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Monitor: Dell UltraSharp U3011

Tom's Hardware's 2010 Holiday Gift Guide: Part 2, Last-Minute Luxury
By

accessories.us.dell.com
$1,499
By: William Van Winkle

If you’re going to dream during the holidays, dream big. Really big. Dell’s 30-inch U3011 is one of the most impressive pieces of glass to ever hit the desktop PC monitor market. For starters, you’ve got a 2560 x 1600 (16:10) native resolution backed by a three-year guarantee against even a single bright pixel defect. That same three-year period is also covered by Dell’s Advanced Exchange Service, which ought to be mandatory when you’re dropping 15 C-notes on a screen.

Other basic specs, such as a 1000:1 contrast ratio and a 370 cd/m2 brightness are less relevant, given the fluid nature of contrast measurement and the fact that few people will want a calibrated brightness beyond even 140 cd/m2. We asked our elves to calibrate and measure the U3011, but they declined, perhaps fearing to get too close to anything that overpowering and awesome. As it turns out, though, this request was largely unnecessary, since Dell ships the U3011 with a factory calibration report.

However, a 7 ms gray-to-gray refresh rate means no ghosting on fast-moving images. More important for color-sensitive professionals is the U3011’s 100% coverage of the sRGB gamut standard, 99% coverage of AdobeRGB, and 117% coverage of CIE 1976. Interestingly, Dell kept CCFL backlighting on this model rather than taking to the more energy-efficient LED path. Being an in-plane switching (IPS) design, you get exceptionally crisp detail, best-of-breed color reproduction, and 178-degree viewing with very little discoloration at the extreme angles. Dell’s anti-glare coating also doesn’t have a bad case of the sparkles as on some other panels.

Dell’s stand is excellent, providing smooth vertical movement and sharp lines without seeming too bulky or unattractive. You do sacrifice the ability to pivot 90 degrees into portrait mode because the screen is just that big. On the other hand, the U3011 is a veritable cornucopia (not to mix holiday metaphors) of connectivity, featuring two HDMI, two DVI-D, one DisplayPort, one VGA, and component video ports. You’ll also find four USB 2.0 ports and a 7-in-1 flash card reader.

We’d also like to give credit to Dell’s on-screen display controls, now found across many of its newer monitor models. This is a pet peeve of ours. Why its so hard to make decent OSD controls is anyone’s guess, but Dell’s touch-sensitive implementation, complete with legible fonts and downright intuitive icons, is among the best we’ve ever seen. That’s really good news if you’re a display perfectionist prone to changing settings based on content and environmental conditions.

Bottom line: The U3011 may cost enough to buy half of a tree farm, but it’s guaranteed to be the gift that keeps on giving for years.

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Top Comments
  • 19 Hide
    marraco , December 16, 2010 9:43 AM
    bunga28All right. Your models need to lose weight. Sorry to be direct.

    Agree. Those clothes weight too much.
  • 17 Hide
    ben850 , December 16, 2010 4:21 AM
    bunga28All right. Your models need to lose weight. Sorry to be direct.


    are you kidding me?
  • 14 Hide
    alchemy69 , December 16, 2010 5:37 AM
    bunga28All right. Your models need to lose weight. Sorry to be direct.


    Spoken like someone whose knowledge of female anatomy comes entirely from internet porn. That your chances of ever encountering the real thing are close to zero comes as a relief to women everywhere.
Other Comments
  • 17 Hide
    ben850 , December 16, 2010 4:21 AM
    bunga28All right. Your models need to lose weight. Sorry to be direct.


    are you kidding me?
  • 2 Hide
    carlhenry , December 16, 2010 4:37 AM
    2nd pic is best hahaha
  • 11 Hide
    Anonymous , December 16, 2010 4:56 AM
    I take it evaluating women isn't your strong suit, Bunga
  • 11 Hide
    joytech22 , December 16, 2010 5:01 AM
    bunga28All right. Your models need to lose weight. Sorry to be direct.


    What? I'm not even sure you know what you're talking about..
  • 14 Hide
    alchemy69 , December 16, 2010 5:37 AM
    bunga28All right. Your models need to lose weight. Sorry to be direct.


