First of all let’s talk about the trend to replace the TN Panels in monitors to the new IPS Panels. IPS stands for In-Plane Switching and it’s a screen technology for LCD displays that provides better, uniform colour reproduction and greater viewing angles than the traditional types of LCD.
Why would I want to replace my fast and low-priced TN monitor with an IPS one?
While it’s true that the TN panels have their advantages, like fast response time or lower price, the IPS panels deliver a whole new experience, having better and wider viewing angles, being capable of producing the most accurate, vibrant and rich colours (and in a greater number) without the annoying blackening defect.
So there you have it. Do you need a monitor only for gaming? Then a TN monitor is a good choice. But if you need a monitor for movie watching, image editing, browsing the web and also for gaming then a ISP monitor is the best choice after all.
Now, in this review we will have a look at an IPS monitor that stands out from the crowd (many times being considered the best 27″ monitor … yes, even in 2015!) and that has a lot of premium features, the Dell U2713HM.
Having a first look at the U2713HM we see that Dell opted for round corners, a smaller but sturdy base (making the monitor lighter) and a matte black frame. Still, the design is pretty similar to previous Dell models, but what we liked about this monitor is the lack of distracting glossy surfaces, maintaining a professional, simple feel.
Another great feature is that you can adjust the monitor in various positions, like the right and left swivel, height adjustment, a 21 degree back tilt and the most interesting 90 degree pivot (which is great for multiple screen setup).
The stand is silver, contrasting the dark matte overall design, it is easy to connect and you are also able to mount the monitor on the wall using a 100 mm VESA (since it’s pretty light, this may be a good option!).
The onscreen display buttons are aligned on the bottom right corner near the display and it let’s you configure the contrast, brightness and sharpness. Also, we are presented with several presets that we can use, but the most pleasant feature was the Energy Smart mode, which adapts the brightness based on the amount of light in the room (good for wallet).
Note: The Dell OSD is one of the most easy to access and intuitive found on monitors.
On the left side, we find two 3.0 USB ports and on the back, we are presented with a HDMI input, a DisplayPort 1.2, DVI, VGA, two more 3.0 USB ports and a connection for the soundbar speaker.
Note: Our Dell U2713HM did not make any audible noise during functioning.
Display and Image Quality
The 27″ Dell U2713HM monitor features an AH-IPS panel with W-LED backlight and a resolution of 2560 x 1440 with over 3.6 million pixels.
Note: The response time is 8 ms, which is really great for an IPS monitor.
Thanks to the IPS panel, the U2713HM manages to deliver great image quality, even on default settings and when compared to other 27″ monitors in the same class, this monitor managed to beat all of its competitors.
In the next step, we calibrated the monitor to meet our visual needs and we tried some games and played some movies. The colours were rich and vibrant even before calibration, the out of the box settings for RGB levels and colour saturation were close to perfect (had a wide enough colour gamut – good news for professionals – and the RGB levels were very close to 100), but after calibration, the movies and games looked astounding (with high quality images and smooth and clean movement while gaming).
The shadow detailing is good, the grey levels are great (this monitor can display all segments of light grey without dithering), the screen brightness was almost perfectly equal throughout the entire panel (around 7.8% variance across the screen), the colour accuracy is good even for the most exacting users (about 1.5 in RGB mode) and a higher performance would imply a more costly monitor.
Besides all this, the contrast ratio remains constant and good no matter the brightness (around 970:1), the black values are good (reasonably deep) and the viewing angles are fairly wide, behaving like most of the monitors in the same category (meaning a slight drop of contrast at really wide angles).
As a conclusion, the image quality is quite high, the movies and games look great and overall this monitor exceeded our expectations.
The Dell U2713HM has a maximum power consumption of 100 W and an average of 42 W. Comparing to other models from competition, this monitors stands fairly high, with low power consumption even on default (non-calibrated) settings.
Note: When calibrated, the Dell U2713HM has a power consumption of about 25 W.
Considering the image quality, the design, the performance and power consumption, we can reasonably conclude that the Dell U2713HM is one of the best 27″ monitors right now on the market. Having a now reasonable price and seeing its performance, this monitor is a must have for anyone opting for high quality.
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