The Dell U2412M gaming monitor has a beautifully designed bezel around the 24” display. With a matte black texture, the monitor exudes confidence in its style and simplistic nature. While seemingly modest, this powerhouse easily has the best display quality among most 24” gaming monitors simply because it has huge viewing angles, a distinct clarity and its colors are very well tuned. In fact, what you should ideally be looking for within a gaming monitor is the response time especially if you dabble in any first person shooter games at all because a faster response time essentially means that your images will be loaded faster and as frequently compared to other monitors that have a lower response time. I personally used the gaming monitor comparison chart (link here) to make my assessments. This is assuming that the monitor has been calibrated already of course. The monitor stand is rectangular shaped and it is wide enough so as not to wobble when the desk is knocked accidentally. The buttons that are used to adjust the brightness, contrast and various other color settings are located at the bottom right of the bezel, which faces the front. This is a nice touch because you can now actually see the buttons that you pressing rather than having to feel them with your fingers like most other monitors. Examples would be the Samsung 205BW LCD monitor or the Samsung 2233SW. Indeed, some of the later Dell designs like the previous U2312HM have a similar characteristic too. In terms of its brightness, a maximum output of 250 cd/m2 can be achieved though most gamers wouldn’t actually need that much even in the darkest of games.
The Dell U2412M however is slightly lacking in this regard simply because its response time is rather poor at 8 ms. If you compare it to say the Acer GD235HZbid or even the ViewSonic VP2770-LED, their response times are 2 ms and 5 ms respectively. The U2412M pales in comparison to these gaming monitors and it is more than likely that you might even encounter ghosting issues during your gameplay. Why doesn’t Dell try increasing the response time to counter these problems then? Well, I suppose it’s mostly because the U2412M uses an IPS panel as opposed to as TN one. This effectively cuts the ability of the monitor to display images as quickly as the other TN monitors. Indeed, you can easily attain up to 2 ms on certain monitors that are built with a TN panel. For instance, the BenQ XL2420T which is easily one of the top gaming monitors on the market has a powerful response time of only 2 ms. Coupled with a refresh rate of 120 Hz, this will ideally be the best monitor that you could possibly get for the purposes of gaming. Of course, this will only be advantageous to you if you have a rig that’s powerful enough to support the best settings in all the games that you want to play and still get frames per second of over 60. If your average FPS is less than 70 or 80, there’s really no point acquiring a gaming monitor that’s as powerful as the BenQ XL2420T.
If, on the other hand, you’d rather enjoy better image quality at the expense of a lower refresh rate and a slower response time, then an IPS panelled monitor like this particular Dell U2412M would be more suitable for you. Besides that, it comes with a 1920 x 1200 resolution and this gives you a little more real estate than what an ordinary 23 inch monitor would be able to accord you. This also means that the aspect ratio of the monitor would be 16:10 as opposed to the usual 16:9 that many other monitors would come with. There have also been comments on how the SRGB color space is slightly lacking but really, the saturation is bad enough as it is. Complaints have also been made with regard to the deepness of the black in various tech forums. In all honesty though, this is due mostly to the fact that the factory settings of the monitor are really poor and they ought to be properly calibrated before you can see the true potential of this gaming monitor.
As much as I’d like to say that the U2412M is as ideal as the higher-end monitors for photography work, it really isn’t. There’s no doubt that the colors are accurate enough and the darkest black and brightest white seem ideal for almost any games that you can throw at it but as previously mentioned, camera work is on a whole new level. That’s not to mention that many photo enthusiasts are neurotic about how the “perfect” images ought to turn out like on a proper display. If you’re concerned with its power consumption, you’ll be happy to learn that it comes with a great energy-saving feature. It even has an EPEAT Gold standard compliance, which is really difficult to find on a monitor of this size nowadays. As far as the anti-glare coating on the monitor goes, the texture is matte rather than glossy. The debate on which is better has been going on forever in mostly gaming forums. Regardless of all that, I’m still positive that a matte surface will be much more practical simply because not many of us have the capability or the sense to play our games in a room that’s completely dark. That’s the only time where a monitor with a glossy surface will prevail in terms of its benefits over its counterpart.
With that said, the Dell UltraSharp U2412M seems like a perfect replacement for the Asus VH236H which I was previously using. It comes with IPS technology, a matte screen texture, a sufficient level of brightness, excellent color accuracy (after calibration), clarity and detail in its display and it has excellent adjustability (tilt, height and pivot) options. At the current moment, it’s really hard to find a gaming monitor that can perform as well as the U2412M with a budget of $300 or so.