I didn’t really test this monitor extensively because I was kind of in a rush to get started for the latest Final Fantasy 14 beta test and I know that a monitor will play just as big a role as all the other components in my PC. I just built this awesome rig a week ago in preparation for this MMO. That’s how excited I am. When the Dell U2312HM arrived on my doorstep, I was literally trembling in excitement. I know that it had a 16:9 display ratio and I would very much prefer a 16:10 ratio which mostly comes with monitors that are 24″ and above but my budget was already really strained and I didn’t want to exceed it. Plus, a single inch doesn’t make much of a difference does it? I can definitely live with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 because my previous monitor had been a 19″ one and the resolution was only 1280 x 1024. Sad, I know but at least it’s over now.
The overall build quality was excellent. I didn’t expect anything less from Dell though. The monitor stand does seem a bit bland and I wouldn’t say their choice of design and colors are the best, but what really matters is what it is able to display rather than how it looks on the outside, right? It does have a very flexible adjustability option. You can tilt it backwards and forwards like most monitors but you can also adjust its height accordingly. This means that I can finally get rid of the thick, dusty book that I had placed underneath my previous monitor just so that it is of a suitable height for me. the option you have to rotate it a full 90 degrees is also pretty impressive. The OSD buttons are placed on the bottom right side of the monitor’s bezel, which faces the front as opposed to the sides like many other monitors.
I’ve heard a lot about backlight bleeding that even the best gaming monitors are shipped with but perhaps I’m fortunate enough that this didn’t happen to me. The anti-glare coating does seem a little annoying though and at certain angles, I could see the oil-smear effect that people have been complaining of. I suppose that’s a lot better than glossy surfaces though. I tested a few games on it and the shades of colors seemed a little oversaturated right until I played around with its settings. The out of the box settings are downright unusable simply because the brightness is way too high and the RGB calibration settings are way off. I’ve no idea why Dell couldn’t just spend a minute in tweaking their products before they ship them off to their precious clients.
I’d also like to comment on the overall display quality. It is indeed as sharp as a gaming monitor can ever get and both my Xbox and PS3 look really good on this monitor even when you compare it to HDTVs and especially when you place it side by side with any other TN monitors. Setting it up is also a breeze and no installation of drivers are necessary. They do provide you an installation disc but I’m not that computer-illiterate and I’d rather download the latest drivers off the net instead. Pixels are fine. No dead ones on mine, which I’m grateful for. Shipping it back and again would require a long waiting time and I don’t know if I can bear waiting for such a long time while all my other friends get to enjoy their games on a huge widescreen display while I watch in jealousy. You should really have a look at this U2312HM review as it explains things in much more depth than I do. I should mention that one other highly anticipated option of mine is the BenQ XL2420T. Indeed, I actually wanted to give it a try but for some reason, it isn’t available in my region and I couldn’t get Amazon to ship it over here. The price for the BenQ is significantly higher but after you apply a discount code, you can get up to 40% off, which practically leaves it at the same price as the Dell. You might want to keep that in mind if you’re able to get the BenQ wherever you’re currently located at.
Anyway, the Dell monitor works well both for gaming and work. I’m really happy with my purchase time this around and I can’t wait for the Final Fantasy 14 official launch to begin! I have already leveled most of my classes and professions to 20 as that’s the current level cap. See you guys in game!