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Dell U2410

While the first pair of monitors have proved to be identical in most of their specs, the U2410 hails from a different category. Besides the extra inch of screen diagonal, it has a native resolution of 1920x1200 pixels with an aspect ratio of 16:10 whereas the U2211H and U2311H have a native resolution of 1920x1080 and an aspect ratio of 16:9. Then, the U2410 offers analog video inputs (component and composite), a second DVI and an HDMI, so it can be connected to as many as five computers or to a DVD player or some other video source. Besides USB ports, there is now a Secure Digital card-reader on the side panel. The previous models' mechanical buttons are replaced with touch-sensitive ones in the U2410.

Well, I’ve already written about all that at the beginning of this review. Let’s talk image quality now, especially as the U2410 has significant differences from its smaller cousins in this respect. It features backlight lamps with improved spectrum which are meant to extend its color gamut. The monitor’s menu gives you a choice of three color profiles: AdobeRGB, sRGB and native (without software correction).

It must be noted that this monitor had some problems with the color profiles. In the first version of its firmware (version A00, you can check it out on the monitor's label), the sRGB profile was bad and produced graininess in dark halftones, like in a photo captured with a “noisy" digital camera. The problem proved to be in the firmware only, so it was easily corrected. Today, version A01 is guaranteed to be free from that problem. Some users have also reported that the latest batches of this monitor with A00 firmware do not have that graininess, either. Besides, you can update the monitor's firmware manually but you'll need to connect your U2410 to a system with another monitor via USB in order to control the update process.

The monitor's default Brightness and Contrast are both 50%. I selected 30% Brightness and 34% Contrast to achieve the 100-nit white. The monitor regulates its brightness through pulse-width modulation of its backlight at a frequency of 180 Hz.

The maximum brightness is very high at over 370 nits but the contrast ratio is rather average and typical for e-IPS technology, 600:1.

At the default settings the gamma curves all go higher than the theoretical one, producing a low-contrast, whitish image.

My reducing the monitor's Brightness and Contrast settings didn't affect the gamma curves much.

The Game mode improves the situation. Although these preset modes are still as practically useless in this model as in the two products I’ve discussed above, they do improve the monitor’s color rendering rather than otherwise.

The Multimedia mode is no different from Game. The only difference between them is that the latter supports dynamic contrast. Considering that, I can find no real purpose for the Multimedia mode.

The sRGB emulation mode improves the gamma curves, making them close to ideal.

The same goes for the AdobeRGB emulation.

My tests indicate that the monitor indeed differs from the U2211H and U2311H in terms of the color gamut. The blue corner of the triangle hasn't changed, but the U2410 delivers richer reds. Compared to those two models, the green corner of the triangle has moved leftwards in the diagram, producing richer greens. However, this very movement has worsened the rendering of yellow tones, some of which are now outside the monitor’s color gamut.

Switching to the AdobeRGB emulation shifts the red point which is now not on the border of the standard AdobeRGB color space but inside it. The U2410 is unable to deliver yellows and yellow-greens required by AdobeRGB because they are beyond its physical color gamut.

In the sRGB emulation mode the green point is shifted together with the red one. As a result, the monitor matches the sRGB color space less well than the U2311H and U2211H do for which this color space is native. The top corner of the triangle is shifted leftwards too much with the U2410, so the monitor is physically unable to display some of the sRGB yellows.

Thus, if you need your monitor to match sRGB as close as possible, the Dell U2410 may be not the best choice possible. But if you do buy it, you may want to get a hardware calibrator to create an ICC profile and use that profile in image-editing applications, keeping the monitor switched to its native color gamut. This will ensure you higher color accuracy in reds compared to the emulation of the standard color spaces.

Once again we see a Dell monitor have a tonal shift towards greens. Although the sRGB and AdobeRGB modes correct this problem, they produce an image which is much colder than the required 6500 K. You won't get a warm image in the other modes, either. The temperature is as high as 7500 K in the Warm mode even.

Users have reported that some batches of the U2410 come without this problem and the monitor produces a picture which is not that greenish and cold. It's good that the manufacturer has decided to adjust the settings but it would have been better if the monitor had been set up properly from the very beginning, without provoking users' complaints.

Like other monitors with LG's e-IPS matrixes, the U2410 may exhibit the following color defect: the right part of the screen has a slight pinkish hue whereas the left part, a greenish one. This is a defect of the LCD matrix rather than a flaw in the monitor's own settings, therefore it shows up in monitors from other brands, too. It is rarely serious but is widely discussed at forums due to its conspicuous and unusual nature. It is easy to avoid: just check out the monitor at the shop by filling its entire screen white or gray. My sample, and the rest of the monitors in this review, was free from this problem.

It is the irregular backlight that was a problem with my U2410. You can see that in the pictures above (I want to remind you that those are not photographs but pictures which are drawn basing on the test results). The nonuniformity of brightness on black is 6.3% on average and 13.7% at the maximum. For white, the average and maximum are 5.6% and 20.6%, respectively. Alas, this variation in the brightness of white between the left and right sides of the screen is quite conspicuous, even though I wouldn't say that it is very distracting.

The Dell U2410 is very fast. Its response time average is 6.6 milliseconds (GtG), which is four times as fast as the U2211H and U2311H.

The average level of RTC errors is 9.7%. The related visual artifacts are not very conspicuous.

The U2410 leaves a rather ambiguous impression. With its capabilities this model might make a professional monitor for image-processing applications but its setup quality is not above average. At the same time, the U2410 is much more expensive than the U2311H.

If you need the rich selection of video inputs and the native resolution of 1920x1200, it may really be worth its price for you. However, the U2410 doesn’t have any other significant benefits. So, if you are going to be satisfied with a 16:9 23-incher and do not need to connect more than two or three PCs simultaneously to it, the U2311H may be a more appealing option. It has a smaller screen and fewer capabilities, yet it’s much cheaper. But if you prefer the U2410 and want to have accurate colors from it, you may want to get a hardware calibrator as well.

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