$63 an inch but worth every penny: Dell U3011 review

Anyone who has used a massive computer screen knows it’s oh so hard to go back to something smaller. And that’s why we recommend you don’t test the 30in Dell U3011 unless you have $1899 lying around. Trust us: that once huge 22in screen will never look the same.

Unlike some of the smaller Dell LCDs the U3011 is overly utilitarian – almost ugly. It’s boxy thick and very very plain. Fortunately you won’t care one iota once you turn it on and bask in the 2560 x 1600 resolution and vibrant colours. Aside from the massive screen space the U3011 is all about image quality with a 10-bit panel providing 1.07 billion colours. It also comes with a factory colour calibration report and is aimed at people who are willing to tweak the settings to their use and environment.

The matte screen on the Dell is great at avoiding reflections making it a good choice even in your natural light-filled workspace. On the flip side deep blacks and no visible light bleed make this monitor equally well suited to dark areas. The 7ms response time might seem a little low but we couldn’t detect any ghosting during gaming or movie playback.

The Dell has a touch-sensitive control interface that is accurate and pleasant to use. On the downside it can be a pain to navigate to some of the more advanced adjustments.

You also get a host of other options. The stand provides height adjustment plus tilt and swivel though no portrait mode. Connectivity wise you get DisplayPort plus dual HDMI dual DVI VGA and Component connections. The Dell also features a picture-in-picture mode using the HDMI or Component inputs. Four USB ports a card reader plus 3.5mm 5.1 surround sound output jacks are also included.

At $63 an inch the Dell is expensive but at the same time it’s also pretty good value with most comparable 30in displays costing significantly more. You will need to keep some money spare for your power bill though with the huge Dell averaging 92W during normal use – more than the computer running it.

Available from Dell retailing for $1899.
APC rating: 8/10 (Highly Recommended)