We're slowly working our way through the U series of monitors from Dell. We've already looked at the U2311H and the higher end U2711; both have impressed thanks to a beautiful IPS panel which brings us accurate colours and just a generally great overall look.
While IPS panels are generally associated with high costs, the U2311H has shown this to not be true. Today we're going to be looking at the even more budget friendly U2211H which shaves a little off the total screen size. The question is, how does this affect the overall feel of the U2211H?
Getting into the package, there's nothing too out of the ordinary with the standard brown Dell box showing the model number. Inside we've got some paperwork, DVI cable, Power Cable and a driver CD.
When it comes to features, the U2211H mirrors the U2311H which means we've got that IPS Panel, native 1920 x 1080 resolution, 10,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 300 cd/m2 brightness and a 8ms G2G response time. Connectivity is also identical with DVI, VGA and DisplayPort inputs. We've also got 4 USB 2.0 ports and a fifth that connects to your PC. There is also the DC power connector for the Soundbar if you want to add it on for an extra cost.
The only place the U2211H differs to the U2311H is the overall size; while you may think it's a 22" screen it's actually a 21.5" screen. The U2311H is a bit larger at 23". We'll talk about this more in just a moment though.
Getting into using the monitor we've got the same menu layout as the U2311H and the U2711. Like the U2311H, we've got push buttons which are easier to use versus the touch sensitive U2711 design. It's just not as cool though, and what you end up with is a more functional setup versus a pretty and fiddly one.
Design-wise the U2211H carries the same design as the other U series monitors: plain, elegant and boring to some. It's a simple design that I'm personally a fan of; I like to let the IPS panel do the talking and not the bezel / stand. The square and plain design does make for a very nice Eyefinity or Surround Vision setup if you wanted to buy three.
While on the topic of the stand, movement is good with the ability to move from portrait to landscape while also angling and turning the monitor in the configurations as shown in the above images.
The screen itself shows us all the benefits we've seen from the other U series IPS Dell monitors while also showing the same flaws. That means colour range is fantastic and colours on a whole are gorgeous. Bleed is small with only a little seen in the bottom left and upper left corner. It's only noticeable when looking at an all black screen and not other colours or in general situations like gaming and movie watching.
On the gaming and movie front there are no surprises thanks to the Full HD resolution. HD content looks great and gaming is also fantastic, although we do have that typical ghosting issue seen on IPS panels. Like we've mentioned before, it's ultimately only something you will find if you're looking for it; once you're in the thick of the action you just enjoy the U2211H for what it is.
At idle power draw bounces between .6w and .8w which falls in line with the less than 1w figure Dell quote. When running, we're drawing 25.5w which is a little higher than the typical 22w Dell quote. That number is clearly stated as typical so we can't complain. Compared to the U2311H, idle is the same while load is almost 8w lower.
So if you've got the extra money, should you would just pay the extra for that 1.5"s? Not necessarily; the pixel pitch on the U2311H is .265mm, on the U2211H it's .247mm. What you've got is the same amount of pixels squashed onto a smaller screen. What this ultimately results in is everything is sharper compared to the U2311H.
It's not as great an addition for some over others simply because everything is sharper. The smaller screen means images are smaller which means it can be harder on some eyes then others. Being sharper does mean in games that features like Anti Aliasing aren't as important; at the same time that 1.5" could be the difference in the immersion level you feel in the game.
If you enjoy that sharpness and your eyes can handle the smaller text like me you would pick up the U2211H over the U2311H any day. If you want something a little bigger and don't mind paying slightly more then the U2311H is a better option.
While the two monitors aren't separated by much in price, both models are great options and both aim at a different market. What I feel is that the U2211H is better at is Eyefinity and Surround Vision. For starters, that extra 1.5" isn't going to be noticed when you've got three monitors in front of you. The inclusion of DisplayPort means that it's 100% Eyefinity friendly. Across three monitors, the cost saving is easy to spot and with the three monitors power draw at load would be almost 24w lower than three U2311Hs.
As a standalone monitor the U2211H has no problems standing on its own merit. The smaller size compared to the U2311H means it will be nicer for some users and not so much for others. Buying one or the other will come down to personal preference and budget. With Tri-Monitor setups gaining momentum, I feel the U2211H is a clear winner over the U2311H for the reasons mentioned above. Outside of just comparing the monitor to the U2311H, I would say the U2211H is the best monitor for a Tri-Monitor setup on the market. Having three 1920 x 1080 screens with DisplayPort and an IPS panel for under $1,000 US or AUD definitely makes this an attractive option.