Dell U2211H Review- The "E" Economy IPS

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Crimsoned, Sep 22, 2010.

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  1. Crimsoned

    Crimsoned Notebook Deity

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    The Prologue
    Since the introduction of LCD's, and the replacement of CRT's the pursuit for the perfect LCD has been an ongoing research, and tribulation for nearly two decades.
    LCD TN technology introduced color discrepancies due to low bit color but came at a very reasonable price. Not only did they introduce bad color reproduction and viewing angles but they also introduced Input lag (response time), something the CRT's they replaced were not plagued with.

    Many technologies existed to alleviate TN LCD's problems, and fix the problems came in the form of VA and IPS panels, however the manufacturing of these panels was very expensive and troublesome. So often IPS panels were left to professional graphics, photographers, and video editors. Anyone needed or wanting a better LCD had to leash out several times (3x-4x) the cost of a TN panel just to get their hands on an IPS panel, so obviously these IPS LCD's were often more in the market for professionals.

    Enter the e-IPS

    Expensive, until eIPS panels came along. By simplifying the structure of the pixels and increased transparency (allowing for fewer or weaker CCFL to give the same amount of luminance on S-IPS) cut the costs of manufacturing down.. Presumably identical to E/HIPS panels to the naked eye from a center shot, the e-IPS panel made it's way into some monitors, presumably to this reviewer NEC was first and Dell second in 2009 with LG making the panels for both.
    It made IPS panels affordable. While not as good as quality as it's bigger brother the S-IPS panel, the e-IPS panel still boasts (against TN) better color gamut, RGB/Adobe RGB compliance, superior viewing angles to TN panels, superior image quality to all TN panels (sub $400~) as well as typically better warranty..

    In my search for a better LCD I stumbled across a 25% off coupon for Dell's Ultrasharp monitors, thanks to Overclock.net (thanks to slickdeals.net). This pushed the originally $279.99 U2211H down to $206~ free shipping +$16 tax.

    The superior (and famous) Dell ergonomic stand, 4x USB 2.0 integrated hub, and display port connection alone where to me well worth the $50~ difference in price compared to other 1080P 21.5" LCD's but to add an e-IPS panel and 3 years 0 bright dot+advanced replacement warranty was beyond a steal.

    TFT Central did a phenomenal review (as usual) which sold me.

    The Dell Ultrasharp U2211H

    Specs:
    Size (Diagonal): 21.5"
    Type: LCD, E-IPS
    Native Resolution: 1920x1080P
    1 to 1 pixel mapping: N/A (this reviewer did not see an option to enable it, and appears it is not possible).
    Color Gamut: 82%
    Contrast ratio: 1000 to 1
    Brightness: 250cd/m2 (typical)
    Response time: 8ms GTG
    Backlit: 2x CCFL Edgelight system
    HDCP: Yes, DVI HDCP is compliant.
    Aspect ratio: N/A (this reviewer did not see an option to change it)

    Connectors: Click spoiler for Picture
    [​IMG]

    4x USB 2.0/1x Upstream USB 2.0
    Display Port
    VGA
    DVI-D HDCP compliant
    DC Connector for Dell Soundbar

    Compliance and standards:
    TCO 5.0
    ENERGY STAR 5.0
    EPEAT Silver

    Included Accessories:
    Monitor with stand
    Power Cable
    DVI Cable
    VGA Cable (attached to the monitor) It is this reviewers opinion the VGA cable is far too screwed in. Screwdriver will likely be necessary (Flat head or philips cross)
    Drivers and Documentation media
    USB upstream cable
    Quick Setup Guide
    Safety Information

    Review:

    Acceptance of package:
    The monitor came housed in a brown cardboard box fitted/cushioned by shaped Styrofoam. The packaging came in immaculate condition, and was delivered promptly (2 days) by Fedex Ground early the morning (quite convenient). The monitor arrived with no dead pixels, but did have a back lighting (mild~) issue only noticeable on a black screen.

    Warning: I love visuals (often aroused/entertained), is why I am often more interested in the image quality of an IPS panel.

    First response: Looked great out of the box but needed obvious calibration particularly on the reds.. A few minutes calibrating using images/pictures/Lacom LCD testing, a quick visit to TFTCentral's review and the LCD's image quality/color/contrast improved.

    Gaming
    It makes a huge difference in games. Fire in Left 4 dead 2 actually looks like fire, vibrant and full of different range of color intensity. I actually found my self staring at the acid pools of the infamous team killing Spitter, and the unmerciful tankdooming flames of a bottle-shaped girl profusely called "Molly" by the players of L4D2. Not only were colors showing that hadn't shown in general before but colors were considerably more vibrant and visible (like the glowing health auras around the survivor's bodies).
    Lighting was much improved thanks to superior color reproduction allowing to clearly show different shades of a color depending on lighting. This is embarrassing to say but I jumped once at the sight of a smoker being at the corner of a door. The image quality, and shadows played their role well on the Dell U2211H, something that never happened on cheaper TN LCD's.

