UltraSharp monitors are no stranger to PC&TA, but Dell has taken its 23in model back to the drawing board for 2012. Swapping the CCFL backlighting of its predecessor for power-efficient LED technology, the U2312HM has an IPS panel and a smart, adjustable stand.
Compared to most displays at this price, the U2312HM is smart and attractive. The stark, square lines of last year’s model have softened into a more elegant, curved figure.
It has some welcome practical touches, too. It takes only one hand to adjust the stand height and swivel the screen left or right, and it’s possible to pivot the screen into a portrait orientation.
Around the back, there are plenty of connectivity options: D-SUB, DVI and DisplayPort are all present, and the four-port USB 2 hub is split between two ports at the rear and two on the panel’s left edge.
As you’d expect with its IPS panel, Dell’s U2312HM delivers a luscious image. The LED backlight pushes the maximum brightness to 352cd/m2, and there’s no serious backlight leakage. A slight halo of light peeks in from both edges under close inspection in a dark room, but it isn’t enough to impact on day-to-day performance. More importantly, the backlighting is even across the panel.
The Dell breezed confidently through our tests, giving a sterling performance with all of our test images and clips. The 926:1 contrast ratio means there’s plenty of detail in darker scenes, and the average Delta E of 2.7, while not the best, enabled the Dell to deliver vibrant colours and natural skin tones.
The U2312HM’s LED backlight is more frugal than the other IPS monitors. We measured the maximum power draw at 32W, and dropping the brightness to a more sensible everyday level of 120cd/m2 saw that figure halved to 16W.
With top performance and the reassurance of a three-year on-site warranty, Dell’s UltraSharp U2312HM is a deserving of our recommendation.