Dell UltraSharp 32 Ultra HD Monitor Review: UP3214Q At $3500

There’s no question that 3840x2160 is the hot resolution in display technology right now. Gone are the days when computer monitors and televisions followed separate development paths. It was barely two years ago that Sony showed us the first-ever production 4K television (an 84-inch panel selling for a cool $25,000, a price that still stands incidentally). It was only a matter of time before computer users began demanding that same experience on the desktop. We waited patiently. And as we saw already from stories like Gaming At 3840x2160: Is Your PC Ready For A 4K Display?, the first-generation panels are here. Slowly but surely, their wrinkles are being smoothed out, too.

At least thus far, the first screens in our lab are all 31.5-inch IGZO-based panels with a pixel density of 140 ppi and a recommended price of $3500. While they employ panels from Sharp, they do use different part numbers. Witness Dell’s UP3214Q, which not only introduces Ultra HD to the company's display portfolio, but also brings in the wider Adobe RGB 1998 color gamut.

Asus' PQ321Q (Asus PQ321Q 4K Monitor Review: Top-Shelf Ultra HD For $3500) proved to be very accurate in our tests, and was easily worth recommending for a professional’s toolbox. It is missing one key element, though: the Adobe RGB gamut. The difference comes from the panel each company uses. Asus leverages a Sharp-manufactured LD315R3LC1, while Dell goes with the LQ315D1LG9D. Both are IPS, rated at 350 cd/m2 brightness, and have native 10-bit color. The only difference is the gamut. Check out the specs below.

Brand
Dell
Model
UP3214Q
MSRP
$3499
Panel Type
IPS/IGZO
Backlight
LED, edge array
Screen Size
31.5"
Max Resolution
3840x2160
Max Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Response Time (GTG)
8 ms
Brightness
350 cd/m2
Speakers
-
VGA
-
DVI
1
DisplayPort
1
HDMI
1
Audio In
-
Headphone
-
USB 3.0
One up, four down
Media Card Reader
1 SD
Panel Dimensions
W x H x D w/base
29.5 x 19-22.5 x 8.4 in
750 x 483-572 x 214 mm
Panel Thickness
2 in / 51 mm
Weight
20.3 lbs / 9.2 kg
Warranty
Three years

You can see from the average response time that this is not an ideal display for gaming. Our own Filippo L. Scognamiglio's The Myths Of Graphics Card Performance: Debunked, Part 1 helped illustrate the effects of that average response rating, and my tests bear this out as well. None of the first-generation panels have fast response, nor do they support a high refresh rate. Even if they did, the currently-available scaling hardware doesn’t support rates over 60 Hz. As it is, two scalers are needed to utilize the multi-stream feature of DisplayPort 1.2. The bandwidth is there in DisplayPort 1.2 and the forthcoming 1.3, as well as HDMI 2.0. But other components will have to be updated to process all of those pixels.

Neither Dell nor Asus is marketing their 4K displays to gamers. These are tools for photographers, artists, and programmers, pure and simple. To that end, accurate color, a sharp image, and solid build quality are the name of the game, rather than speed. Asus already sells a particularly accurate display, and Dell ups the ante with wide gamut support and a huge array of customization options. Not only can you choose between eight color modes, but there’s also a color management system, high and low RGB sliders, and factory-calibrated presets for both Adobe RGB and sRGB.

Without question, a lot of what you’re paying for is being first on your block with a 4K screen. Any major jump in resolution means manufacturing yields drop, and the cost of putting a tiled display together is undoubtedly high. But even with a few minor compromises, the PQ321Q and UP3214Q both exceed expectations for first-generation products. Build quality is excellent, and so is performance. Since Dell offers a little more in the way of features, though, it really should outpace the similarly-priced Asus.

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    Top Comments
  • What I always find entertaining is how these monitor manufacturers will only back their $500+ (in this case $2000+) products for a maximum of 3 years, but my $250 power supply has a 7-year warranty and my $200 SSD has a 5-year warranty.
    10
  • Other Comments
  • It's so expensive that I could buy more than twenty 1080p monitors.
    9
  • It's so expensive that I could buy more than twenty 1080p monitors.
    -7
  • I wish in 3 years the price of 4k monitors would come to $300.
    0
  • What I always find entertaining is how these monitor manufacturers will only back their $500+ (in this case $2000+) products for a maximum of 3 years, but my $250 power supply has a 7-year warranty and my $200 SSD has a 5-year warranty.
    10
  • Unacceptible input lag, display not suitable for gaming.
    -4
  • 1445588 said:
    It's so expensive that I could buy more than twenty 1080p monitors.

    Yes, but you miss the point.
    1445588 said:
    I wish in 3 years the price of 4k monitors would come to $300.