    Photo editing:
    Color reproduction, color reproduction, color reproduction!
    Editing pictures is not only faster because I don't have to print a reference picture, but the image quality/color reproduction on the Dell U2211H beats an:
    Acer H233H 1080p
    Acer 24" (Forgot the model) 1080P
    Dell 24" Non VA variant. 1200P (1920x1200)
    Few Samsungs
    A few older Dell Ultrasharp monitors
    The image quality on the Dell U2211H was great for editing the pesky hair tint left behind.

    Also communicating with others was easier as when they saw the monitor they knew the colors on the screen where the same as the ones I was looking at, not affected much if at all by viewing angles..

    Viewing angles

    Front
    [​IMG]
    Front Portrait mode
    [​IMG]
    Left side
    [​IMG]
    Right Side
    [​IMG]
    Top
    [​IMG]
    Bottom- The brightness was my fault on this one. I had to go manual, thus ISO/AF were not in place.
    [​IMG]

    Additional USB's
    [​IMG]

    Overall:
    I give this monitor a solid 9/10 at the price of $206~ simply because for the price there is not a better monitor, unless you use the five finger discount and survive a 5 year almost free to you stay at one of USA fine prisons.
    At the original price of $279.99 however I'd give it a solid 8/10. For comparison's sake the best TN LCD i've seen was a Asus 24" (or 23") I saw at Fry's, which I would rate at a 6.5/10~.

    Pro's:
    e-IPS panel
    *Superior Image quality to most if not all TN panels.
    *Good color reproduction
    *Good viewing angles
    *4x USB 2.0 ports
    *Absolutely great ergonomics with the stand
    *1080P resolution (Norm at 21.5" but still a pro as there are other LCD's with lower res)
    *Display port, makes a nifty sub $700 IPS way to get Triple 1080p displays using HD 5xxx series eyefinity.

    Con's:
    *Lack of HDMI... :/ sucks but that's okay I'll live
    *Backlight bleeding, while minor it appears to be present in most U2211H's.
    *It's not pleased with my humor..

    -Edit- In recent change of events one of the cons was fixed by enabling EDID or default drivers control of the LCD. Thus giving it it's name, and enabling Windows to recognize it as a PnP (plug n play) monitor. This enabled various more resolutions/aspect ratios in Left 4 dead 2.

    Personal rants:
    *Buttons were badly placed IMO, whenever I adjust the stand I am habitual in my holding. Left hand on the side, right hand on the other corner. Thus I hit the power button accidentally turning it off.
    *The USB ports in the back could use some plastic to cover the openings surrounding the USB ports to give it a nice flush appearance. 2x USB 2.0, and the 1x USB upstream... Then again you only really see them when the monitor is on portrait mode and your looking at it from the left side.

    Blacks Comparison of a regular TN, IPS, and turned-off LCD, all matte screens.

    I went ahead went with all black background then fullscreen and one 17" Dell LCD that was turned off.. I am surprised myself at how good the blacks are, even blacker then the 17" Dell i have on the side that is actually turned off!
    Pics are up:

    Pictures taken with a Canon Rebel XSi DSRL on Manual focus
    Three monitors, First is a Dell 24" E248WFP (TN panel), Second is the Dell U2211H (IPS), and third as an older Dell 17" E171FP that is turned off
    [​IMG]

    Dell 24" E248WFP (TN) Side
    [​IMG]

    Dell 21.5" U2211H (IPS) side
    [​IMG]

    Dell E171FP TN Turned off
    [​IMG]

    On LED Backlit IPS panels:

    Some people may see the CCFL backlight to be a problem with brightness and "awesomeness" however there is a perfectly good explanation to use CCFL over LED"s in IPS panels. The reasons are also the reasons why high end IPS panels (S-IPS~) utilize CCFL backlighting over LED backlighting.

    The majority, or entire LED backlit industry for TN panels utilize blue LED's for backlighting. This presents an obvious color reproduction problem where blue tinting can be severely overpowering, thus giving offset colors. For an IPS panel which offers better color reproduction for photographers and graphics design artist, it can be a major problem.
    Apart from the obvious blue tint issue there is also problems with uniformity. LED's lighting is a bit more difficult to diffuse and give good uniformity to a screen, however is not impossible. CCFL on the other hand is a lighting used for a little over a decade in lighting of widely-available LCD's (Been around for a long time however most people owned CRT's back below 1990's~, because it was cheaper and better then LCD's). The research is there to provide uniformity with good diffusion.

