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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  • Dug - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - link

    Thanks for doing this review. I appreciate the time and work put into it.
    This is exactly what I've been looking for.
  • ryko - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - link

    sorry i meant we are seeing 10-20ms on models with a scaler...still not enough to be that concerned about
  • haukionkannel - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - link

    There is a lot of talk that imput lag may be due scaler. Any chance of getting allso 1440 mode imput lag in comparison. Not all monitors can do it, but it would be nice to see... or is is impossible because you can not get comparison from ctr?
  • cheinonen - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - link

    No 1440p CRT available means no available no-lag reference display unfortunately. I'll be done with 27" displays here soon I imagine and back to displays that can be tested for lag.
  • Pessimism - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - link

    Since you are running several color calibrations with extremely expensive tools, why not provide the resulting ICC profiles to readers on the website? I'm certain the demand is there.
  • cheinonen - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - link

    I don't provide an ICC profile for a simple reason: Monitors (and projectors and TVs and everything else I review and calibrate) are manufactured with a certain tolerance on every component inside of them. If I pull 10 displays off the line and put the same settings into them, I'm almost certain to get 10 different results. I have no way of knowing if the settings from one display are going to benefit or detract from another display.

    I fully realize I can put up the ICC file and say "Here it is, use at your own risk", but I also know that same ICC file is going to wind up hosted somewhere, or passed to someone as an "AnandTech U2713HM Calibration File" with no explanation as to the fact that it might make your display less accurate, and then a user will either wonder why their display is worse than before, or believe that the review it came from was obviously flawed because that file didn't work for them.

    Basically, there's no way to get a display more accurate aside from having your display calibrated, and sharing settings is just as likely to make a display worse as to making it better. I always mention the preset mode I used for testing, as I try to find the most accurate one, but that's the long reason behind no ICC profiles being shared.
  • Despoiler - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - link

    TFT Central has a review of this monitor and they put up their calibrated ICC files for download.
  • Guspaz - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - link

    It's bizarre that this review does not compare against what is quite possibly the most relevant monitor to compare against, the U2711, which the U2713HM would seem to replace. Dell still sells the U2711, for that matter. Surely it's relevant to see how this model compares to the previous model, since this review gives no indication beyond cost of why somebody should choose the U2713HM over the U2711.
  • twtech - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - link

    Dell usually runs periodic sales though, so I'm hoping I can do it for under $2k.
  • secretmanofagent - Thursday, October 4, 2012 - link

    Hey, I might have missed this mentioned in the article. Does it have the same antiglare coating that the U2412M has? I have one, and the spotty/blur that it causes on white backgrounds can be pretty annoying.

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