    This is a reasonable expectation, with economies of scale the average consumer will eventually be able to buy a 4K display for $300-$500 USD.
    299576 said:
    What I always find entertaining is how these monitor manufacturers will only back their $500+ (in this case $2000+) products for a maximum of 3 years, but my $250 power supply has a 7-year warranty and my $200 SSD has a 5-year warranty.

    Agreed. I've owned a few Dell Ultrasharp monitors and have always been surprised at the short length of warranty compared to what I get from other premium components. Sadly the entire display industry is like this in terms of warranty coverage.
    794021 said:
    Unacceptible input lag, display not suitable for gaming.

    You also miss the point. I assume you didn't even read the article.

    Anyway, great article. I was hoping TH would get around do doing a proper review of this monitor as I'm expecting it to be the benchmark for future 4K panels.
    5
  • "The company also introduced a budget-oriented 28-inch model as well, the P2815Q. Gamers might favor it more, since it's a $700 screen with a faster-responding TN panel."P2815Q has only a refresh rate of 30Hz... gamers might not favor it more...
    1
  • 1422415 said:
    "The company also introduced a budget-oriented 28-inch model as well, the P2815Q. Gamers might favor it more, since it's a $700 screen with a faster-responding TN panel."P2815Q has only a refresh rate of 30Hz... gamers might not favor it more...


    We hope to test the P2815Q very soon. In the meantime, we have the UP2414Q in the lab now. This is a 24-inch IPS screen for around $1200.

    -Christian-
    0
  • Why is the bezel so F-ing big? When are desktop monitors (that weight less than a TV and people actually put two or more next to each other) going to have slim or nonexistent bezels?

    $3500 16:9?????? Good grief!
    1
  • "There’s no question that 4K is here."Good. Cuz I was questioning before I read that. Now I won't question anymore.
    0
  • Or you can go buy a 4k Samsung TV that's 55" for the same price and get a TV tuner and a bigger screen with it.
    -3
  • You get what you pay for people. Ive been gaming on a 30 inch 2506 x 1600 display for over 3 years now paid $1200 and been worth every cent. Will wait till next year to see more brands come out and prices drop to a better level like under $1500.
    1
  • Hah! Look at the reviews on Newegg. This monitor has 2 stars and from what I read they have some serious issues with this thing.
    -1
  • very expensive screen that's for sure. it'll take at least 3 years till price will drop into $1000. Even for $1000 it'll be unreachable for most users.I'd rather see SAMSUNG, DELL, LG pushing 27'' 1440p monitors into mainstream with price something like $300-350. At the moment for that price one can only get poxy Korean screens. I'm sure this would make more sales than 4k $3500 madness.
    1
  • First this isn't a true 4K panel although everyone seems to accept 3 different resolution numbers and call them all 4K. Silly. Second, 4K is not here. It is being pushed on consumers by companies still pissed we didn't all drink the 3D Koolaid and rush out and by those crappy sets and monitors. Third, there are some great 1440 1600 options out there that rock (Overlord IPS, ASUS although it is not a great panel - TN - which I hate, etc.) 4K is not going to be a realistic investment for MOST gamers in 2014 due to the tech being way too pricey. One day, sure, but definitely not this year.
    2
  • very expensive screen that's for sure. it'll take at least 3 years till price will drop into $1000. Even for $1000 it'll be unreachable for most users.I'd rather see SAMSUNG, DELL, LG pushing 27'' 1440p monitors into mainstream with price something like $300-350. At the moment for that price one can only get poxy Korean screens. I'm sure this would make more sales than 4k $3500 madness.
    0
  • very expensive screen that's for sure. it'll take at least 3 years till price will drop into $1000. Even for $1000 it'll be unreachable for most users.I'd rather see SAMSUNG, DELL, LG pushing 27'' 1440p monitors into mainstream with price something like $300-350. At the moment for that price one can only get poxy Korean screens. I'm sure this would make more sales than 4k $3500 madness.
    0
  • This is very clearly primarily a display for graphics professionals (good Adobe RGB mode, factory calibrated, uniformity compensation). Because for raw eye-popping image quality - which is what your average consumer is looking to improve - 1000:1 contrast ratio is pathetic. That's why display tech such as Plasma TVs and high-end Projectors with 10,000:1, 20,000:1 and even higher contrast ratio are truly stunning. The high pixel density here makes for nice sharpness but it doesn't really compensate for the lack of contrast, and I haven't even mentioned motion clarity...
    2
  • I've added it to my Flea-Bay alerts, so as soon as someone is bored of one of these.... :)But to you all I have a simple question - is the latency too much for gaming, I mean really? I don't go around measuring latency, so you real-world opinions, I seek.Thanks.
    0
  • Overpriced garbage with shit contrast and input lag. Wake me up when we wave 20"+ OLED in the 1k range.
    -1