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As already mentioned, the UltraSharp U2410 offers an impressive 96 per cent of the Adobe RGB colour space, where its 12-bit processing combined with its exclusive PremierColor system should make for excellent colour range. Naturally DDC/CI profiles are supported, and aside from the rare ability to colour-adjust CMY, Dell shows that it’s really serious about going after colour professionals by delivering each U2410 pre-calibrated with a sheet giving a unique Tester reference number, mentioning the test applications and giving graphs indicating the Delta, Greyscale and Gamma values of the monitor after factory testing.
Indeed, the Adobe RGB preset turned out to be singularly impressive in real life, certainly adequate for professionals. In fact, after calibration with the Datacolor Spyder3 Express colorimeter, there was almost no discernible difference between the post-calibration profile and Dell’s factory Adobe RGB preset!
So, is this the ideal out-of-the-box monitor for imaging professionals at its price point? Unfortunately, not quite; the Adobe RGB preset was marred by a very strange dithering pattern over mid-tone grey shades that we could not completely get rid of, no matter how many settings we altered. It’s a real shame too considering the otherwise excellent performance, but at least it disappears if you change presets. Hopefully Dell will fix this in a future revision, as there is no good reason for a high-quality 8-bit panel with 12-bit processing to suffer from dithering artifacts.
Obviously games and movies are a pleasure – though you’ll want to use the Custom preset rather than the predefined ones. There was no sign of ghosting and the 1,000:1 (8,000:1 dynamic) contrast ratio helps ensure plenty of visible dark detail. Aspect ratios comprise Fill, Aspect and 1:1, which offer an ideal option for every scenario. In use the U2410 did get very warm along the top, but there was no audible operating noise. Another point to note is that it does take a while to start up when you turn it on (about eight seconds), but that’s hardly a big deal.
HP’s LP2475w is currently the only monitor we have reviewed that offers a similar feature set at a similar price point. In fact it’s available for around £420 making it slightly cheaper than the Dell. Though the HP offers greater height adjustment, the U2410 beats it hands down in every other way, offering smoother adjustments, superior build quality and far nicer looks. When it comes to connectivity, the U2410 gets you a card reader and a dedicated VGA port, but the LP2475w wins out with an extra two USB ports and a digital co-axial audio output for pass-through of sound from an HDMI input.
Of course image quality is the most important criteria for most users, and here Dell does seem to offer slightly better quality across the board despite slightly lower real-world contrast, with RGB/CMY adjustments being a particularly nice touch. In fact it would probably win if it weren’t for the dithering pattern we came across, though this is circumvented by avoiding the Adobe RGB preset. On the other hand the HP LP2475w appears to suffer from poor quality control on panels if the comments on our review are anything to go by, so the Dell is still likely to be the safer bet.
While not perfect, Dell’s new IPS-based 24in 1,920 x 1,200 pixel monitor offers streamlined design, outstanding ergonomics, almost every connection we could ask for and generally impressive image quality to boot. Minor flaws aside, it’s the best 24in monitor available for the money right now, whether you’re a discerning gamer, graphics enthusiast or just someone who likes working on an excellent screen.
Addendum: A firmware update issued by Dell has fixed the dithering issue in the Adobe RGB preset mentioned above, and a A00-revision monitor which we have re-tested with the new firmware performed flawlessly.
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