Dell U2410
Simon Baker, Updated 26 September 2009

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Quick Browse:

Introduction
Colour Accuracy, Black Depth and Contrast
    Factory Calibration
    Calibration Results
Contrast Stability
Viewing Angles
Panel Uniformity
Office and Windows Use
Responsiveness and Gaming
Input Lag
Movies and Video
Conclusion


Above: Dell U2410

The launch of a new screen from Dell is always surrounded by a lot of interest from potential buyers. Dell have always had a hang of releasing very impressive and well priced screens in all sizes, offering a great modern spec, a mass of interface options and a good range of other features and ergonomic adjustments. The Dell 2405FPW was one of the first main stream 24" models to be available in the market many years ago, finally giving users a relatively affordable option in the 24" sector. We have always tried to stay on top of the latest 24" releases from Dell, going back a couple of years when they released the 2407WFP and then soon after, the slightly updated 2407WFP-HC (HighColor) edition. This was followed then in 2008 by the 2408WFP, and now in 2009 Dell have brought us the U2410 (ready for 2010 I guess by the model number).

Dell have always managed to stay up to date with the latest specs on their new models. The 2405FPW was one of the earliest PVA based models to start using response time compensation in this screen size, albeit not that well initially. The 2407WFP followed a couple of years later and boasted a greatly improved response time of 6ms G2G, not only improving things on paper, but in practice as well. The 2407WFP-HC was one of the earliest models to feature an extended colour gamut, something which is common place in the market nowadays. The 2408WFP didn't change much, but they did fix a few issues they had found with the 2407WFP-HC before it.

All this time, Dell had stuck with PVA panel technology from Samsung, using newer generations of S-PVA panels as the models changed and evolved. This year to the excitement of many users, Dell then did something they hadn't done before. They moved away from the TN Film and PVA panels they had always traditionally used, and introduced an IPS based screen in the 22" sector. Their 2209WA screen attracted a lot of attention and users cried out for something similar in the 24" range. Dell have granted that wish now, and the latest changes they have made with the U2410 model includes the use of an H-IPS panel from LG.Display. We'll discuss this and the other changes later on, but for now, let's take a quick look at the screen specs:

Size

24"WS

Colour Depth

16.7M panel (8-bit) from palette of 1.07 billion. 102% colour gamut and 10-bit internal colour processing

Resolution

1920 x 1200

Viewing Angles

178/178

Response Time

6ms G2G

Panel Technology

H-IPS

Contrast Ratio

1000:1 static / 80,000:1 dynamic

Interfaces

DVI x2 (with HDCP), D-sub, HDMI, DisplayPort, component, composite

Brightness

400 cd/m2

Colour

Black bezel and base, silver stand

Special Features

Tilt, rotate, pivot and height adjustment. USB 2.0 ports x4, 9-in-1 card reader, PiP, 10-bit internal colour processing and palette of 1.07 billion colours

 


Above: Front and rear views of the screen. Click for larger versions

The screen has a fairly subtle but professional look, with a thin black bezel around the panel on all sides, a silver Dell logo in the middle at the bottom and a silver coloured stand and black base. In the bottom right hand corner of the screen is the power button which glows a nice blue colour during operation. When the screen goes in to standby, the button glows and pulses in an orange colour. Above that are some 'invisible' touch sensitive OSD menu buttons. These do not glow during normal use, but as you move your finger close to the power button, the lower of the five lights up prompting access to the menu. Once you are within the menu, the others light up accordingly.

 
Above: OSD menu. Click for larger versions

The OSD menu buttons are not labelled in any way. Instead, when the menu pops up, there are indicators on the screen itself telling you what each button does. I actually really liked this style of menu and it was easy to use and navigate, and very intuitive. There was quick access (once you've pressed the main menu button) to the preset modes, brightness and contrast controls and input selection. The preset modes gave you access to several options as shown above. It was pleasing to see an sRGB simulation mode and I was interested to see how this performed in our tests later on.


