OSD Menus

Dell has had a nice OSD setup for a couple of generations now that uses four soft keys to control all the settings. Brightness and Contrast of course allows access to those controls, but the majority of the settings are located under the Color Settings menu. Input Color Format can switch between RGB and YCbCr when using the DVI input. Gamma allows a choice between PC gamma (typically 2.2) and Mac (1.8)—though note that since OSX 10.6 the Mac gamma standard has changed to the more common 2.2 gamma setting. Mode selection allows you to choose between Standard, Multimedia, Game, Warm, Cool, and Custom (RGB) modes. If you choose the Custom mode you get the option to calibrate the white balance at a single point using Red, Green and Blue gain controls. Here's a gallery of the various OSD settings.

If you are using any input other than the DSUB15, most of the choices under Display Settings are locked off since they aren’t needed with a digital video signal. Other settings simply allow you to customize the menu interface, including position, time out, transparency, and switching between landscape and portrait orientations. Finally the personalization menu will let you change the default behaviors of the soft buttons to whatever settings you need to frequently access, though Auto-Adjust and Input Source are the only two choices available beyond the defaults. A quick selection of Portrait/Landscape orientation for the menu would also be nice for people that often move the monitor position around.

For an in-monitor calibration, the Dell offers very little beyond the single RGB control if you are in custom mode. This does let you dial in a specific point (I chose pure white) to the D65 standard, or another color temperature if that is required. Beyond this, the gamma only offers two settings and there is no RGB Low option for calibrating another point, so this is as far as you can go without using software for the calibration.

Viewing Angles

One of the hallmarks for IPS displays has been wide viewing angles and the Dell 2311H keeps this up. Moving off to the sides, and from top to bottom, brightness and color stay at very good levels until you start to move to extreme angles where you wouldn’t be able to use the display for work anyway. This also allows you to easily use the monitor in the portrait orientation without having large color or brightness shifts while reading or editing a document. As panels gets larger, having these viewing angles becomes more and more important.

Dell U2311H: Initial Impressions Dell U2311H: Color Accuracy
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  • Flunk - Sunday, October 2, 2011 - link

    I have one of these, bought it for $220 CDN on sale a month or so ago. I haven't had any problems playing FPSes on it but your mileage may vary.

    I've been impressed by the build quality and the picture is better than any other monitor I've ever had, if you're not a graphics professional (then you need a 8bit panel) it's definitely a step above.
  • JoeTF - Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - link


    Input lag is THE MOST IMPORTANT measurement with e-IPS displays, that are notorious for 30ms+ delays.

    Skipping it is like skipping sequential read tests in hdd review.
  • gevorg - Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - link

    This is a previous gen monitor, plenty of reviews on the web. Input lag was measured here:
  • enterco - Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - link

    I own a Dell U2311H, I can't see any noticeable lag. Anyway, the pixperan tool (pixel persistence analyzer) test image looks much better on this display than on my old TN display.
  • ckryan - Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - link


    Are you the new display intern? I too inquired about the highly coveted display internship, but sadly had been beaten to the punch. Ironically, I too am named Chris, and since I had just purchased a new U2311H from Dell, was planning on doing a "review application" of it.

    It's a good monitor for the price, but mine has some less than desirable characteristics. However, the input lag is quite low as verified by a couple of other reviews (and my eyeballs), and I only find the off-angle darkening slightly annoying. It calibrates pretty well for me and has excellent black levels for an IPS variant -- that, plus I find CCFL to be generally superior. Just because a display is LED backlit doesn't automatically mean it uses less power -- it's often the case, but identical models that vary solely by backlight use similar amounts of power. Finally, I haven't noticed any artifacts from the 6 bit + AFC implementation, which is a bonus. Overall it's pretty good, but now it's kinda close to the U2412 in price now that it's out, and it looks like a better way to go if you're a fan of 16:10 (and who isn't?).

    Anyway, congrats and I'm looking forward to your future reviews.
  • Daniel Egger - Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - link

    > that, plus I find CCFL to be generally superior.

    CCFL die! Not dead yet? Damn...

    The only problem with LED is that companies can't get their stuff together and do it properly and thus we still see crappy LED backlit displays while the high end still tends to use the more known CCFL backlight.

    But since NEC recently announced a (what will hopefully turn out to be a nice) LED projector I'm getting my hopes up that we will eventually see a high end LED display from NEC as well. Once that happens HP and Dell will follow suit and we'll have an avalanche of professional grade LED backlit displays coming for us...
  • Pessimism - Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - link

    CCFL needs to die. They may look nicer out of the box but give them a year and they all look weak and yellow. The manufacturers use the cheapest tubes they can find with poor quality phosphors that rapidly loose brightness and color balance. At least LEDs remain consistent for longer, with those you deal with the clear plastic lenses yellowing, again because of poor quality materials.
  • jecs - Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - link

    Don't hope CCFL to die too soon or we may get a lot of color precision problems. CCFL may seem old tech but it still produces more neutral color across the spectrum than a white only LED lamp. The downside is more power consumption and heavier units but it is not as important for professionals as it may be for consumers.

    On the other hand high end LED screens found today on very expensive TVs or monitors uses 3 LED color matrices for each color (RGB). So don't expect anything true LED for desktop use anytime soon.
  • softdrinkviking - Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - link

    jecs +1

    LEDs still have a long way to go.
    they look washed out without being as bright as a CRT. (to me)
  • alanwong - Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - link

    They're selling the U2312HM here in Australia, assume that means the U2311H is out of date?

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