The 24-inch Dell UltraSharp U2412M is a workhorse display that offers great performance, great ergonomics and a host of features at a reasonable price. Though this monitor is not the best choice for graphics professionals or serious gamers, it's hard to find a better value for general use.
Great picture for its price. For its price, the Dell UltraSharp U2412M offers great performance for all-around use, reviewers say. They largely praise its accurate colors, good contrast and great black depth. The 16:10 aspect ratio accommodates a wide range of computer display resolutions, as well as HD video, without scaling or cropping. Screen uniformity is average, but backlight bleed is at a minimum.
Movies and games look great, says CNET's Eric Franklin: Colors are "rich and vibrant with high contrast," and there are no noticeable oversaturation or tint problems. Overall, text quality is good, though PCMag.com's John Delaney says small text could be "cleaner." Blacks are deep, and color performance is fine for most, but photo and video editors would be better served with a professional grade monitor with a wider color range -- such as the Asus PA246Q (*Est. $450) . While the display is plenty quick in its own right (8ms response time), hardcore gamers will likely be happier with an ultra-quick monitor, such as the Asus VH236H (*Est. $175) .
The Dell UltraSharp 2412M sports an e-IPS panel -- a slightly cheaper variant of the in-plane switching (IPS) panels typically found in high-end displays. That means that while it can't meet the performance of higher end displays, such as the Dell UltraSharp U3011 (*Est. $1,085) , it's safe to say it outperforms most twisted nematic (TN) displays, such as the Asus VH236H , in all regards, save speed.
A step above the norm. The Dell UltraSharp U2412M has plenty of features for the all-around user. Dell continues its tradition of providing a simple and intuitive onscreen display that rests on the lower-right side of the screen; options are easy to find and aren't buried under layers of submenus. Brightness, contrast and sharpness can be tweaked to a heart's content. Seven presets are available. However, color controls are more limited than on some of Dell's higher-end IPS monitors, like the Dell UltraSharp U2713M (Est. $700). For example, the U2412M lacks that monitor's RGB mode, which allows the values of red, blue and green to be adjusted individually. A color temperature adjustment is on board, however.
The energy-conscious features are a nice touch including the Energy Smart mode, which automatically lowers brightness based on room lighting, and the energy gauge just above the onscreen display, which tracks power consumption. There are no built-in sound features.
Connectivity is a mixed bag. The Dell UltraSharp U2412M boasts a thin design thanks to its LED backlight. Its matte black-with-aluminum cabinet rests on a matching stand that affords it a robust helping of ergonomic freedom: The display can be raised, lowered, swiveled, back-tilted, and pivoted easily, adjusting to almost anyone's needs. The on-set controls are located on the lower-right corner of the bezel, and an onscreen labeling system prevents fumbling when ambient lighting is low.
Connectivity is adequate for use as a computer monitor. You'll find a DVI input, a VGA input, one USB 2.0 upstream point, four USB 2.0 downstream ports and a DisplayPort input for Apple users. Conspicuously missing is an HDMI input, which is a serious disappointment. That, coupled with the lack of composite video and component video connections, takes the U2412M off the table as an entertainment monitor. Another shortcoming, reviewers note, is that the connectivity ports face downward, rather than outward, which could cause some annoyance when connecting and disconnecting cables.
The biggest bang for your buck. Value is where the Dell UltraSharp U2412M really delivers. Photo and video editors will probably find a slightly more upscale performer, such as the Asus PA246Q, more suitable, whereas speed-minded gamers may want to check out the Asus VH236H. But for everyone else, it'll be hard to find another display that delivers as good a blend of performance, adjustability and usability for the money.
Review Credibility: Excellent CNET's Eric Franklin reviews the Dell UltraSharp U2412M in a detailed two-page write-up. It receives an Editors' Choice award, a CNET Editors' Rating of Excellent and 4 stars out of 5. CNET says the display "fills the value quotient to the brim" in its performance/features to price ratio.
Review: Dell UltraSharp U2412M Review, Eric Franklin, March 2, 2012
2. TFT Central
Review Credibility: Excellent Simon Baker provides a technically oriented, highly detailed review of the Dell UltraSharp U2412M. The display, he concludes, offers a "very competitive price point" and "excellent black depth and contrast ratio." The lack of an HDMI input is disappointing.
Review: Dell UltraSharp U2412M, Simon Baker, Aug. 24, 2011
Review Credibility: Excellent The Dell UltraSharp U2713HM gets an in-depth look from Chris Heinonen at AnandTech.com. Testing is comprehensive, but the review might be a little dense for those with less technical expertise. Heinonen calls the monitor a "good 16:10 IPS display" with "a lot of positives and no big negatives."
Review: Dell U2412M – 16:10 IPS without Breaking the Bank, Chris Heinonen, Feb. 28, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good The Dell UltraSharp U2412M is a "feature-rich" monitor with "beautiful color reproduction" and "great off-angle viewing," writes John Delaney. He praises the display for its amount of features and its "affordable price," yet he is disappointed by the lack of an HDMI input and says dark grayscale performance "falls a bit short." It earns an Excellent rating and 4 out of 5 stars from PCMag.com.
Review: Dell UltraSharp U2412M, John Delaney, April 27, 2012
5. PC Pro
Review Credibility: Very Good At Britain's PC Pro, Sasha Muller gives the Dell UltraSharp U2412M a glowing review, saying it "hits the spot" with a 1,920-by-1,200-pixel display that affords "superb image quality" along with "oodles of features." The U2412M earns 6 stars out of 6 and a PC Pro Recommended A-List designation. PC Pro's reviews are typically brief and not comparative, and many monitors receive high scores.
Review: Dell UltraSharp U2412M Review, Sasha Muller, Not Dated