Dell UltraSharp UP3214Q 4K Ultra HD Monitor Review

Dell UltraSharp UP3214Q Design

The UP3214Q is Dell's largest 4K monitor, though it's not the only one the company carries. Dell also offers a 28-inch model (P2315Q) and a 24-inch model (UP2414Q). Both the 24-inch and 31.5-inch models are higher quality monitors with Dell's "UltraSharp" designation, whereas the 28-inch model doesn't boast the same level of color accuracy.

You'll need a big desk to accommodate the UP3214Q. It's wider than Dell's U3011 by about a couple of inches, though the panel portion is actually slightly shorter. It's also thinner, though overall the two monitors are comparable in size, with the UP3214Q taking up a bit more space because it sports a 31.5-inch panel compared to the U3011's 30-inch screen.

We already talked about the UP3214Q using an IGZO panel, though one thing we didn't touch on is that it appears to be a newer revision that what Asus or Sharp have used in their 31.5" 4K displays. Either that, or Dell found some other way to offer improved visuals compared to earlier IGZO-based monitors. Even compared to to Dell's own 28-inch 4K display referenced above, the UP3214Q offers superior color accuracy, and it does so right out of the box -- the UP3214Q comes factory calibrated.

Depending on what you're using the monitor for, you can calibrate the UP3214Q even further using Dell's UltraSharp Color Calibration Solution software with the optional X-Rite i1Display Pro colorimeter, a piece of equipment that's sold separately for around $250 street. That adds to the bottom line, though many professionals would consider it a necessary expense for mission critical applications. There's also a user-accessible hardware look-up tablet (LUT) that's typically only found on professional-grade monitors.

A top-down view gives a better glimpse of the UP3214Q's comparatively slim profile. Granted, this panel isn't going to give some of the ultra-thin monitors on the market a run for their money, but as far as large screens go, this one's pretty svelte -- the panel itself is less than 2 inches thick. Including the stand, the UP3214Q measures 19 ~ 22.5 inches (H) by 29.5 inches (W) by 8.4 inches (D). The panel itself weighs 20.33 pounds, in case you're planning to use the VESA mounts to stick it on your wall.

Around back you can see the metal stand that holds the panel upright. One thing we really like about the stand is that it attaches to the backside without any tools -- it just pops into place. To remove the stand, you just press a button on the back of the monitor to free its grip and it will come right off.

This is a height-adjustable stand that also supports tilt and swivel functions, though it doesn't rotate, meaning you can't spin the panel upright for portrait mode. There's a hole in the back to route cables, and though not shown, Dell includes a lid you can attach over the I/O section. We prefer to keep the lid off for easier access to the ports, though it's a nice option to have if you want dress up the looks a bit.

The majority of the UP3214Q's I/O ports are hidden behind a removable panel on the back of the monitor. From left to right you'll find the AC power connector, DisplayPort input, Mini DisplayPort input, HDMI connector, USB upstream port, and three SuperSpeed USB 3.0 downstream ports.

Sitting outside of the I/O foxhole are a couple more ports -- on the left is a security lock slot and on the right is another SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port, which also happens to be the only one that supports battery charging.

Finally, you may have noticed two rectangle outlines on the silver portion of the bezel in the picture above. Those are Dell Soundbar (sold separately) mounting slots. The UP3214Q doesn't come with built-in speakers, but if you need audio to be a part of your monitor, there's your solution.

We're still waiting on the market to deliver affordable large-screen 4K monitors with refresh rates higher than 60Hz, but in the meantime, Dell's UP3214Q offers a 60Hz option at 3840x2160 for users who have all their ducks in a row. To run at that refresh rate, here's your checklist based on Dell's documentation:

  1. The DisplayPort source graphics card must be DP 1.2 certified with HBR2 feature capable of supporting resolution or 3840x2160 at 60Hz and its driver must support Display ID v1.3. The monitor supports DP 1.2 with HDCP 1.3 content protection.
  2. DP 1.2 must be enabled on the monitor.
  3. You must use a DP 1.2 compliant cable.

To enable the feature, use the On-Screen Display (OSD) buttons to navigate to Display Settings > DisplayPort 1.2. Change it from Disabled to Enabled and you're good to go. This option essentially configures the monitor for MST (Multi-Stream Transport) rather than SST (Single-Stream Transport)

Note that you can still run at 3840x2160 using an HDMI cable, but you'll be limited to 30Hz, which can result in stuttering and lag, even at the desktop (mouse cursor movements are noticeably choppy). Your best bet is to use the included DisplayPort cable and run in MST mode, even if it means upgrading your graphics card.

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