Dell U2713HM Design, OSD, and Specs

The U2713HM is an LED-backlit display that offers the sRGB colorspace and a resolution of 2560x1440. It uses an IPS panel that is 8-bit, but unlike the U2711 doesn’t support AFRC for simulated 10-bit color. Like all Dell monitors I have seen so far, it has a base that supports height, tilt, pivot, and swivel adjustments. Installation is a snap with Dell’s standard mounting system where you just slip the monitor onto the stand and it clicks into place. The front is nice and clean, lacking any stickers or text aside from the Dell logo, and all the OSD controls are handled by a set of unlabeled buttons on the right-hand side.

I have to complement Dell on the packaging for this monitor as well. Totally forgoing Styrofoam and only using a simple cardboard design, similar to recent Sony Blu-ray players, it both keeps the display safe and doesn’t fall apart, making it easy to reuse the packaging later. If you aren’t keeping the packaging, it also makes recycling the included materials much easier. I appreciate both the eco-friendliness and the ease of removing the monitor from the box. Dell thankfully puts a page detailing the monitor setup at the very top of the box, something other vendors would be wise to start doing.

Dell's U2713HM also offers 2x USB 3.0 ports on the side, and two more on panel with the video connections. The panel offers DisplayPort 1.2, VGA, DVI, and HDMI inputs, as well as a connection for Dell’s soundbar speaker. The PSU is integrated into the display so there is a standard 3-prong IEC socket rounding out the connections. Nothing on the U2713HM is flashy or groundbreaking; it's just very utilitarian. It’s not going to stand out in a way that makes you remember it at first glance, but after using so many other displays I also find there isn’t anything poorly designed that stands out either. Overall the design of the Dell U2713HM is clean and well done.

I have always given Dell high marks for their OSD and I will continue to do so here. With four buttons to control it, none of which are labeled, you would think it might be tricky but it is not. With clear on-screen labels and descriptions of the controls, as well as avoiding the common mistake of having keys labeled with arrows control menus that move the other direction, Dell does a good job here of making it easy to navigate and control. The menu options are clear, with your standard preset modes, brightness and contrast, input selection, and more display settings. One missing item is an option for an overdrive or gaming mode to improve pixel response, though in practice we haven't seen major improvements from such modes on other displays. Another missing feature is the ability to automatically select an input, which makes using it with multiple devices a little harder. The OSD remains essentially unchanged from previous Dell displays, but they have no reason to go back and reinvent it either.

Viewing angles are good for an IPS as we expect them to be. There is a light coating of anti-glare, but nothing that I find to be objectionable or that caused issues with the image for me. Unless you're trying to look at the U2713HM from a 170 degree angle or so, you shouldn't have any issues viewing it and seeing color or contrast shifts in normal use.

Dell U2713HM
Video Inputs DisplayPort 1.2, DL-DVI, HDMI, Dsub
Panel Type IPS
Pixel Pitch 0.23mm
Colors 16.7 Million
Brightness 350 Nits
Contrast Ratio 1000:1
Response Time 8ms GTG
Viewable Size 27"
Resolution 2560x1440
Viewing Angle 178/178 Horizontal/Vertical
Backlight LED
Power Consumption (operation) 42W Typical
Power Consumption (standby) 0.5W
Screen Treatment Light Anti-Glare coating
Height-Adjustable Yes, 4.5" of range
Tilt Yes
Pivot Yes
Swivel Yes
VESA Wall Mounting Yes, 100mm
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 25.17" x 7.89" x 16.70"
Weight 12.44 lbs. without stand
Additional Features USB 3.0 hub (4 port), Dell Soundbar Power Connector
Limited Warranty 3 years
Accessories DVI Cable, VGA Cable, USB Cable
Price $799

The design and user interface of the Dell U2713HM seem to be up to the task, but how does it perform relative to other 27" models that have recently come through for testing?

Dell U2713HM Brightness and Contrast
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  • 10101010 - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - link

    It may be that there is lack of uniformity in the application of the anti-glare coating so one monitor of the same brand/model may be a lot worse than one from a different batch, or perhaps just the next one on the assembly line.

