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Introduction

Dell's UltraSharp monitor range has always been very popular, and tend to offer very solid all-round performance, along with a decent range of features and a good warranty and support package. We have with us at the moment the latest update to the 27" UltraSharp range, the U2719D. This supersedes the U2717D which we reviewed back in June 2016. There are two versions of this new model available, the standard U2719D and a model with an added USB type-C connection which is the U2719DC. Both are otherwise identical so this review can be considered for both versions. There's not been a massive range of updates to the specs and features since the previous U2717D, apart from the new USB type-C connection on the C model. It continues to have the very sleek and attractive 4 side borderless design and IPS-type panel with 1440p resolution. The stand has been updated a bit, and DisplayPort has been updated to the latest v1.4 (not that it's really needed to power this screen). We will of course make comparisons to see if and how performance varies between the U2717D and the new U2719D throughout this review.

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Specifications and Features

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

Monitor Specifications

Size

27"

Panel Coating

Light AG coating

Aspect Ratio

16:9 flat

Interfaces

1x DisplayPort 1.4

1x DisplayPort out
1x HDMI

4x USB 3.0 hub (2x with fast charging)
1x audio line out

Resolution

2560 x 1440

Pixel Pitch

0.233mm

Design colour

4 side borderless design with matte black and silver plastics, and dark silver stand

Response Time

5ms G2G (fast)
8ms G2G (normal)

Ergonomics

Tilt, 130mm height, swivel, rotate

Static Contrast Ratio

1000:1

Dynamic Contrast Ratio

n/a

VESA Compatible

Yes 100 x 100 mm

Brightness

350 cd/m2

Accessories

DisplayPort, HDMI, USB cables and power cables

Viewing Angles

178 / 178

Panel Technology

Samsung PLS (IPS-type)

Weight

with stand: 6.64 Kg

Backlight Technology

W-LED

Physical Dimensions

(WxHxD) with stand
612 x 390 x 180 mm

Colour Depth

16.7m (8-bit)

Refresh Rate

60Hz

Special Features

Factory calibration, audio output

Colour Gamut

Slightly wider than standard gamut 99.9% sRGB, 85% DCI-P3 (quoted)

The U2719D offers a very good range of connectivity with 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x DisplayPort out (for daisy chaining) and 1 x HDMI offered for video connections. For PC connectivity the DisplayPort is the most common option, with HDMI being available then for connecting external games consoles or Blu-ray players potentially.

There is an additional 4 port USB 3.0 hub, with two of the ports located on the back of the screen and 2 on the left hand side for easy access. One port in each pair has fast charging capabilities too. The screen has an internal power supply and comes packaged with the standard kettle power cable you need. An audio output connection is provided as well for audio pass-through but there are no integrated speakers.

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

Audio connection

USB 3.0 Ports

HDCP Support

Card Reader

MHL Support

Ambient Light Sensor

Integrated Speakers

Human Motion Sensor

PiP / PbP

Touch Screen

Blur Reduction Mode

Factory calibration

NVIDIA G-Sync

Hardware calibration

AMD FreeSync

Uniformity correction

Meaningful HDR



Design and Ergonomics

 

Above: front view of the screen

The U2719D comes in a black and dark grey design with matte plastics used. This model has a very attractive 4-side borderless design which looks really sleek, and makes it a very viable option for multi-screen setups. There is a thin 1mm plastic edge around all 4 sides of the screen and then an additional 6mm thick black panel border - giving a total edge of only 7mm around all sides. There is a small silver Dell logo stuck along the bottom panel border but no other labels or logos visible. The OSD control buttons are located on the bottom right hand edge of the screen and are just out of sight from a normal viewing position. There is also a power button which has a very small white LED within it to show when the screen is on. Again this is just out of sight from a normal viewing position we found. The arm and base of the stand are finished in a matte dark silver colour and provide a simple, yet sturdy base for the screen.

 
Above: rear views of the screen

The back of the screen is encased mostly in matte silver plastic as you can see above. The stand attaches in the middle using a quick release mechanism, but can be removed for VESA 100mm mounting if you want too. There is a useful cable tidy hole in the back of the stand as well as you can see above.