Above: OSD menu. Click for larger versions

The menu also offered options for various colour modes and other features such as dynamic contrast control and Picture In Picture (PiP). A nice change in this new model, and the operational buttons and menu itself were both very slick and modern.

Now is perhaps a good point to mention an issue which I experienced with the power button. On the unit I tested, it was incredibly fussy and didn't always turn on when you pressed it. After a little while of the screen being in standby, it seems to switch itself off altogether meaning when you next want to use it, you need to press the power button to bring it back to life. This was a little temperamental though, and didn't always respond as it should. I had a bit of a read around, and it seems there are some occasional reports of this as a problem, but it only affects a hand full of units. If you do experience this problem, Dell should obviously have no problems exchanging your unit for you.


Above and below: side views of the screen

The stand offers a decent array of ergonomic adjustments, with a height, tilt, pivot and rotate function available. Dell have always done a good job in their top end monitor range of including all these adjustments, and it was pleasing to see them all available here. The adjustments felt smooth and sturdy, and the build quality of the screen was good. On the left hand edge of the screen there was also an integrated 2-port USB hub and a card reader. There was no sound emitted from the screen during operation which is good, as sometimes you can hear a faint buzz from some models. I tested the screen at various brightness settings and there was no issue here. The screen uses 75W power during normal operation according to the Dell spec.

Overall I quite liked the design of the new U2410. It has changed somewhat since the days of the 2405FPW (curved stand) and the 2407WFP / 2408WFP (pointed stand). It's really the stand and the panel inside which have changed over the years but it's good to see the retention of the adjustment range, card reader and USB hub.

On the underneath of the screen there is an extensive range of connectivity options. These are listed above, but it's good to see dual DVI, VGA, HDMI and DisplayPort all present here. Would have perhaps been nice to see dual HDMI though?


Colour Accuracy, Black Depth and Contrast

The Dell U2410 utilises an 8-bit H-IPS panel, capable of producing 16.7 million colours. The screen also features 10-bit internal colour processing, and has a palette of 1.07 billion colours available. Like many modern displays, the screen uses enhanced CCFL backlighting and can offer a colour gamut covering 102% of the NTSC colour space.

An important thing to consider for most users is how a screen will perform out of the box and with some basic manual adjustments. Since most users won't have access to hardware colorimeter tools, it is important to understand how the screen is going to perform in terms of colour accuracy for the average user. I restored my graphics card to default settings and set it to its standard profile. The U2410 was tested at default factory settings using the DVI interface, and analysed using LaCie's Blue Eye Pro colorimeter and their accompanying software suite.

Default settings of the screen were as follows:

Monitor OSD Option

Default Settings

Brightness

50

Contrast

50

Preset mode

Standard

Gamma

PC


Dell U2410 - Default Factory Settings

 

Default Settings

luminance (cd/m2)

190

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.26

Contrast Ratio

633:1

 

If you're familiar with these results, you will notice that the default factory performance wasn't very good here! First of all, the CIE diagram on the left demonstrates the colour space which is produced by the screen, as compared with the reference sRGB triangle. sRGB covers approximately 72% of the NTSC reference colour space, whereas the Dell U2410 covers 102%. As you can see, the colour gamut stretches beyond the sRGB space in red and green shades quite considerably. This can sometimes lead to over saturation of colours and neon looking red and green. You need to be aware of the extended gamut of modern displays, as it's not always appropriate to people's uses. There are a mixture of opinions on the wide gamut debate, but all you need to know about with this display is that it does have a wide gamut and you need to determine if that is going to be suitable for your uses. I would thoroughly recommend a read of this article over at X-bit Labs, which covers the pros and cons well. In terms of the performance of this screen, this result is what we were expecting given the monitor is specified with a 102% gamut. No issues here, just confirmation of the extended colour space.