    I have some older Samsung PVA monitors with anti-glare coatings that don't have the problems I've seen on newer monitors. It isn't just Dell with the overly sandy/grainy/sparkly anti-glare coatings. Not too long ago I ordered two HP monitors that had the same problem, so I sent them back. Even in the reviews of NEC's expensive professional monitors, the optical distortion from the anti-glare coatings has been noted by the reviewers.

    At the end of the day, it seems no one except for Apple has the strength of will to make a monitor without an anti-glare coating. It is not surprising that Apple is doing well and virtually every other computer company is flailing. Revenue growth is correlated with innovation growth. And the inability to innovate even in small details shows how moribund and obsolete traditional PC hardware companies are becoming.
  • peterfares - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - link

    No anti-glare coating is innovation now? No. The anti-glare coating was added because using monitors without it in professional settings (which have lots of fluorescent lights) is unbearable.

    I have a U3011 at home and the only place I can put my desk is right next to a window. The anti-glare coating is a lifesaver. I'd go insane if it was glossy are reflected everything from outside.
  • Impulses - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - link

    While that may be true of a lot of things... Glossy screens are the devil in many professional and indoor overhead-lit environments; even amongst MBP users a lot of people end opting for or wishing for anti glare displays... It's more of a personal choice than anything. I

    can't stand glossy displays on my desk but it's possible I've never adjusted the room lighting enough to really be able to adjust to a glassy display. I'm definitely hoping for a matte one my next laptop, although I don't use it much at home (still bothers me elsewhere).
  • iSayuSay - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - link

    Thunderbolt!! It's 2012 and I'm done with Apple BS with their $1000 display solution? Why Dell did not going all out and kill Apple Thunderbolt Display? It has USB 3.0 and a few PC mainboards also popping out with TB port. So it's a good time to show Apple is not the only one!
  • peterfares - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - link

    This has DisplayPort which is the video tech used in thunderbolt. USB 3.0 would be useless for this monitor other than being used for the USB hub (which it is)
  • Gothmoth - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - link

    i looked at amazon here and the u2711 cost 20 euro LESS then the 2713HM.

    so what to buy if they both cost nearly the same?
  • NeBlackCat - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - link

    1) Whether the Displayport interface carries sound to the monitor, when connected to a Dell laptop. My U3011 doesnt (though HDMI does). Well known problem.

    2) Do (or can) the USB ports remain powered/active when the panel is off? This has bugged me forever on other Dell monitors which don't allow this - makes them next to useless if you like to turn your monitor (but not laptop) off to save energy sometimes.

    3) Long shot, but is CEC supported on DP/HDMI, or is there any other way to turn the monitor on/off, switch inputs, etc, automatically or remotely, and is there an auto-power off timer function? Some folks have their big monitors do double duty as HTPC screens, for which this is useful.

    Note to Dell: since I imagine the answer to the above is 'no', please consider making it 'yes' on a future revision! :)
  • cheinonen - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - link

    1 - I didn't try the audio out, so I don't know, but I can try to check and see
    2 - I didn't turn the panel off, since the power draw in energy saving mode is less than a watt
    3 - This I'm almost certain won't work. There isn't auto-detection for a signal on inputs coming from a PC, so I'm assuming there is no CEC support if it doesn't even have that signal detection.
  • peterfares - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - link

    My U3011 carries sound over DisplayPort. I've only tested it with an HP 2740p tablet though. I have never tried any Dell laptops. My old Studio XPS 1340 has DisplayPort but I gave that to my father and my newer Latitude XT3 only has a DisplayPort on the docking station which I do not own.
  • layte - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - link

    I'd never buy a Dell display ever again. I bought a 3008wfp back in 2008 and it recently failed due to poor component choice by Dell in putting together the PSU (a particular diode fails ). It seems to be a very common problem, with numerous people having the exact same symptoms.

    Dell basically told me to bin it and buy a new one as they don't offer a repair service.

    Yea, thanks for that. Way to keep customers who buy your expensive high end stuff sweet. I'll take a punt on one of those Korean Ebay specials, at least you know they wont care.

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