The New Ultrasharp Monitor From Dell is a Professional 6k Powerhouse: Dell has introduced a new, more powerful display in an effort to provide additional options for creative professionals that require more pixels. The Dell UltraSharp 32 6K Monitor (U3224KB) is a professional-grade monitor with a 6144 x 3456 resolution, on par with Apple’s 6K Pro Display XDR. In our brief hands-on time with the U3224KB in New York, we noticed its excellent contrast thanks to IPS Black technology and its many convenient in-box additions. Not simply the stand that was thrown in for free.
High-Definition (6K) Display
The U3224KB from Dell is a 31.5-inch monitor that refreshes at 60 hertz and has a 16:9 aspect ratio. A representative of the firm explained the design of the display to us during a press event, saying that it was inspired by the pixel density preferences of power users (220-260 PPI) on premium notebooks. Because 32-inch displays are so well-liked, Dell wants to bring the same pixel density to its screens.
When compared to a 31.5-inch, 4K (3840×2160) display like the Dell UltraSharp U3223QZ, the U3224pixel KB’s density of 223.79 PPI is significantly higher (139.87 PPI). You also get more pixels per inch with the Dell display than with a 27-inch, 5K (5120 x 2880) panel like Apple’s Studio Display (217.57 ppi) or the Pro Display XDR monitor. The 32-inch screen on the Apple product has a resolution of 6016 x 3384, which translates to 215.7 pixels per inch.
The U3224resolution KB’s of 21,233,648 pixels places it in a small group of UltraSharps that go above and beyond the standard allure of Dell’s monitor lineup, which includes slick designs and an abundance of connections (including USB-C). Dell markets the Studio Display as a display for artists, designers, and engineers because it provides 44 per cent more screen real estate than a 5K monitor. The manufacturer foresees the display being used by professionals for jobs like creating fine details in graphics and UI or working with high-resolution pictures or videos while still having pixels left over for extra windows and tools.
As one might expect from such a specialised market, image quality and precision are of the utmost importance, and the U3224KB must contend with some very high-quality alternatives.
Taking a chance on IPS Black
And to meet this challenge, Dell is placing its faith in IPS Black, a variant of LG Display’s IPS technology that was released in early 2022. If you’re looking for an upgrade from regular IPS LCDs, IPS Black claims to offer deeper black levels by 35%. This means the U3224KB should have a contrast ratio of 2,000:1, which is significantly higher than the typical IPS display. With SDR material, it also promises a maximum brightness of 500 nits.
In comparison to a high-quality monitor employing standard IPS technology, IPS Black displays have shown promising improvements in contrast and image clarity. In the past, we have evaluated two Dell IPS Black displays. Under standard conditions, the UltraSharp U3223QZ’s contrast ratio was 1,860:1, while the smaller UltraSharp U2723QE’s contrast ratio was 1,873. The higher contrast of those 4K displays made even the darkest scenes in movies and photographs look more realistic and lifelike. More subtle tonal shifts were evident, even in dark situations, and skin tones were vibrant in 4K films.
Moving from a curved display to a flat screen display is like slapping a fisheye lens on your interface to the world. Everything looks big in the middle. It's trip. Loving my new Dell Dell UltraSharp 27 4K Monitor – U2723QE, hooked up to my MacBook Pro M1 Max. pic.twitter.com/aHnFznMZvY
— Bill Carroll 🐧 (@billcarroll) November 9, 2022
At 200 nits, the 5K Studio Display recorded a contrast ratio of 1,040:1, which is higher than the 1,504:1 we measured on the U3223QZ and the 1,760:1 we measured on the U2723QE.
Although the IPS Black contrast is exceptional, there are prosumer monitors that offer even higher contrast. According to PCMag’s SDR testing, the Pro Display XDR achieves a contrast ratio of 12,460:1, while MonitorNerds claims it can reach over 10,000:1. Additionally, VA displays are available with a contrast ratio of 3000:1.
The U3224KB raises the standard even further than Dell’s other IPS Black, UltraSharp monitors, as it is aimed squarely for the professional market. Dell further states that the U3224KB is capable of displaying colours in accordance with 100% sRGB, 100% Rec. 709, and 99.999% DCI-P3 and Apple’s Display P3. Many artists and designers, however, will be unable to purchase the display until the manufacturer guarantees its colour fidelity.
During our limited time with the 6K display, we could observe its vivid colours and enough brightness even in a well-lit room. This was true regardless of which side of the screen you were looking at. According to today’s Dell blog article about the U3224KB, the IPS Black panel on that monitor has a contrast ratio that’s 1.4% higher than that of standard IPS at a 45-degree viewing angle.
The site also stated that the 4K U3223QZ, rather than the 6K U3224KB, is an example of an IPS Black monitor with up to 41% deeper black levels at a 45-degree horizontal viewing angle than a competitor’s 31.5-inch conventional IPS panel. Dell claims that an IPS Black monitor can have 1.2 times higher colour accuracy than a standard IPS monitor at that angle, “particularly in showing low greys.”
Dell displayed a detailed image of a robot, which appeared very lifelike on the U3223QZ. Different grey tones blended into a jet-black background, giving the creature’s spherical head a lot of visual depth. Each of the illustration’s many thin lines seemed to jump off the page.
Images with specks of colour on black backgrounds stood out without any obvious artefacts. In addition, a video editing demonstration illustrated the advantages of increased resolution in the face of demanding tasks and simultaneous operations.