    Spoken like someone whose knowledge of female anatomy comes entirely from internet porn. That your chances of ever encountering the real thing are close to zero comes as a relief to women everywhere.
  • 9 Hide
    MidianSpawned , December 16, 2010 5:49 AM
    Picture 2 is an optical illusion, if you look at it long enough you will see a Kingston Hyper-X drive.
  • 9 Hide
    sandypants , December 16, 2010 8:10 AM
    What happened to the $500 SBM build?
  • 4 Hide
    doron , December 16, 2010 8:34 AM
    bunga28All right. Your models need to lose weight. Sorry to be direct.


    In a world where models have to live the most unnatural, unhealthy life just to be what the companies decide is pretty for the rest of us, this comment to these otherwise very thin women is the most out of place I've ever seen. Do you have any idea what words like these can do to some women? I'm shocked and really afraid to see an actual woman which answers your definition of "thin".
  • 10 Hide
    ethaniel , December 16, 2010 8:45 AM
    @bunga28:

    What? You don't want those girls? Perfect, I'll take them. :) 
  • 8 Hide
    cangelini , December 16, 2010 9:36 AM
    sandypantsWhat happened to the $500 SBM build?


    It's coming tomorrow!
    Chris
  • 19 Hide
    marraco , December 16, 2010 9:43 AM
    bunga28All right. Your models need to lose weight. Sorry to be direct.

    Agree. Those clothes weight too much.
  • 4 Hide
    brisingamen , December 16, 2010 11:50 AM
    i always get a laugh out of hearing virgins talk about something they have never experienced.

    i have modeled on television. and these girls are solid.

    ironically the digital storm pc is almost identical to the one i just built for myself.

    if they ship girls that look like that with thier pc's ill never build my own again.
  • 2 Hide
    feeddagoat , December 16, 2010 12:18 PM
    Not sure about the streak, if it finally gets an update to 2.2 and they sort out the data transfer (I tested it in shop with my laptop and to transfer a 1gb video was estimated at 3hours). It is a good device tho. I would of put the Archos Table (or tablet since they sorted their spelling with the latest batch) 101 or 70. The 50 and smaller are all resistive so that puts me off them and if you want a phone too then nothing beats the Desire HD. It works...well, and is big enough for everything I would use it for.

    Overall great Article and loved all the selections even tho I didn't agree with the streak!
  • 3 Hide
    i_am_aronman , December 16, 2010 1:15 PM
    bunga28All right. Your models need to lose weight. Sorry to be direct.

    if anything they need to gain weight, i prefer my women healthy, not hefty mind you, but if i see bone it sets off red flags for me.
  • 5 Hide
    accolite , December 16, 2010 1:18 PM
    The brunette in red is still the hottest of the 3.

    I think Toms realized that the blond in green isn't that good a looker so instead of putting a bag over her head they cropped the pic to not include it, lol. Funny stuff Toms.

    Hope the models don't check the comments area cuz some of the comments on here are pretty blunt, 2 of them might get their feelings hurt.
  • 1 Hide
    pinkfloydminnesota , December 16, 2010 1:48 PM
    Grado headphones, SR-60 MADE IN BROOKLYN not in across the pond. Best sounding headphone, ever.
  • 0 Hide
    cadder , December 16, 2010 1:55 PM
    Hey, I like the one in green!

    Back to the article- why does the Assassin have 2 CPU coolers? Did they ship you a different model for photography?
  • 3 Hide
    satyr451 , December 16, 2010 2:20 PM
    bunga28All right. Your models need to lose weight. Sorry to be direct.


    Been a long time since I've actually commented on an article. I had to struggle to remember by username/password for this site...I'm glad I did. Now I can call you an idiot.... Idiot.
  • 2 Hide
    SevWarfare , December 16, 2010 2:32 PM
    No problem with the models weight. They are all thin and cute. The jerk needs thicker glasses so he can see a hot chick. Or maybe he has a CRT with 800*640, then I can see that comment being scarcely valid. My only gripe and it's minor, is the hottie in green needs to lay off the tanning bed. That bird is slightly overcooked. Oh yeah, nice gear too....hahaha
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