The Dell UltraSharp U2312HM is a superb alternative to the popular U2412M. The most important difference between the two is that the U2312HM has an aspect ratio of 16:9 instead of 16:10, thus making it more suitable for console users.
I was of two minds when it came down to reviewing the Dell U2312HM. On one hand, the Dell U2312HM had some amazing features and design choices, but on the other hand the Dell U2312HM falls short in some areas of performance.
Ultimately though, the price and value of the Dell U2312HM remain outstanding. Rest assured that there will be a conclusive review by the end of this article, but keep in mind that there will be as many supporters as there are detractors on the Dell U2312HM.
Firstly, the Dell U2312HM is a 23 inch, IPS panel with power-efficient W-LED back lighting technology, with a 16:9 aspect ratio screen and boasting 1920×1080 Full HD resolution, with a 2,000,000:1 (typical) dynamic contrast ratio and 8ms with overdrive (typical) gray-to-gray response time.
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Looks & Design
One of the positive points that is immediately apparent from the beginning is its appearance. The Dell U2312HM has a contemporary design with soft curves around the frame and screen that gives it a light and thin appearance. The bezel is thin and measuring at only 17mm wide along all sides. The Dell U2312HM is not all shine and sparkles to give off a fanciful appearance but neither is it a dinosaur in the looks department. In fact, the Dell U2312HM would not look out of place in any modern day office. In keeping with that, there is also the option to mount the screen on the wall via a VESA-compatible 100mm X 100mm wall mount kit (not included) as the stand is easily detachable.
Adjustability and Accessibility
On the topic of the Dell U2312HM’s stand, it is easily one of the best I have come across as any adjustments to the Dell U2312HM’s height, pivoting, tilting or swivelling (90º) can be easily and comfortably done one-handed. The excellence of the Dell U2312HM stand continues in holding the monitor steadily in place without any threat of wobbling and the Dell U2312HM feels very sturdy and well built. The specifics of the height adjustment range stands at 130mm whilst the tilt range of the panel goes up to 4° forward or 21° backward.
The Dell U2312HM does not stop there as its back panel is also nicely rounded off and more importantly, is enclosed well with a convenient cable tidy hole. The back panel of the Dell U2312HM houses the D-SUB, DVI, VGA and DisplayPort connections together with two USB 2.0 ports. A further two USB 2.0 ports may be found at the left panel for easier access. A nice touch is that all of these connections are located under the screen as opposed to them protruding in a perpendicular manner from the back panel.
Now to some of the negatives points of the Dell U2312HM. Firstly, it does not have any integrated speakers, which is a personal pet peeve of mine, though it does have a single connection for Dell’s sound bar should one wish to add external speakers. Secondly, whilst having an option for dynamic contrast ratio it does not however do anything or have a substantial effect on anything in particular. The Dell U2312HM further does not have any HDMI video connections, which is a disappointment for anyone looking to connect their monitors to any external devices.
Buttons and Menus
On the face of the Dell U2312HM, there are actual OSD buttons on the bottom right corner of the screen, which is a design choice I always find convenient. The OSD buttons here are also subtly designed and streamlined without being distracting.
I would say that it is almost too subtle as it does not have any indication of the functions of the buttons and the only way to learn of their functions is to press them and see what happens. The Dell U2312HM’s screen also comes with an anti glare matte coating which is lighter and have a less grainy feel to it and that is different from those of the glossy or semi-glossy variety.
On to the capabilities of the Dell U2312HM. Switching the monitor on reveals the impressive W-LED backlight screen of the Dell U2312HM, which is capable of producing vibrant images to a maximum of 352cd/m2 brightness and even more impressively, does not have serious backlight bleeding issues. Backlight bleeding at the edges of the display is only ever a real issue for the Dell U2312HM if in a completely dark room. Even so, I found that this did not substantially affect my enjoyment.
The Dell U2312HM has a 926:1 contrast ratio display which is able to produce better details in dark images and scenes. The Dell U2312HM boasts a 6-bit colour depth with Advanced frame rate control (A-FRC) to produce the 16.7 million colors but has a colour temperature of about 6,152K which is slightly warmer than 6,500k causing a slight blushing effect to the display.
Tests on the factory settings of the Dell U2312HM reveals that Luminance at 75% brightness was recorded at 215 cd/m2 which is entirely too high and too bright for prolonged daily usage. However, the black depth at this setting was a decent 0.25 cd/m2.
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The Dell U2312HM comes with a standard, multimedia, movie, game, text, colour temperature and custom colour settings. The Dell U2312HM also has display settings options for external device monitor aspect ratio of 16:9, 4:3 and 5:4 respectively.
On the topic of the factory settings, the Dell U2312HM has a slightly hidden Overdrive option to boost pixel transitions across grey to grey changes and to reduce motion blur. This Overdrive option is accessible through the factory menu however I would not recommend tinkering with it if unsure or not confident. Game testing on the Dell U2312HM shows that the Dell U2312HM may be sufficient for moderate gaming, showing low to moderate levels of motion blur with the Overdrive control turned on. I would say that this should have been made more easily accessible rather than having to go through the factory menu for any tweaking.
The colors on the Dell U2312HM for gaming however are an entirely different story. I would strongly recommend readjustments to the settings rather than gaming on the factory settings as it would be a disservice to the Dell U2312HM’s capabilities not to do so is. Image blurring / ghosting issues remain low to moderate with occasionally noticeable spikes depending on the action on screen with low input lag. At the end of the day, I cannot confidently recommend the Dell U2312HM to hardcore gamers but for most people its minor to moderate ghosting issues would not overwhelm its other positive points. The Dell U2312HM is a pretty decent choice if you are looking for a 23″ IPS screen for gaming.
The Dell U2312HM proves itself an excellent choice when it comes down to watching movies, as not only does the 178° viewing angles prove incredible in allowing several people to comfortably view the screen at once, the aforementioned stand of the Dell U2312HM makes it super convenient to accommodate different viewing angles as well. One proviso to that is that viewing from extreme angles will still result in diminishing visual fidelity. Other than that, the good pixel responsiveness makes the Dell U2312HM fully capable of keeping up with fast moving scenes in movies without trouble.
The Dell U2312HM’s monitor is also exceptional in the power consumption department as even at absolute maximum settings, the power consumed stood was only at about 30W. Lowering and tweaking the brightness to the standard 120cd/m2 resulted in power consumption being nearly halved to about 16W. While on standby, the Dell U2312HM only uses a mere 0.5W. The Dell U2312HM’s power consumption is made better by features such as Energy Smart and PowerNap software that basically allows the screen to go into sleep mode once it has gone to the screensaver.
A last minor point is that the Dell U2312HM has a slight electronic buzz which may annoy those with sensitive ears.
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With all of the features and performance of the Dell U2312HM in mind, I find myself on the fence when it comes down to recommending it. I would say that the Dell U2312HM is not the best of choices for hardcore gaming, and coming from a gamer’s perspective, I can see how it may be a deal breaker when I hear issues of its performance in this area. However, for its value, display quality and all around flexibility, the Dell U2312HM is certainly worth considering if you are in the market for a new monitor