    LED's and IPS
    The only company that I know to use white LED's/glossy IPS panels on their screens is Apple, however there are apparent issues present in their screens: Bad contrast, overpriced (HP offers a monitor using the same panel but CCFL+Matte, making it preferred and cheaper), bad gamma balance, and not so accurate color reproduction (still considerably better then TN panels.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2015
  2. Akari

    Akari Notebook Evangelist

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    Nice review, how much was the monitor?

    P.S tibia fails
     
  3. Crimsoned

    Crimsoned Notebook Deity

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    $222 after taxes. $206~ before taxes with the applicable 25% Off Ultrasharp coupon.

    Yes it most definitely does.
     
  4. sgogeta4

    sgogeta4 Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Did you notice any ghosting or input lag? Also, is the backlight CCFL?
     
  5. AndroidVageta

    AndroidVageta Notebook Evangelist

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    Dang...was TOTALLY on board til I noticed the lack of HDMI...why oh WHY would they NOT include this feature??? I can't imagine how many sells they've lost due to this alone...

    Edit: Since the DVI is HDCP compliant...could I get a male DVI to female HDMI converter and have it working...not have to worry about my Blu-rays not playing due to that BS "not HDCP compliant" stuff? If so, the adapter is all of $1 on Amazon and would make this totally my next monitor.

    Link to adapter:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0..._m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=14Y04QKXQ784X3TKD0Y9
     
  6. AndroidVageta

    AndroidVageta Notebook Evangelist

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    From listed specs above:

    Backlit: 2x CCFL Edgelight system

    2 CCFL...not quite LED awesomeness...but should be plenty good enough for anything you could use it for.

    Also, how BAD is the backlight bleeding OP? Its more backlight bleeding and LACK OF dark rich blacks that are holding me back from ditching my CRT.
     
  7. Crimsoned

    Crimsoned Notebook Deity

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    Ghosting is not an issue what so ever in movies, or gaming.. Input lag is non existent, or too minimal to notice at all..

    The backlight bleeding can only be seen on a black screen, and it isn't that bad at all. Perhaps 1-2 cm of backlight bleeding from the corner~..

    CCFL back lighting is the only method of lighting an IPS panel on high end, for most (Apple is an exclusion, they have their IPS' made with LED/Glossy) reputable IPS panel manufacturers its CCFL or nothing.. This is because of the limitations LED's pose (power consumption, color reproduction (blue led's), gamma balance, contrast, grey scale albeit that's more to do with the controller etc).

    LED's are great (and cheap for the most part) but they present various obstacles:
    * LED's actually utilize more power, and produce more heat then CCFL's to give an equal brightness level~.
    * Of course to advertise "LED" low energy, less LED's are used, thus you get those crappy looking LED backlit lcd's that are no brighter then the next CCFL.

    Also CCFL's produce more accurate colors because the light they produce is white, compared to the typical LED's used giving off a blue light. (Apple is the only one that uses white LED's on their IPS screens, however compared to high end CCFL IPS there is apparent color reproduction problems, as well as gamma/brightness/contrast and sheer panel quality differences. Some may say it's the panel, however one of HP's monitors shares the exactly same panel only CCFL backlit+Matte finish and it does not share the same problems)

    In short. Give me matte+CCFL any day on an IPS panel over LED, and glossy screen.


    Yeah it bummed me out too, but like you said there are adapters for it (which I have), so I am not fuzzing about it. Also with the implementation of display port, when I build my new desktop eyefinity technology will be there for me to use.
     
  8. AndroidVageta

    AndroidVageta Notebook Evangelist

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    How would you say...in conjunction with brightness, black levels, and back light bleeding...that this monitor would do with dark games like Splinter Cell and the like that take place in dark shadowy places.

    I ask because I know with my TN panels I can NEVER play these games the way theyre meant to be played because of the poor viewing angles the "blacks" never being true black. Thanks.
     
  9. Crimsoned

    Crimsoned Notebook Deity

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    Well as I mentioned before I embarrassingly got scared when I came to a corner with a smoker. That should give you an idea of how good or decent the black/contrasts are. While the blacks are not OLED deep, they are very decent. Ill take a picture of a TN and the IPS panel on a black screen to give you an idea.
     
  10. AndroidVageta

    AndroidVageta Notebook Evangelist

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    Thank you...that would be excellent. Do you have any darker games like Splinter Cell or something so I can actually SEE something like that in game...hell, even a full screen 1080p image would suffice like this one here:

    [​IMG]
     
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