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Introduction

Dell have been steadily updating their UltraSharp range now for around 10 years and the 27" models have been very popular since they were first introduced in early 2010. The first 27" sized model Dell released was the U2711, a wide gamut display with 10-bit colour depth and higher end features orientated towards semi-professional users. In 2012 they then released the U2713HM, a more mainstream multimedia orientated model offering a standard gamut backlight and features more aimed at your average user looking for a general all-purpose screen. By the very beginning of 2013 Dell then released the U2713H model, a replacement for the original U2711 and offering now a modern LED wide gamut backlight and some new high end features including hardware calibration and a uniformity correction mode. While the U2713H replaced the U2711 as the higher end 27" UltraSharp model, this year Dell have released the U2715H, designed to replace the more mainstream U2713HM screen.

Like the U2713HM before it, the U2715H is based on a standard gamut backlight and does not offer some of the high end features of the U2713H (hardware calibration etc) - which will remain available alongside the U2715H. There are some changes since the U2713HM though, and Dell have moved to a new ultra-thin 'neoblade' bezel design, updated the stand and connections and made a few tweaks here and there to the spec. The old U2713HM was always a very popular, and very good all-round screen, so it will be interesting to see if the U2715H is a worthy replacement.

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Dell U2715H Now Available

 


Specifications and Features

The following table gives detailed information about the specs of the screen:

Monitor Specifications

Size

27"WS (68.5 cm)

Panel Coating

Light AG coating

Aspect Ratio

16:9

Interfaces

2 HDMI (MHL) connector

1 Mini DisplayPort

1 DisplayPort (version 1.2)

1 DisplayPort out (MST)

Resolution

2560 x 1440

Pixel Pitch

0.231 mm

Design colour

Thin black bezel, silver stand and base

Response Time

6ms G2G (Fast mode)
8ms G2G (Normal mode)

Ergonomics

Tilt, height, swivel and rotate

Static Contrast Ratio

1000:1

Dynamic Contrast Ratio

2 million:1

VESA Compatible

Yes 100mm

Brightness

50 - 350 cd/m2

Accessories

Power cable, cable cover, Mini DP to DP cable, USB 3.0 cable, factory calibration report

Viewing Angles

178/178

Panel Technology

LG.Display AH-IPS

Weight

With packaging: 10.47Kg

Backlight Technology

W-LED

Physical Dimensions

(WxHxD) with stand max height
612.7 x 524.9 x 205.0 mm

Colour Depth

16.78m

Refresh Rate

60Hz

Special Features

5 port USB 3.0 hub (1 with battery charging), factory calibration and report, audio out connection

Colour Gamut

Standard gamut ~99% sRGB

The U2715H offers a good range of modern connectivity options which are identical to the recent U2415 screen as well. There are 2x HDMI (with MHL), 1x DisplayPort and 1x Mini DisplayPort input interfaces provided for video connections. There is also a DisplayPort out connection for daisy chaining several screens. There is no DVI or D-sub offered here which might be a bit of a pain for older systems and graphics cards. Although a DVI > HDMI cable would be an easy option if you've only got DVI output and no DisplayPort or HDMI. Cables are provided in the box for only DP > Mini DP.

The screen has an internal power supply so there is only the need for a kettle lead power cable (provided). There are several additional features as well for this screen. These include a factory calibration, 5x USB 3.0 ports (1 with battery charging support) and an audio out port. The screen is compatible with Dell's SoundBar as well if you want (sold separately).

Below is a summary of the features and connections of the screen:

Feature

Yes / No

Feature

Yes / No

Tilt adjust

DVI

Height adjust

HDMI

Swivel adjust

D-sub

Rotate adjust

DisplayPort

VESA compliant

Component

USB 2.0 Ports

Composite

USB 3.0 Ports

Audio connection

Card Reader

HDCP Support

Ambient Light Sensor

MHL Support

Human Motion Sensor

Integrated Speakers

Touch Screen

PiP / PbP

Factory Calibration

Blur Reduction Mode

Hardware calibration

G-Sync

Uniformity correction

FreeSync



Design and Ergonomics


Above: front view of the screen. Click for larger version

 
Above: front views of the screen

The U2715H comes in a black and silver design. The front bezel of the screen is a matte black plastic and provides a very thin outer edge to the screen. The actual plastic measures only 1mm along the sides and top, and the bottom bezel is a modest 15mm as well. Before people get too excited about the 1mm outer bezel, there is also a ~5.9mm wide border to the panel before the actual image starts. All in all, it's still only a 6.9mm edge around the image which looks very nice in practice and should be very good for multi-screen setups. Note this is ever so slightly wider than the U2414H (6.05mm outer edge), but the same as the recent U2415 model.

There is a shiny silver Dell logo in the middle of the bottom bezel, but no other writing or model designations at all. In the bottom right hand corner are the four touch-sensitive OSD control buttons and also a touch-sensitive power on/off button. There is a small LED light underneath the power button which glows white during normal operation and pulsates on/off white when the screen is on standby. Unlike some of the other UltraSharp screens we've seen the OSD control buttons don't light up at all on the front of the bezel to identify themselves, so you have to actually press the small grey circle to operate the control.


Above: view of the stand and base. Click for larger version

The stand is different to the mostly black style stands of some older UltraSharp models including the U2713HM, and comes in an all-silver colour. Matte plastics are again used for the stand and base. The base measures ~245 (width) x 205 mm (depth) and provides a sturdy support for the screen. From the side the screen offers a pretty thin profile thanks to the use of W-LED backlighting. The stand is silver in design along the edges and back as well.


Above: rear and side view of the screen and stand


Above: cable tidy in back of the stand

The back of the screen is finished in a matte black plastic and is rounded off to look smooth and sleek. There is a useful cable tidy hole in the back of the stand. There is even a detachable black plastic section at the bottom of the back of the screen which can hide the cabling connections (pictured attached in the top of the two photos above). You will notice the single USB 3.0 port on the back as well (right hand side in above image) which also has charging capabilities. Useful to have one easier access port offered here.

The screen provides a full range of ergonomic adjustments from the stand which is good to see. It can also be easily detached so you can wall or arm-mount the screen (VESA 100mm).

 
Above: full range of tilt adjustment shown. Click for larger versions

The tilt function is smooth but a little stiff to move, but it does offer a wide range of angles to choose.

  
Above: full range of height adjustment shown. Click for larger versions

Height adjustment is a easy to move and is smooth, offering a very good range of adjustment again. At the lowest height setting the bottom edge of the screen is approximately 50mm from the edge of the desk. At the maximum setting it is ~160mm, and so there is a 110 mm total adjustment range available here.