Above: side profile of the screen

The screen has a very thin side profile as shown in the picture above. This is despite it having an integrated power supply (you only need a normal kettle lead to power the screen). On the left hand bottom edge of the screen are 2x USB 3.0 ports, one with fast charging capabilities. These supplement the 2 that are on the back of the screen with the video connections and are very handy for easy access.


Above: stand rotation adjustment shown

There is a very good range of ergonomic adjustments offered by the stand. Tilt offers a wide range and is smooth and easy to move. There is a 130mm height adjustment which is a bit stiff but smooth overall. At the lowest setting the bottom edge of the screen is 40mm from the top of the desk, and 170mm when at maximum height extension. Side to side swivel is provided and is smooth and easy. There's also a rotation function which is (quite rarely) smooth and simple to move too, and you can even rotate it in either direction (left or right) which is unusual. Overall a very versatile stand.

A summary of the ergonomic adjustments are shown below:

Function

Range

Smoothness

Ease of Use

Tilt

Yes

Smooth

Easy

Height

130mm

Smooth

Fairly stiff

Swivel

Yes

Smooth

Easy

Rotate

Yes

Smooth

Easy

Overall

Very good set of adjustments and generally all easy enough to move. Sturdy and stable with minimal wobble from the stand.

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

The back of the screen features the connections. There are: 1. AC power connector | 2. HDMI connector | 3. DP connector (in) | 4. DP connector (out) | 5. Audio line-out port | 6. USB upstream port | 7. USB downstream ports (x1 with Power Charging) | 8. Stand lock | 9. USB downstream Ports (x1 with Power Charging)

The OSD is controlled through 4 pressable buttons located on the bottom right hand edge of the screen. By default there is quick launch access to the preset mode and input selection menus, although these can be customised to other options from within the main OSD if you want.

 

 

 

 

The main OSD is split in to 7 sections down the left hand side, with the options available in each shown on the right. There are all the usual settings to play with, although colour controls felt a little limited. Navigation was quick and easy and felt intuitive which was good news.



Power Consumption

In terms of power consumption the manufacturer lists a usage of 30W and 0.3W in standby. We carried out our normal tests to establish its power consumption ourselves.

State and Brightness Setting

Manufacturer Spec (W)

Measured Power Usage (W)

Default (75%)

30.0

25.6

Calibrated (24%)

-

17.9

Maximum Brightness (100%)

-

30.8

Minimum Brightness (0%)

-

13.6

Standby

0.3

0.6

Out of the box the screen used 25.6W at the default 75% brightness setting. Once calibrated the screen reached 17.9W consumption, and in standby it used only 0.6W. We have plotted these results below compared with other screens we have tested. The consumption (comparing the calibrated states) is comparable to the smaller 27 - 31.5" sized screens here. It is less than the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ, which while being the same 27" in size, has a Full Array Local Dimming (FALD) backlight for HDR and so uses a lot more power.



Panel and Backlighting

Panel Manufacturer

Samsung

Colour Palette

16.7 million

Panel Technology

PLS (IPS-type)

Colour Depth

8-bit

Panel Module

W270HIAP1
(LTM270DL11)

Colour space

Slightly extended gamut

Backlighting Type

W-LED

Colour space coverage (%)

109% sRGB, 80% DCI-P3 measured

Key Quick Information Box

  • Samsung PLS technology panel (IPS-type)

  • 8-bit colour depth

  • Slightly wider than standard gamut at ~109% sRGB / 80% DCI-P3 but not by much

  • Flicker free backlight operation

Panel Part and Colour Depth

The Dell U2719D features a Samsung PLS (IPS-type) technology panel. When dismantling the screen the panel sticker is in a naming format we've not seen before, stating "W270HIAP1". As best we can tell, this is a new/alternative naming convention for the LTM270DL11 panel which was featured in the previous U2717D model and offered the same 4-side borderless design and specs. It certainly seems logical that Dell would stick with the same panel for this new model. The panel offers 16.7m colours via an 8-bit colour depth.

Screen Coating

The screen coating 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. Thankfully it isn't a heavily grainy coating like some much older IPS panels feature and is also lighter than modern TN Film panel coating. It retains its anti-glare properties to avoid too many unwanted reflections of a full glossy coating, but does not produce too grainy or dirty an image that some thicker AG coatings can.