 

Default gamma was recorded at 1.7, being 21% out from our target of 2.2 which is the default for computer monitors. Colour temperature was 11% out at 5792, relatively close to the target which is 6500k, the temperature of daylight. Luminance of the screen was quite a long way out at 190 cd/m2, too bright considering we are aiming for the recommended 120 cd/m2 of screens used in normal lighting conditions. You could tell this by using the screen and before any testing, as it felt a little over bright and a bit uncomfortable after some time. This wasn't as bad as some other screens out of the box, but you'll still probably want to reduce the brightness control at least. Black depth was recorded at 0.26 cd/m2, giving a fairly decent contrast ratio of 731:1. This didn't live up to the 1000:1 quoted by the manufacturer.

 

To the naked eye, at default settings the screen was a little too bright but not severe. Colours actually felt nice, no obvious tendency towards one shade and you could tell the screen had an extended gamut. For my uses, I have no issue really using an extended gamut screen for every day browsing and writing, but if you are doing anything colour critical, you need to read more about gamuts as I've mentioned above.

 

Testing with the colorimeter revealed the graph on the right hand side above, showing DeltaE (dE 94) values across 16 shades. As a reminder, the lower these bars down the Y-axis, the better, in terms of colour accuracy. For reference, LaCie describe the DeltaE readings as:

 

As you can see, colour accuracy was not very good at default settings. The colours were even, but evenly pretty bad. DeltaE average was 6.7, so LaCie would consider a significant difference between the colour requested and the colour displayed. Max dE ranged up to 9.8. You're going to need a lot more if you want the best from this screen. Given that it's a screen boasting about its colour capabilities, you would hope it could offer more with some calibration. If you're going to buy a screen like this for colour critical applications, hopefully you will also invest in a decent colorimeter as well.

 

 

Factory Calibration

The Dell U2410 comes factory calibrated to some extent, and the box even includes a calibration report from Dell specific to the unit you have. It states that every unit is shipped incorporating pre-tuned sRGB and AdobeRGB settings and with an average DeltaE of <5. In LaCie's classification, this is still not great, but the thought is at least there and some attempt has been made to factory calibrate the screen. In addition to this, they have tweaked gamma and other settings to provide tighter grey scale tracking which helps to ensure smooth gradients. I've included a copy of the calibration report from the Dell factory below for you to review. Note that this report is only relevant to my specific test unit and they do state that results may vary with each setup and different test equipment.

I was interested to see if this factory calibration helped at all with default settings. Note that this is only relevant for the sRGB and AdobeRGB (aRGB) preset modes.


Dell U2410 - Factory Settings, Adobe RGB Mode

 

Default Settings

luminance (cd/m2)

180

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.24

Contrast Ratio

750:1

The AdobeRGB gamut triangle is shown on the let as a reference, with the monitors colour space fitting this pretty closely. Gamma was pretty much spot on using this factory calibrated profile, but colour temperature and luminance were a fair way out from the targets. Colour accuracy was improved compared with the default 'standard' preset, with dE average being only 2.9 now. The factory calibration said dE would be less than 5 on average, and it was. Not perfect results, but an improvement compared with the 'standard' mode. Nice to see that the screen can at least emulate the colour space well.
 


Dell U2410 - Factory Settings, sRGB Mode

 

Default Settings

luminance (cd/m2)

178

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.24

Contrast Ratio

742:1

Again, the colour space fits pretty closely with the sRGB reference, only being a little way out in red shades, and the gamut of the monitor stretches a little too far in these colours. Gamma was again good, but you would still need to calibrate to reach the desired colour temperature and luminance. Again, dE average was improved nicely compared with the 'standard' mode and came in at a value of 3.5.

 

 

Calibration Results


Dell U2410 - Calibrated Settings Custom Color Mode

Monitor OSD Option

Adjusted Setting

Brightness

30

Contrast

50

RGB

82, 86, 83

Preset Mode

Custom Color

 

Calibrated Settings

luminance (cd/m2)

121

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.27

Contrast Ratio

448

 

There's a fair amount I want to talk about here with calibration, so stick with me! To carry out this initial calibration I switched to the custom color preset mode which affords me access to the full range of RGB controls in the OSD. I followed LaCie's calibration process through, adjusting the OSD settings in line with the recommendations made in the process, and then letting the software carry out the LUT adjustments and create an ICC profile for me.