Choosing Ports Competitively
Even though Apple’s professional displays have a poor reputation when it comes to ports, the U3224KB does not let you down. Of particular note is a Thunderbolt 4 power delivery port rated for 140 watts (PD). The upcoming Lenovo 27-inch ThinkVision P27pz-30 and 31.5-inch P32pz-30 Mini LED monitors will be the first two displays this year to feature USB-C PD, but this is the third display we’ve heard of that will feature it. Compared to older monitors, which had a maximum power consumption of 100 W, these newer models increase the feasibility of using a single cable for connections to several monitors in a workstation environment.
Mini DisplayPort 2.1, another technology that will be more widely accessible this year, will also allow you to connect to the U3224KB. The display also features four USB-A connections, an RJ-45 jack, and a Thunderbolt 4 downstream port.
A hub of additional, more convenient ports is hidden under the monitor’s chin and can be popped out with a simple push.
This hub features two USB-C connectors capable of 10 Gbps data transfer and 15 W of power delivery, a USB-A connection that can handle data transfer rates of up to 10 Gbps, and a BC 1.2 power charging connector.
However, there is one possible drawback to HDR:
According to VESA DisplayHDR certification, the U3224 maximum KB’s brightness increases by 100 nits when in HDR mode. Professionals in the arts, such as video editors, need DisplayHDR 1000 or higher for optimal performance, therefore this is a touch lacking.
Apple’s Pro Display XDR has a maximum brightness of 1,600 nits in HDR mode, while reviews from sites like PCMag and MonitorNerds have noted a contrast ratio of 39,000:1. PCMag drew parallels between the Pro Display XDR and more expensive Mini LED technology due to its 576 local dimming zones. We have contacted Dell and will update this story once we learn the number of dimming zones on its forthcoming 6K display (for reference, the 4K UltraSharp U3223QZ has eight zones).
While it appears that the Pro Display XDR has the upper hand in this respect, both displays are nevertheless likely to suffer from the shortcomings of LCD panels that OLED displays do not, such as the possibility of blooming around light areas on dark material.
Audio/video conferencing using a webcam and speakers
Although the Dell U3224KB will likely face stiff competition from other displays aimed at professional creatives, the company plans to make up for any flaws with built-in video-conferencing features, beginning with a huge, hard-to-miss 4K webcam.
According to a Dell representative, the U3223QZ’s 4K webcam has improved low-light performance thanks to a bigger HDR CMOS sensor.
The U3223QZ’s built-in webcam, which can record at up to 4K at 30 frames per second, produced a noticeably clear image, especially in the backdrop, giving us high hopes for the U3224KB camera. The U3224KB can be physically rotated within its housing by up to 20 degrees.
In addition, the 6K U3224camera KB will feature a physical shutter that can be programmed to open when using a programme that makes use of the camera and close when the programme is closed, just as the webcam on the U3223QZ.
There are several AI-based capabilities included by Dell that may seem unnecessary. The camera’s auto-framing feature helps maintain your subject in the middle of the frame while also adjusting the brightness.
The display also features a thick black strip that houses two 14 W speakers. The U3224bold KB’s profile and enormous top border give it an authoritative appearance on desktops. Moreover, there are two built-in microphones with echo cancellation technology.
The camera, microphones, and speakers can all be turned off with the touch sensors that have been carried over from the U3223QZ and are located in the bottom left corner of the bezel on the 6K monitor.
Buyers comparing the U3224KB to comparable professional monitors like the Studio Display XDR and Studio Display will find these noteworthy differences. The former does not include a built-in video or audio capture device, sound system, or microphone. The Apple Studio Display contains a built-in 12.1-megapixel camera with auto-framing, as well as six high-quality speakers, three microphones, and support for Apple’s Spatial Audio technology.
Specifics on the release date and cost
According to Dell’s blog, the U3223QZ will be released in the “early half of 2023.”
Although the Texas-based firm hasn’t disclosed the cost of its 6K display, it’s hard to envision a price point that would be more prohibitive than the Pro Display XDR. Apple’s display is available for $4,999 with regular glass or $5,999 with nano-texture glass; adding Apple’s stand costs an additional $999; and the VESA mount, if desired, costs an additional $200. Apple advertised the monitor as a steal in comparison to reference monitors that cost $43,000 when it was first announced in 2019. The Pro Display XDR would be ideal for many people if not for its prohibitively high price and the fact that no stand is provided with the device. The 6K monitor from Dell will be “completely compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems,” the company said earlier today.
Dell’s 6K display will come with a stand, camera, speakers, and microphone; nevertheless, its image quality promises are lower than those of the Pro Display XDR. To obtain a ballpark estimate of how much Dell would charge for the screen, we can look at the U3223QZ, which is essentially a 4K version of the U3224KB and currently retails for $1,280. Also, the price of Dell’s 8K UltraSharp display is now listed at $4,025 ($3,800 at Amazon).
And to compare, the Studio Display with a 5K camera costs $1,599 for regular glass and $1,899 for nano-textured glass.
If you use many computers, especially if you use a variety of operating systems, Dell’s monitor will stand out. Naturally, Apple only officially supports Macs for their products. In addition, the Studio Display XDR is only officially supported on Macs running macOS Catalina 10.15.2 and later in 2019, whereas the Studio Display is only compatible with Macs running macOS Monterey 12.3 and later in 2018. It’s also worth noting that Apple’s screens only offer a handful of connection options.
The U3224KB may, however, soon have to compete with another powerful Apple monitor. It was claimed in December by Bloomberg that Apple is developing “several” new monitors, including an upgraded Pro Display XDR with Apple silicon. It’s unknown what other capabilities these new displays might have, but if they materialise, they’ll likely succeed in luring Mac-centric creatives away from Dell’s 6K rival.
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