A dream monitor for creative professionals

The Dell UP2718Q offers a good amount of physical adjustment. The monitor can swivel left or right up to 45 degrees. Its screen can be pivoted from landscape to portrait mode.
The Dell UP2718Q offers a good amount of physical adjustment. The monitor can swivel left or right up to 45 degrees. Its screen can be pivoted from landscape to portrait mode.PHOTO: DELL

The Dell UltraSharp 27 4K HDR Monitor (UP2718Q) is its first monitor to be certified for High Dynamic Range (HDR) by the UHD Alliance industry group.

It means the monitor can reproduce realistic-looking images with rich colours that rival the latest high-end television sets.

This is because it supports a wide colour gamut (over a billion colours) and can output up to 1,000 nits of brightness. For normal, non-HDR content though, the display is limited to 400 nits.

But it is not intended for the average consumer. Instead, the UP2718Q is built for a niche group of users - creative professionals who view and edit HDR content. Note that it supports only the open HDR10 standard, not the proprietary Dolby Vision format.

Get The Straits Times
newsletters in your inbox

More importantly, it has wide coverage of all the key industry standards - AdobeRGB (100 per cent), Rec.709 (100 per cent), DCI-P3 (97.7 per cent) and Rec. 2020 (76.9 per cent).

The UP2718Q is calibrated out of the box. It comes with preset modes like Movie and Game, but professional users are most likely to select the Colour Space mode and pick the desired colour space, like sRGB for editing photos.

They can also save up to two custom calibrations to the preset modes with a compatible colourimeter and Dell's software.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $3,199

    RESOLUTION: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels

    ASPECT RATIO: 16:9

    BRIGHTNESS: 400 cd/m2 (typical), 1,000 cd/m2 (peak)

    RESPONSE TIME: 6ms

    PANEL TYPE: In-plane switching

    CONNECTIVITY: DisplayPort ver 1.4, mini-DisplayPort ver 1.4, 2 x HDMI 2.0a, 4 x USB 3.0 downstream, audio line-out

    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

These preset modes can be quickly accessed by pressing one of the monitor's physical buttons at its lower right edge. Other shortcut buttons include a brightness and contrast adjustment as well as an input source selector.

While I personally prefer using a joystick to navigate a monitor's on-screen display (OSD) settings, Dell's button-driven OSD menu is well organised enough that I did not have to fiddle too much with the buttons to change my desired setting.

Probably because it is built for work rather than play, the UP2718Q offers a good amount of physical adjustment. The monitor can swivel left or right up to 45 degrees. Its height can be adjusted and the screen can be pivoted from landscape to portrait mode. There are also two USB ports located handily at the side.

I watched a couple of Ultra HD Blu-ray videos on the Dell monitor using an LG Ultra HD Blu-ray player. While the videos looked impressive, thanks to their 4K resolution and HDR effect, I felt that the UP2718Q's anti-glare coating dampened some of the brighter HDR visuals, as well as making the images look grainy.

Getting 4K HDR videos from the likes of Netflix and Amazon to work on a computer is a bit more tricky - you must have the appropriate hardware and software that satisfy certain DRM (digital rights management) requirements before they can be played.

I didn't try it because I did not have a such a system.

In case you harbour thoughts of buying the UP2718Q to pair with a 4K HDR game console like the Xbox One S, its $3,199 price tag should give you pause. You are better off buying a proper (and larger) 4K HDR television set.

As is the norm for its premium monitors, Dell offers a free replacement should the user find even a single damaged or bright pixel within its three-year warranty period.

Vincent Chang

•Professionals in the broadcast and video industry will find this monitor very useful for their work.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 19, 2017, with the headline 'A dream monitor for creative professionals'. Print Edition | Subscribe