 

A small point, but it was actually a little difficult to get the brightness setting at a decent level, and it took a couple of attempts. The software suggested a setting of about 15% would be good initially, but the calibration resulted in a lower luminance than desired. I carried out the process again, and settled on 30% brightness setting in the end, which then produced the above results. Other settings including the RGB levels are listed above.

 

The calibration was part-success. On the one hand, it had obviously done a good job at adjusting gamma, colour temperature and luminance to within 1% of the desired values. Black depth was a little lower now as well at 0.27 cd/m2, but contrast ratio was a rather mediocre 448:1. On the other hand, colour accuracy was still pretty poor. Black and grey shades had been corrected well, but there was still a high dE in the main colours, with dE average only down to 3.2 and a max now of 10.8. I carried out several tests and calibrations with various versions of the software (including the latest v4.5.1), with and without any adjustments in the OSD and this didn't seem to improve. Very odd...

 


Dell U2410 - Calibrated Settings Standard Preset Mode

Monitor OSD Option

Adjusted Setting

Brightness

30

Contrast

50

RGB

not available

Preset Mode

Standard

 

Calibrated Settings

luminance (cd/m2)

119

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.22

Contrast Ratio

541:1

 

I wanted to see if the screen was capable of more, which I was sure it was. I reverted the preset mode back to 'Standard' via the OSD and carried out the calibration process again. This time I could not get access to the RGB levels, so I just allowed the software to automatically adjust things at a LUT level. Note that this was at a graphics card level, the screen does not feature a hardware LUT. The process was a great improvement! Gamma, colour temperature and luminance remained as before, but colour accuracy was improved significantly. Average dE was now only 0.2, and with a max of only 0.7, LaCie would classify colour fidelity as excellent across the board. This was actually our joint top performer in terms of colour accuracy average, matching the  NEC 2490WUXi in dE average.

 

It was strange that the custom colour profile produced such poor results. I'd recommend sticking with the 'standard' preset for calibration, or if you don't have a colorimeter you can use our calibrated ICC profile. Testing the screen with various colour gradients showed smooth transitions between shades and no sign of banding here. The 10-bit internal processing is partly responsible for this as it provides a huge palette of colours for the screen to utilise, and its main function is to help ensure there are no issues with gradients. Given some of the issues previous generations have had in this regard (and in fact made the problem of banding quite infamous), it was probably a wise move to include this processing and make sure they got it right first time.

 

 

Those who don't want an extended colour gamut will be pleased to see that the U2410 offers an sRGB simulation mode. This is available through the preset mode, and attempts to simulate the sRGB colour space. This has been something we have seen from previous screens, and although it has sometimes been useful for reducing the colour space, getting accurate colours from what you are left with has been difficult. The Dell 2408WFP featured this option, and did a good job of offering a reduced colour space accurate to the sRGB reference. However, it wasn't possible to get any good results in terms of colour accuracy, even with calibration, and dE average was a very poor 7.3. The HP LP2475W, which also features a very similar H-IPS panel (same part, different version) had an sRGB mode as well, but it seemingly did nothing to actually reduce the colour space. Let's see how the U2410 performs:


Dell U2410 - Calibrated Settings sRGB Mode

Monitor OSD Option

Adjusted Setting

Brightness

30

Contrast

50

RGB

not available

Preset Mode

sRGB

 

Calibrated Settings

luminance (cd/m2)

122

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.23

Contrast Ratio

530:1

 

Calibration in the sRGB preset was again very good. First of all you will notice that the triangle representing the U2410's gamut (colour space) is significantly reduced compared with normal settings. This is particularly evident in green shades where the monitor actually fits just within the reference space. The colour space is not quite reduced enough in red shades, which could leave you with some oversaturation in these colours when you're working with standard sRGB content. However, the mode does offer a decent enough simulation of the smaller colour space. I would estimate this equates to approximately 80% of the NTSC colour space.

