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Dell P2815Q 28-Inch 4K Ultra HD Monitor Review

Putting a 4K monitor on your desktop means either spending four figures on a 32-inch IGZO screen or going on the cheap with one of the new 28-inch TN-based models. We already reviewed Asus’ PB287Q. Today we look at Dell’s version, the P2815Q.

Results: Grayscale Tracking And Gamma Response

Our grayscale and gamma tests are described in detail here.

This is one of the better out-of-box results we’ve seen. Only a few expensive professional monitors post better-looking charts than the P2815Q. None of the errors are above a visible level. Dell sells several displays with certified factory calibrations. This isn’t one of them, but it performs just as well.

After calibration, we posted slightly better numbers for most of the brightness levels. To the eye there’s no difference. Our only nitpick is that the 20-and 30-percent measurements are virtually unchanged. Dell would have to add a low-range RGB control to make this any better.

Here is our comparison group:

The P2815Q wins the day with an excellent average error of 2.18 Delta E in stock form. It easily earns a place in the “don’t need to calibrate” category.

By making a few adjustments, we reduced the average error to 1.45 Delta E. With the 18-percent contrast reduction, calibration is hard to justify, at least with our particular sample.

Gamma Response

It’s rare that we measure much change in gamma after a calibration. Most monitors only have presets, so there’s typically little control available. The P2815Q has no gamma adjustments at all. Yet, we observe a visible improvement. The pre-cal chart shows a too-light curve with less-than-ideal tracking. The luminance errors grow slightly as brightness levels rise.

After calibration, the curve looks about the same. But it’s much closer to 2.2 than before. Like the grayscale results, this isn’t a huge gain. However, if you’re after ultimate accuracy, it may be worth it to calibrate and sacrifice a little bit of contrast performance.

We return to the comparison group for the gamma tracking and deviation results:

The race is fairly tight, so a fifth-place finish is by no means poor. A .16 range means pretty tight tracking. The values range from a high of 2.24 to a low of 2.09.

Here are the deviation results:

With an average value of 2.15, the P2815Q comes pretty close to the 2.2 standard. We wish there were a few extra presets available so we could choose darker and lighter options based on content. Some games benefit from a lower (brighter) gamma, while film content can be mastered using BT.1886, which requires a higher (darker) setting.

  • bak0n
    Or just go buy a 55" to 65" Samsung 4k TV instead.
    Reply
  • Avus
    "Or just go buy a 55" to 65" Samsung 4k TV instead. "

    So instead of buying a $430 monitor, you suggest people to buy a $2000+ TV. This is beyond stupid...
    Reply
  • larsoncc
    "you have to decide exactly what you want your 4K monitor to do"

    No I don't. I can always choose not to use the tech until they get it right, and if they never do, eh.. oh well!

    High input lag makes this a particularly poor choice. Input lag impacts every task, not just gaming. Forget it.

    Gamers are really in an "interesting" place this year. You can't get a video card to drive UHD even with the newest chips, and buying a monitor is a minefield. Sure, you can do SLI to get to UHD, that'll get you most of the way there... except certain games (AC), and immediately after any game's release (Titanfall), and sometimes you'll need lower settings to accommodate VRAM issues (Evil Within). This of course bodes poorly for games to be released in the upcoming year if you're buying now. It's the wait for proper support that's really disappointing (usually good support, but look at Titanfall and CoD Ghosts as long waits).

    On the monitor side, you can go to 1440p, and watch as your tech is outdated quickly (as 4K/UHD gets its act together...maybe) - and be permanently stuck with a resolution that doesn't scale 1:1 with 1080p (again, hope you're running good GPUs). In all monitor tech, you can get low response times, or great colors, or take a risk on a foreign vendor's product that MIGHT be tricked into doing both but will still have some blur/ghosting. You can get Variable Refresh tech that'll work with one brand of GPU but not the other. Lightboost/ULMB or 3D support is up for consideration, but can't be used with AS/GSync.

