Why We Don’t Think Dell Is Right For Image Makers

25th February 2014 General Articles


A lot of people think they can skimp on their monitor and go for a Dell Ultrasharp as an alternative to a genuinely good screen. I really don’t agree and here’s a prime reason why – this is Dell’s official public policy used repeatedly in their forums and about their ‘monitors of out-standing clarity for graphics intensive environments’. This is how they respond to complaints about monitors with gross uniformity errors:

Uneven Backlight (bleed)

We do not validate our monitors in a dark room. We validate our monitors in rooms with a minimum of 150 lux which is standard office lighting. Dell monitors do not have 100% backlight uniformity specification. As long as the center 2″ circle meets our manufacturer specifications, it is acceptable. If the Brightness and Contrast are maxed to 100 and you measure the brightness difference of any two points on the monitor, the difference will never be greater than 25%

Uneven Colors

Dell monitors do not have 100% color uniformity specification. As long as the center 2″ circle is 6500K, it meets our manufacturer specifications. The center may be 6500K, but the sides and corners may not, which is why you may see that one side or corner is different than the others.


That is appalling from any serious image editing perspective – the Ultrasharps are often well on the way to the price of genuinely good monitors, but they are happy with a 25% (!!!) difference in brightness. As far as colour uniformity goes, as long at the teeny tiny bit in the centre is 6500K, all good, according to Dell. You may get a good one – but lots of people don’t. Every single week we get multiple calls from people fed up with their Dell and moving on to something better.

I always say – spend about the same on a good monitor as you would do on a really good lens – after all, you’ll use the monitor to prepare each and every photo, probably more than any one lens in your collections. To us, Dell has always been a ‘features’ seller, not a quality seller. Basically, they add the kitchen sink to their products but never in a way that stands up to real professional use. Sure, it seems to tick every box – but the actual implementation of the offered features leaves much to be desired.

(Ref: Dell Forums – this same text is cut and pasted in a whole bunch of their postings too)