 

Colour accuracy was also pleasing, remaining only ever so slightly behind the calibrated 'standard' preset. With average dE of only 0.3, this was a very good result. It's nice to see Dell have addressed the issue from the 2408WFP which did not allow you to use the sRGB simulation mode, while also offering you decent colour fidelity. Nice to finally see an sRGB mode which actually works pretty well!

 

 

 

 

I plotted the colour accuracy results on the above graph, comparing the default dE average and calibrated dE average with some of the other models we have tested at TFT Central. As you can see, the U2410 was actually the worst performer out of the box, with a dE average of 6.7, slightly worse than the 2408WFP which was the previous 'record' holder at 6.1. Obviously there are the factory calibrated sRGB and aRGB presets which help bring average dE down, but I'm using the default profile here in this comparison.

 

Once calibrated however (and once you've found you need to leave the screen in 'standard' mode to do this!), the U2410 offered the best dE average results we have seen in our reviews. At 0.2 average, it matched the record holder, the NEC 2490WUXi, a screen aimed at colour enthusiasts primarily and which featured an effective hardware LUT calibration method as well. dE maximum for the U2410 was 0.7, where the NEC just pipped it with a maximum of 0.5. The NEC remains our overall champion...just; but the Dell U2410 was very impressive in this test. Colour accuracy has improved through Dell's generations as well, from 0.8 average in the 2407WFP-HC, to 0.5 in the 2408WFP, and now to 0.2 average. The U2410 also just beat the HP LP2475W (which uses a very similar panel part) which came in at 0.3, although it was far more accurate than the Dell at default settings.

 

 

Comparing the calibrated black depth of the same screens offered the above graph. Sadly here, the Dell U2410 was a little disappointing (0.22). It could not quite match the black depth of the S-PVA based  2408WFP before it which offered a black depth of 0.18. This could be excused though since IPS matrices are characteristically not as good in terms of black depth as PVA based screens in general. However, what was disappointing is that we had already seen an excellent performance from the HP LP2475W in this test, giving us a black depth on 0.17 from its H-IPS panel. This panel in the HP (LG.Display LM240WU4-SLA1) is very similar to that being used in the Dell (LG.Display  LM240WU4-SLB1) and I was hoping for a little better in this test. Despite several attempts and calibrations, we could not improve the black depth any more. Still a pretty decent performance for an H-IPS panel, beating the H-IPS based Hazro HZ24W (0.38) and also the S-PVA based Samsung SM245T (0.24) for example. Don't be put off and think this isn't a good result, it's just not quite as good as we were hoping given our experience with the LP2475W.

 

 

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Contrast Stability

I wanted to see how much variance there was in the screens contrast as we adjusted the monitor setting for brightness. In theory, brightness and contrast are two independent parameters, and good contrast is a requirement regardless of the brightness adjustment. Unfortunately, such is not the case in practice. We recorded the screens luminance and black depth at various OSD brightness settings, and calculated the contrast ratio from there. All other monitor and graphics card settings were left at default. It should be noted that we used the BasICColor calibration software here to record these, and so luminance at default settings varies a little from the LaCie Blue Eye Pro report.

OSD Brightness

Luminance
(cd/m2)

Black Point (cd/m2)

Contrast Ratio ( x:1)

100

321

0.58

553

90

312

0.57

548

80

293

0.53

553

70

242

0.44

550

60

212

0.39

544

50

184

0.34

542

40

168

0.31

542

30

150

0.27

556

20

134

0.25

538

10

115

0.21

546

0

97

0.18

541

The results of this were quite pleasing. While contrast ratio was not that great at around 550:1, it did remain static across the board, showing that you can alter the brightness control from the OSD, and therefore control the backlight intensity in the correct way, without it affecting the contrast ratio of the screen. Bear in mind this was at default settings from the screen and without any ICC profile. The luminance ranged from a maximum of 321 cd/m2 when brightness control was at 100%, and dropped down to 97 cd/m2, when set at 0%. If nothing else, you will probably want to adjust brightness control from your screen down to about 10 - 15% to get a comfortable setting in general use. Obviously it might be even better to use the settings and ICC profile from our calibration process.

