There is no question that ultra-high definition (UHD) monitors represent the future of display technology, but as is the case with the content they are designed to show, the monitors themselves are not that plentiful in the market. If the recently concluded CES is any indication, then we will soon be flooded with a plethora of UHD monitors including some built with OLED.
Until the newer versions arrive later this year, discerning users can choose between a few UHD LCD monitors already available such as the Dell UP3216Q.
HIGH ON ALL COUNTS
The Dell UP3216Q is a 32-inch monitor with a maximum resolution of 3840 by 2160. Compared to the regular full HD monitors that are available aplenty, this monitor’s price is also on the other end of the scale. This is definitely a monitor aimed at elite end of the professional market.
As with other Dell monitors and even a few from other manufacturers, the Dell UP3216Q has a black with brushed aluminium design. The black bezels and surfaces have a nice matte finish. The panel itself has a non-reflective, anti-glare coating. This is far more appealing in a workplace environment than highly reflective glossy screens.
There are also six touch-sensitive buttons including the power switch positioned along the lower right side of the monitor. The monitor stand has a brushed aluminium finish which is all the rage these days. Although larger and thicker, it reminds one of the Asus Zen AIO PC stand. The stand also has a mounting arm for holding the large and heavy panel.
The UP3216Q can be tilted quite a bit horizontally and vertically to achieve the best viewing position. But keep in mind that the panel cannot be rotated 90 degrees or even close to it for a portrait feel. Hardly surprising considering the size of the panel itself. The Dell UP3216Q monitor can also be wall mounted. Considering its sheer size, it will make an excellent replacement for a 4K TV, albeit an expensive one.
The UP3216Q is equipped with two DisplayPorts, an HDMI port and five USB 3 ports. All the ports are tucked away at the back of the cabinet and not that easily accessible. It would have been better if at least the USB ports were split along the twin sides of the monitor. The included 6-in-1 card reader is also a welcome addition.
The UP3216Q can be customised using the on-screen-display menu system. There are no depressible buttons, only touch-sensitive buttons on the bezel itself. There are seven preset modes available – Standard, Multimedia, Movie, Game, Paper, Colour Temperature and Colour Space.
We suspect most regular owners will not bother mucking around with the preset colour settings and will stick with the default Standard settings. In our tests using 4K videos and PC games like Need For Speed, we could not see a dramatic difference between the seven presets, particularly the first five.
The last two presets are obviously aimed at the professional designer. This category of buyers require precise control over colour grades and colour temperature.
The colour Space selections include Adobe RGB, sRGB and two calibrated modes. The Adobe RGB colour space is an RGB colour space developed by Adobe Systems in 1998. It was designed to encompass most of the colours achievable on CMYK colour printers, but using RGB primary colours on a device such as this monitor.
sRGB is a standard RGB colour space created cooperatively by HP and Microsoft in 1996 for use on monitors, printers and the internet. sRGB used a gamma curve typical of CRTs in the 1990’s. This specification allowed sRGB to be directly displayed on typical CRT monitors and helped its acceptance worldwide.
There has always been dispute in the industry over which colour specification offers the greatest range. Overall, these days, most professional artists prefer to stick with sRGB as it is now an accepted global standard.
But fans of Adobe RGB need not be disappointed. Adobe RGB has a reputation for requiring expert software to setup and that is exactly what this monitor provides. This Dell monitor comes with its own calibration software. This allows you to tweak the colour settings to your heart’s content.
The UP3216Q has brightness, contrast settings and there are PC, Mac gamma settings as well. The DisplayPort 1.2 setting allows the monitor to display the image at 60Hz although it is set at 30Hz by default. But you will need to pair it with a suitable graphics card that can output 4K images at 60Hz.
Many PCs with integrated graphics and low-end GPUs do not ship with a DisplayPort at all. However, this should not be a problem for the buyers of this monitor as they would likely be graphics professionals with workstation-class graphics cards such as Nvidia Quadro and AMD Fire Pro.
EXCELLENT IMAGE QUALITY
The UP3216Q’s image quality is excellent – exactly the key feature demanded by the design professionals that it is aimed at. 4K photos and videos look stunning on this monitor with excellent levels of contrast between the light and dark areas. If you are seeking a monitor which can display dozens of shades of a particular colour with clear separation between them, then you do not have to look beyond this Dell monitor.
The eight millisecond response time of the UP3216Q is not the fastest around from a gamer’s perspective. But the picture quality is beyond compare. This is particularly evident while playing a horror game like SOMA which has a lot of areas of grey and absolute darkness. This monitor can immerse you in such games like no other.
There is no question that the Dell UP3216Q monitor is one of the best that money can buy.
A very good monitor suitable for the professional market
Written by Ajith Ram