Backlight Type and Colour Gamut

The screen uses a White-LED (W-LED) backlight unit which is standard 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, slightly wider according to the specs and our measurements in the following sections. Dell state a 99% sRGB coverage, and an 85% DCI-P3 colour space coverage. Anyone wanting to work with wider colour spaces would need to consider some of the wide gamut displays available instead. If you want to read more about colour spaces and gamut then please have a read of our detailed article.


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 previously very common method used for this which is called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). PWM involves the rapid switching of the backlight off/on to simulate lower brightness levels when you adjust the screen's brightness control. 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.

The Tests for this display are shown below.


100%                                                     50%                                                     0%

 
Above scale = 1 horizontal grid = 5ms

At all brightness settings a constant Direct Current (DC) voltage is applied to the backlight, and the screen is free from the obvious off/on switching of any PWM dimming method. As a result, the screen is flicker free as advertised.

Pulse Width Modulation Used

No

Cycling Frequency

n/a

Possible Flicker at

 

100% Brightness

No

50% Brightness

No

0% Brightness

No

 


Brightness and Contrast

This section tests the full range of luminance (the brightness of the screen) possible from the backlight, while changing the monitors brightness setting in the OSD menu. This allows us to measure the maximum and minimum adjustment ranges, as well as identify the recommended setting to reach a target of 120 cd/m2 for comfortable day to day use in normal lighting conditions. Some users have specific requirements for a very bright display, while others like a much darker display for night time viewing or in low ambient light conditions. At each brightness level we also measure the contrast ratio produced by the screen when comparing a small white sample, vs. a black sample (not unrealistic full screen white vs. full screen black tests). The contrast ratio should remain stable across the adjustment range so we also check that.

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 measurements, and so luminance at default settings may vary a little from the LaCie Blue Eye Pro report you will see in other sections of the review.

OSD Brightness

Luminance
(cd/m2)

Black Point (cd/m2)

Contrast Ratio
( x:1)

100

299.05 0.30 997

90

271.59 0.28 970

80

245.32 0.25 981

70

218.76 0.22 994

60

194.53 0.20 973

50

168.73 0.17 993

40

142.71 0.15 951

30

117.67 0.12 981

20

91.01 0.09 1011

10

64.17 0.07 917

0

38.70 0.04 968

 

Total Luminance Adjustment Range (cd/m2)

260.35

Brightness OSD setting controls backlight?

Total Black Point Adjustment Range (cd/m2)

0.26

Average Static Contrast Ratio

976:1

PWM Free? 

Recommended OSD setting for 120 cd/m2

31

At the full brightness setting in the OSD the maximum luminance reached a high 299 cd/m2 which was a little lower than the specified maximum brightness of 350 cd/m2 from the manufacturer. There was a good 260 cd/m2 adjustment range in total, so at the minimum setting you could reach down to a low luminance of 39 cd/m2. This should be low enough for most people including those wanting to work in darkened room conditions with low ambient light. A setting of 31 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 for all brightness settings 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 a linear relationship from 100 all the way down to 0.

The average contrast ratio of the screen was measured at 976:1 which was good, although not excellent for an IPS-type panel. This was basically in line with the specification and our expectations though.



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 our new X-rite i1 Pro 2 Spectrophotometer 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 2 spectrophotometer is less reliable at the darker end.

Targets for these tests are as follows:

  • CIE Diagram - confirms 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. Usually shown as a comparison against the common sRGB space

  • Colour space coverage volumes - we also measure using a piece of software called ChromaPure the colour space (gamut) volumes produced by the backlight in comparison to the sRGB, DCI-P3 and Rec.2020 colour spaces. sRGB is the most commonly used colour space so it is important to have a decent coverage from the screen here. If the colour space is >100% sRGB then the screen can produce a wider colour gamut, often reaching further in to the wider gamut DCI-P3 (commonly used for HDR) and Rec.2020 reference spaces.