Side to side swivel is has a smooth movement but it is quite stiff to operate. On the U2415 if you try and swivel the screen side to side without holding the base steady on the desk, the whole stand will move. On the U2715H that isn't the case thankfully and it swivels properly as it should.

The rotate function is a stiff but smooth enough to move if you want to switch into portrait mode. Overall when making adjustments to your viewing angle and position the screen remains stable on the desk and there is minimal wobble from the screen.

A summary of the screens ergonomic adjustments is shown below:

Function

Range

Smoothness

Ease of Use

Tilt

Yes

Smooth

A little stiff

Height

110mm

Smooth

Easy

Swivel

Yes

Smooth

Quite stiff

Rotate

Yes

Quite Smooth

Stiff

Overall

Good range of adjustments and easy enough to use overall.

The materials were of a good standard and the build quality felt good as well. There was no audible noise from the screen, even when conducting specific tests which can often identify buzzing issues. The whole screen remained very cool even during prolonged use as well which was pleasing.


Above: rear views of the screen showing connections.

The back of the screen provides connections for the power cable which is provided with the screen. There are then video connections for 2x HDMI, DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, DisplayPort out (for daisy chaining), audio output, USB upstream and 4x USB 3.0 downstream. One USB connection is separated from the other three on the far right hand side.


Above: view of rear USB 3.0 connection on back of screen. Click for larger version

An additional easier access USB port is also available a little above these connections in the back of the screen. It might have been better to include this on the side of the screen perhaps for easier access although the profile of the screen is very thin so this might not have been possible. This port supports charging of devices.

 



OSD Menu


Above: OSD control buttons on the bottom right hand edge

The OSD menu is accessed and controlled through a series of 5 touch-sensitive buttons located on the bottom right hand edge of the bezel. There are small grey circles on the bezel marking where the buttons are which are discrete. They don't light up at all, even when pressed. There is a small power LED bar underneath the power button which glows white during use and pulsates white on/off when the screen is on standby. We did find that sometimes the buttons were a little unresponsive when you first press them, but seemed to work better once you were within the menu sections.

Pressing any of the buttons pops up the quick access menu which is shown above. From here by default you have quick access to the preset modes from button 1, input selection (actually shown as brightness/control above) from button 2, the main menu (3) and a button to exit (4). The power on/off button is shown as well, as button 5 above. You can personalize the quick access options here through the main OSD if you want.

The menu is basically identical to the U2415 so we will keep most of the same screenshots we used in that review to save some time. Obviously the model name shows as Dell U2715H at the top, and the resolution notification at the bottom shows as 2560 x 1440 at 60Hz. The rest is largely unchanged, except for the aspect ratio options which we talk about below.

Using the quick access options pops up a smaller menu above specific to that selection. For instance the input selection quick access menu is shown above.

The main menu is split in to 8 sections shown down the left hand side of the screen. The options available in each section are then displayed on the right hand side. The first section is the brightness and contrast menu which is self explanatory.

The second section allows you to change the input being used.

The 'color' menu gives you access to a few options, mainly useful for accessing the preset mode menu. you can also enter into the 'custom color' mode which then allows you to manually alter the RGB channels for calibration.

The preset mode menu is shown above and you can see the 7 options available.

The 'Display' menu has a few useful extra features. This includes the aspect ratio control menu (options for 16:9 wide, 4:3 and 5:4). You can also change the response time setting here. We have updated the screenshot here to be specifically from the U2715H since the aspect ratio options are different here than on the U2415 (which had 16:10 aspect ratio option instead of 16:9).

The 'energy' section allows you to control the power LED and USB ports.

The other sections are self-explanatory really from the pictures above.

All in all the menu was very easy to navigate and well laid out. The control buttons were mostly responsive and sensitive, and the touch-sensitive nature gave them a premium feel. There were quite a few options to play around with as well, and the ability to customise the quick access menu was useful. The menu also remembered which section you were last in when you exit which is quite handy.

 


Power Consumption

In terms of power consumption the manufacturer lists typical usage of 36.0W and less than 0.5W in standby. They also list maximum power usage of 88.0W (*) but this is with maximum brightness, Dell SoundBar and USB connected also. We carried out our normal tests to establish its power consumption ourselves.

State and Brightness Setting

Manufacturer Spec (W)

Measured Power Usage (W)

Default (50%)

36.0

28.5

Calibrated (19%)

-

19.5

Maximum Brightness (100%)

88.0

40.1

Minimum Brightness (0%)

-

14.5

Standby

<0.5

0.7

We tested this ourselves and found that out of the box the screen used 28.5W at the default 50% brightness setting. Once calibrated the screen reached 19.5W consumption, and in standby it used only 0.7W. We have plotted these results below compared with other screens we have tested. The consumption is comparable actually to the other W-LED backlit displays we have tested, with GB-r-LED backlit displays (Dell U2713H, ViewSonic VP2772) using a bit more than most W-LED backlights. The power consumption is slightly lower than the old U2713HM (24.8W once calibrated).



Panel and Backlighting

Panel Manufacturer

LG.Display

Colour Palette

16.78 million

Panel Technology

AH-IPS

Colour Depth

8-bit

Panel Module

LM270WQ4-SSA1

Colour space

Standard gamut

Backlighting Type

W-LED

Colour space coverage (%)

99% sRGB, ~72% NTSC

Panel Part and Colour Depth

The Dell U2715H features an LG.Display LM270WQ4-SSA1 AH-IPS panel which is capable of producing 16.78 million colours. This is LG.Display's new "Neoblade" panel, featuring a borderless design allowing for the ultra-thin bezel. The panel offers an 8-bit colour depth and the part is confirmed when dismantling the screen:

Screen Coating

The screen coating on the U2715H is a light anti-glare (AG) offering. It isn't a semi-glossy coating, but it is light as seen on other modern IPS type panels including the Dell U2713HM and U2713H for instance. Thankfully it isn't a heavily grainy coating like some old IPS panels feature, including the older U2711 model. It retains its anti-glare properties to avoid too many unwanted reflections of a full glossy coating, but does not produce an too grainy or dirty an image that some thicker AG coatings can. There were no cross-hatching patterns visible on the coating which was pleasing since that issue had been apparent on the U2713HM (but not U2713H).


Backlight Type and Colour Gamut

The screen uses a White-LED (W-LED) backlight unit which has become very popular in today's market. This helps reduce power consumption compared with older CCFL backlight units and brings about some environmental benefits as well. The W-LED unit offers a standard colour gamut which is approximately equal to the sRGB colour space (99% sRGB quoted). Anyone wanting to work with wider colour spaces would need to consider wide gamut CCFL screens or the newer range of GB-r-LED type displays available now. If you want to read more about colour spaces and gamut then please have a read of our detailed article. Dell are still keeping the U2713H screen in their line up for those needing wide gamut support and higher end semi-professional features. This U2715H replaces the older U2713HM standard gamut 27" model.


