Dell U2718Q 27″ 4K Monitor Review

You know, it’s always exciting to see a world’s first piece of equipment like the Dell U2718Q 4K monitor here. There’s nothing like cracking open the box for the first time, to see something that really, not many people have, and certainly have it as part of my desk setup, even if it was only for a little while.

But while it was sitting there, I continued to think to myself, is this going to be too much for my diddy system to handle? Well, as it stood, yes it was. And I will warn you now. To be able to use 4K visuals flawlessly, you better bring a beefy machine to the party. I was using a, Intel i7-4790, 32GB RAM and unfortunately only a Radeon R9 280X, which is definitely not powerful enough to run games at 4K.

The monitor has been branded with an InfinityEdge, which means there is no border. And for the most part, there’s not. There’s a thin strip of black that you can see, but it’s hardly noticeable once you invest in what you are seeing on screen. The monitor, if you’re looking for a multi-monitor setup will look great, thanks to that lack of a bezel.

The Dell U2718Q sits on a metal stand which can raise and lower the monitor vertically, plus swivel on the stand. The monitor is also very heavy, meaning that once it’s in place, I wouldn’t start moving it around. Decide where you want it and keep it there.

This monitor is also full of inputs. On the rear, but underneath the monitor, you can find a standard AC power connector, a HDMI connector, a DP and an mDP connector, an audio line-out port, a USB upstream port, a USB 3.0 downstream port and another USB 3.0 downstream port with BC1.2 charging capabilities. So not bad, and gives you multiple choices

But, what it did work a treat on was content creation, and to be honest with you, with the UltraSharp display technology, alongside the HDR image quality, creating media content such as my videos on Premiere Pro for YouTube, and my photography RAW editing was an absolute dream. Jesus, the image quality was amazing.

But… and this is a big but… for those of you who are going to be consuming media, through the likes of Netflix or Amazon Prime, the services are currently not supporting HDR content through a PC or laptop connection. Netflix and Amazon Prime save that for the apps that come with the big HDR living room televisions.

Furthermore, most PC games except Mass Effect Andromeda from what I can see don’t actually support HDR either. So for the HDR gaming, that’s out the window… for now. Games are coming, but you’re going to be looking into the near future for those. 4K quality on the Dell U2718Q has also been capped at 60Hz with a 6ms response time, so again, there are probably better monitors like the new Asus ROG PG348Q.

Windows 10 however does have an update for it to support HDR content. But toggling this on and off when you’re watching HDR content can be a little tedious. I wish it could detect when HDR content was being played. When you’re witnessing non-HDR content but have HDR mode switched on, colours are very dull. Switching the HDR off and you will return to your normal sRGB colour gamut rather than the Rec2020 of HDR content.

This monitor isn’t one that your average  consumer would invest in. And you better be earning bank making videos or editing photos before you invest, because this is really a multimedia monitor. If you spend your days on Photoshop, Premiere Pro and After Effects for a living, this monitor is superb. But, I would say, if you are gamer, you have to make sure your PC is up to scratch first before investing in 4K. Even still, there are a lot better monitors out there for gaming. You can find more information on the Dell website.

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    Does it really have USB-C ports ?

    • Stef Murphy
      Stef Murphy

      Here are all of the ports, confirmed by Dell on the rear of the monitor.

      From the Dell Website “1. AC power connector | 2. HDMI connector | 3. DP connector (in) | 4. mDP connector (in) | 5. Audio line-out port5 | 6. USB upstream port | 7. USB 3.0 downstream port | 8. USB 3.0 downstream port with BC1.2 charging capability | 9. Stand lock”

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    link at end for more info is broken

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    Sadly, this monitor is not superb for content creation or media editing. The color reproduction is simply not up to snuff. It’s a far cry from the P2715Q, which has outstanding color matching and calibration.

    I’ve run i1 Display Pro calibration on both. The P2715Q has an outstanding average Delta E of ≤ 1.8. The U2718Q, despite Dell’s claims of a Delta E of ≤ 2, measures at a mediocre 3.63 with a terrible average Delta E of 9.12 of the highest 10%. This isn’t theoretical stuff either, it’s visible on screen, especially in the greens. It looks terrible right next to the dead on accurate P2715Q.

    As much as I want to like this monitor, it’s going back. It’s simply not usable for any content creation or color grading due to the very poor accuracy. It’s a real shame given how capable Dell is of producing color accurate displays.

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    Flickering into dark:
    Do any of you share this problem or know what could be wrong with it when it every now and then flickers into dark for a second and comes back? It drives me crazy…
    sometimes every half minute, sometimes just once per hour, mostly when switching windows or moving a mouse or any kind of action.
    I have no idea how this works but I believe Dell would not send a shitty cable with it 🙂 or that the newest surface pro graphic card would not be enough to run 4k… and its not concact for sure.

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      I once got same issue with my Dell U2515H. As I figured out, the problem was caused by power supply. When I replaced my cheapest extension cord with cheap one, problem gone and never happened again.

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