Top positive review
63 people found this helpful
Excellent monitor, but not without issues
on 23 June 2014
I'm going to attempt to review this monitor by answering the questions I had when contemplating buying it myself.
I needed a monitor that would:
- Offer a better experience for photo-editing than my previous (TN-Panel) monitor (colour accuracy, etc)
- Had generous viewing angles as I intended to have a multiple-monitor setup
- Offered a usable (lag/blur/motion/ghosting-free) experience for gaming
- A good stand or VESA mount options
I read review after review of this and other monitors and ended up drowning somewhat in the sheer number of different criteria that need to be considered when buying monitors. Things, in truth, I still can't even pretend to understand with any real depth (gamut, contrast stability etc. etc.). In the end I trusted the review from TFT Central - which was very good for this monitor - for the technical bits and was essentially sold as far as the Photography aspect was concerned, but still had concerns over gaming.
I'd recommend the TFT Central review for anyone more knowledgeable with what to expect from a monitor they intend to use for photography. All I can really offer is that photos look noticeably better than on my previous monitor. Colours look vivid and sharp and these monitors do come factory calibrated (note: you need to manually change the preset to sRGB to access the factory calibration). Despicable Me looks very impressive and shows off the colours nicely! Whites look.. white. Blacks look.. as black as I'd expect. I can't say I've noticed any IPS glow, but I believe this is most visible when sitting in a completely dark room, which I don't tend to do.
There were a number of negative reviews of the Dell U2412m recently discussing a yellow-tint issue and I remember seeing one or two mention a similar issue when talking about the U2414h. I'm pleased to say that I haven't noticed any such issue. I'm also pleased to report that there is not a dead-pixel in sight and I bought three of these.
To qualify everything I'm about to say, I would not regard myself as a serious gamer. I spend a lot of time playing games but I don't play in serious competition and don't play many multiplayer FPS titles either. I do play racing games (The Grid series, especially) online and many single-player first-person games. I have never used a 120hz monitor, however my previous (60hz) monitor was rated at 2ms response time, which is probably about average/good for gaming monitors. I did therefore have concerns for gaming when moving to 8ms response time of the U2414h. If you drop into threads on gaming/hardware forums discussing monitors you will see response time figures banded around regularly and broadly speaking refresh rates and response-times are the law. Higher refresh rates and lower response times win. Simple as that. So if, like me, you've already decided on an IPS-panel, then these forums can be a frustrating place to be.
So it is with great delight that I can say I have noticed zero difference in terms of motion blur or 'ghosting' effects moving from my 8ms response time monitor vs my old 2ms response time monitor. My old monitor might have been a lie. Maybe it's not noticeable in the games I've played. Maybe I just can't tell the difference. Regardless, for me, games have only became more enjoyable as the colour accuracy is now better and I have the option for nVidia surround.
You may have noticed the lack of criticism so far, mostly as now the monitors are up and running I'm yet to have any real complaints. Getting them set up, though, was a little trickier:
It's easy to say display port is terrible on this monitor and, from my experience, it is, but I don't know for sure whether this is a Dell issue or an nVidia issue. All I know is that I could not get it to work, particularly when trying to Daisy Chain the monitors. I suspect that there is blame on both sides and with nVidia cards being quite common I guess "who's at fault" is irrelevant if there are other monitors out there that simply don't have the issues. I've docked a star for the display port issues but if Display Port does not concern you (I use HDMI instead) then this would be 5 stars all the way.
General Design/Build Quality:
In a word, brilliant. The bezels on this monitor are fantastic, placing side-by-side, the combined width of two bezels is less than that from one of my previous monitors. They look superb in nVidia surround and I presume they would in Eyefinity as well. The monitor stand is surprisingly solid and very easy to adjust and I think there is an option to VESA mount the monitors if needed (Though I think you need a special 'VESA mount kit' from Dell to do this. Tut tut, Dell).
A (very) minor complaint is that I found it quite awkward to plug display-port/hdmi cables into the monitor once it was on the stand. I found it a bit easier by tilting the monitor backwards to give myself a bit more room but it was still awkward. The stand can be swivelled and allows for the monitor to be moved into portrait mode, I haven't really used either since setting them up but these features seemed to function as well as you'd expect.
The absence of DVI inputs, particularly given the Display Port issues, is an issue. I had to buy two DVI to HDMI cables. Not particularly expensive but inconvenient nonetheless.
If you're looking for a monitor that is a step-up from a TN-panel for photo-editing/other colour work, happy to play on a 60hz monitor for gaming and have no major affinity for Display Port then I would recommend these completely. Hope this can help people who were on the fence as I was!