monitor for less than $300, why would you ever consider spending twice that much for Dell’s 24-inch UltraSharp U2410? Because the U2410 is a precision instrument; those $300 monitors are really just HDTVs sans tuners.
To be fair, those cheap monitors are a good deal if all you need is a display for watching movies, surfing the web, playing games, and editing snapshots destined for Flickr or grandma’s digital picture frame. But if your livelihood depends on factors such as visual accuracy and color fidelity—or if you’re just passionate about excellence—the U2410 is the better value.
The U2410 is based on an IPS (in-plane switching) LCD panel, which is considerably more expensive to manufacture than the more common TN (twisted nematic) panels you’ll find in inexpensive monitors. IPS panels, on the other hand, typically boast superior color reproduction and much wider viewing angles compared to TN panels. The U2410 not only delivers on both those counts, it also boasts a gray-to-gray response time of just six milliseconds, which is very fast for an IPS panel.
A proximity sensor in the UltraSharp U2410's bezel lights up its capacitive-touch controls when your finger approaches.
The U2410 delivers native resolution of 1920x1200 pixels (16:10 aspect ratio) with true eight-bit color depth, which means it’s capable of displaying 16,777,216 colors without resorting to dithering. It supports 12-bit color internally, imbuing it with a total palette of 1.07 billion colors. The display delivers 102 percent of the NTSC color gamut. TN panels, by contrast, are typically limited to six-bit color depth (262,144 colors) in order to achieve fast response times (some as low as two milliseconds); they use frame-rate control (dithering) to simulate 16,194,277 colors; and most deliver only 72 to 80 percent of the NTSC color gamut.
The U2410 boasts two DVI ports as well as one each of HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, component, and composite (leaving out only S-Video). There are no integrated speakers (no great loss as far as we’re concerned), but the monitor will accommodate Dell’s AX510 Sound Bar if you really need it. There’s a media-card reader and a four-port USB 2.0 hub, too. The display is mounted on a height-adjustable stand, and it tilts, swivels, and pivots so you can work in portrait mode.
Dell calibrates the Adobe RGB and sRGB modes for each U2410 before it leaves the factory, and we didn’t find any need to change the settings for either. The first thing we noticed when we began testing the display with DisplayMate Multimedia with Test Photos Edition (www.displaymate.com) was the total absence of leakage from the screen’s CCFL backlight: Gazing at DisplayMate’s Dark Screen test looking for stuck or discolored pixels was like staring at the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Color uniformity was fantastic and grayscale performance was exceptional.
Although the U2410 has a relatively slow response time and is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, we didn’t encounter any problems with motion blur or ghosting while watching movies or playing games. If you’re extremely sensitive to these phenomena, you probably won’t like the U2410 for those applications. But for everyone else, this is the 24-inch monitor to buy—if you can swing the budget.
Dell UltraSharp U2410 24-inch
IPS panel; excellent color accuracy; ergonomic stand; integrated USB hub and media card reader.
Expensive; slow response time (at least when compared to TN panels).