Note that our review of this monitor has been a long time coming, as after seeing the U2413 arrive in our lab then head off back to Dell back in 2013, it finally returned for full review almost a year later! It's therefore high time we put this display to the test.
Design & Build
The U2413 has a mostly black design with a look that's classic Dell, sporting subtly rounded edges and a few silver-coloured highlights on its all-plastic casing. The stand has a large, wide base and features a cable feed hole to help keep your workstation looking tidy. All in all, it's pretty standard stuff. The display's matte finish is a real hit though, keeping everything nice and easy to read onscreen even when working in very bright conditions.
As you'd expect with a professional monitor, the stand has plenty of options for adjustment. It pivots into portrait mode, tilts 15° backwards, swivels 45° left and right, and is height-adjustable over 13 cm. Full marks for Dell on that front.
There's a good range of connections here too, with a four-port USB 3.0 hub and an SD card reader on the monitor's left-hand edge, as well as HDMI, DisplayPort, mini-DisplayPort and DVI inputs. There's also a DisplayPort output for direct connection to another monitor and a 3.5 mm audio output jack, which is especially handy since there are no built-in speakers.
It's no surprise to see that the onscreen menu is packed with settings and options. As well as a series of standard colour profiles, there are loads of settings available for fine-tuning colour settings. A Picture In Picture mode is available too, for displaying two sources simultaneously onscreen in different sized windows.
Power use is actually quite high, as the Dell U2413 runs on 51 W at its maximum brightness setting (264 cd/m²) and 40 W with brightness set to 200 cd/m². That works out as 280 W/m² for this 24" display, whereas we usually see 100 to 150 W/m² on average for computer monitors.
Colours & Contrast
As well as testing picture quality with the factory settings and with our recommended settings from the OSD, we also calibrated the Dell U2413 with the X-Rite i1 Display Pro colour sensor. The results after calibration have no impact on the monitor's overall score, but they give perfection-seeking users an idea of what they'll get by installing our ICC colour profile for this monitor, which is available to download from this page.
As a monitor aimed first and foremost at imaging pros, Dell has no room for slip-ups with the U2413. And although picture quality is certainly good with the factory settings, we have to admit that we were hoping to see some slightly more impressive results. With a slightly cool colour temperature at 7132 K, gamma at 2.1 and the average Delta E 94 at 2.0 (anything under 3 equates to "accurate" colours), quality is definitely good, but we still think that there's room for improvement. Plus, the 691:1 average contrast is quite low, mainly because the black doesn't seem deep enough.
So while the out-of-the-box settings are perfectly fine, we had a hunch that we could improve things by heading into the OSD and changing a few of the many settings on offer here. First, we recommend switching the brightness down to 41 (200 cd/m²). Next, go to the "Colour Temp" menu and select "5700 K" (!). It may sound crazy, but trust us, it works.
This brings the colour temperature down to an excellent 6400 K, keeps gamma at 2.1 and drops the Delta E 94 slightly to 1.9. Contrast still stays quite low, however, at 730:1. All in all, image quality is accurate enough for editing photos and graphic design.
Anyone looking to take things further can download and install our colour calibration profile for the Dell UltraSharp U2413. We carried out our own calibration with the sensor and software we use to make all our calibration profiles, but the U2413 comes with its own software for hardware calibration (Dell UltraSharp Colour Calibration Solution) directly onboard the display.
With the calibration profile, the results are even closer to perfection, with colour temperature measured at 6467 K, gamma at 2.2 and the average Delta E at 0.9. It's just a shame that the contrast stays at 641:1.
Brightness levels are even over the display, with an average variation of just 6%. There are no visible traces of light leaking through from the backlighting but the black lacks a little depth, which is often the way with IPS screens.
The Dell U2413 doesn't use a Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) function to regulate brightness. PWM varies the intensity of the LED backlights in a regular backlight scan and can be perceived as a slight shimmer by certain users. It may even lead to headaches and eye-strain in some cases.
Ghosting Time, measured in ms, is the time it takes the screen to remove a previous frame.
The lower the ghosting time, the smoother onscreen movement will look.
Response times are pretty good for an IPS screen. In fact, the Dell U2413 is a versatile monitor that's suitable for office computing, watching movies, surfing the web and even a spot of gaming if you're not too demanding. The 26 ms input lag works out at less than two frames of latency, which won't be noticeable when gaming.
- Accurate image quality straight out of the box
- Adobe RBG colour space is handy for photographers
- Great hardware features (stand, connections, etc.)
- Matte screen is very nice to work with
- 16:10 aspect ratio
- Disappointing contrast (under 750:1)
- Dell UltraSharp Colour Calibration Solution software only available for Windows
It's hard to find fault with the Dell UltraSharp U2413. With its 16:10 aspect ratio, 1920 x 1200-pixel resolution and Dell's accompanying software for hardware calibration, this display will be ideal for imaging pros such as photographers and graphic designers looking for a versatile piece of kit. It's a shame that contrast is a little on the low side, but that's the only thing we really found to complain about!