Black depth reduced as you would hope as you lowered the brightness control, ranging from 0.58 cd/m2 down to 0.18 cd/m2. However, at the desired luminance of 120 cd/m2 we found that black depth was around 0.23 cd/m2.

The results were plotted on the above graph to show the contrast ratio as you adjust the brightness control.

 


Dynamic Contrast

The Dell U2410 features a dynamic contrast ratio (DCR) control, which boasts a spec of 80,000:1. This is obviously a pretty huge number and requires the screen to be able to produce a very bright white, and a very dark black at the two ends of the control. Dynamic contrast ratio involves controlling the backlight of the screen automatically, depending on the content shown on the screen. In bright images, the backlight is increased, and in darker images, it is decreased. For this test I would use the colorimeter to record the luminance and black depths at the two extremes. Max brightness would be recorded on an all white screen once the DCR has caught up. Black depth would be recorded on an all black screen.

The DCR feature can only be selected through the OSD when you have entered the 'game' preset mode. Not sure why it wouldn't be available in 'multimedia' mode to be honest, as you'd have thought some might want to use it for movies and videos too. You can spot the adjustments being made, and there's about a second delay in the DCR mechanism once the content on the screen changes. It seems to be slightly stepped in its change, so you may detect it in some uses.

 

 

Calibrated Settings, Game Preset Mode

luminance (cd/m2)

322

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.23

Dynamic Contrast Ratio

1402:1

While the DCR obviously worked to some extent, I've no idea where Dell got the figure of 80,000:1 from! Maximum luminance couldn't quite reach the quoted spec of 400 cd/m2 which means that end of scale was not as high as it should have been.  Black depth is the issue here, with the panel hardly being capable of getting to a point below about 0.23 cd/m2. Maximum dynamic contrast is therefore about 1402:1. The panel would have needed to be capable of producing a black point of about 0.004 cd/m2 to achieve a DCR of 80,000:1 which is not going to be possible from current H-IPS panels. Even if the panel could have managed its quoted 400 cd/m2 maximum brightness, it would have needed to reach 0.005 cd/m2 black point. I don't know where Dell picked this spec from?!

 


Viewing Angles



Above: Viewing angles shown from front and side, and  from above and below. Click for larger images

Viewing angles from the U2410 were pretty good. Being H-IPS based, the panel was free from the obvious blackening you will see from below on TN Film matrices, and some of the other rather obvious colour tone and contrast shifts from that technology. It was also free from the off-centre contrast shift you see from VA matrices as you move your head away from a central point. Vertically you could see a shift in the contrast as you moved your head away from a central point, especially from above. Horizontally, you had to reach an angle of about 60 before there was any significant change in contrast detectable.

The U2410 does not feature an A-TW polarizer, which is sometimes used on other H-IPS based models in this sector. This is designed to improve black depth at wide angles, and is sometimes characterised by a white pale glow from extreme angles. Models without the A-TW polarizer can sometimes show a purple tint to a black background from extreme angles, something which we saw quite clearly on the Hazro HZ26Wi for instance. There was no obvious sign of any purple tint here from the panel as there was with the Hazro, but you could detect it slightly from extreme diagonal  angles.

 


Panel Uniformity

Measurements of the screens luminance were taken at 35 points across the panel on a pure white background. The measurements were taken using BasICColor's calibration software package, combined with the LaCie Blue Eye Pro colorimeter. The above uniformity diagram shows the difference, as a percentage, between the luminance recorded at each point on the screen, as compared with the reference point of a calibrated 120 cd/m2. This is the desired level of luminance for an LCD screen in normal lighting conditions, and  the below shows the variance in the luminance across the screen compared with this point. It is worth noting that panel uniformity can vary from one screen to another, and can depend on manufacturing lines, screen transport and other local factors. This is only a guide of the uniformity of the sample screen we have for review.