Backlight Dimming and Flicker

We tested the screen to establish the methods used to control backlight dimming. Our in depth article talks in more details about a common method used for this which is called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). This in itself gives cause for concern to some users who have experienced eye strain, headaches and other symptoms as a result of the flickering backlight caused by this technology. We use a photosensor + oscilloscope system to measure backlight dimming control with a high level of accuracy and ease. These tests allow us to establish

1) Whether PWM is being used to control the backlight
2) The frequency and other characteristics at which this operates, if it is used
3) Whether a flicker may be introduced or potentially noticeable at certain settings

If PWM is used for backlight dimming, the higher the frequency, the less likely you are to see artefacts and flicker. The duty cycle (the time for which the backlight is on) is also important and the shorter the duty cycle, the more potential there is that you may see flicker. The other factor which can influence flicker is the amplitude of the PWM, measuring the difference in brightness output between the 'on' and 'off' states. Please remember that not every user would notice a flicker from a backlight using PWM, but it is something to be wary of. It is also a hard thing to quantify as it is very subjective when talking about whether a user may or may not experience the side effects.


100%                                                  50%                                                  0%


Above scale = 1 horizontal grid = 5ms

At 100% brightness a constant voltage is applied to the backlight. As you reduce the brightness setting to dim the backlight a Direct Current (DC) method is used, as opposed to any form of PWM. This applies to all brightness settings from 100% down to 0%. The screen is flicker free as a result. The previous U2713HM was also flicker free incidentally.

Pulse Width Modulation Used

No

Cycling Frequency

n/a

Possible Flicker at

 

100% Brightness

No

50% Brightness

No

0% Brightness

No

For an up to date list of all flicker-free (PWM free) monitors please see our Flicker Free Monitor Database.

 


Contrast Stability and Brightness

We 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 always the case in practice. We recorded the screens luminance and black depth at various OSD brightness settings, and calculated the contrast ratio from there. Graphics card settings were left at default with no ICC profile or calibration active. Tests were made using an X-rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter. It should be noted that we used the BasICColor calibration software here to record these, and so luminance at default settings may vary a little from the LaCie Blue Eye Pro report.

OSD Brightness

Luminance
(cd/m2)

Black Point (cd/m2)

Contrast Ratio
( x:1)

100

394.34

0.43

917

90

365.47

0.40

914

80

339.67

0.37

918

70

312.33

0.34

919

60

286.28

0.31

923

50

259.77

0.28

928

40

216.21

0.24

901

30

171.58

0.19

903

20

127.45

0.14

910

10

80.75

0.09

897

0

34.72

0.04

868

 

Total Luminance Adjustment Range (cd/m2)

359.62

Brightness OSD setting controls backlight?

Total Black Point Adjustment Range (cd/m2)

0.39

Average Static Contrast Ratio

909:1

PWM Free? 

Recommended OSD setting for 120 cd/m2

18

The brightness control gave us a very good range of adjustment. At the top end the maximum luminance reached 394.34 cd/m2 which was high, and even a fair bit higher than the specified maximum brightness of 350 cd/m2 from the manufacturer. There was a decent 359.62 cd/m2 adjustment range in total, and so at the minimum setting you could reach down to a low luminance of 34.72 cd/m2, lower than the specified 50 cd/m2 from the manufacturer as well. This should be more than adequate for those wanting to work in darkened room conditions with low ambient light. A setting of 18 in the OSD menu should return you a luminance of around 120 cd/m2 at default settings. It should be noted that the brightness regulation is controlled without the need for Pulse Width Modulation, using a Direct Current (DC) method for all brightness settings between 100 and 0% and so the screen is flicker free.

We have plotted the luminance trend on the graph above. The screen behaves as it should in this regard, with a reduction in the luminance output of the screen controlled by the reduction in the OSD brightness setting. This is not a linear relationship as the brightness adjustments between settings of 50 and 0 control a steeper luminance range than settings between 100 and 50.

The average contrast ratio of the screen was good for an IPS panel with an average of 909:1. This was pretty stable across the brightness adjustment range as shown above although at the lowest brightness settings it did fluctuate a little.



Testing Methodology

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.

We restored our graphics card to default settings and disabled any previously active ICC profiles and gamma corrections. The screen was tested at default factory settings using the DVI interface, and analysed using an X-rite i1 Pro Spectrophotometer (not to be confused with the i1 Display Pro colorimeter) combined with LaCie's Blue Eye Pro software suite. An X-rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter was also used to verify the black point and contrast ratio since the i1 Pro spectrophotometer is less reliable at the darker end.


Targets for these tests are as follows:

  • CIE Diagram - validates the colour space covered by the monitors backlighting in a 2D view, with the black triangle representing the displays gamut, and other reference colour spaces shown for comparison

  • Gamma - we aim for 2.2 which is the default for computer monitors

  • Colour temperature / white point - we aim for 6500k which is the temperature of daylight

  • Luminance - we aim for 120 cd/m2, which is the recommended luminance for LCD monitors in normal lighting conditions

  • Black depth - we aim for as low as possible to maximise shadow detail and to offer us the best contrast ratio

  • Contrast ratio - we aim for as high as possible. Any dynamic contrast ratio controls are turned off here if present

  • dE average / maximum - as low as possible. If DeltaE >3, the color displayed is significantly different from the theoretical one, meaning that the difference will be perceptible to the viewer. If DeltaE <2, LaCie considers the calibration a success; there remains a slight difference, but it is barely undetectable. If DeltaE < 1, the color fidelity is excellent.



Default Performance and Setup

The Dell U2715H comes factory calibrated, showing their focus on providing a high quality product suitable for colour critical work. This is similar to what they offer from the previous U2713HM model as well, although the measurement criteria is a little better here in fact. The screen is packaged with a calibration report unique to your screen, confirming the targets set and met during that process. Here they have factory calibrated the default 'Standard' preset mode to a 2.2 gamma, 6500k white point and with a dE colour accuracy of <3 (the U2713HM had dE <5 target). A copy of the calibration report from our unit is provided below for reference:

Default settings of the screen were as follows:

Monitor OSD Option

Default Settings

Brightness

50

Contrast

50

Preset mode

Standard

RGB

n/a


Dell U2715H - Default Settings / Factory Calibration

  

 

Default Settings

luminance (cd/m2)

262

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.28

Contrast Ratio

928:1

 

Initially out of the box the screen was set in the default 'standard' preset mode which carries the factory calibration discussed above. The screen was bright as it was set at a default 50% brightness setting. Colour balance felt good, and you could tell it was a standard gamut screen. We went ahead and measured the default state with the i1 Pro.

