Results: Brightness And Contrast
To read about our monitor tests in-depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs. Brightness and Contrast testing is covered on page two.
Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level
Today’s comparison group includes two 4K screens, Asus' PB287Q and Dell’s UP2414Q. Also in the mix are NEC’s EA274WMi, a business-class QHD IPS monitor. Finally, we have BenQ’s BL3200PT, a 32-inch QHD-res AMVA display, and LG’s 34UM95, an ultra-wide IPS screen with 3440x1440 pixels.
Dell exceeds its 300cd/m2 claim for the P2815Q with a measurement of 318.6618. That’s plenty of output for just about any application, productivity or entertainment. It also exceeds Asus' offering, which is based on the same panel part.
The maximum black level is right in the middle of the pack. While many TN-based monitors offer darker blacks than their IPS competitors, this new Chi Mei part does not have that advantage.
We look for at least 1000 to 1 contrast in the best displays. The P2815Q falls a bit short at 904.5:1. It’s not too bad, but there’s not much downward room if you plan to calibrate. Luckily, we found it to be very accurate at its default color settings. If you’re looking for even better contrast, AMVA is the hot ticket right now.
Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level
We like to see a minimum output level of around 50cd/m2. Lower values like those from the NEC are too dim to be practical. The P2815Q’s 42.5035cd/m2 result is pretty close, and just within the usability range if your room is completely dark.
The black level drops accordingly, but it’s still mid-pack in this group.
Overall contrast is slightly lower at 888.9 to 1. You’ll barely notice the difference as you change the backlight setting. I’d call this consistent performance. The image looks pretty good no matter what your chosen output setting is.
After Calibration to 200 cd/m2
Here’s what black levels and contrast look like after calibration with the white level set to 200cd/m2.
The black level suffers slightly because we had to reduce the Contrast control for better grayscale results. As you’ll see later, the gain is slight, so we would consider not calibrating in order to preserve the contrast ratio.
By calibrating, we lose 18 percent of the P2815Q’s on/off contrast. It’s a small reduction. However, the corresponding improvement in color accuracy is also small. Luckily, that accuracy is quite good with or without calibration.
ANSI Contrast Ratio
ANSI contrast holds up pretty well at 713 to 1. Even though this is a budget-priced monitor, its build quality is very good. As you’ll see later, it has superb screen uniformity, too. The only place we can see Dell cut corners is the refresh rate.