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Dell UP2718Q ‘4K’ HDR model with 384 dimming zones

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‘HDR’ (High Dynamic Range) is all the rage at the moment (if you’re a marketeer), with many monitor manufacturers keen to support HDR content in some way or another. The Dell UP2718Q doesn’t diverge too much from the manufacturer’s other current UltraSharp models, going for a modern home-office look. The bezels are matte black plastic and of reasonable thickness; a single-stage design is used here rather than a dual-stage design with very slender outer bezels combined with a thin panel border. The included stand offers strong ergonomic flexibility; tilt (5° forwards, 21° backwards), height (145mm or 5.71 inches), swivel (45° left and 45° right) and pivot adjustment (90° clockwise rotation into portrait). The OSD (On Screen Display) is controlled by pressable buttons on the underside of the bottom bezel.

A familiar design

A familiar design

So it’s all fairly unassuming on the outside. On the inside, though, things get more interesting. A 27” 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD) IPS-type panel is employed, most likely an AU Optronics AHVA (Advanced Hyper-Viewing Angle) panel. This offers 178°/178° viewing angles, 60Hz refresh rate and support for HDR10. One of the key requirements for a ‘proper’ HDR experience is for the monitor to be able to simultaneously display very bright and very dark content with appropriate illumination. Most LCDs have their backlight controlled as a single unit and therefore can’t simultaneously display good deep dark shades and eye-popping bright shades. This is reflected by static contrast ratios that are generally limited to 1000 – 5000:1 depending on the model. The Dell UP2718Q instead has an LED backlight with 384-dimming zones (FALD – Full Array Local Dimming if you prefer) that can have brightness independently set so that very bright shades and very dark shades can be displayed simultaneously. In its HDR operating mode the monitor has a specified 20:000:1 static contrast (1000:1 otherwise). The peak luminance is given as 400 cd/m² for normal operation and 1000 cd/m² in HDR. Dell do not specifically mention whether the backlight is flicker-free (DC dimming rather than PWM) or not.

Another key aspect of HDR is a broad colour gamut. Whilst the monitor can’t fully cover the rather massive Rec. 2020 colour space, it does cover 76.9% of it. It also covers 100% Adobe RGB, 100% sRGB, 100% Rec. 709 and 97.7% DCI-P3. Furthermore, it is factory calibrated for sRGB and Adobe RGB in separate presets with a specified DeltaE of under 2. Hardware calibration is also supported (direct addressing of the monitor LUT) using a compatible X-Rite colorimeter. Other aspects to consider include 10-bit colour support, a 6ms grey to grey response time and use of a matte anti-glare screen surface (hopefully one with a fairly light and ungrainy surface texture). The included stand attaches using a quick-release bracket and can be removed to make way for an alternative 100 x 100mm VESA stand or mount. Ports on the monitor include; DP 1.4, mDP 1.4, 2 HDMI 2.0 ports and 4 USB 3.0 ports (2 support DC1.2 fast-charging) plus 2 USB 3.0 upstream ports (KVM capability).

Good port selection and VESA mounting

Good port selection and VESA mounting

Further information can be found on Dell’s website. The monitor is available globally.

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Dell U2718Q