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Dell UP2414Q: A Little Less Screen For a Lot Less Cash

Dell UltraSharp 24 Ultra HD Monitor: The $1300 UP2414Q
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When we received the UP2414Q for review, we expected a monitor that was identical to the UP3214Q except in size. That is mostly true. However, we picked up on a number of differences, too.

Visually, both displays exhibit a high degree of fit and finish, resulting in excellent build quality. When you’re paying four figures for a monitor, it’s reasonable to expect a solid metal base and some high-end trim pieces. It’s reasonable to expect a factory calibration. And it’s reasonable to expect a level of accuracy and functionality that should typify a professional-grade tool.

To meet this design goal in a 24-inch form factor, Dell uses an GB-r-LED part from LG, if only because it’s the only panel this size that’s both Ultra HD and Adobe RGB-compatible. That becomes the source of performance differences we measured throughout today's review.

In the fixed Adobe RGB and sRGB Color Space modes, Dell's 24- and 32-inch 4K screens achieve a high level of accuracy without calibration. Dell claims errors of less than two Delta E, and the company delivers. When you decide to calibrate yourself, however, the larger monitor is clearly superior. It allowed us to create a custom Adobe RGB gamut that was not only near-perfect, but it was accompanied by equally precise grayscale and gamma tracking. When we tried the same trick with the UP2414Q, we came up short.

If you work in traditional color spaces, that's not a problem. But if you need to use a less common standard like DCI (Digital Cinema Initiative), then you might have to look elsewhere for a reference display. Ultimately, a professional-grade monitor needs to support multiple color spaces and have the ability to adjust all of them. High performance out of the box is great. However, long-term precision requires dialing-in changes. You simply don't have enough flexibility with Dell's UP2414Q. 

Today, most of the discussion about Ultra HD monitors centers on price. Paying more than a grand for a 24-inch monitor is a lot. And although this will change over time, manufacturers are operating on thin profit margins, so downward pressure is likely to be slow. Just look at the prices for 27-inch QHD screens last year. They barely moved. We have two such displays in the lab now: ViewSonic's VP2772 and NEC's EA274WMi. Both are currently selling for over $800.

Another hurdle that must be overcome is the infrastructure. With HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.3 still unavailable to PC enthusiasts, first-gen 4K displays must either do 30 Hz over HDMI 1.4 or achieve 60 Hz through a DisplayPort 1.2 MST connection (we're going to ignore dual HDMI inputs for the time being). There are many Internet forum threads dedicated to the challenges of getting everything working together. Ultra HD on the desktop is simply ahead of its time. Power users are still the only ones able to wrangle the hardware and software.

Speaking of software, if you think text looks small on a 32-inch screen at 3840x2160, it's downright microscopic on a 24-inch panel sporting the same native resolution. DPI scaling is a must if you want to avoid eyestrain. While this improved going from Windows 7 to Windows 8 (and even Windows 8 to 8.1), clarity still suffers when you make things larger. As with any hardware purchase, you have to decide what technology and feature set is right for your application.

If you work primarily in graphics, and you don’t mind the smaller display, Dell's UP2414Q can save you 70 percent compared to a UP3214Q or Asus PQ321Q. Alternatively, you might want to wait for Dell’s 28-inch Ultra HD TN model coming soon for $700, providing you don't need the Adobe RGB color gamut. Whichever screen you choose, know that you’re still buying into a first-gen product. From our experience so far, these 4K monitors work well, but still have some maturing to do.

Display all 22 comments.
  • -8 Hide
    dweezled , April 17, 2014 11:52 PM
    This is a joke right? Dell making yet another mockery of the monitor market.

    Why oh why when you can get the latest 10-bit AH-IPS technology in the 2560 x 1600 30" Crossover Black Tune 30x for $700?

  • 4 Hide
    s3anister , April 18, 2014 1:14 AM
    Quote:
    This is a joke right? Dell making yet another mockery of the monitor market.

    Why oh why when you can get the latest 10-bit AH-IPS technology in the 2560 x 1600 30" Crossover Black Tune 30x for $700?



    You obviously miss the point of this monitor. The whole point of a 24" 4K monitor is the pixel density. The fact that it's 8-bit and not 10-bit probably isn't going to bother a whole ton of people and if 4K and 10-bit is what you need than you'd be looking at the Dell Ultrasharp UP3214Q anyway. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ultrasharp-32-up3214q-review,3744-7.html
  • -8 Hide
    voltagetoe , April 18, 2014 4:07 AM
    Tom's should review Samsung's cheap 4k monitor instead of stuff like this.
  • -5 Hide
    Treynolds416 , April 18, 2014 6:35 AM
    I love the super indepth articles you guys do, but it would be nice if you also did more reviews about less expensive things, like cases. I mean, it's interesting to read about a $1k monitor but it would be more helpful to more people if you did a case roundup or a higher volume of reviews about them. You don't have to stop making monitor reviews or anything because it's certainly not hurting anyone, but it seems like there are more articles about expensive monitors that most people can't buy/don't have a use for in lieu of articles about more fundamental pieces of computer hardware.
    Just my two cents
  • -3 Hide
    gadgety , April 18, 2014 7:03 AM
    $1300 for a simple panel is a joke, specially when "From our experience so far, these 4K monitors work well, but still have some maturing to do." Thank you for the straightforward, no nonsense review. I'll wait.
  • 0 Hide
    dstarr3 , April 18, 2014 8:05 AM
    Ahh, 24" 4k monitors are a reality now. Antialiasing in games is soon to be a thing of the past. Which is relieving, because that makes the task on graphics cards a lot more manageable.
  • -3 Hide
    xenol , April 18, 2014 9:08 AM
    (quote thing isn't working for me)
    "Ahh, 24" 4k monitors are a reality now. Antialiasing in games is soon to be a thing of the past. Which is relieving, because that makes the task on graphics cards a lot more manageable. "

