Test report: Dell’s 32-inch UltraSharp monitor has a high-contrast IPS black screen

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Enlarge / Dell’s UltraSharp U3223QZ 4K monitor.

Sharon Harding

Technical data at a glance: Dell UltraSharp U3223QZ
plate size 31.5 inches
resolution 3840×2160
Update valuation 60 Hertz
Panel type and backlight IPS Black, LCD
ports 2x USB-C upstream, 1x USB-C downstream, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x DisplayPort 1.4 Out, 5x USB-A downstream, 1x 3.5 mm, 1x RJ45
size 28.06×9.06×19.6-25.48 inch with stand
(712.6×230×497.84–647.27mm)
weight 26.23 pounds
(11.9kg)
warranty 3 years
Price (RRP) $1,029

I get it; not everyone finds monitors as exciting as I do. For most people, a little extra color or a wider range of tones doesn’t really differentiate one screen from another. So I don’t blame Dell for the UltraSharp U3223QZ 4K monitor being stuffed with fluff like motion-activated controls, monstrous speakers, and a webcam with presence detection. But after weeks with the monitor, I didn’t find any of these additional features as exciting as the monitor’s IPS black panel.

The U3223QZ has a lot to prove. For one, it debuted at the same MSRP as the 5K Apple Studio Display (starting at $1,600). Since then, Dell has made the price more competitive ($1,029 at the time of writing), but it’s still pricey for a 31.5-inch monitor. Dell’s U3223QZ is also one of the few monitors to use IPS Black technology, which is said to deliver roughly twice the contrast of a typical IPS monitor. I confirmed this with a colorimeter and, more comfortably, with my eyes.

The U3223QZ’s bonus features have their plus points. The speakers are louder than average and the webcam can log you in and out automatically. But for many people, it makes sense to save money and buy the version of this monitor without a webcam… and without a dedicated Microsoft Teams button.

draft

If you want an IPS black panel, 31.5 inches is your largest option. All panels are 4K, meaning the larger U3223QZ panel has a lower pixel density (139.87 pixels per inch) than its smaller sibling, the 27-inch Dell UltraSharp U2723QE (163.18 ppi). If that bothers you, let us remind you of Apple’s similarly priced Studio Display. It crams a 5K resolution into a (traditional) 27-inch IPS panel (217.57ppi), making the pixel density of the two UltraSharps look meager.

The deep power button and protruding 5-way joystick on the back were easy to distinguish.
Enlarge / The deep power button and protruding 5-way joystick on the back were easy to distinguish.

Sharon Harding

The U3223QZ has Apple-friendly hues and shapes, including thin bezels, a silver trapezoidal base, and a smooth gray plastic back. A variety of connectivity options help connect up to two computers at once, but I prefer using powered USB-C. This means there are fewer cables running through the opening of the stand, which also helps with basic cable management.

thicker lines

The U3223QZ has the thin bezels of Dell’s UltraSharp line of monitors, but it still exudes chunky vibes. That’s because the panel is framed by thicker top and bottom bezels, in addition to narrow bezels to accommodate the 1.3-inch speakers and camera (top) and touch controls (bottom). It’s the most visually striking monitor that’s graced my desk in a long time.

Due to technical issues I checked out two U3223QZ devices. Both review units had fabric running over the speakers and it seemed quite tight, but that’s still a lot of fabric to snag over long periods of time (the monitor has a three-year warranty). Each of my review units also had an annoying gap between the panel’s chassis and the speaker.

That tiny space next to the speaker is a minor issue, but one that annoys me.
Enlarge / That tiny space next to the speaker is a minor issue, but one that annoys me.

Sharon Harding

In the lower-left corner of the monitor are touch controls for launching Microsoft Teams, starting or ending a call, adjusting the volume, and turning the microphone and camera on and off. The buttons only light up when a hand is nearby or when the microphone is on mute or the camera shutter is on, which is good as the bright lights are a bit distracting.

The controls aren’t programmable, which is a shame for someone who doesn’t use Teams.

I would get rid of the Teams button immediately.
Enlarge / I would get rid of the Teams button immediately.

Sharon Harding

The stand of the U3223QZ supports a tilt of -5 to 21 degrees, swivels 30 degrees left or right and allows for 5.88 inches of height adjustment. Admirably, the monitor falls lower than most, with just 1.5 inches between the desk and the monitor’s chin at the lowest setting. For comparison, the Samsung S80UA 4K monitor I have sits at least 2.75 inches above the desk.


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