 

The CIE diagram on the left of the image confirms that the monitors colour gamut (black triangle) is roughly equal to the sRGB colour space. There is some minor over-coverage in some blue shades, and some minor under-coverage in some green and red shades but not by anything significant. Default gamma was recorded at 2.3 average, leaving it with a small 5% deviance from the target of 2.2 which was reasonable. White point was measured at 6414k being close to the target of 6500k which was very good and with only a 1% deviance.

 

 

Luminance was recorded at a bright 262 cd/m2 which is too high for prolonged general use. The screen was set at a default 50% brightness in the OSD menu but that is easy to change of course to reach a more comfortable setting without impacting any other aspect of the setup. The black depth was 0.28 cd/m2 at this default brightness setting, giving us a good (for a IPS panel) static contrast ratio of 928:1. Colour accuracy was pretty good out of the box with a default dE average of 2.7, although a maximum of 7.0 showed there were some errors. Testing the screen with various gradients showed smooth transitions with no sign of any banding thankfully. There was some slight gradation evident as you will see from most monitors in darker tones. Overall the default setup was good, with the gamma and white point being very reasonable. Looks like the factory calibration does provide a reliable setup for the screen which should be fine for most casual users once they've adjusted the brightness setting.

 

 

We also switched to the 'custom color' mode to test that preset out of the box:

 

Monitor OSD Option

Default Settings

Brightness

50

Contrast

50

Preset mode

Custom Color

RGB

100, 100, 100


Dell U2715H - Default Settings, Custom Color Preset

 

Default Settings,
Custom Color preset

luminance (cd/m2)

283

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.29

Contrast Ratio

976:1

 

The Custom Color mode was a little better in fact that the default 'standard' preset mode. Here, the gamma and white point remained very close to what we'd previously measured. The contrast ratio had improved a little since we now had the RGB channels all at their default 100 each. The colour accuracy had improved a bit as well, with dE average of 2.2 now, and a maximum of only 3.8. This mode actually seemed slightly better than the 'standard' mode so would probably be a better option for many users.

 

 

Calibration

 

We used the X-rite i1 Pro spectrophotometer combined with the LaCie Blue Eye Pro software package to achieve these results and reports. An X-rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter was used to validate the black depth and contrast ratios due to lower end limitations of the i1 Pro device.

 

Monitor OSD Option

Calibrated Settings

Brightness

19

Contrast

50

Preset Mode

Custom Color

RGB

99, 95, 98


Dell U2715H - Calibrated Settings

  
 

 

Calibrated Settings

luminance (cd/m2)

121

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.14

Contrast Ratio

856:1

 

We changed to the 'custom color' preset mode first of all which would give us access to the RGB channels, as well as the brightness and contrast settings which are available in all the modes. All these OSD changes allowed us to obtain an optimum hardware starting point and setup before software level changes would be made at the graphics card level. We left the  LaCie software to calibrate to "max" brightness which would just retain the luminance of whatever brightness we'd set the screen to, and would not in any way try and alter the luminance at the graphics card level, which can reduce contrast ratio. These adjustments before profiling the screen would help preserve tonal values and limit banding issues. After this we let the software carry out the LUT adjustments and create an ICC profile.

 

 

Average gamma was now corrected to 2.2 average, correcting the 5% deviance we'd seen out of the box in the 'standard' preset mode. The white point was also corrected to the target, now measured at 6517k, correcting the minor 1% deviance out of the box. Luminance had been improved thanks to the adjustment to the brightness control and was now being measured at 121 cd/m2. This left us a black depth of 0.14 cd/m2 and maintained a pretty good static contrast ratio (for an IPS panel) of 856:1. Colour accuracy of the resulting profile was very good, with dE average of 0.3 and maximum of 1.4. LaCie would consider colour fidelity to be very good overall. Testing the screen with various colour gradients showed mostly smooth transitions. There was some slight gradation in darker tones but no banding introduced due to the adjustments to the graphics card LUT from the profilation of the screen which was pleasing. You can use our settings and try our calibrated ICC profile if you wish, which are available in our ICC profile database. Keep in mind that results will vary from one screen to another and from one computer / graphics card to another.

 

 

 

 

Calibration Performance Comparisons


 

The comparisons made in this section try to give you a better view of how each screen performs, particularly out of the box which is what is going to matter to most consumers. When comparing the default factory settings for each monitor it is important to take into account several measurement areas - gamma, white point and colour accuracy. There's no point having a low dE colour accuracy figure if the gamma curve is way off for instance. A good factory calibration requires all 3 to be well set up. We have deliberately not included luminance in this comparison since this is normally far too high by default on every screen. However, that is very easily controlled through the brightness setting (on most screens) and should not impact the other areas being measured anyway. It is easy enough to obtain a suitable luminance for your working conditions and individual preferences, but a reliable factory setup in gamma, white point and colour accuracy is important and not as easy to change accurately without a calibration tool.

 

From these comparisons we can also compare the calibrated colour accuracy, black depth and contrast ratio. After a calibration the gamma, white point and luminance should all be at their desired targets.

 

 

Default setup of the screen out of the box was good with a gamma and white point within a few % deviance from the targets. Colour accuracy was good at dE 2.7 average, and contrast ratio was good for an IPS panel at around 928:1. It is too bright of course, but that's easy to turn down via the brightness setting. If we compare those default settings to the old U2713HM the results are pretty comparable. That had an ever so slightly better default gamma (2.1 average, 3% deviance) but a slightly worse white point (6754k, 4% deviance). Colour accuracy was very similar with dE average of 2.6, and contrast ratio out of the box was 910:1 as well. So comparing default screen settings, there's not much to separate the old U2713HM from the new U2715H.

 

 

 

The display was pretty good when it came to black depth and contrast ratio for an IPS-type panel. With a calibrated contrast ratio of 856:1 it was very comparable to the previous U2713HM model (869:1 calibrated) and a bit better than the wide gamut semi-professional U2713H (800:1). It was not as high as we'd seen from some other recent smaller screens from Dell, like the U2414H (970:1) or U2415 (1011:1) for instance, but it was still pretty good. Of course it can't compete with VA panel types which can reach over 2000:1 easily, and commonly up to 3000:1, even a little over 4000:1 in the case of the Philips BDM4065UC.

 


Viewing Angles


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

Viewing angles of the U2715H were very good as you would expect from an IPS panel. Horizontally there was very little colour tone shift until wide angles past about 45. A slight darkening of the image occurred horizontally from wider angles as you can see above as the contrast shifted slighting. Contrast shifts were slightly more noticeable in the vertical field but overall they were very good. The screen offered the wide viewing angles of IPS technology and was free from the restrictive fields of view of TN Film panels, especially in the vertical plane. It was also free of the off-centre contrast shift you see from VA panels and a lot of the quite obvious gamma and colour tone shift you see from some of the modern VA panel type offerings. All as expected really from a modern IPS panel.


