In terms of design Dell hasn’t fixed what wasn’t broken. That’s not to say the U2410 hasn’t had a bit of a visual upgrade though, and we like what we see. Both the stand’s leg and a narrow strip running around the sides are gunmetal grey rather than the previous silver, and aside from the chromed Dell logo the rest of this monitor is unrelieved black. It makes a somewhat more subdued but also more stylish impression, and wouldn’t look out of place on any desk.
Perhaps the single biggest change in both looks and usability concerns the buttons – or rather lack thereof. Every high-end Dell up to the recent 2408WFP had a set of six buttons along the right bottom edge of the bezel, but like with the 27in 2708WFP before it the U2410 offers a set of touch-sensitive ones, removing the only visual blemish of previous designs. These are located just above the square, blue-backlit (orange when in standby) power button in the lower right corner. Unfortunately the power button’s backlighting can’t be turned off, though it’s subtle enough to not be a possible distraction in anything but a dark room.
Dell’s touch-control implementation is pretty special, though not without its flaws. When you turn the monitor on, all five identical ‘buttons’ light up in blue and dim again. Once dimmed the ‘buttons’ can’t be pressed, so you need to press the bottom one to turn them on. The coolest part is that the U2410 is fitted with a proximity sensor which activates this main ‘button’ when it detects your fingers coming near. Once you press it, the other controls light up and can now be used in conjunction with the context-sensitive on-screen menus.
The U2410’s system makes it easy to configure in the dark, especially as the controls are well-spaced and very sensitive. There’s also an optional sound to denote a press which is thankfully turned off by default, and we never missed it.
When not on an active input, the aforementioned main ‘button’ calls up the input selection, while if the display is receiving a signal it calls up the standard OSD instead. This context-sensitive system is easier to use than Dell’s previous implementations, which were unwieldy at best. Our only real gripe with the new control system is that, where before you could press a shortcut button instantly, it now requires two presses: one to activate the button and another to actually use it. At least you can assign the three shortcut keys to Preset Modes, Brightness/Contrast, Auto Adjust, PIP Mode or Input Source.