Introducing the Dell U2412M

For every monitor review that I’ve done for AnandTech so far, I know that as soon as I check the comments there will be a thread with the same theme: “I don’t care about 1080p monitors, I only want 16:10 aspect ratios!” When widescreen displays first came out for desktop LCD monitors, virtually every model was a 16:10 display. The 20” Dell I have on my own desk is 16:10, and almost every vendor made 16:10 panels.

As the price of flat panels dropped and HDTV adoption took over, more and more desktop panels migrated to the HDTV aspect ratio of 16:9. The reasons behind this were easy to understand, as you could produce more displays, reuse panels across PC and TV lines, and have a lower cost across the board to let you sell them for less. Most people were more than happy to pay less for a display than to pay 2-3 times as much for those extra 120 pixels at the bottom of a display. As this happened, 16:10 panels became relegated to higher end models, almost always as IPS panels and often with high end features like AdobeRGB colorspace support and more.

Dell finally decided to address this with their U2412M display that features a 1920x1200 on its 24” panel. The U2412M is also an eIPS panel that is natively 6-bit but uses A-FRC to display 16.7 million colors. Dell has managed to bring this monitor in at $329 and can often be found on sale for under $300, while most other 16:10 24” panels come in at $500 or more. What did Dell have to do to hit this aggressive price point? Let's find out, starting with the specifications overview.

Dell U2412M Specifications
Video Inputs D-sub, DVI, DisplayPort
Panel Type eIPS
Pixel Pitch 0.27 mm
Colors 16.7 Million (6-bit with A-FRC)
Brightness 300 nits
Contrast Ratio 1000:1 (Typical)
Response Time 8ms GTG
Viewable Size 24"
Resolution 1920x1200
Viewing Angle 178 H, 178 V
Backlight LED
Power Consumption (operation) 38W
Power Consumption (standby) Not Listed
Screen Treatment Anti-Glare with Hard Coat 3H
Height-Adjustable Yes, 4.5" of adjustment
Tilt Yes
Pivot Yes
Swivel Yes
VESA Wall Mounting Yes, 100mm VESA
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 20.22" x 21.89" x 7.10"
Weight 8.73 lbs. without stand
Additional Features 4 port USB Hub, Power Management Software
Limited Warranty 3 Years
Accessories Power Cable, DVI Cable, USB Cable, VGA Cable
Price $329 at Dell.com

The stand with the U2412M is very adjustable, with tilt, swivel, pivot, and height adjustments available to the user. There is a 4-port USB 2.0 hub with two ports on the bottom of the display and two that are more accessible on the side of the display. The one port you might find missing is an HDMI port, but as the HDMI port is trademarked and requires licensing fees, and adds nothing that other ports don’t offer on a display with no speakers, I’m not particularly sad about the loss. Most HDMI transmitter chips are limited to 1920x1080 resolution as well and that would just be another cost that really adds no benefit. DisplayPort is starting to become more and more common now and I’d prefer to see those ports instead.

Dell U2412M Design, OSD, and Viewing Angles
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  • DarkUltra - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    Maybe not $15k, but there are enthusiasts out there willing to buy sandy bridge E, high end motherboards and gtx 580 tri-sli setups. So why not a 24" 1920x1200 120Hz IPS with zero input lag?

    But I do agree a 30" IPS might be too expensive - until theres more demand that is. So please enlighten your next.
    Reply
  • rscoot - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    I'm not even sure if the technology exists to have zero lag 120Hz IPS displays, but when one requests the monitor equivalent of a Bugatti Veryon, one has to expect to pay the equivalent price. The economy of scale just isn't there otherwise. Reply
  • IceDread - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    I'd pay 15k for "120Hz, 30", IPS @ 16:10, 2560:1600, no input lag", no doubt. Reply
  • mtoma - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    I think perhaps an OLED display is bettter suited for in-door use. We don't need that much brightness, but better contrast we do. Also, why we don't see integrated webcams more often? Why a smartphone needs to have all the goodies (picture and movie recording in 720p or 1080p, Gorilla Glass, OLED).
    Regarding to 120 Hz (or even higher), that feature is only good when it can be disabled. Surely it's useful in games, but under no circumstances in movies. Really!
    Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, March 03, 2012 - link

    > Does anyone know how far from my dream we are?

    Very, very far. It has been 6 years since the 3007WFP came out, and nothing has superseded it. I would sure love something that steps it up: 120Hz, 2560x1600, 32", <17ms lag.
    Reply
  • Sergio526 - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    Not an extra 120 pixels, but 230,400 pixels you gain over a 1920x1080 monitor, but who's counting? Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    Hehe, good way to point out how much difference there really is between 16:10 and 16:9.

    ;)
    Reply
  • seapeople - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    Or.... about 11% more pixels. For 50% more money.

    I swear, the math abilities of today's teenagers is going downhill fast.
    Reply
  • colonelclaw - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    Thanks for a very interesting read. As soon as this monitor was announced I was looking forward to see how it compared to other IPS monitors, and that's exactly what you did. It's exactly the kind of display I would like to fill my office with - good quality at a low price.

    Would you say that the NEC is the absolute best a monitor can get these days? Or is there something even better (and probably more expensive) from Eizo? I'm always interested to know what the reality is between the best and worst of any one product type, and whether or not the expense is worth it.
    Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    "Would you say that the NEC is the absolute best a monitor can get these days? Or is there something even better (and probably more expensive) from Eizo?"

    Best depends on your usage model. That includes what you plan to do with it, how big your budget is, and what space you plan to use it in (lighting).

    There's an HP Dreamcolor monitor with RGB LED backlighting. That's pretty interesting for color pros. But, it's not perfect.

    There's another HP (27") with a constant control backlight -- which avoids PWM flicker. But, it's not perfect either. It has no onscreen display and has a very fine pixel pitch which is tough for old eyes.

    Eizo makes some nice monitors, but they can be pricey.

    I got a BenQ EW2420 refurb and it works fine for my usage, although I really wish it would have a constant control backlight. Flicker does fatigue my eyes after a while.
    Reply

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