Dell UltraSharp U3419W review

If you haven’t used an ultrawide monitor before, it’s quite an experience. More so if your first happens to be a 34-inch model with a curved screen. And that’s what the U3419W offers: an immersive screen that practically fills your peripheral vision.

It’s factory calibrated to deliver 99% sRGB out of the box which means you can expect accurate colours for photo and video work, but the sheer amount of desktop real-estate you get with the 21:9 aspect ratio means this can almost replace dual monitors. The U3419W is primarily aimed at those who need accurate colours for photo and video work, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy it for home use.. if you can afford it.

Dell U3419W: Price & availability

A top-quality curved IPS ultrawide monitor doesn’t come cheap, and at GBP928.80 / £899.99 from Dell it certainly isn’t. And you may think you can buy two decent curved screens with the same (or more) resolution than a single U3419W.

But while that’s true, if you want a single screen and no annoying bezels interrupting your desktop, then an ultrawide is the answer. Check out alternatives in our roundup of the best monitors.

Dell U3419W: Features & Design

If this looks exactly like the U3417W, that’s because it is. Essentially, it’s the same IPS panel and stand, with USB ports on the left-hand edge.

However, there is a significant change: USB-C. This little port means you can connect a USB-C laptop and the monitor will deliver up to 90W of power for charging. And, of course, the same cable is used for video in the other direction, so you can get the full benefit of the large screen when you’re at your desk.

Other than that, it really is the same. That’s no bad thing, as the stand is well designed and swivels up to 60? and tilts through 26?. There’s 115mm of height adjustment as well, which makes the U3419W very ergonomic indeed.

The height adjustment is very stiff, so you’ll search around for a release button but there isn’t one: just give the display a good shove downwards and it will move. Dell UltraSharp U3419W review

Many ultrawide monitors have stands with feet at the corners, but Dell’s central foot design means the U3419W takes up very little of your desk. Yes, the display itself is very wide: it measures 81.4 cm from left to right, but the stand won’t stop you using the actual space on your desk.

In terms of inputs and outputs, there’s a pair of HDMI 2.0 ports. But you’re more likely to use the DisplayPort 1.2 input or possibly the USB-C port if you have a modern laptop. Dell UltraSharp U3419W review

There are two USB 3 inputs and four outputs, two on the bottom edge with the other ports and two on the left-hand side for easy access.

You also get a 3.5mm audio output and there are built-in stereo speakers which sound pretty good for monitor speakers.

Performance

Unsurprisingly, the UltraSharp U3419W offers top-notch image quality. It’s worth noting that it has a 10-bit panel rather than the usual 8-bit. This is one of the main reasons for its high price.

Most displays offer 16.7 million colours (24-bits per pixel), but with 10 bits per sub-pixel you have a total of 30 bits to display the red, green and blue sub-pixels, which is where the 1 billion colours claim comes from. Dell UltraSharp U3419W review

Be aware that you’ll need a suitable graphics card that can output 10-bit colour and compatible software too: it isn’t as simple as you might imagine. Put simply, most people have no need for 10-bit colour, but professionals that must have accurate colours could benefit from it with the right supporting hardware and software.

Our Spyder 5 Elite confirmed Dell’s own printout included in the box that our sample did indeed cover 99 percent of the sRGB gamut. We’re sure the factory calibration hardware is considerably more expensive than our own in any case. Subjectively, the image looks fantastic, with rich, bold colours and great uniformity across the entire panel.

There’s very little evidence of light leakage and, being and IPS panel, wide viewing angles. In reality that’s largely irrelevant as you’ll be using the screen on your own most of the time and sitting in the sweet spot in the centre. The curvature isn’t a gimmick: it brings the extreme edges closer and makes the whole screen eminently usable.

It’s wonderful when editing video as there’s so much real-estate, and the resolution is plenty high enough. There’s also plenty of space to have three documents open side by side, or three different applications, such as a web browser, Excel and email. Contrast is very good, and black levels are impressive, which makes photos and video look vibrant.

While it’s by no means intended as a gaming monitor, it can do double duty as a gaming display when you’re not working. It isn’t ideal with an 8ms response time, but you can flip this to ‘fast’ mode in the settings to bring that down to 5ms. We tested this and found those are accurate figures in grey-to-grey tests.

There’s no noticeable ghosting, and for most games outside of first-person-shooters, the response time and refresh rate will be perfectly adequate. And games which support the ultrawide aspect ratio – including Forza Horizon 4 – look epic.

Verdict

Since the U3419W is basically the U3417W with a USB-C port, it makes sense to buy the older model – which is still sold by Dell – if you don’t need USB-C. And you’ll save big if you do – in the UK at least – since the U3417W costs around GBP230 less at GBP699 from Scan.co.uk.

In the US there’s only £20 between the two, making it a no-brainer to go with the new one.

And if you do need USB-C anyway, the U3419W is a fabulous screen, but it is undeniably expensive wherever you live.

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