Dell UltraSharp U2311H: 23-inch E-IPS LCD Monitor

Chris Heinonen at AnandTech:

Overall the Dell U2311H did a good job as a display, especially when you consider how affordable you can find it available for. The backlight uniformity leaves a bit to be desired, but the dE level was capable of getting to a level that was suitable for print work. The contrast ratio of 1000:1 was very nice compared to other monitors in the same price class as well.

The Dell UltraSharp U2311H sports a 23-inch 6-bit+AFRC e-IPS LCD with a pixel format of 1920×1080. Most say 6-bit+AFRC is just as good as an 8-bit LCD panel since a large majority of us can’t tell the difference. Well if color is important I recommend getting a true 8-bit LCD panel.

I must say Dell’s website is a pain to navigate through. It took way too long for me to find 23-inch monitors. It’s under “Electronics, Software & Accessories” if you’re looking. And when I got there the U2311H is nowhere to be found. I did find the UltraSharp U2312HM, which looks to be quite similar to the U2311H. The main difference is the backlight: the U2311H uses a mercury-laden CCFL backlight while the U2312HM packs one with LEDs. The CCFL backlight makes use of four tubes and is edge lit.

There are three major knocks on the U2311H. First is the 6-bit LCD panel. Folks who care about color should go after IPS displays but not one that’s 6-bit. Second is the CCFL backlight. Get the U2312HM with the LED backlight. It will turn on instantly, will be more robust, and save energy. You’ll also know that you didn’t help drive demand for CCFL and the mercury inside. And finally, the biggest flaw is mistaken identity. The U2311H seems to be targeted to folks who care about color, hence IPS, but then gets there half way with a 6-bit LCD panel and a CCFL backlight. Priced at MSRP US$319. If you don’t mind a 6-bit+AFRC e-IPS LCD panel, I recommend getting the U2312HM with a LED backlight instead, for the same price.