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

  • dE average / maximum - we aim for 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 U2719D comes factory calibrated in the 'standard' preset mode which is designed of offer reliable sRGB performance. It is calibrated to a DeltaE <2 and also includes calibration for the white point (at 6500k target) and for a 2.2 gamma curve. An individual calibration report is included in the box. A copy of ours is shown below for example:

Default settings of the screen were as follows:

Dell U2719D
Default Settings
(Factory Calibration)



  

 


Monitor OSD Settings

 

Preset Mode

Standard

Brightness

75

Contrast

75

RGB

n/a

Luminance Measurements

 

luminance (cd/m2)

240

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.25

Contrast Ratio

977:1

Colour Space Measurements

 

sRGB coverage

100.8%

DCI-P3 coverage

74.3%

Rec.2020 coverage

53.3%


 

Initially out of the box the screen was set with the 'Standard' preset mode which carries the factory calibration. The display was set with a fairly high 75% brightness which was too bright and uncomfortable to use. You will want to turn that down. The colours felt a bit too warm.

We went ahead and measured the default state with the i1 Pro 2. The CIE diagram on the left of the image confirms that the monitors colour gamut (black triangle) matches very closely to the sRGB colour space reference (orange triangle). We measured using ChromaPure software a 100.8% sRGB gamut volume coverage which corresponds to 74.3% of the DCI-P3 reference and 53.3% of the Rec.2020 reference.

You may wonder where the "85% DCI-P3 coverage" specification comes from, and in fact this 'standard' preset mode is providing an accurate sRGB emulation, cutting down the backlight's native gamut a little. If you switch to the other preset modes like movie, game or even the custom color mode, then the normal native gamut is provided. That equates to ~109% sRGB and about 80% DCi-P3 coverage. If you want to work with a more closely matched sRGB colour space, and also make use of the factory calibration then this 'standard' preset mode is provided and works very nicely.

Key Quick Information Box

  • Default 'standard' preset carries factory calibration

  • Accurate sRGB gamut emulation in 'standard' preset

  • Slight extended gamut with 80% DCI-P3 coverage from other presets available

  • Decent enough gamma

  • White point too warm

  • Excellent dE in factory calibrated mode

Default gamma was recorded at 2.2 average with a small 1% overall deviance from the target which was not too bad as an average. The gamma curve was a bit off, being a bit too low in dark tones (down to 2.07) and a bit too high in lighter tones (2.32). However this was pretty decent in the factory calibrated mode, and this was good news as there's no gamma adjustment controls available in the OSD menu. Any further corrections to gamma would need to involve software level calibration using a colorimeter. White point was measured at a too warm 5653k, being 13% out from our target despite supposedly being factory calibrated to 6500k (according to the provided report).

Luminance at the default 75% brightness level was recorded at a bright 240 cd/m2 which is too high for prolonged general use, you will need to turn that down. The black depth was 0.25 cd/m2 at this default brightness setting, giving us a good, but not excellent static contrast ratio of 977:1 from the IPS-type panel. Colour accuracy measurements here were excellent thanks to the factory calibration, with an average dE of only 1.0 recorded. Testing the screen with colour gradients showed smooth gradients with only minor gradation evident in places. There was no sign of any colour banding which was good news.



Calibration

We used the X-rite i1 Pro 2 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.

Dell U2719D
Calibrated Settings
Native gamut, Custom Color mode


   

 

 


Monitor OSD Settings

 

Preset Mode

Custom Color

Brightness

24

Contrast

75

RGB

100, 98, 98

Luminance Measurements

 

luminance (cd/m2)

123

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.12

Contrast Ratio

1023:1

Colour Space Measurements

 

sRGB coverage

108.9%

DCI-P3 coverage

80.3%

Rec.2020 coverage

57.6%

We initially carried out a calibration in the 'Custom Color' mode which gave us access to adjust the RGB channels on the screen. This operates the screen at its native gamut, equating to about 109% sRGB coverage and so a little wider gamut than most typical screens. We will also calibrate the screen in a moment in the 'Standard' preset mode for those wanting to more closely and accurately match the sRGB colour space for any colour critical work. Most people will be perfectly happy though leaving the screen in the 'custom color' mode as the slightly wider colour space is minimal. It gives you a small boost to the colours and vividness of the screen but certainly doesn't look oversaturated or anything. This 'custom color' mode will also give you more flexibility to adjust the colour temperature via the OSD controls (RGB settings) and help preserve contrast and tonal values during the calibration.

