by Kevin OBrien

In The Lab: Dell UltraSharp 32" 4K Monitor

The Dell UltraSharp 32 Ultra HD Monitor (UP3214Q) is designed for video editing, animation, application and game development as well as other use cases where having fine detail on your monitor is imperative. With a native resolution of 3840 x 2160, four times as much space as 1080p, the UP3214Q has exceedingly high pixel-density, allowing us to see the smallest of details in GUI, videos, and images. The Dell 4K monitor also features PremierColor technology, which provides reliable, true-to-life color as well as factory-tuned Adobe RGB and sRGB modes; all without requiring extensive calibration.  In addition, the UP3214Q also works well in dark areas due to its color depth of 1.07 billion colors. The monitor itself is 31.5 inches with a 176°/176° viewing angle, allowing us to have ample room for most of interface and monitoring needs. In addition, digital workspace management is aided by the Dell Display Manager’s Easy Arrange feature, allowing users to easily display windows side by side. The monitor also enables us to quickly and easily adjust it when needed using the tilt, swivel, and height-adjust functionality.

Dell UltraSharp 32 Ultra HD Monitor (UP3214Q) specifications:

  • Diagonally Viewable Size: 31.5 in (80.1 cm)
  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (16:9)
  • Panel Type, Surface: IGZO LCD, In-plane switching, anti glare with hard coat 3H
  • Optimal resolution:
    • 3840 x 2160 at 60 Hz (DP1.2)
    • 3840 x 2160 at 30Hz HDMI
  • Contrast Ratio:
    • 1000: 1 (typical)
    • 2 Million:1 (Max) (Dynamic Contrast Ratio)
  • Brightness: 350 cd/m2 (typical)
  • Response Time: 8ms (gray to gray)
  • Viewing Angle: (176° vertical / 176° horizontal)
  • Color Support:
    • Color Gamut (typical): Adobe RGB 99%, sRGB 100%
    • 1.074 Billion colors (10 Bits)
  • Pixel Pitch: 0.182 mm
  • Pixel Per Inch (PPI): 140
  • Backlight Technology: LED
  • Display Type: Widescreen Flat Panel Display
  • Display Screen Coating: Antiglare with hard-coating 3H
  • Connectivity:
    • 1 HDMI connector
    • 1 Mini DisplayPort
    • 1 DisplayPort (version 1.2)
    • 4 USB 3.0 ports - Downstream (4 at the back, 1 with battery charging)
    • 1 USB 3.0 port - Upstream
    • 1 Media Card Reader
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 17.5 x 29.5 x 2.0 in. (444.6 x 749.9 x 51.5 mm)
  • Weight: 20.33 lbs (9.22kg)
  • Electrical:
    • Voltage Required: 100 to 240 VAC / 50 or 60 Hz ± 3Hz / 1.8 A (typical)
    • Power Consumption
    • Operational: 100 (typical) / 170W (maximum)
    • Stand by/Sleep: Less than 1.2W
  • Warranty: 3-year advanced exchange

As far as connectivity goes, the UP3214Q comes equipped with a HDMI connector, DisplayPort (v1.2), mini-DisplayPort, five USB 3.0 ports (4 at the back, 1 with battery charging) and a 6-in-1 media card reader. Its PowerNap feature (which is enabled via the Dell Display Manager) allows us to efficiently manage power consumption by automatically dimming the monitor to the minimum brightness level or entering into sleep mode when the Dell monitor is not in use for a specific period of time. With frequent trips down to the lab or studio for product photography, sleep settings help save power when no one is using the computer.

To get an idea of the amount of screen real estate on the Dell UltraSharp UP3214Q, we grabbed a screenshot of how we were leveraging it on one of our workstations. Its important to note that its 3840 x 2160 resolution is the same amount as 4 1080p monitors put in a grid formation. In the example below, we had two remote desktop sessions 1440-wide, two web browser sessions open for VMware vCenter and one of our storage arrays, and even most of a webpage partially hidden in the background to find drivers for a Dell PowerEdge R730.

Because the UP3214Q has 31.5inches in real estate, it allows us to use a single monitor opposed to multiple smaller ones. This is advantageous for several reasons. For example, a single monitor uses less desk/mounting-space, which translates to a smaller overall footprint. In a lab environment, where space can be at a premium, a large monitor with an impressively large resolution can help you get more done in a smaller overall footprint.  Greater pixel-height also means less scrolling is required and it also allows us to fit more information on one screen, which is ideal when we need to retrieve a large amount of information in one specific area. In addition, because these interfaces will be displayed on a much larger 31.5 inch monitor, information (e.g. charts, graphs, and system information) is much easier to read and ultimately less of a strain on the eyes. When looking at the benefits regarding performance, having one monitor versus several can be very advantageous, particularly when using resource-heavy applications, as multiple displays can sometimes hinder frame rate and overall system performance.

In our testing environment we found the mix of its native 4K resolution as well as its 32" form-factor to be an excellent mix to optimize productivity. While smaller 4K panels to exist, if you are using them to read text at its native resolution instead of being scaled, the chance to excessive eye-strain becomes a good possibility. When looking past the resolution benefits the quality of the LCD panel was also fantastic for activities such as photo editing where you want that visual edge to improve your workflow. Photo or video editing is one area resolution plus image quality mix together so you can view your image closer to its native size without having to excessively zoom out and loose important detail.

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