Above: View of an all black screen from the side. Click for larger version

On a black image there is a characteristic white glow when viewed from an angle, commonly referred to as IPS-glow. This is common on most modern IPS panels and can be distracting to some users. If you view dark content from a normal head-on viewing position, you can actually see this glow as your eyes look towards the edges of the screen. This is not so much of a problem on a smaller (e.g. 24") screen than it might be on some of the larger displays like this model, and it could still be distracting if you work with a lot of dark content. The IPS glow was normal here for a modern IPS-type panel.



Panel Uniformity

We wanted to test here how uniform the brightness and colour temperature was across the screen, as well as identify any leakage from the backlight in dark lighting conditions. Measurements of the luminance and colour temperature were taken at 35 points across the panel on a pure white background. The measurements for luminance were taken using BasICColor's calibration software package, combined with an X-rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter with a central point on the screen calibrated to 120 cd/m2. Measurements for colour temperature (white point) were taken using BasICColor software and the i1 Pro spectrophotometer which can more accurately measure the white point of different backlighting technologies. The below uniformity diagram shows the difference, as a percentage, between the measurement recorded at each point on the screen, as compared with the central reference 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.
 


Uniformity of Luminance

The luminance uniformity of the screen was a bit of a concern. Our sample showed a significant difference in luminance between the left and right hand sides of the screen. It wasn't massively obvious in day to day use, but if you work with full screen content of the same style and colour, you can spot the brighter right hand of the screen. Those doing colour critical work will find this problematic. Maybe this will vary from one sample to another, but the one we tested (random retail sample, not a PR sample from Dell) was poor. The luminance ranged up to 137 cd/m2 maximum in the bottom right hand region, putting it 12.4% higher than the calibrated central 120 cd/m2 point. In the lower left hand region it dropped down to 100 cd/m2, a deviance of -20%. Two thirds of the screen was within a 10% deviance of the centrally calibrated point. The uniformity of the U2713HM had been better when we tested it, although like with many screens the results are very likely to vary, so it's a bit hard to draw conclusions based on this test.

 


Backlight Leakage


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. The camera showed there was very little backlight leakage here with some clouding detected in the bottom right and top left hand corners. It was not too bad though and should not present any major problems in normal use.

 


General and Office Applications

The U2715H feature a large 2560 x 1440 WQHD resolution which is only just a little bit less vertically than a 30" screen. The pixel pitch of 0.233 mm is small as a result, and by comparison a standard 16:10 format 24" model has a pixel pitch of 0.270mm and a 30" model has 0.250mm. Some users may find the small text a little too small to read comfortably, and we'd advise caution if you are coming from a 19" or 22" screen for instance where the pixel pitch and text are much larger. The extra screen size takes some getting used to over a few days as there really is a lot of room to work with but once you do, it's excellent. The massive resolution is really good for office and general use, giving you a really big screen area to work with. It is a noticeable upgrade from a 24" 1080p or 1200p resolution. For those wanting a high resolution for CAD, design, photo work etc, this is a really good option. The image was very sharp and crisp and text was very clear. With its WQHD display, you enjoy 77% more desktop space than a full HD screen to spread out your windows and palettes.

The light AG coating of the new AH-IPS panel is certainly welcome, and a very positive change from the older grainy and 'dirty' appearance of older IPS AG coatings, although not used on Dell 27" models since the U2711 about 5 years ago. The coating was a bit better than on the U2713HM as well, since it was free from the cross-hatching patterns which some users found problematic on that older model. The wide viewing angles provided by the IPS panel technology on both horizontal and vertical planes, helps minimize on-screen colour shift when viewed from different angles. The default setup of the screen was good in all regards thanks to the pretty decent factory calibration, and we were also pleased with the pretty strong 928:1 contrast ratio.

The brightness range of the screen was also very good, with the ability to offer a luminance between 394 and 35 cd/m2. This should mean the screen is perfectly useable in a wide variety of ambient light conditions, including darkened rooms. A setting of ~18 in the OSD brightness control should return you a luminance close to 120 cd/m2 out of the box. On another positive note, the brightness regulation is controlled without the need for the use of the now infamous Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM), and so those who suffer from eye fatigue or headaches associated with flickering backlights need not worry. The original 27" U2711 model used PWM (as did nearly all screens for a long time), so this is a significant change with the new models since. The U2713HM and U2713H models were flicker free incidentally, so nothing has changed since the old U2713HM model this replaces.

There was no audible noise or buzzing from the screen, even when specifically looking for it using test images with a large amount of text at once. The screen also remains cool even during prolonged use. There is a 'paper' preset mode available from the menu which may be useful if you want to set up the screen for different uses perhaps and made the image much more yellow. There are only 2x HDMI and 2x DisplayPort connections (1 regular, 1 mini) here so connectivity could be considered a little limited for some older systems. We would have liked to have seen DVI and VGA provided as many graphics cards still rely on these options and no one wants to have to go and fork out for an adapter cable really.

The screen offers 5x USB 3.0 ports which can be useful and it was nice to keep this up to date with the modern version. The old U2713HM featured 4x USB 3.0 ports so there is an upgrade of one more port here. On the U2713HM two of them were located on the side of the screen which is a little easier to access than on the new U2715H. Here, 4 of them are on the underside back with the video connections, and 1 is on the back of the screen (the charging capable port) since the profile of the screen is too thin to really make them easy to include on the edge of the screen.

There are no further extras like ambient light sensors or card readers which can be useful in office environments. There was a great range of ergonomic adjustments available from the stand allowing you to obtain a comfortable position for a wide variety of angles. The VESA mounting support may also be useful to some people as well. Perhaps one of the biggest draws for the U2715H is its ultra-thin bezel and narrow edges. This makes it potentially a great screen for multi-monitor setups and we liked the design of the new screen.

 
Above: photo of text at 2560 x 1440 (top) and 1920 x 1080 (bottom)

The screen is designed to run at its native resolution of 2560 x 1440 and at a 60Hz recommended refresh rate. However, if you want you are able to run the screen outside of this resolution. We tested the screen at a lower 1920 x 1080 resolution to see how the screen handles the interpolation of the resolution, while maintaining the same aspect ratio of 16:9. At native resolution the text was very sharp and comfortable as we've already discussed. When running at a 1080p resolution the text is still sharp, with low levels of blurring. You do lose some screen real-estate as well of course but the image seems to be interpolated well from 1080p sources.