The OSD settings were adjusted as shown in the table above, as guided during the calibration process and measurements. These OSD changes allowed us to obtain an optimal 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 had been reliable on average out of the box, and after calibration in this mode we measured it at 2.2 average (0% deviance) and levelling out the gamma curve nicely across the different grey shades. The white point had now been corrected to 6521k which had fixed the too warm 13% deviance we'd seen before in the default mode. Luminance had been improved thanks to the adjustment to the brightness control and was now being measured at a far more comfortable 123 cd/m2. We measured a black depth of 0.12 cd/m2 and this produced a static contrast ratio of 1023:1. This was slightly improved over the default setup as well.

Colour accuracy of the resulting profile was excellent, with dE average of 0.4 and maximum of 1.0. LaCie would consider colour fidelity to be excellent. Testing the screen with various colour gradients showed smooth transitions with some minor gradation in darker tones but no visible banding at all. 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.
 

Dell U2719D
Calibrated Settings
sRGB emulation, Standard mode



   

 

 


Monitor OSD Settings

 

Preset Mode

Standard

Brightness

35

Contrast

75

RGB

n/a

Luminance Measurements

 

luminance (cd/m2)

121

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.15

Contrast Ratio

824:1

Colour Space Measurements

 

sRGB coverage

100.8%

DCI-P3 coverage

74.3%

Rec.2020 coverage

53.3%

We also wanted to calibrate the screen in the sRGB colour space emulation mode, probably useful for those wanting to work with the slightly more accurate sRGB colour space and avoid any slight oversaturation that the other modes might produce. We therefore left the screen in the 'standard' preset mode which we know carries this sRGB emulation. We did not have access to adjust any of the RGB controls in this mode, so any corrections to the colour temperature would be completed as part of the software profiling and ICC profile creation. This would be needed to correct the overly warm default (5653k) that we'd measured from the factory calibration. We were actually only able to change the brightness control really in this calibration, with the other adjustments being made by the profiling at the graphics card level.

Average gamma had been reliable on average out of the box, and after calibration in this mode we measured it at 2.2 average (leaving a small 1% deviance) and levelling out the gamma curve a bit better across the different grey shades. The white point had now been corrected to 6479k which had fixed the too warm 13% deviance we'd seen before. Luminance had been improved thanks to the adjustment to the brightness control and was now being measured at a far more comfortable 121 cd/m2.

We measured a black depth of 0.15 cd/m2 and this produced a static contrast ratio of 824:1. This had dipped a bit compared with the default factory state in this mode (977:1) because of the need to adjust the colour temperature quite a lot at the graphics card level. It was still a reasonable contrast ratio, on par with many IPS and TN Film technology screens. Colour accuracy of the resulting profile was excellent, with dE average of 0.4 and maximum of 1.6. LaCie would consider colour fidelity to be excellent. Testing the screen with various colour gradients showed smooth transitions with some minor gradation in darker tones and some very slight banding introduced through the graphics card corrections. 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.
 

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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. We have divided the table up by panel technology as well to make it easier to compare similar models. 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 some (gamma especially) are 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 in the factory calibrated 'standard' mode was overall good, with the only issue being the too warm colour temperature. We had a decent average gamma of 2.2 (1% deviance), a good IPS contrast ratio and a very low dE of 1.0. There was also an accurate emulation of the sRGB colour space in this mode, cutting down the slight over-coverage of the native gamut from the backlight.

The U2719D carried a better out of the box default setup than its predecessor, the U2717D as you can see from the table. Although things were closer between the two if you switched the U2717D to its own factory calibration mode, instead of the default mode. That factory calibration on the U2717D operated in the sRGB preset, and had a good gamma (0% deviance) and white point (1% deviance) but showed a higher dE with average of 2.3. On that older model there was no sRGB emulation either, it would always operate at the slightly extended ~109% sRGB coverage. Overall, the default setup and factory calibration of the U2719D was better we felt.

 

When it comes to black depth and contrast ratio the screen performed well for an IPS panel at 1023:1 after calibration (custom color mode). While we've seen a few recent IPS screens reach up a bit higher around 1200:1, around 1000:1 is still good for an IPS panel. At 1023:1, this new U2719D outperformed the last 27" UltraSharp model from Dell, the U2717D (906:1) as well which was pleasing.



