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Performance

Dell U2211H

First goes the 21.5-inch model but the manufacturer has habitually rounded the number off to 22 in its name (as far as I know, almost all 21.5-inch monitors selling today have the number 22 in their model name irrespective of their matrix type and brand). The native resolution is 1920x1080 pixels which is known as Full HD.

The monitor’s Brightness and Contrast are both set at 75% by default. I achieved my reference level of screen brightness, which is 100 nits (1 nit = 1 candela per square meter), by selecting 53% Brightness and 70% Contrast. I want to remind you that the 100nit brightness of the screen and the settings I achieve it with are not meant necessarily the best way of setting the monitor up. It is just a reference level, identical for all LCD monitors that I test, for checking out certain parameters and looking for certain artifacts that may show up at reduced Brightness and Contrast settings. These settings may not be optimal for your particular conditions.

The monitor regulates its brightness by pulse-width modulation of the backlight at a frequency of 180 Hz.

The maximum brightness is rather low at only 200 nits but the only practical implication is that this monitor may not be bright enough for playing games or watching movies in a brightly lit room. Otherwise, 200 nits is perfectly sufficient. For example, the recommended screen brightness for office applications is 70 to 120 nits, depending on the ambient lighting.

The contrast ratio is very good at over 700:1. The monitor is comparable to modern TN matrixes in this respect.

The blue and green color curves are close to ideal but the red curve goes higher than necessary.

The reduced Brightness and Contrast do not affect the monitor’s color rendering much.

The blue curve rises up in the Game mode, but the color rendering is overall the same.

I can see no significant changes in the Multimedia mode. I couldn’t find any difference in image quality between these modes with my own eyes, either. Moreover, their Brightness and Contrast settings are the same as in the Standard mode. So, while the Game mode has some practical value just because it is the only one that supports dynamic contrast, the purpose of the Multimedia mode is a mystery to me. The user manual doesn’t cast any light on this matter, giving me a general statement that each mode loads optimal color settings into the monitor.

The monitor’s color gamut matches the sRGB color space well enough, even though not exactly.

The white point is shifted towards greens in each of the monitor’s preset modes, and the greenish hue is quite visible. You can solve this by switching the monitor into Custom (RGB) mode and correcting the colors manually.

Otherwise, the U2211H is free from color rendering problems. It displays all halftones as they should be displayed. There is no banding in color gradients. The different levels of gray do not differ much in tonality.

The average nonuniformity of backlight brightness is 5.4% (with a maximum deflection of 18.3%) for black and 5.4% (with a maximum deflection of 14.7%) for white. This is satisfactory. The pictures above make it clear that the monitor has dark areas at the sides of the screen, a small bright area at the top and a wider bright area at the bottom. There are no critical defects in its backlighting, though.

The monitor’s response time doesn’t depend much on what halftones it switches between. The average is 8.2 milliseconds (GtG), so the U2211H is going to be good in dynamic games. Very fastidious gamers may find this monitor slow but they should instead choose their monitor among 2-millisecond TN-based products.

The RTC mechanism produces some artifacts but their average level is only 7.7% with a maximum of 35%. It is really hard to notice the artifacts unless you are looking for them purposely. For example, typical gaming TN-based monitors have an RTC miss up to 60-70%. The average RTC error of 2-millisecond TN matrixes may be as high as 20% or more!

Thus, the Dell U2211H is a versatile monitor that will be good for both home and office use. It is offered to people who are not satisfied with the image quality (the viewing angles, in the first place) of TN matrixes but are not ready to pay for expensive professional products whose functionality would be redundant for them. The U2211H is considerably more expensive than TN-based monitors but, besides the excellent viewing angles of its e-IPS matrix, it can boast a functional exterior design, DisplayPort interface, and a 4-port USB hub.

When it comes to its technical properties and setup quality, the U2211H is quite a typical midrange product. I could find a few small flaws in it, but those are either insignificant or can be easily corrected by fine-tuning it manually.

 
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