Responsiveness and Gaming

Quoted G2G Response Time

6ms G2G (Fast mode)
8ms G2G (Normal mode)

Quoted ISO Response Time

n/a

Panel Manufacturer and Technology

LG.Display

Panel Part

LM270WQ4-SSA1

Overdrive Used

Yes

Overdrive Control Available to User

'Response Time'

Overdrive Settings

Normal, Fast

The U2715H is rated by Dell as having a 6ms to 8ms G2G response time, depending on the setting selected, which indicates the panel uses overdrive / response time compensation (RTC) technology to boost pixel transitions across grey to grey changes. There is user control over the overdrive impulse within the OSD menu using the 'Response Time' option. The part being used is the LG.Display LM270WQ4-SSA1 AH-IPS panel. Have a read about response time in our specs section if you need additional information about this measurement.

We will first test the screen using our thorough response time testing method. This uses an oscilloscope and photosensor to measure the pixel response times across a series of different transitions, in the full range from 0 (black) to 255 (white). This will give us a realistic view of how the monitor performs in real life, as opposed to being reliant only on a manufacturers spec. We can work out the response times for changing between many different shades, calculate the maximum, minimum and average grey to grey (G2G) response times, and provide an evaluation of any overshoot present on the monitor.

We use an ETC M526 oscilloscope for these measurements along with a custom photosensor device. Have a read of our response time measurement article for a full explanation of the testing methodology and reported data.
 

Response Time Setting Comparison

The U2715H comes with a user control for the overdrive impulse available within the OSD menu in the 'display' section as shown above. This isn't something Dell used to provide, but they've started to feature it on their new models which is pleasing. Previously the user was reliant on the factory setup and often this has lead to issues with overshoot on some models (e.g. Dell U2413, U2713H, U3014). There are two options available here in the menu, for 'normal' and 'fast' modes.

First of all we carried out a smaller sample set of measurements in both of the 'Response Time' settings. These, along with various motion tests allowed us to quickly identify which was the optimum overdrive setting for this screen.

First we tested the screen with the Response Time option set to 'Normal' which according to Dell should have an 8ms G2G response time. Response times varied somewhat, with some transitions being a little slower at around 11 - 13ms, and others reaching down to 7 - 8 ms. Overall we measured an average 10.2ms G2G response time which was moderate for an IPS panel, but not as fast as we'd seen from other recent Dell models like the 24" U2415 for instance (8.3ms with response time 'normal'). In this response time mode there was very little overshoot at all across any transition so there were no annoying dark or pale halos like you might see where overshoot is at a higher level. We had perhaps hoped for a little faster performance here given you recent experience with Dell screens. Let's see if the 'Fast' mode can offer any improvements at all.

With the Response Time setting now switched up to the 'Fast' mode, response times had improved a little to 8.7ms G2G average. However, this was at the cost of some noticeable overshoot which was probably too high to make it practical for most uses. The overdrive was being applied too aggressively here, trying to reduce response times further, but introducing too many side-effects sadly. The 'Normal' mode was optimum on this model we felt. This was a shame as we had hoped for response times closer to the 8.7ms offered here, but without the overshoot problems which had been introduced.
 

If we take some test photos using the PixPerAn tool you can make some further visual comparisons between the overdrive 'Response Time' settings. With Response Time set to 'normal' the moving image showed some low levels of motion blur, but nothing too major. There was no sign of any overshoot artefacts in this mode which was pleasing. When you switch to the 'fast' setting, the blurring is reduced a little as response times are boosted. Some slight overshoot is evident in these particular colour transitions but nothing major here only some slight dark trailing. We know from our oscilloscope measurements above that some transitions do show significant levels of overshoot so we still prefer the 'normal' mode.

 

More Detailed Measurements - Response Time = Normal

Having established that the Response Time 'Normal' mode seemed to offer the best response/overshoot balance we carried out our normal wider range of measurements as shown below:

The average G2G response time was more accurately measured at 9.9ms which was moderate for an IPS panel overall. Some transitions were faster at 5.6 - 7 ms minimum, particularly when changing to white (x > 255). The rise and fall time average were the same so pixel transition times were fairly consistent across the board.

There was pretty much no overshoot as well in this Response Time mode, with only a couple of transitions showing anything at all, and even then, pretty low. The overdrive impulse was being applied well and in a controlled fashion which was pleasing. We had seen that boosting the RTC in the 'Fast' mode just led to too much overshoot.


Transition: 150-200-150 (scale = 20ms)

The above graph gives an example of the only real overshoot with response time set to 'normal'. On the rise time in this example, the brightness overshoots the desired level here by 10.2% and on the fall time it's 4.7%. Nothing really noticeable in practice at all and nearly all other transitions showed no overshoot at all.



Display Comparisons

The above comparison table and graph shows you the lowest, average and highest G2G response time measurement for each screen we have tested with our oscilloscope system. There is also a colour coded mark next to each screen in the table to indicate the RTC overshoot error, as the response time figure alone doesn't tell the whole story.

The response time performance of the U2715H using the 'Normal' Response Time setting was reasonably good overall for an IPS-type panel. With an average G2G response time of 9.9ms measured, it was a little slower than our reference point IPS screen, the Dell U2415 (8.6ms G2G). That represented about as good as you can get from modern IPS response times without introducing much in the way of overshoot at all. The 'Fast' Response time mode pushed pixel transitions faster, but did result in some significant overshoot so should probably be avoided. Some IPS models can reach lower response times, like the Dell U2713H for instance (7.2ms) but not without the cost of very high overshoot. The previous Dell U2713HM model which this replaces was a little faster with an 8.5ms G2G average, and a similar low level of overshoot. Modern TN Film panels are still much faster, reaching down to 2.9ms for instance in the example of the new Asus ROG Swift PG278Q (with moderate overshoot).

 

The screen was also tested using the chase test in PixPerAn for the following display comparisons. As a reminder, a series of pictures are taken on the highest shutter speed and compared, with the best case example shown on the left, and worst case example on the right. This should only be used as a rough guide to comparative responsiveness but is handy for a comparison between different screens and technologies as well as a means to compare those screens we tested before the introduction of our oscilloscope method.


27" 8ms G2G LG.Display AH-IPS (Response Time = Normal)

In practice the Dell U2715H performed best with Response Time set to 'normal'. There were relatively low levels of motion blur and no ghosting visible. Thankfully no overshoot was detectable at all which was pleasing.


27" 8ms G2G LG.Display AH-IPS (Response Time = Normal)


27" 8ms G2G LG.Display AH-IPS


27" 4ms G2G AU Optronics AHVA (AMA = High)


27" 12ms G2G Samsung PLS (Response Time = Advanced)

We can start by comparing the U2715H against some other popular 27" 2560 x 1440 IPS-type screens we have tested in recent times. Compared with the old U2713HM model there is a slightly more noticeable motion blur in practice, but it's very slight. You're unlikely to notice any real difference without the screen side by side, but the response times are a little slower on the new model. Both the U2713HM and U2715H are free from any noticeable overshoot issues. The BenQ GW2765HT is very comparable in practice to the U2715H showing very similar performance in our oscilloscope tests as well. The ViewSonic VP2770-LED is again very similar here. All in all a good performance really compared with other 27" IPS screens available. Perhaps we had hoped for a slightly faster response time given our experience with recent 24" models like the U2414H and U2415, but it's not a huge difference.