Viewing Angles


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

Viewing angles of the screen were very good as you would expect from an IPS-type 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.

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

On a black image there is a characteristic pale glow introduced to the image when viewed from a wide angle, commonly referred to as IPS glow. This type of glow is common on most modern IPS-type panels and can be distracting to some users. If you view dark content from a normal head-on viewing position, you may see this glow as your eyes look towards the edges of the screen. The level of glow was fairly typical for an IPS-type panel, and similar to the older U2717D model. Not surprising of course given the same panel being used.



Panel Uniformity

We wanted to test here how uniform the brightness was across the screen, as well as identify any leakage from the backlight in dark lighting conditions. Measurements of the luminance 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. 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

Luminance uniformity of the screen was moderate, with the upper and top left regions of the screen showing the most deviance from our centrally calibrated point. Along the upper edge the luminance dropped by around 15% on average, in the most extreme case down to 99 cd/m2 in the upper left corner (-21%). The lower right hand regions of the screen were within a smaller deviance and showed an average 3% deviance from the central point. Overall around 57% of the screen was within a 10% variation.


Backlight Leakage


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

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 some clouding evident from all four corners of the screen, with the bottom corners being the most obvious. You could see this with the naked eye on an all black image in a dark room, but in normal day to day use it caused no issues.

Note: if you want to test your own screen for backlight bleed and uniformity problems at any point you need to ensure you have suitable testing conditions. Set the monitor to a sensible day to day brightness level, preferably as close to 120 cd/m2 as you can get it (our tests are once the screen is calibrated to this luminance). Don't just take a photo at the default brightness which is almost always far too high and not a realistic usage condition. You need to take the photo from about 1.5 - 2m back to avoid capturing viewing angle characteristics, especially on IPS-type panels where off-angle glow can come in to play easily. Photos should be taken in a darkened room at a shutter speed which captures what you see reliably and doesn't over-expose the image. A shutter speed of 1/8 second will probably be suitable for this.



General and Office Applications

This screen features a 2560 x 1440 WQHD resolution, a significant step up from the wide range of 1920 x 1080 screens on the market and a comfortable resolution for this size screen we feel. These higher resolution 27" models offer a tighter pixel pitch of 0.233mm which results in a smaller text size than common 24" 1080p screens, although it is still a nice and comfortable size. We are very used to working with 27" 1440p screens all the time and find them very comfortable and a significant upgrade over 1080 / 1200p models. 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 smaller screen for instance where the pixel pitch and text are normally 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. 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 ultra thin bezel/border design around all 4 edges mean that the screen could be easily integrated into a multi-screen set up if you wanted. The light AG coating of the IPS technology panel is certainly welcome, and much better than the older grainy and 'dirty' appearance of older IPS AG coatings. Although it's been several years since those more grainy coatings were used. The wide viewing angles provided by this 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 thanks to the factory calibration, with the only real issue being the too warm colour temperature.

The brightness range of the screen was very good, with the ability to offer a luminance between 299 and 39 cd/m2. This should mean the screen is perfectly useable in a wide variety of ambient light conditions, including darkened rooms. A setting of ~31 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 Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), and so those who suffer from eye fatigue or headaches associated with flickering backlights need not worry.

There was no audible noise from the screen, even when conducting specific tests which can sometimes cause issues. There's a 'ComfortView' preset mode available which is designed for reading and office work and reduce blue light. This makes the image much warmer and more yellow. There aren't any other additional low blue light modes or anything on this model.

The screen offers 4x USB 3.0 ports which can be useful. Two are located on the back of the screen a bit out of the way, but there are 2 easy access ports on the left hand side of the screen which is handy. One of each set has fast charging capabilities too. There are no further extras like ambient light sensors, integrated speakers or card readers which can be useful in office environments. Although there is an audio line out connection on the back. There was a very good 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.


