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Dell UltraSharp UP2715K review

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  • Dell UP2715K native resolution

Summary

Our Score:

9

Pros

  • Astonishing 5K resolution
  • Exceptional image quality
  • Fully adjustable stand
  • Surprisingly good built-in speakers

Cons

  • Windows sometimes doesn't cope with 5K resolution
  • Glossy glass screen catches reflections
  • No HDMI inputs

What is the Dell UltraSharp UP2715K?

The Dell UP2715K is an ultra-high resolution 27-inch monitor that packs in an astonishing 5,120 x 2,880 pixels – that’s 5K resolution. It also has 99% AdobeRGB colour coverage, making it perhaps the ultimate professional photographer or videographer’s monitor.

Along with those impressive imaging credentials, it also sports a stylish and slim design, toughened glass front and Harman Kardon speakers for a complete all-in-one desk solution.

Dell UP2715K – Design

Although it boasts professional-sounding specs, Dell hasn’t gone for the utilitarian look that professional monitor stalwarts Eizo and NEC normally opt for.

Instead this is a slender, elegant and premium-looking device aimed more at rivalling the iMac 5K than the Eizo ColorEdge CG277 – although, of course, it lacks the computer that’s also squeezed into the iMac.

To achieve this premium look, both the stand and rim of the monitor are finished in brushed aluminium, while the rear of the screen is matte-black plastic. The rear of the Dell curves gently, again like the iMac, although it doesn’t finish in quite such a fine edge.

Related: 10 Best Monitors

Dell UP2715K

Up front, a seamless feel is created by using a single piece of toughened glass to run right to the edges of the display, creating the impression there are no bezels. The display is also bonded to the glass, so there’s no air gap to increase reflections.

Completing the neat look is a removable plastic section that covers the ports; you can easily plug everything in but then cover them up once setup.

Further helping the minimalist look are the buttons for the onscreen display (OSD), which sit on the side of the display so as not to clutter the front. Likewise, most of the ventilation grilles can be found along the sides and top edge, with just one large slot breaking up the smooth expanse of the back.

As you’d hope for in a premium monitor aimed at the pro market, the Dell UP2715K has full adjustment options incorporated into its stand. You can alter height, pivot the display into a vertical orientation, and tilt it back and forth. The stand can also be removed to reveal a standard 100mm VESA mount.

Dell UP2715K

Dell UP2715K – Features

The star of the show here is of course the 5K resolution, which requires the use of two DisplayPort cables to receive that many pixels from your graphics card. Alternatively, there’s a mini-DisplayPort that allows for up to 4K resolution. That’s it for your video connection options, though – you can't plug in your Xbox One or Sky box, which is a bit of a shame.

However, you do get four USB 3.0 ports, giving you potentially far fewer cables running from your computer to your desk. None of them are conveniently located on the edges, though, so plugging in something temporary such as a USB stick or colorimeter is no quick and easy task.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of this monitor is that it includes speakers, which is something of a rarity for more professional models.

Dell UP2715K

The two 16W drivers are ported out a long, thin speaker grille on the bottom edge – and they’re surprisingly powerful.

While most monitor speakers are tinny to the point that they're almost unlistenable, there’s a depth and volume here that means you can happily listen to music and watch videos without growing tired.

It could do with a subwoofer to really fill out the low end, but you can certainly get away with what’s on offer here.

Taking a closer look at the tech of this monitor’s 5K panel, it uses IPS LCD technology and has a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz. That marks it out as a display aimed more at professionals than gamers, although it will still pass muster for more casual or single-player gaming.

That 5K resolution also translates to a pixel pitch of around 220ppi, which is comparable to the MacBook Pro with Retina display, tablets such as the Microsoft Surface and, of course, the iMac with 5K screen. That’s about twice as dense as a typical monitor and about half as dense as the latest smartphones.

Dell UP2715K

This pixel-perfect prowess is joined by hefty numbers when it comes to colour accuracy. Thanks to 12-bit internal colour processing and a 10-bit panel it will display up to 1.07 billion colours, allowing it to cover 99% of the AdobeRGB space and 100% of the sRGB space.

It also comes out of the factory fully calibrated, with a measurement certificate. The display has a host of colour-adjustment options built in, including RGBCMY saturation, RGBCMY hue, RGB gain and RGB offset. The 12-bit 3D LUT can also be accessed via the Dell Colour Calibration Solution software with the X-rite iDisplay Pro colorimeter (the colorimeter we use for testing, incidentally).

Dell UP2715K – Setup and OSD

Setting up the Dell UP2715K is a doddle thanks to the stand simply clipping into the back of the display. There are no screws to tighten or bolts to align – it just drops in place. The pivot function also makes plugging in your cables easy, and when you’re done it all looks nice and tidy thanks to the plastic cover for the ports.

However, something to take note of is the absolute requirement to have two DisplayPorts on your graphics card. Without this the monitor simply doesn’t work, leaving the mini-DisplayPort as the only functioning connection option.

Dell UP2715K

Otherwise, setup is a cinch. The OSD is easy to navigate – despite the buttons being on the side – thanks to clear and consistent onscreen instructions as to which button does what.