27" 8ms G2G LG.Display AH-IPS (Response Time = Normal)


24" 8ms G2G LG.Display AH-IPS (Response Time = Normal)


23.8" 8ms G2G LG.Display AH-IPS

We can compare the performance of the U2715H against 2 of Dell's recent 24" range screens. The U2414H and U2415 are ever so slightly faster in practice than the U2715H, and again in our more detailed oscilloscope measurements. It's not a big difference at all though, and best of all we were pleased with how none of these models showed any noticeable overshoot.



27" 8ms G2G LG.Display AH-IPS (Response Time = Normal)


27" 1ms G2G AU Optronics TN Film @ 144Hz (OD = Normal)


27" 1ms G2G AU Optronics TN Film + 144Hz (AMA = High)


23.5" 4ms G2G Sharp MVA + 120Hz

We've also included a comparison above against 3 very fast 120Hz+ compatible screens we have tested. The other screens shown here are all aimed primarily at gamers and have various features and extras which make them more suitable overall for gaming. Firstly there is a comparison against the Asus ROG Swift PG278Q with its 144Hz refresh rate and fast response time TN Film panel. This showed very fast pixel response times and smooth movement thanks to its increased refresh rate. You are able to reduce the motion blur even more through the use of the ULMB strobed backlight as well if you need to. In other related areas this screen also supports NVIDIA's G-sync technology. There was some slight overshoot noticeable on the Asus but nothing major.

Then there is a comparison against the BenQ XL2720Z with another very fast TN Film panel and 144Hz refresh rate. This showed very low levels of motion blur, but some dark overshoot was introduced as a side-effect as you can see. This screen even includes a native Blur Reduction mode to help eliminate further perceived motion blur.

Lastly there is the MVA based Eizo FG2421 screen with a fast response time (especially for the panel technology being used) and 120Hz refresh rate support. There is also an additional 'Turbo 240' motion blur reduction mode which really helps reduce the perceived motion blur in practice.

While these pixel response tests from PixPerAn give one view of the performance of the panel, there is something else going on as well here which can't be picked out by the camera. All of these other gaming models are running at 120Hz (or higher) refresh rates, which allows for improved 120fps+ frame rates and in some cases the support of 3D stereoscopic content as well. This can really help improve smoothness and the overall gaming experience so these screens still have the edge when it comes to fast gaming. Any additional extras to reduce perceived motion blur can also have a real benefit in practical terms, and again not easy to pick out with this camera method.


The overall gaming performance of the Dell U2715H was good and we were pleased with what Dell have done with the response time control. This is the first time they've made a response time setting available from the normal OSD in their 27" range, and it's nice that they've not forced an overly aggressive overdrive impulse on us like they did on some previous models, like the U2713H for instance. Instead, the two response time settings allow you to choose the best option for your needs. The 'normal' mode was our preferred option, giving a reasonably fast (for IPS) response time of 9.9ms G2G, without introducing any real overshoot. It is a screen lacking higher refresh rate support or any advanced gaming features like blur reduction modes or G-sync/FreeSync, but as a general screen with decent IPS gaming performance, it's pretty decent. We had perhaps hoped for a slightly faster response time given our recent experience with their new 24" model, and considering that the older U2713HM was fast in this regard as well, but although there was no real improvement here, it was pretty comparable at the end of the day which is not a bad thing.
 



Additional Gaming Features

Aspect Ratio Control - The U2715H has 3 options for aspect ratio control through the OSD 'Display' menu as shown above. There are options for wide 16:9, 5:4 and 4:3 only. There is no 1:1 pixel mapping mode specifically but given a lot of content from external devices is 16:9 aspect ratio by default, the native aspect of the screen can at least accommodate that nicely. You will have to put up with the screen interpolating 1080p content up to the full size of the screen when using an external device, as you can't use any kind of 1:1 scaling option on this model.

Preset Modes - There is a specific 'game' available in the OSD which appears to make the image a little cooler than our calibrated custom mode. It gives you access to the dynamic contrast ratio control if you want to use it as well.



Lag

We have written an in depth article about input lag and the various measurement techniques which are used to evaluate this aspect of a display. It's important to first of all understand the different methods available and also what this lag means to you as an end-user.

Input Lag vs. Display Lag vs. Signal Processing

To avoid confusion with different terminology we will refer to this section of our reviews as just "lag" from now on, as there are a few different aspects to consider, and different interpretations of the term "input lag". We will consider the following points here as much as possible. The overall "display lag" is the first, that being the delay between the image being shown on the TFT display and that being shown on a CRT. This is what many people will know as input lag and originally was the measure made to explain why the image is a little behind when using a CRT. The older stopwatch based methods were the common way to measure this in the past, but through advanced studies have been shown to be quite inaccurate. As a result, more advanced tools like SMTT provide a method to measure that delay between a TFT and CRT while removing the inaccuracies of older stopwatch methods.

In reality that lag / delay is caused by a combination of two things - the signal processing delay caused by the TFT electronics / scaler, and the response time of the pixels themselves. Most "input lag" measurements over the years have always been based on the overall display lag (signal processing + response time) and indeed the SMTT tool is based on this visual difference between a CRT and TFT and so measures the overall display lag. In practice the signal processing is the element which gives the feel of lag to the user, and the response time of course can impact blurring, and overall image quality in moving scenes. As people become more aware of lag as a possible issue, we are of course keen to try and understand the split between the two as much as possible to give a complete picture.

The signal processing element within that is quite hard to identify without extremely high end equipment and very complicated methods. In fact the studies by Thomas Thiemann which really kicked this whole thing off were based on equipment worth >100,1000 Euro, requiring extremely high bandwidths and very complicated methods to trigger the correct behaviour and accurately measure the signal processing on its own. Other techniques which are being used since are not conducted by Thomas (he is a freelance writer) or based on this equipment or technique, and may also be subject to other errors or inaccuracies based on our conversations with him since. It's very hard as a result to produce a technique which will measure just the signal processing on its own unfortunately. Many measurement techniques are also not explained and so it is important to try and get a picture from various sources if possible to make an informed judgement about a display overall.

For our tests we will continue to use the SMTT tool to measure the overall "display lag". From there we can use our oscilloscope system to measure the response time across a wide range of grey to grey (G2G) transitions as recorded in our response time tests. Since SMTT will not include the full response time within its measurements, after speaking with Thomas further about the situation we will subtract half of the average G2G response time from the total display lag. This should allow us to give a good estimation of how much of the overall lag is attributable to the signal processing element on its own.