 
Responsiveness and Gaming

Panel Manufacturer and Technology

Samsung PLS (IPS-type)

Panel Part

 Labelled as W270HIAP1 - (LTM270DL11)

Quoted G2G Response Time

 5ms G2G (fast)
8ms G2G (normal)

Quoted ISO Response Time

n/a

Overdrive Used

Yes

Overdrive Control Available Via OSD Setting

Response Time

Overdrive OSD Settings

Normal, Fast

Maximum Refresh Rate

60Hz native

Variable Refresh Rate technology

n/a

Variable Refresh Rate Range

n/a

Blur Reduction Backlight

n/a

The U2719D is rated by Dell as having a 5ms G2G typical response time in the 'fast' response time mode. A figure of 8ms G2G is also quoted for the 'normal' mode. The screen uses overdrive / response time compensation (RTC) technology to boost pixel transitions across grey to grey changes as with nearly all modern displays. The part being used is a Samsung PLS (IPS-type) technology panel. Have a read about response time in our specs section if you need additional information about this measurement.

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.
 


Overdrive Setting

We carried out some initial response time measurements in both of the overdrive settings, available in the OSD menu via the 'Response Time' control.

In the 'normal' response time mode we measured an average G2G response time of 9.1ms which was fairly decent for a 60Hz IPS-type panel. This was achieved with only very slight overshoot creeping in on some transitions, but low enough that you couldn't see any artefacts from it in practice.

If you switch up to the 'Fast' response time setting the actual pixel response times were reduced significantly, down to 6.8ms G2G average now. In the best case they reached down to around 4.5ms as well which was just under the product spec of 5ms G2G. However, this mode was unusable in practice as there were some extremely high levels of overshoot introduced as a result of pushing those response times so low. You get obvious pale and dark halos around moving objects and it just isn't practical to use the screen in this mode. Given that low levels of overshoot were starting to creep in at the 'normal' setting (with 9.1ms G2G average measured), there's probably not much more to be improved with the response times without the overshoot becoming a problem. Definitely stick to the normal mode.

 


Detailed Response Time Measurements
Response Time setting = Normal

 

Having settled on the 'normal' response time setting as the optimal on this model, we carried out some further measurements at a wider range of pixel transitions to give us a fuller picture. We now had a more accurate 8.9ms G2G average which was decent for a 60Hz IPS panel. In the best cases we have seen 60Hz IPS models reach down to around 8.5ms without overshoot becoming a problem, so the U2719D was a ever so slightly slower but not by much. There were low levels of overshoot measured on many of the pixel transitions but they were all low to moderate, and didn't seem to create any noticeable issues in practice.

 


Gaming Comparisons

We have provided a comparison of the U2719D against many other screens we have reviewed in a similar size range and technology. The U2719D had improved things compared with the older U2717D we felt, and also the response times were 0.2ms slower (not something you'd ever notice of course!) the overshoot was quite a lot better and so had fewer issues with halos in practice. This was a positive improvement with the latest generation of their 27" UltraSharp monitor as the overdrive impulse seems to have been toned down slightly. The performance was pretty comparable to other 60Hz IPS models shown here like the other Dell U models.



Additional Gaming Features

  • Aspect Ratio Control - the screen has 4 settings for hardware level aspect ratio control. This includes options for 'wide 16:9', auto-resize, 4:3 aspect and 1:1 pixel mapping. This gives you a good level of flexibility for any external input which might not operate at the native (and very common) 16:9 ratio.

  • Preset Modes - There is a 'game' preset mode in the menu which looked slightly more green than our calibrated 'custom color' profile. Unfortunately you don't seem to be able to set different brightness levels for each preset, so if you want to game at brighter settings you will need to change that via the OSD brightness control, and then change it back to something lower for your every day use.

 


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. We will now keep these classifications consistent regardless of the actual refresh rate of the screen being measured:

  • Class 1) Less than 8.33ms - the equivalent to 1 frame lag of a display at 120Hz refresh rate - should be fine for gamers, even at high levels

  • Class 2) A lag of 8.33 - 16.66ms - the equivalent of one to two frames at a 120Hz refresh rate - moderate lag but should be fine for many gamers. Caution advised for serious gaming

  • Class 3) A lag of more than 16.66ms - the equivalent of more than 2 frames at a refresh rate of 120Hz - 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)

On

Total Display Lag (SMTT 2)

7.20

Pixel Response Time Element

4.45

Estimated Signal Processing Lag

2.75

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 total lag measured was 7.20ms. With 4.45ms of that accounted for by pixel response times, we can estimate around 2.75ms of signal processing lag, the actual lag you might feel during gaming and other uses. This was next to nothing and in line with several other older Dell UltraSharp models. We had measured a much higher lag from the U2717D model, so there were some positive improvements here with the newer U2719D which was pleasing.