    It actually makes it worse if not does nothing. 4K is the equivalent, almost, of 1080p using SSAAx4. MSAA is a lot cheaper and most games are resorting to FXAA or MLAA because it's incredibly cheap, works with any rendering method (Deferred rendering doesn't play nice with MSAA), and the quality is almost as good.
  • 1 Hide
    dstarr3 , April 18, 2014 3:09 PM
    Quote:
    4K is the equivalent, almost, of 1080p using SSAAx4.


    And modern graphics cards can handle that kind of workload. So, since they're basically equivalent, it isn't a lot more to ask of cards to do 4k without any AA.
  • 1 Hide
    soldier44 , April 18, 2014 3:25 PM
    LOL 24" yeh right for that price, make it 30 inches at 4K for that price and i'll bite.
  • -1 Hide
    dark_lord69 , April 18, 2014 3:57 PM
    DOES IT SUCK YO' D***?
    ...
    I didn't think so... Not worth the money...
  • -1 Hide
    dweezled , April 18, 2014 9:27 PM
    To S3amister: First of all I didn't miss the point of this article. I get monitor resolutions. The point is that 4k is the next gimmick made up by the big TV and monitor manufacturers as the "next big thing" to try to get suckers like you to buy into resolutions that the human eye can't even distinguish. You're going to tell me that you can tell a difference between WQHD and 4K? Nonsense. Maybe if you have a 60" screen but with a 24" screen? No way. Get real pal.
  • 1 Hide
    alaskana , April 18, 2014 11:42 PM
    I lust for a 4k monitor in 24 inch, but it must be a 16:10. I currently use the Dell U2412M in vertical mode for word processing, searching eBay, a LOT of searching eBay, etc. I love its 16:10. I previously had a 16:9 and used it in vertical viewing, but it was too narrow. The first 4k 24 inch in 16:10, which pivots to vertical, I will buy in a heartbeat.
  • 0 Hide
    hytecgowthaman , April 19, 2014 12:52 AM
    http://www.benq.com/product/LCD/GL2023A very very cheap 20" led monitor 5ms response time ( not 8ms like this dell 24" ).i am buy 2 units for gaming . no lag or any problem. 7770 graphics card .
  • 1 Hide
    BranFlake5 , April 19, 2014 10:31 AM
    I'm tired of the 4k Hype! I want mainstream affordable 1440p monitors!
  • -3 Hide
    soldier44 , April 20, 2014 5:50 AM
    Quote:
    I'm tired of the 4k Hype! I want mainstream affordable 1440p monitors!


    Why limit yourself to that poor mans 2560 x 1600 res? After using a 30 inch for over 3 years im ready to jump to 4K and quarter of an inch sized icons on my display..More real estate.
  • -3 Hide
    soldier44 , April 20, 2014 5:51 AM
    Quote:
    I'm tired of the 4k Hype! I want mainstream affordable 1440p monitors!


    Why limit yourself to that poor mans 2560 x 1600 res? After using a 30 inch for over 3 years im ready to jump to 4K and quarter of an inch sized icons on my display..More real estate.
  • -1 Hide
    Ahmadjon , April 20, 2014 12:37 PM
    It probably will look like Iphones "Retina" display, I just like clear and crisp image on the monitors :) 
  • 2 Hide
    JamesSneed , April 21, 2014 11:23 AM
    I don't know what all the moaning is about reviewing a monitor that is $1K plus. For those that want cheaper monitors reviewed did you ever stop to think that a review like this will persuade people with the funds to buy one which in turn will make them cheaper. I for one would love to own a 4k monitor however I wont pay 1K for one so keep the reviews coming so we can get mass production up on these over the next year or two.
  • 0 Hide
    youssef 2010 , April 24, 2014 5:30 AM
    The future will be full of details
  • 0 Hide
    SuckRaven , April 25, 2014 9:35 PM
    I understand that the whole point of this review is for 4k monitors. But since it was equally pointed out in the beginning of the review that this is squarely aimed at photographers and other imaging professionals, why not do a shootout with these Dells against some non 4k competition from NEC or Eizo for that matter. Now there is a review I would love to see.
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