Panel uniformity of the U2410 was pretty good. The screen was slightly brighter on the right hand side, ranging up to 130 cd/m2 (7.7% difference from 120 cd/m2 reference point). In the bottom left hand corner, the screen got a little darker, dropping down to 106 cd/m2. Overall though, a pretty decent performance and no obvious differences in practice.


Above: All white screen. Click for larger version

People will, and have already been asking about the reported pink and green tinting issue on this screen. Some users have experienced obvious tints across light backgrounds from left to right, and it's something which was also discussed in the 2408WFP review. I could see no issues with the model I have for review, and viewing a white background gave an even result across the panel. A photo isn't perhaps the best way to capture this uniformity as it adds a small degree of error to what you actually see, but it will hopefully give you some idea.


Above: All black screen in a darkened room. Click for larger version

As usual we also tested the screen with an all black image and in a darkened room. A camera was used to capture the result. There was a few areas of unevenness noticeable to the naked eye, and these were picked up by our camera too. The upper middle section was a little brighter than other areas and you could see some leakage of the backlight along this edge. Nothing too severe, but you could spot it. There was also a little bit of leakage from the bottom left hand corner, and bottom right hand edge. In practice, these weren't really noticeable, but if you watch a lot of movies with black bars along the top and bottom, this could prove a bit distracting, as you may notice some uniformity variation.

 


Office and Windows Use

As you might expect, the large 1920 x 1200 resolution is very useful for office use, and side by side working is great on a screen of this size. Image quality is very good and text is sharp and clear. There is no sign of any blurring issues with text which did plague some early revisions of previous generations. VGA image quality was very good and it was not possible to detect any real difference in sharpness of quality between that and DVI.

Even at default settings, the screen is not too overly bright, but I'd still suggest you want to turn the brightness control down if nothing else for any prolonged office work. Strangely there is not a preset mode for 'text' or 'internet' within the menu, which might have been handy for some users. Odd to be left out really when you consider all the others there are. You will have to settle for a calibrated standard profile I think here, perhaps using the 'game' or 'multimedia' settings if you regularly need to adjust brightness and other factors.

 


Responsiveness and Gaming

The Dell U2410 was tested using the chase test in PixPerAn, a good bit of software for trying to quantify differences in real terms responsiveness between monitors. As a reminder, a series of pictures are taken on the highest shutter speed and compared. The images below show the best case example on the left hand side, and the worst case example on the right hand side. This should only be used as a rough guide to comparative responsiveness but is handy as a way of keeping a constant test of each screen.


6ms G2G LG.Display H-IPS


6ms G2G LG.Display H-IPS


5ms G2G LG.Display H-IPS


6ms G2G Samsung S-PVA

The U2410 uses Response Time Compensation technology to boost the response time across grey to grey transitions. This is a very common technology in modern screens, and is signified by the 6ms G2G quoted response time. This is the same quoted response time as  previous Dell screens like the 2407WFP-HC and 2408WFP,  but bear in mind the panel technology is H-IPS now, rather than S-PVA. Responsiveness characteristics can vary from one technology to another, and a top level spec cannot always be trusted. We are of course more interested here in how the screen performs in practice, and every day use.

We've included a comparison against 3 other mainstream 24" models here, two of which (the Hazro and HP) are H-IPS based as is the U2410. As you can tell, performance of the Dell U2410 was pretty good in this test. In the best case images, it remained pretty comparable to the HP LP2475W, which you would expect given the panel part is only slightly different (same part, different revision). It could be said that the responsiveness is slightly better on the U2410 in fact, since there is no obvious sign of any dark or light trailing, relating to overshoot of the RTC mechanism. You can spot a slight dark trail behind the moving car on the images of the LP2475W, nothing too severe, but an indication that the RTC control was not quite right. On the U2410, there is a better control of the RTC impulse, and therefore no obvious overshoot evident. You can also spot this overshoot on the Hazro HZ24W, where trails are a lighter colour, and arguably more distracting in use than a slight dark trail. Don't be fooled by the 5ms G2G quote from Hazro from their model, it is slightly exaggerated. All three of these models perform very similarly in this test, just with different degrees of RTC overshoot. The Dell U2410 comes out on top though of the three H-IPS models here.

