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Dell P2815Q 4K monitor review

Michael Passingham
26 Jun 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
540
inc VAT

This inexpensive 4K monitor is hobbled by its 30Hz refresh rate

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The Dell P2815Q is the first monitor we've seen to bring a 3,840x2,160-pixel resolution (otherwise known as 4K) to a less stratospheric price bracket. While you would expect to pay closer to £900 for a 28-inch 4K screen with an IPS panel, Dell has brought the price down to under £550 by using a cheaper TN model. However, other compromises have been made in the process.

Dell P2815Q side

The monitor is very standard Dell fare, with a silver plastic-coated stand and a plain black plastic bezel. The only inputs are DisplayPort and Mini DisplayPort, so you will need to ensure your PC or laptop has the right outputs. You'll also have to make sure your graphics card can handle 4K resolutions.

Dell P2815Q ports

The screen has one serious technical limitation to go with its low price; its very low refresh rate. The P2815Q can only output a 4K display at 30Hz, which is around half the refresh rate of a typical monitor. This means that everything feels jerky, from mouse movements to windows animations, and actually makes Windows much harder to use than usual.

For tasks which benefit from a larger resolution - such as the crowded user interfaces of image, audio and video editing software - the added space you get on the screen is a huge boon, but it doesn't make up for the imprecise cursor movements which will inevitably slow down your workflow. More keyboard-heavy programmes with repetitive processing tasks - such as Lightroom for photos - may not suffer as badly from the low refresh rate, but this is only one application out of the dozens that will be affected.

However, the refresh rate is certainly quick enough to watch video. If you fancy watching some 4K movies in all their glory, such as the open-source 4K film Tears of Steel, or using the screen as a preview for any 4K video you may be rendering, you'll appreciate the extra detail.

Dell P2815Q side

The screen's overall image quality is fairly good. We measured the panel's contrast level as 869:1, which is reasonable, and the screen is fairly bright, with white levels of 278.4cd/m2. Our colour calibrator showed the screen as being able to show 94.6% of the sRGB colour gamut; this is a fair result, but our solid colour test images looked a shade or two paler than when viewed on a monitor with an IPS panel.

Dell P2815Q rear

It’s impressive that Dell has managed to bring a 4K panel to market for a reasonable price, but unless you're desperate to watch 4K movies on the cheap, it's hard to justify the crippling of most Windows applications caused by the monitor's low refresh rate. We would strongly advise you spend a little less money on a 27- or 28-inch 2,560 IPS screen, which will provide better image quality and performance. This year, several more manufacturers will be releasing 4K TN panels. If you really want a 4K screen, you should wait and see what those firms come up with.

Basic Specifications

Rating**

Physical

Viewable size28 in
Native resolution3,840x2,160
Contrast ratio1000:1
Brightness300cd/m²
Horizontal viewing angle170°
Vertical viewing angle160°
Response time5ms
Response time typegrey-to-grey
Screen depth25mm
Base (WxD)261x205mm
Screen elevation65-200mm

Features

Portrait modeyes
Wall mount optionyes
Height adjustableyes
Internal speakersnone
Detachable cablesyes
USB hub4-port USB3
Integrated power supplyyes
Kensington lock lugyes
Display extrasnone
VGA inputno
DVI inputno
S-video inputno
Component inputno
Composite inputno
HDCP supportyes
Audio inputsHDMI

Environmental

Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption on38W

Buying Information

Price£540
Supplierhttp://www.overclockers.co.uk
Detailswww.dell.com
Warrantythree years collect and return