Movies and Video

The following summarises the screens performance for videos and movie viewing:

Category

Display Specs / Measurements

Comments

Size

27" widescreen

Fairly typical for a desktop monitor nowadays and smaller than TV's by a lot

Aspect Ratio

16:9

Well suited to most common 16:9 aspect content and input devices

Resolution

2560 x 1440

Can support native 1080p content, but not Ultra HD natively

HDCP

Yes

Suitable for encrypted content

Connectivity

DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI

Useful additional HDMI input for external Blu-ray players or games consoles.

Cables

DisplayPort and HDMI

Both provided in the box which is good news

Ergonomics

Tilt, height, swivel, rotate

Very good range of adjustments, also being easy to use. You should be able to position the screen easily for multiple viewing positions.

Coating

Light Anti-glare

Provides clear, non-grainy image and avoids unwanted reflections of full glossy solutions

Brightness range

39 - 299 cd/m2

Good adjustment range offered. Flicker free backlight operation with no PWM

Contrast

1023:1 after calibration

Decent IPS contrast ratio which should be fine for most content. A VA technology panel would provide you a higher contrast ratio if you watch a lot of dark content and miss some shadow detail

Preset modes

Movie

There is a Movie preset mode which is cooler than our calibrated mode. Might be useful to some users

Response times

8.9ms G2G, no real overshoot

Response times are good for a 60Hz IPS panel, with low levels of overshoot. Should be fine for movies

Viewing angles

Very good

Thanks to the IPS panel technology, suitable for viewing from a wide range of positions. IPS glow on dark content could present a problem from some wider angles especially in darker room conditions

Backlight bleed

No major bleed

Some issue with backlight bleed along the edges which can be a problem for movie viewing. Results may of course vary from sample to sample.

Audio

Audio out

No integrated speakers, but an audio out connection

Aspect Ratio Controls

Wide 16:9, 4:3, auto resize and 1:1

Good options to account for non-16:9 format inputs if needed although the native aspect of the screen is likely to be suitable for a lot of content

PiP / PbP

Not supported

n/a on this model

HDR support

Not supported

No local dimming or any of the necessary elements to provide an HDR experience. There is a slight boost in colours compared with a traditional sRGB screen, but only creating 109% sRGB, equating to ~80% DCI-P3.

 

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Conclusion

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As we've come to expect from Dell's UltraSharp range, the U2719D was another solid choice, offering good all round performance and some nice specs and features. We liked the sleek 4-side borderless design and simple, but versatile stand. The 1440p resolution and IPS-type panel were welcome as ever, providing an overall very nice picture quality and great all round performance. Factory calibration was very good, except for the slightly warm colour temperature. It was also quite useful to include that more accurate sRGB emulation option via the 'standard' preset in case you needed to more accurately match the sRGB colour space for colour critical work. There was also a decent IPS contrast ratio, flicker free backlight and wide viewing angles which helped provide a comfortable viewing experience.

Not a huge amount has changed since the older U2717D model in terms of features and design, but there have been a few improvements to performance which was nice. The main difference was that Dell had tidied up the moderate levels of overshoot from the older model here, as long as you stick to the 'normal' response time mode, and also fixed the high lag from its predecessor. So for those wanting to do a bit of casual gaming it was a better choice than the older model. Of course it's not aimed at hardcore gaming and lacks the high refresh rate, really low response times and G-sync/FreeSync support of proper gaming displays.

If you're looking for a general all-round display, with some great support and warranty as well then this is another great outing from the Dell UltraSharp range.
 

Pros

Cons

Solid all round performance thanks to the IPS-type panel

Typical IPS glow levels maybe off-putting to some users

Improved response times and reduced lag compared with older U2717D model. Suitable for casual gaming

No major improvements really over old U2717D but a few minor changes

Good factory calibration and colour performance Factory calibration colour temp a little too warm


 

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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