The Dell 2408WFP is also shown for reference. The performance from Dell's previous model was actually not that great, and was not even as good as the performance from some of their earlier screens. Perhaps a poorly configured RTC impulse again is to blame, but in this case it was not doing its job very well, and it resulted in some obvious blurring and ghosting of the moving car in the PixPerAn test. Good to see the responsiveness has improved significantly in the new U2410 model.

 


3ms G2G Samsung TN Film + 120Hz
 

For comparison I have also put the results from our current reference screen above, the Samsung SM2233RZ. This shows the type of responsiveness that is possible from a modern display. The Dell still performs very well as you can see, but there is still a slight blurred trail even in the best case image, something which is almost none-existent in the Samsung test.

 


Input Lag

     
                                    Standard Mode         vs.           Game Mode

As usual I tested the screen in clone mode with a CRT to determine the level of input lag. This is something which can put off some gamers and is a delay between graphics card and monitor output. By hooking up a CRT you can show that  the LCD lags behind somewhat, which can affect users in some situations where they rely on the screen image being as fast as their inputs (e.g. fast FPS shooting games). Often, input lag is very low and probably wouldn't represent too much of a problem in real terms.

The delay from the U2410 was mediocre really using the standard preset mode. At an average of 33.8ms, it was very comparable to the 2407WFP-HC which came before it, but certainly a big improvement compared with the 2408WFP which clocked in at a massive 64.1ms average. The U2410 wasn't as fast as some rival screens such as the HP LP2475W (25ms) and Samsung 245B (7.5ms), but was still better than its predecessor and models such as the Samsung 245T (52.5ms).

However, Dell have included a 'through mode' type feature for the U2410 when using the 'game' preset mode. This bypasses certain internal electronics and is designed to help reduce input lag. We tested the input lag using this feature as well, and the results are included in the above comparison graph. Input lag was significantly reduced to 14.4ms average, with a maximum of 20ms. This feature worked well, and should ensure the screen is suitable for fast gaming and those sensitive to lag.

 


Movies and Video

The following summarises the Dell U2410's performance in video applications:

 

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Conclusion

So is this a decent upgrade from Dell? In one word, yes! Users are bound to be attracted to the first 24" Dell screen using H-IPS panel technology, and that in itself is enough to make this a nice upgrade from the 2407 and 2408 versions. Dell have stuck with a few things which were not broken, such as the massive range of connectivity and ergonomic options, and I think that was wise. They have also improved a few areas such as responsiveness, input lag and viewing angles and its nice to see a couple of extras like the new OSD style and 10-bit internal processing for smooth gradients. Calibration provided some good results, and the sRGB simulation mode actually worked very well.

Don't be too fooled by some of the rather enthusiastic claims though from the specifications, as a few areas were perhaps not quite as good as they could have been. The dynamic contrast ratio was nowhere near reaching its supposed specification, the factory calibration was not really that useful, and in practice, the 10-bit internal colour processing didn't make too much difference compared with previous models really. There were a couple of slightly annoying features, including the strange inability to get a decent calibration from the 'custom' preset mode. I was also a little disappointed the U2410 could not match the black depth and contrast ratio of the similar HP LP2475W, but performance was still pretty admirable for a panel of this type. Overall, this was another good offering from Dell. This is going to be a popular screen I am sure, and rightfully so.
 

Pros

Cons

New H-IPS panel technology in Dell's 24" range

Dynamic contrast ratio nowhere near spec

Good colour reproduction once calibrated. 10-bit internal processing also helps ensure smooth gradients

Black depth and contrast a little disappointing in comparison with the HP LP2475W

Improved responsiveness and input lag from the 2408WFP

Inability to get decent calibration results from 'custom' profile

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