    I can't help but think it's all a gigantic mess right now.
    Reply
  • B4vB5
    Avus, a 50 inch UE50HU6900 is 750 euro and UHD@60Hz capable. A 55 inch is just 100 euros more in Europe and thus you should be able to find them for the same dollar amount in the US as right now, that pretty much goes for any HW since we Europeans gets charged more and it just happens to fit with the dollar vs slightly more expensive euro 1:1.
    -------
    I wouldn't be caught dead with this useless monitor in the article. Either go for
    - Quality UHD monitor: Dell IPS 32 inch quality, UP3214Q. 1400 usd isch.
    - Cheap UHD but not junk: Asus 287 for 28-590 Samsung performance but with a much better stand. If wallmounting get the Samsung and save some cash. 500 usd isch.
    - Quality Gaming: Asus 1440p 144Hz super gamer monitor. 1200 usd ish.
    - Desktop real estate and best overall choice: Samsung UE50HU6900 for 8ms B2B UHD@60Hz over HDMi 2.0(Require 970/980). 750 usd isch.

    I'd pick the TV.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    14383255 said:
    On the monitor side, you can go to 1440p, and watch as your tech is outdated quickly (as 4K/UHD gets its act together...maybe) - and be permanently stuck with a resolution that doesn't scale 1:1 with 1080p
    Outdated quickly? PC display resolution takes about a decade to step up between mainstream standards.

    Unless all you do with your PC is watch movies, not scaling 1:1 with 1080p is usually a "don't-care" item - people who are bothered by that would not buy into those sort of resolutions in the first place.
    Reply
  • CerianK
    I picked up the 39" Seiki 4K TV for use as a monitor, patched the BIOS to a modified version of the 50" BIOS that supports 1920x1080p@120Hz (verified and works fine for gaming) and connected it to a Sapphire Dual-X R9 270 using an HDMI to DisplayPort Active Adapter. Fit and finish could be better, but I can't complain about paying $340 (US) for having a giant hi-res 4K desktop and being able to watch 4K videos (what few there are).

    If my eyesight were perfect, I might be able to make use of 4K at 32" (or perhaps a little smaller), but the way mine is, 39" rocks!
    Reply
  • 10tacle
    14383255 said:
    On the monitor side, you can go to 1440p, and watch as your tech is outdated quickly

    What in the world are you talking about? The majority of households have only recently been running 1080p monitors (within the past few years), and the majority of gamers game on 1080p according to many gaming site polls, not QHD. It will be years before 1440p gets to be mainstream in households. They are still considered a luxury buy in the PC market and will be for some time. Further, when 1080p monitors were out after a couple of years, prices dropped sharply. That has not happened with QHD monitors outside of the cheap Korean Apple rejects.

    It's going to be several years before I feel the need or even want to plunk down cash for not only a decent 4K monitor when they actually come out and are reasonably affordable (<$800US) but the GPU(s) to power it at decent frame rate numbers.

    Reply
  • Xander Konrad
    30 hz?
    Reply
  • Avus
    14383401 said:
    Avus, a 50 inch UE50HU6900 is 750 euro and UHD@60Hz capable. A 55 inch is just 100 euros more in Europe and thus you should be able to find them for the same dollar amount in the US as right now, that pretty much goes for any HW since we Europeans gets charged more and it just happens to fit with the dollar vs slightly more expensive euro 1:1.

    Your American pricing ("price convertion") for UHD TV is wrong. The cheapest Samsung 50" 4k is around $1300USD. 2nd tier brand 50" 4k is around $1000USD. They are definitely not as cheap as you think.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    14383801 said:
    It will be years before 1440p gets to be mainstream in households. They are still considered a luxury buy in the PC market and will be for some time.
    The advent of dirt-cheap 1080p screen relegated practically all other resolutions to niche markets so I seriously doubt QHD will ever become a significant mainstream resolution - the same way inexpensive 1080p practically wiped out 1200p.

    About eight years ago, 1080p and 1200p were both available around $300 but today, 1080p is down to $100-150 while 1200p is still $300-500.

    4k will be the next major mainstream resolution about five years from now.
    Reply