Dell Ultrasharp 24 review

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The Good: The Dell UltraSharp 24 (U2417H) display is bright with good contrast and accurate sRGB color reproduction for the price.

The Bad: Not a lot of connection options and it feels a little flimsy.

The Bottom Line: An excellent inexpensive monitor for everyday use, the UltraSharp 24 (U2417H) doesn’t offer a lot of bells and whistles but it delivers everything you need in a general-purpose display.

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Dell doesn’t seem to retire any of its Ultrasharp 24 monitors. It’s still actively selling its models from as far back as 2012, which means there are four generations availablesimultaneously: the U2412M (2012), U2413 (2013), U2415 (2015) and the most recent U2417H. If each generation built on the previous, it wouldn’t be such a confusing line, but that’s not how it works. For example, the 2013 model has the largest color gamut (99 percent Adobe RGB) with a slightly higher-than-FHD resolution of 1,920×1,200, while the more recent 2017 model has a smaller color gamut of 99 percent sRGB and standard FHD 1,920×1,080 resolution. That’s why the older model is more expensive. The U2417H introduced the company’s narrow-bezel InfinityEdge design to the series, though, so while it can’t compete with that model for color-critical work, within its limits it delivers excellent accuracy for watching movies, shopping and so on at its price while looking nicer than the rest.

You can get the monitor with one of three stands. The U2417H comes with a standard base; the U2417HJ incorporates a Qi and PMA-compatible wireless charging plate into that base; and the U2417HA, the model we tested, comes with an arm instead of the traditional stand. The arm does add about $70 (£12) to the base price of $270 (£320, AU$450). In Australia, instead of the wireless charging base or arm there’s the a U2417HWi, a AU$700 model with integrated Wi-Fi, which lets you connect to two mobile devices simultaneously.

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Basic specifications

Manufacturer price Starts at $270, £260, AU$450
Size (diagonal) 23.8 in/60.5 cm
Resolution Full HD
(1,920×1,080)
Aspect ratio 16:9
Panel type IPS
Backlight type LED
Release date February 2016

Most of monitor set up is really putting together the base; beyond that, you mount the display on the base and make the relevant connections. The U2417H comes with two cables, a USB 3.0 upstream cable that connects to your computer to enable the display’s USB hub and a DisplayPort-to-Mini DisplayPort cable. If you’ve got a recent laptop you want to connect it to, though, might need to use HDMI, and good luck finding an upstream cable for today’s USB-C-centric laptops to the full-size upstream connector — it’s the double-height version, so you need a Type-A connector on your computer. Depending on the version of the operating system you’re running, you might need to download a driver to enable the hub as well.

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Connections

HDMI 1 x 1.4
DVI None
USB-C (out) None
USB-C (in) None
USB 3.0 (out) 4 (1 x BC 1.2)
USB 3.0 (in) 1
Thunderbolt None
DisplayPort 1 x 1.2 (out), 1 x 1.2 (in)
Mini DisplayPort 1 x 1.2
MHL (Mobile High-definition Link) support Yes
Audio out Yes (no headphones)

Putting together the arm and mounting the display is dead easy. The arm has a big screw-on clamp on the bottom to attach it to a desk or table, and the top snaps onto the clamp section and you secure by screwing in one captive screw with the bundled tiny Allen wrench. The display’s VESA-mount back simply snaps onto the arm. You feed the cables through channels in the arm; they come out the bottom, and you cover it with a snap-on panel. It rotates and tilts smoothly, even one-handed, including 90-degree rotation for using it vertically, or for bringing the connectors to the side so you can see them.

When I first received my evaluation unit I almost exchanged it for one with a typical stand, but having used it on the arm, I’m now hooked by its flexibility and the desk space it frees up.

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A very, very nice display for the money

The monitor comes with a factory-calibration report to assure you that it’s within tolerance to be considered color accurate, in a standard perceptible-difference unit called “Delta-E.” And my testing supports the manufacturer’s specs: among other things, it’s accurate, with excellent contrast (typically between 530:1 and 600:1, depending on brightness and monitor preset settings) and a maximum brightness of about 265 nits. It’s got an antiglare coating that works pretty well.

Because of its resolution, it doesn’t have a very high pixel density, so it’s not as sharp as you may be used to when using the same resolution display on a laptop. I like my displays a little sharper, but everything is still big and readable on both Mac and Windows

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The only display flaw seems to be meh brightness uniformity; the bottom corners are slightly darker than the rest of the display. However, it’s not so severe that it jumps out at you. Some people have reported backlight bleed (where the backlight is visibly stronger on an edge of the display), but our test unit didn’t display any issues.

I also don’t like the plasticky build quality. It feels like one wrong move and the panel is going to pop out of the thin bezel; I doubt it will, but it feels that way. The buttons are small, but relatively easy to feel, and the onscreen menu offers a small but reasonable set of options.

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The feature set is fairly slim, though; it’s main perk is the four USB 3.0 Type-A connectors. There’s an audio output on the back, but it doesn’t support headphones , and it offers the bare minimum of connection options.

It’s not a great choice for fast gaming — there are better budget gaming monitors — or for color-sensitive tasks like photo and video editing, but for working, web surfing and streaming HD video, it’s a good buy.

(cnet.com, https://goo.gl/o37SwR)

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