 

Lag Classification


To help in this section we will also introduce a broader classification system for these results to help categorise each screen as one of the following levels:

  • Class 1) Less than 16ms / 1 frame lag - should be fine for gamers, even at high levels

  • Class 2) A lag of 16 - 32ms / One to two frames - moderate lag but should be fine for many gamers. Caution advised for serious gaming and FPS

  • Class 3) A lag of more than 32ms / more than 2 frames - Some noticeable lag in daily usage, not suitable for high end gaming

For the full reviews of the models compared here and the dates they were written (and when screens were approximately released to the market), please see our full reviews index.

(Measurements in ms)

 

Total Display Lag (SMTT 2)

12.0

Pixel Response Time Element

4.95

Estimated Signal Processing Lag

7.05

Lag Classification

1

 Class 1

We have provided a comparison above against other models we have tested to give an indication between screens. The screens tested are split into two measurements which are based on our overall display lag tests (using SMTT) and half the average G2G response time, as measured by the oscilloscope. The response time is split from the overall display lag and shown on the graph as the green bar. From there, the signal processing (red bar) can be provided as a good estimation.

The screen showed a total average display lag of 12.0 ms as measured with SMTT 2. Taking into account half the average G2G response time at 4.95ms ('Normal' Response Time setting), we can estimate that there is ~7.05 ms of signal processing lag on this screen. This is very low and should not present any problems for gaming, even playing fast FPS games. For reference, the old Dell U2713HM had a total lag (from SMTT) of 22.2ms, and so we would estimate a 17.95ms signal processing lag on that model, so this screen is a bit faster which is pleasing.

 


Movies and Video

The following summarises the screens performance in video applications:

  • 27" screen size makes it a reasonable option for an all-in-one multimedia screen, much smaller than LCD TV's nowadays and many larger format desktop monitors which are now emerging.

  • 16:9 aspect ratio is well suited to videos and movies, leaving you with smaller/no borders on DVD's and wide screen content at the top and bottom than on a 16:10 aspect display.

  • 2560 x 1440 resolution can support full 1080 HD resolution content.

  • Digital interfaces support HDCP for any encrypted and protected content

  • HDMI and DisplayPort connections available. Nice to see HDMI connectivity included for modern DVD players, Blu-ray, consoles etc. 2 HDMI ports are available on this model. MHL support if you want to play content mirrored from your mobile devices.

  • Cables provided in the box for DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort only, no HDMI cable is provided.

  • Light AG coating provides clear images with no major graininess, and without the unwanted reflections of a glossy solution.

  • Wide brightness range adjustment possible from the display, including high maximum luminance of ~394 cd/m2 and a good minimum luminance of 35 cd/m2. This should afford you very good control for different lighting conditions. Contrast ratio remains stable across most of that adjustment range as well and is good for an IPS-type panel. Brightness regulation is controlled without the need for PWM and so is flicker free at all settings which is pleasing.

  • Black depth and contrast ratio are good for an IPS-type panel at 856:1 after calibration. Detail in darker scenes should not be lost as a result.

  • There is a specific 'movie' preset mode available for movies or video in the OSD which looked a lot cooler and more blue than our calibrated custom mode.

  • Good pixel responsiveness which can handle fast moving scenes in movies without issue. No overshoot issues when sticking to the 'normal' response time mode which is great news.

  • Wide viewing angles from IPS panel technology meaning several people could view the screen at once comfortable and from a whole host of different angles. White glow from an angle on black content may be problematic to some users.

  • Some slight areas of backlight leakage but nothing major on our sample which is good. Some uniformity variations may be visible on darker movie scenes in darkened room conditions.

  • Wide range of ergonomic adjustments available from the stand, allowing you to adjust the screen to suit varying viewing positions.

  • No integrated stereo speakers offered on this model, but it is compatible with Dell's SoundBar if you want. There is also an audio out connection if you want to connect to headphones or separate speakers when sending sound to the screen over HDMI.

  • Hardware aspect ratio control options should be adequate given the default aspect ratio of the screen is 16:9. Additional 5:4 and 4:3 modes offered as well.

  • Picture By Picture (PbP) or Picture In Picture (PiP) are not available on this model.

     


Conclusion

The old U2713HM has been a very popular screen for a couple of years now and with good reason, it's a very good all-round display with some decent IPS performance and backed by Dell's warranty, brand and support. We've made comparisons with the old model throughout the review but we will try and summarise the differences here as well. Firstly the design and style of the screen has obviously changed, and we preferred the new ultra-slim bezel design and sleeker stand. Dell have updated the connection options here, moving to a more modern offering with DisplayPort, Mini DP and 2x HDMI (with MHL). The old model had D-sub and DVI instead of Mini DP and the additional HDMI so was a bit more varied but it really depends on your needs. They've updated the control buttons as well with touch-sensitive buttons now giving a more premium feel than the old model. Dell have used a newer LG.Display AH-IPS panel here to allow the ultra-slim bezel design. One positive improvement is the better AG coating used here, retaining the same light appearance as on the U2713HM but now free from the cross-hatching issue which bothered some users. The retention of a flicker free backlight is pleasing too.

Performance wise the U2715H remains largely the same as the U2713HM. Default and calibrated setup was very comparable between the two, as were characteristics like viewing angles and contrast ratio. Response times were slightly slower on the U2715H on paper, but very similar in practice to be honest. The signal processing lag had been improved nicely though now, making the U2715H a little more suited to gaming than its predecessor. One area which seemed to be a bit of an issue on the sample we tested was the brightness uniformity, being quite different from left to right hand side. Hopefully samples will vary and others will be more uniform.

If you already have a U2713HM then we don't feel there is enough of a difference or improvement here to warrant an upgrade directly. As a replacement to the old model the new U2715H is a little better overall we felt. It's certainly a very good all-round IPS model again and is bound to be very popular.

If you appreciate the review and enjoy reading and like our work, we would welcome a donation to the site to help us continue to make quality and detailed reviews for you.
 

Pros

Cons

Improved AG coating with no cross-hatching patterns

Some uniformity issues on our sample

Decent default factory setup

More limited variety of connections compared with U2713HM

Improved, low lag

IPS glow at normal levels, had maybe hoped for low-glow like recent U2414H


Dell U2715H Now Available


 

TFT Central Awards Explained

We have two award classifications as part of our reviews. There's the top 'Recommended' award, where a monitor is excellent and highly recommended by us. There is also an 'Approved' award for a very good screen which may not be perfect, but is still a very good display. These awards won't be given out every time, but look out for the logo at the bottom of the conclusion. A list of monitors which have won our awards is available here.

 

 

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