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Tom's Hardware's 2011 Gift Guide: Part 2, Last-Minute Extras

Monitor: Dell U2410 24”


Dell has emerged as one of our favorite monitor brands over the last few years, and it wasn’t an affection that we gave willingly. The company’s doldrums of a decade ago left us needing to be impressed, but the UltraSharp LCD series, with its IPS panels and stunning color accuracy, has done exactly that.

The U2410 is a luscious 24” widescreen (16:10) display with 1920x1200 native resolution and a specified 80 000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Dell lets the typical color gamut of 110% look its most riveting by being one of the few vendors that color calibrates its premium displays at the factory. Of course, you can still tweak colors or opt for preset modes. There are parameters for hue, gain, saturation, offset, and other variables. Also note that Dell has a zero defective pixel policy for this unit. The advance exchange warranty is good for three years.

Now, with so much hullaballoo about LED backlighting and its environmental benefits, you may be surprised to learn that the U2410 still uses CCFL tubes. This is why the monitor sports a 75 W normal power consumption. We would refer you back to our backlight comparison analysis published last May (CCFL Versus LED: Is There A Downside To Going Green?). With a 400 cd/m2 typical brightness, 1000:1 true contrast ratio, and 100% coverage of the sRGB color space, Dell has positioned this IPS display toward an audience that appreciates color accuracy. As we found, the accuracy of CCFL remains superior to today’s LCD implementations. It may be somewhat less dazzling at first glance, and the U2410’s 6 ms refresh time may strike some gamers as merely adequate, but for those who demand precision, the U2410 delivers. Support for VGA, DVI-D, DisplayPort, component, composite, HDMI, a media card reader, and integrated four-port USB 2.0 hub is merely decoration on the tree.