Last year I spent time with one of the first UltraHD monitors to be come out and came away convinced of the benefits. Even though the screen size was not much larger than my usual display, the extra clarity and detail was totally worth it. It sealed my decision to buy a MacBook Pro Retina when it was updated last fall as well. Now we’ve seen the field of UltraHD displays expand considerably and so we now look at another 32” UltraHD display, the Dell UP3214Q.

The Dell UP3214Q is very similar to the ASUS PQ321Q that I looked at last year. Both are 32” and both feature a 3840x2160 resolution. They are also both saddled with one of the current UltraHD weaknesses: a requirement that you have DisplayPort 1.2 MST support to get 60 Hz refresh rates. However, the Dell UP3214Q does have a few higher-end features that the ASUS lacks to help set it apart.

The first feature is that it supports the full AdobeRGB color gamut and not the more limited sRGB gamut. Since these initial UltraHD monitors are expensive and more likely to be used by professionals than home users, this support can go a long way. Second it has built-in support for Dell’s calibration software that lets you set two presets to be whatever settings you desire. If you have day and night settings, or different settings for online vs. print, this can be accomplished.

It also offers a larger selection of inputs than the ASUS model. With HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort, and MiniDisplayPort options you can connect it to two 60Hz UltraHD sources at once instead of just a single PC. This is most useful for those that wish to use it with a laptop as well as a desktop. Like many of the upper-end Dell displays it also features a 4-port USB 3.0 hub as well as a media card reader on the side. Unfortunately all of the USB 3.0 ports are hard to access on the rear instead of placing a pair on the side. I swap out my monitors more than 99.9% of the population but I hate having the USB ports being so hard to access.

The updated Dell design features a metal trim around the border which gives it a modern, semi-industrial look and also seems to work as a way to dissipate heat. I found this out as trying to adjust the monitor from the top after it has been on for a few hours can cause it to get quite warm. An IR temperature gun gave me readings of almost 130F. I’ve had monitors get warm to the touch before but the Dell UP3214Q is certainly the hottest so far, and that's quite surprising considering it uses LED backlighting. The stand that the Dell includes is also a new industrial design but still includes height adjustment, tilt, swivel and a way to route cables. There is no pivot so if you want to use your 32” UltraHD display in Portrait mode you’ll need to use the 100mm VESA mounts with a different stand.

Dell also has their on-screen menu system that I still think is the best in the business. They’ve made an unfortunate move to touch-sensitive buttons but the overall user interface is still the same. From an ergonomics perspective the Dell is an overall winner. I’d like to see them find a way to side-mount the inputs so they are easier to access, and move a couple USB ports around, but overall it is good.

Viewing angles, as an IPS display, are fantastic. I’d be hesitant about a TN panel of this size because off-angle issues could arise far too easily but it is not a problem with the Dell. With specs, ergonomics, and the on-screen display of the Dell UP3214Q there is not much that I find issue with...well, other than a high price, but that's expected.

Dell UP3214Q
Video Inputs HDMI 1.4a, DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort
Panel Type IGZO IPS
Pixel Pitch 0.182mm
Colors 1.07 Billion
Brightness 350 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio 1000:1
Response Time 8ms GtG
Viewable Size 32"
Resolution 3840x2160
Viewing Angle (H/V) 176 / 176
Backlight LED
Power Consumption (operation) 100W Typical, 170W Max
Power Consumption (standby) 1.2W Typical
Screen Treatment Anti-Glare
Height-Adjustable Yes, 3.5"
Tilt Yes
Pivot No
Swivel Yes
VESA Wall Mounting Yes, 100mm
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 29.5" x 19" x 8.4"
Weight 20.3 lbs.
Additional Features 4 port USB 3.0 hub, card reader
Limited Warranty 3 years
Accessories MiniDP to DP Cable, USB 3.0 cable, power cord
Price $3,499 (Currently $2800)


UltraHD Today: Still Not There


View All Comments

  • datobin1 - Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - link

    Without scaling on High DPI screens text becomes so small that it is not legible at worst or really uncomfortable to read. With proper scaling text looks much nicer on a high DPI screen. Look at 1080p phones as an example, text looks great.
    If you want to see the need for scaling, remote desktop to your computer from a 1080p phone. You'll have a full 1920x1080 desktop but it will not really be usable.
  • nathanddrews - Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - link

    I've been playing with the Dell UP2414Q and it is razor-sharp and legible without scaling at exactly the same distance that I had my 24" FW900 located - about 30" away. Spreadsheets look particularly incredible! Reply
  • peterfares - Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - link

    That's not comfortable or even possible for everyone Reply
  • nathanddrews - Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - link

    Well those people don't have to buy it. I don't believe that I have Superman-esque vision, but maybe those people that can't read the text need a newer prescription for their glasses. I know I wouldn't be able to enjoy 4K without my cheaters... I can barely enjoy 1080p at that distance without them. Reply
  • seapeople - Thursday, April 3, 2014 - link

    This monitor is at 140 dpi. The phone you're speaking of is likely well over 300 dpi. There's a difference. 140 dpi does not require superhuman vision to see without scaling, more like somewhat "normal" vision. Reply
  • peterfares - Friday, April 4, 2014 - link

    Phone is much closer to my face than my monitor. Reply
  • basroil - Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - link

    Photoshop does work just fine as long as you enable OpenGL and use Windows 7/8 with custom DPI settings.

    But I'm with npz, you don't get a 4k monitor to limit yourself to 2k spaces. The only reason to use 4k at all is to tile your windows (or for use in CAD, but most CAD work is better on 2x 1600p because it's easier to drive with cheaper cards).
  • vshah - Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - link

    the point is that UI elements should scale to a comfortable size while content that needs hidpi should display in hidpi.

    in photoshop for example, tools & menus will be nicely sized, while the image you are working on will display using native resolution...this is the way it works on OSX.
  • Accord99 - Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - link

    Only after Adobe updated it to work with HiDPI.

    Just like it will work fine on Windows once Adobe gets around to updating it, just as Adobe Lightroom 5 already works fine at HiDPI.
  • houkouonchi - Friday, April 4, 2014 - link

    100% agree here. The problem is people are pussies and god forbid the text is smaller than what it is on a 96 DPI screen and it suddenly becomes unreadable. Dude there are people who say 3840x2160 on a 39 inch seiki is to small... Give me a break. I used 3840x2400 on a 22 inch LCD since 2005 and that was on linux with X set at 75 DPI (smaller than windows 96) which made stuff even smaller and I had absolutely *no* issues using it 40 hours a week at work. Reply

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