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Dell U2412M review

Barry de la Rosa
28 Aug 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
311
inc VAT

An IPS panel and anti-glare finish means the U2412M's great image quality can be viewed from any angle

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We're seeing an increasing number of IPS panels, as the price of this high-end LCD technology seems to be falling into consumer territory. Unlike last month's Hazro HZ27WC, Dell's U2412M is aimed at a business market, which might excuse the fact that it's twice the price of a budget 24in monitor. You do get a lot for your money, though.

Unusually, the screen has 1,920 x 1,200 pixels rather than the usual 1,920 x 1,080. The extra resolution may not sound like much, but it's like getting the space taken up by Google Chrome's menu bar and the Start menu back, which is a significant amount of extra space. Not only does it have an IPS panel, but it's fully adjustable - you can raise or lower the screen as well as switch it to portrait mode or swivel it 45 degrees to either side. There's a 4-port USB hub, handy for attaching devices to your PC without having to duck under the desk. The screen also has a matt anti-glare finish, which is suitable for office environments with fluorescent lighting.

Unlike the Hazro monitor, the U2412M has an on-screen display to help you adjust image quality. Controls for the OSD consist of four unmarked buttons - press any button, and a menu pops up telling you what each one is for, depending on menu context. When the OSD first pops up you can adjust brightness and contrast and choose preset image quality settings, such as Text mode, which reduces brightness to the ideal amount for reading text on a white background. Some presets allow adjustment of Hue and Saturation, while others don't, and strangely the colour temperature setting is one of the presets, even though it applies its changes no matter which other preset you've chosen.

Thanks to the IPS panel, viewing angles are excellent, and coupled with the anti-glare finish, you can view the U2412M from almost any angle without a reduction in image quality. Reflections are almost non-existent, which is a huge improvement over the Hazro with its glossy finish. However, colours aren't as accurate; although the U2412M's picture is much better than most TN panel 24in monitors, in our tests its colour accuracy was far worse than the HZ27WC's. Blues and greens are out of kilter, which had the effect of making reds stand out more.