About a year ago I tested a NEC MultiSync EA231WMi monitor which was the first widely available model with an e-IPS matrix. Notwithstanding my positive impression about it, the EA231WMi remained a niche product. It was rather expensive and lacked response time compensation. So, while it was a good choice for people interested in high color accuracy, it could not be recommended as a versatile home monitor.
The e-IPS market has been populated with new models since then, mostly through the efforts of Dell which has released half a dozen e-IPS based products with appealing specs and price tags. I'm going to discuss them in this review.
Use the following link for a description of our testing methodology and the equipment we use as well as for a brief explanation of what the specified and tested parameters of LCD monitors mean: X-bit Labs Presents: LCD Monitors Testing Methodology In Depth. If you feel overwhelmed with the numbers and terms this review abounds in, check out an appropriate section of the Methodology for explanation.
You can also check out the Monitors section of our site if this review doesn’t cover the model you are interested in.
Design and Ergonomics
Dell is traditionally focused on corporate users, from the United States in the first place, who are generally conservative when it comes to their exterior design preferences. Gaudy colors and shiny surfaces are considered unserious and out of place in a professional environment.
The same goes for users who care about color accuracy. They would prefer a monitor that doesn't distract from the image on its screen, so glossy panels and bright LEDs are inappropriate for them, too.
It is no wonder then that the entire series of IPS-based monitors from Dell targeted at these two user categories comes in matte-gray, almost black, cases. Yes, that’s the way a professional monitor must look because it is selected for its technical properties, quality and reliability rather than for an eye-catching exterior. Well, I will discuss the properties and quality later on. Right now, let's talk about their ergonomics.
The five models in the series seem to differ in size only (the photographs above show only two of them but I can assure you that the rest are absolutely the same). Each has a square case made from dark-gray matte plastic. The screen is matte, too. The case stands on a solid square stand. There is a vertical line of control buttons to the right of the screen, the metallized DELL logo centered below the screen being the only embellishment.
The rear view is featureless, too, except that the silvery stand adds some variation to the color scheme.
The stand provides as many screen adjustment options as you may ask for: height adjustment (the screen can be lowered almost down to the level of the desk), rotation (the base of the stand remains motionless at that), portrait mode, and tilt adjustment. The screen turns around easily, without requiring any effort on your part.