About a year ago, I recommended the Dell UltraSharp U2412M desktop monitor based on a review by the Wirecutter. Well, I just bought one for myself, and so I can give you my own impressions.

In short, this is an awesome monitor, and if you get one, you will be very happy.

Price and features

I have bought cheap monitors for years, but there was always something wrong. The first 22″ Sceptre I bought has a weird halo around the edges. The second had a noticeable pinkish cast. This year, I bought a 24″ ASUS VE-248h based on some very positive reviews on Amazon. It was horrible. When working on white pages, whether Word, Facebook, or WordPress things like grey borders and selection highlighting were invisible. Editing a brief or a promissory note is painful if you cannot tell what words you have highlighted. No amount of adjustment or calibration seemed adequate to fix these monitors’ problems. I am still using the first Sceptre I bought, but I sent the second away with Randall, and I’m going to find a new home for the ASUS, preferably with someone who only plays games.

And really, the Dell is not much more expensive. I paid just under $300 from Amazon, or about $100 more than I paid for the ASUS. So what do you get for that extra $100?

A whole lot, as it turns out.

What I like about the Dell UltraSharp U2412M

I hate flashy, glossy monitors, and the Dell comes with a nice, matte black bezel and stand. It won’t pick up fingerprints and it won’t stand out on your desk. It just fades into the background, as it should. That stand, by the way, is easily adjustable to heights that will be actually useful for you. No more propping your monitor up on your old law books. It is even spring-loaded, so you don’t have to yank it around or mess with screws. Move it up, down, tilt, and rotate it without leaving your seat. The monitor also doubles as a USB port, with two ports on the back, and two on the side that you can easily reach without getting up. This makes it easier (and cleaner) to plug in webcams or wireless dongles.

While it feels a little odd to be writing so much about this monitor’s stand and ports, most monitors have little more than a plastic slab on the back. They aren’t tall enough, and the only adjustment they included is tilting forward and backwards. That’s even true for Apple, where you might expect to see more attention paid to ergonomics.

Now for the whole point of a monitor: the display. Compared to what I have been using, the U2412M is amazing. It comes calibrated from the factory, so all you have to do is plug it in. You can play with the settings from there, if you like, but I found it was right on by default. I ran through Apple’s color calibration tool, anyway, but decided I liked it better as-is.

Resolution is a big deal right now. Apple may be pushing the limits with its Retina displays, but the Dell U2412M is no slouch. Its 1920×1200, 24″ display is just under 100ppi, similar to the high-end iMac displays. The The 16:10 aspect ratio is just a little taller than it is wide, which makes it better for editing documents than the more-typical 16:9 aspect ratio you will find on most widescreen monitors (including the iMac). It doesn’t seem like much, but you will notice the difference. It works out to about an extra inch, vertically, or a few lines of a page. And you still have plenty of room to view two pages side-by-side, with bit of extra space, just in case.

The monitor has an anti-glare coating, which is nice. Some have called it over-done, saying they can see the coating in some lighting situations. I haven’t noticed it, and in my basement with point light sources, I’m happy to have it.

What I don’t like about the Dell UltraSharp U2412M

Just one thing. There is no HDMI port. The U2412M has DisplayPort, DVI, and VGA, but no HDMI. That’s not a big deal, since I am plugging it into a Mac Mini’s Mini DisplayPort socket, but for PC users, it’s kind of a bummer, since HDMI seems to be slowly taking over DVI as the port of choice for high-definition monitors. If you really need HDMI, though, an HDMI-to-DVI cable is under $10 from Amazon.

Who should buy this?

If you want a monitor that’s great for editing documents, playing games, blogging, and everything else, this is a big upgrade over the monitors you usually find at the bottom of the price range. And it doesn’t cost a lot more. The only people who might not be completely satisfied are “prosumer” photographers. For the rest of us, this monitor is awesome.


Dell UltraSharpU2412M

Reviewed by Sam Glover on .

Summary: The Dell UltraSharp U2412M is ideal for lawyers — and anyone else who spends most of their time working on documents, blogging, and networking.

Score: 5 (out of 5)


  1. I bought this monitor several months ago as a second display for my 2009 iMac 24″. The iMac looks awful next to the Dell. I plan to buy another for home.

  2. Rob says:


    Can this monitor be set vertically and horizontally?

  3. Gyi says:

    I have this monitor too and have been very pleased with it.

  4. Michael Pierce says:

    I am looking for a good quality monitor to connect to my new 27″ iMac. I work mostly with photography using Adobe Lightroom. Why did Sam say the only people who might not be completely satisfied would be prosumer photographers?

    • Sam Glover says:

      Because this monitor is still a consumer monitor. If you are a photographer with an eye for color and detail, you probably ought to be looking at something higher-end.

      That said, if I had 27-inch iMac, I would be looking at the 27-inch Thunderbolt Display.

  5. With windows 8 is this monitor still a good idea or do you have to have a touch screen monitor to operate well in Windows 8.
    I am in need of a new computer but cannot figure out whether I need a touch screen or not and whether I should by into windows 8 or 7?
    Any thoughts for my new law office computer?
    As always, thanks for your fine work here, Sam!

    • Sam Glover says:

      The most important question is whether you want Windows 8. And if you decide that you do, do you want to touch the screen of your desktop computer?

      For me, the answer to both is no. And I still love this monitor.

      Even if I used Windows 8 (I have it, but I downgraded both my computers to Windows 7), I don’t think I would want a touch screen monitor for my desktop computer. On a laptop, I am slowly coming around to thinking that touchscreen can be nice to have. But on a desktop, I am not even close to persuaded.

      • Since I posted you, I was out to dinner last night with friends and my buddy said it took technicians 9 hours, yes 9 hours to install Microsoft Office on his new Windows 8. He had techs from Microsoft all over the world. So between that story and your sage advice it looks like Windows 7 is the way to go. I have read that Microsoft will not support it after 2015? Does this raise any concerns for you.
        At a more practical level most of the places I look only offer Windows 8. The computer I saw was the HP Envey h8xt. It had a I7-3770 quad core 3.4 GHZ and it had 16 GB DDR3 but it comes with, you guessed it, Windows 8, no monitor, $699 at believe it or not Costco.
        So how do you do this “downgrade to Windows 7” for this situation?
        Once again, thanks for your valuable and insightful input.

        • Sam Glover says:

          (A) CostCo is not an ideal place to find a computer. Just order a Dell. They have Windows 7 as an option, they don’t cost any more, and they are better computers than that HP gaming rig you saw.

          (B) When Microsoft stops supporting 7, just upgrade to 9.

          Also, I have no idea what is wrong with your friend’s systems. It took me two minutes to install Office on each of my computers when they were running Windows 8.

  6. Cameron Parkhurst says:

    Still your monitor of choice?

  7. William says:

    Thanks for the info. I was looking for a solution. However the latest model does have an HDMI port.

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