There’s quite a daunting selection of options once you start digging down, but for most home users it's simply a matter of selecting sRGB mode, or even just the Standard mode it ships in, and off you go. Meanwhile, professional users can likewise select whatever colour space is needed.

ly121688

October 6, 2015, 2:07 am

While you could argue that a 1000:1 contrast ratio is decent, many mobile ips screens go way above that, not to mention va tv's are far higher, and even those have black levels which are not accepted to home theater enthusiasts/ Even for professional photgraphers, and videographers, surely a 1000:1 contrast ratio is just mediocre and results in a dull image?

godafoss

October 6, 2015, 2:43 am

Short answer no. If you think this monitor would give a dull image then I hope you have several thousand dollars handy to do better.

ly121688

October 6, 2015, 4:20 am

Comparing it to the Sony Professional Oled monitors are not a fair comparison as it's far more expensive, but if you've ever seen an oled like the LG Oled tv's or next to the samsung galaxy s6/edge/edge+ oled makes lcd look washed out.

ly121688

October 6, 2015, 4:21 am

Obviously no 5k tv's exist, but for 4k, it's much better to use a 40 inch va panel intended for tv despite the slight loss in viewing angle for the far greater contrast, that's what I do.

Ed

October 6, 2015, 9:33 am

Not at all - this monitor looks pretty dazzling. High contrast ratios are determined by ever darker black levels, not higher brightness, so high contrast displays only really show their worth when lots of darkness is onscreen, which doesn't happen in normal computer use. As such, anything beyond 1000:1 is absolutely fine for computer use (below 700 starts to look washed out) - colour accuracy and backlight evenness is far more important for professional use. Even better black levels become more of a concern for TVs as they're used much more for watching movies that have black bars top and bottom and are just generally darker in tone. As such, a low black level/high contrast is pretty much the most important criteria. Of course, one day it would be nice to have it all, but until OLED becomes affordable these are the reasonable compromises we have to live with.

Johnny Walker

October 6, 2015, 3:04 pm

What is the point of making every pixel half as small when you're just going to make everything twice as big in Windows. Absolutely pointless on anything less than a 50 inch screen.

ly121688

October 7, 2015, 4:39 am

It's true that under normal computer use, shadow detail in dark areas isn't as important as film, but since the minimum brightness level is the canvas all colours are based on, a lower minimum brightness results in purer more natural colours.

That's not to mention almost all IPS monitors suffer from backlight bleed and IPS Glow to some degree.

http://hardforum.com/showpo...

I think this picture is really telling, an Acer X34ck IPS panel whose measured contrast ratio is from 1023:1-1150:1
http://www.tftcentral.co.uk...
compared to the LG EG960 Oled tv.
Of course it's not a fair comparison as the LG is far more expensive although much larger, but I am willing to bet that the Dell would look similar to the Acer on an all black screen next to the LG Oled.

I think both LG and Samsung are capable of making consumer Oled PC monitors but aren't doing so because the business is relatively low margin, but I think it's not too far away.

Ed

October 7, 2015, 1:51 pm

This is something that's always difficult to get across in these reviews. The resolution scaling that Windows and MacOSX ostensibly does as you describe. However, while some elements are just stretched, others are replacied (such as some icons) with higher resolution versions so most things look crisper, despite being the same size. Also, compatible programs such as Photoshop and Windows photo viewer will still show pictures at the native resolution.

Ed

October 7, 2015, 1:58 pm

And VA has worse viewing angles... Personally, I'm not going to upgrade from my plasma TV until OLED becomes affordable because all LCDs are not good enough when it comes to black levels. But for PC monitors it's a different matter, again until OLED becomes affordable.

WorkonSunday

October 13, 2015, 4:51 pm

is there any laptop out there that can feed 5K into this monitor? or we are limited to dual graphics card desktop setup at the moment? Cheers.

Ed

October 27, 2015, 11:56 am

There isn't a laptop that I know of with dual Displayports so, no, you can't use a laptop. You don't need dual graphics though, just two DisplayPorts - most modern day high-end cards come with at least two, but not all so it's something to doublecheck.

Paulo Reichert

January 14, 2016, 8:31 pm

A Surface Book, Surface Pro 4 or Surface Pro 3 with the Surface Dock would work (I assume) as the dock does have 2 mDP.

Ed

January 14, 2016, 8:43 pm

I wouldn't bet on it, as the single display controller on the laptop is still having to drive the signal. Depends how it's configured.

UKCoder

November 15, 2016, 7:00 pm

I have one of these, and when it works, the clarity and resolution are fabulous. However, it is not without a major problem, I doesn't wake up (come on, illuminate, display the screen) from sleep. You have to switch it off, then back on again, sometimes you even have to pull the power cable out, then reconnect it towork. For such an expensive monitor, to have firmware written by a fool and to be sold without being tested, seems absurd.
BTW it is *not* native 5K, for 5K you have to provide 2 video feeds to 2 ports, where it emulates 2 monitors, to provide 5K resolution. Again, there is a question mark against the authors of the firmware for this. Where / by whom was the firmware content created? I'd like to teach them about programming!

GeorgeS

November 20, 2016, 9:44 pm

i have an older brother of DELL 24'' aRGB monitor, and it also has problems waking up from sleep. Its almost random when it will wake up or not, but i have not really try to find it. Maybe if i switch cable (HDMI instead of DVI, or display-port). Maybe it was/is my Graphic card that is somewhat incompatible?
Anyway its a subtle issue, and just pressing power usually fixes it.
its also bad, that when it goes to sleep it needs around 3-4 minutes to really go to sleep.

Aitor Ibarra

December 9, 2016, 9:08 pm

does this monitor work with custom resolutions? (From NVidia GPU) For instance, could I run it at 5120 x 2160 with black bars top and bottom? Or 2560 x 1080 scaled to full width?

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