Dude. I got a Dell. (First Impressions of a Dell U2412M 24″ display on a Mac)

replacing the monitor on the left...

My Hanns-G 19″ monitor had served me well over the years as a secondary display on my Mac Pro, but the small form factor just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I needed more screen real estate. So I started to shop around for a larger display. I wanted another HPZR24w, but that model now commands insanely high prices because it is discontinued. So, I was back to doing more research. Months later, I pulled the trigger on a Dell U2412M 24″. (It’s an early 40th b-day present to myself.)

This is my first ever Dell product. And it’s running on my Mac. I ordered the monitor from Amazon and it arrived within 2 days (thanks to an Amazon Prime trial). It’s a great monitor for the price. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

What’s in the Box?

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Dell does a really nice job packing their displays. Two thick, moulded styrofoam inserts tightly held both the display and the stand. The build quality is impressive.

early B-day gift arrived this morning, ready to be assembled

Also included in the box: one power cord, a VGA cable, a DVI cable, and a USB cable. And, yes, there’s even a CD with a set-up manual.

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The base of the Dell U2412M is very sturdy. The display itself snaps directly into the base. I used my existing DVI and power cords and plugged them into the underside of the display. The U2412M includes DVI, VGA and 4 USB ports (two on the underside of the display, and two on the left side). It’s very easy to adjust the tilt of the display.

Below are photos of both the front and back of my display setup:

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In Actual Use

Out of the box, the Dell display is BRIGHT. Thankfully the display controls (located on the lower right side of the unit) are easily adjustable. The display controls even include the option to use Mac gamma settings. For what it’s worth, I also rely on Mac OS X’s built-in color calibrator to fine tune my display settings.

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Going from 19″ to 24″ was noticeable. It’s like moving from a cardboard box into a house. There’s simply more room for applications and windows to “breathe”, without feeling cluttered or claustrophobic.

Bang for the Buck?

The U2412M retails for $369, but savvy shoppers can find it for around $269 + change (it routinely comes on sale – check sites like DealMac or Tech Bargains periodically). I paid $255, with free shipping, thanks to an Amazon gift card.

Outside of the larger real estate, I’m really impressed with the overall color fidelity of this monitor. Images are sharp and vivid, as they should be – but best of all – no dead pixels! Thus far (just a few hours in), I’m very impressed with the Dell U2412M – and I’m saying that as a Mac user. (Please don’t judge me.)

-Krishna

These beautiful and intelligent people wrote

  • qka
    August 29, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I have seen reports in the past the Apple and Dell used the same OEM part number LCD panels (Toshiba?) in their large monitors. The question has been, other than Apple design and build quality, what’s the difference?

    Any insights would be appreciated.

    • Krishna
      August 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm

      The big difference between this display and Apple’s is the fact that the Dell display is matte, while the Apple display is glossy. I can’t stand glossy screens. My office area has a lot of natural sunlight, which would make a glossy display act more like a mirror than anything else.)

      That, and the cost. A Dell display is significantly less expensive than a comparable Apple model.

  • Drezz
    August 30, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Interesting pick. I also had a Hanns-G 19″ widescreen which served me very well, and I upgraded to an ACER 24″ Widescreen and was severely disappointed with the construction of it (the faceplate buttons are under the screen frame and the contacts didn’t respond half the time, the internal speaker was crackly and distorted at high volumes, etc.).

    Just recently, I picked up a 24″ Asus widescreen with HDMI inputs (great for hooking up my XBOX/PS3 and playing at my desk and it came with an external headphone jack) but there is a noticeable ghosting effect on white and grey backgrounds which can be quite annoying.

    I own a Dell PC workstation and I should probably consider looking at a Dell flatscreen (I owned 2 CRTs and they both fried, so I wasn’t too keen on getting another display from them.)

  • Andrew
    August 30, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    I got a Dell U2410 back in March, but was unimpressed with it and returned it. Too bright, and never did show detail in dark areas too well.

    I got two Acer B243PWL monitors about two months or so back. They are 24″ 1920×1200 LED IPS monitors. The colors are amazing. I sent one in for dead pixels a week after I got it, and both have been dead pixel free since. The stands are great and sturdy (vertical adjustments, landscape, portrait). I’ve considered getting another one, since my new video card can support 3 video outputs.

    Those replaced two 24″ BenQ monitors from 3-4 years back; I brought those into work to replace two geriatric 17″ monitors. Strangely, no one has really asked about them.

    Two monitors of the exact same size/resolution are paramount. For example, have you ever moved windows between a laptop screen and a monitor next to it? Notice how it gets 2-3x bigger?

    • Krishna
      August 30, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      I wanted another HP display, but the model commands almost $600 (double what I paid for mine). The Dell is really bright out of the box, but calibrating it seemed to fix that issue for me.

      I haven’t noticed any problems with picking up details in dark areas. I’ll have to test this with a few games to verify.