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

Dell UP3214Q, Accuracy Beyond Compare

If you’ve made it this far, it should be fairly obvious that Dell delivers a winning product in its UP3214Q. Yes, the price of admission is substantial, but this is a bleeding-edge product that performs far better than most first-gen technology. If you have the necessary graphics hardware, the UP3214Q is a true plug-and-play 4K solution.

Asus gave us excellent build quality with its PQ321Q, but Dell goes a little bit further. This is the most metal we’ve seen in any computer component outside of a case. Not only do you get a slick aluminum band around the panel’s perimeter, but the entire base and upright are made from the same material. We also really like the easy snap-on installation of those parts.

Feature-wise, the UP3214Q is quite complete. Three digital inputs take care of any potential (and relevant) source. We would have really liked to see HDMI 2.0 compatibility, but admittedly that interface is still in its infancy, having only been ratified a few months ago. Both DisplayPort connectors support full resolution at 60 Hz though, so long as your video card is multi-stream-compatible. We also applaud the inclusion of four USB 3.0 ports and an SD card reader.

For tweakers like us, the UP3214Q provides hours of enjoyment. With two nearly perfect presets for sRGB and Adobe RGB, plus a CMS and full grayscale control, you can calibrate this display to an extremely high standard. We recorded several top or near-top results in our tests. Most notable, perhaps, was color accuracy. Our benchmark takes the average of 30 measurements to arrive at an overall Delta E value. Any display that scores under one is exceptional, and Dell joins that exclusive club with its .75 result. In fact, the only other display in the same club isn't even a computer monitor; it’s a Pioneer plasma we use as a comparison point for our HDTV reviews!

Of course, contrast is an equally important metric and the UP3214Q beats Asus by a nose there as well, similarly maintaining a constant contrast ratio of around 1000:1 at all brightness levels. We run our tests at 200 cd/m2 as always, but you will see ideal image quality no matter your preference. Really, this monitor works well in any environment we can imagine without making quality compromises. Our only warning is to be careful with the Uniformity Compensation feature. While it does improve screen uniformity, it also reduces contrast by 25 percent. We were very happy with this display in an unaltered state, but your mileage may vary.

At least on paper, all of the 31.5” 4K panels seem stuck at $3500. Newegg is currently selling the UP3214Q for $2500 though, knocking $1000 off. We're not sure how long that will last, and it's still a steep price on high-end technology. But you can at least snag a pair of GeForce GTX 780s with the savings. Even more relief is in sight, too. We just received Dell’s UP2414Q, which retails for $1300, and that review will follow shortly. 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.

There’s no question that 4K is here. Adoption will move along slowly for as long as prices remain stratospheric, but more affordable models continue tempting us. Stay tuned because we’re confident there are many more high-res display reviews to come!

Christian Eberle
Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.