When people shop for productivity panels, it seems there’s always a tradeoff. Whether it’s opting for a dual- or triple-monitor setup that leaves big plastic bezels in the middle of their workflow, or shelling out for an ultrawide display that limits vertical space in favor of laying more windows side by side, sometimes the only compromise is to go big or go home. And that’s exactly what the $ 1,099 Dell UltraSharp 32 4K USB-C Monitor (U3219Q) does. This business-centric 32-inch 4K (3,840-by-2,160-pixel) HDR monitor goes above and beyond work detail to fulfill its role in the office or at home. Great for handling daily tasks while on the clock at jobs where color accuracy is important, or just getting in a little gaming at night, this all-rounder proves that one monitor really can handle almost every job you throw its way…as long as you don’t mind paying a little extra for the flexibility.
Smart, Functional Design
Because the U3219Q is a business-pro monitor, it’s not surprising to see that it has a wide number of adjustment options that will fit anyone’s desk or specific use case. The monitor can be oriented horizontally or vertically, and swapping between the two is as simple as just turning the monitor with your hands. No latches to flip, no screws to unscrew, no complicated locking mechanisms to deal with. Just a simple spin, and you’re done.
The display measures 18.5 by 28.1 by 8.7 inches (HWD), and it comes in at a total weight of 12.8 pounds with the stand attached. The stand is height-adjustable, and it also swivels through a range of -30 degrees to +30 degrees. The tilt range is extensive, too, going from -5 degrees to +21 degrees, and as I already mentioned, the screen can pivot a full 90 degrees from horizontal to vertical and back again with one hand motion.
Given that this is a business-centric model, you won’t find any extreme design touches that would make it stand out in the office in a gaudy way. The display is matte-black in parts, while the stand and part of the cabinet’s back are dark gray. Both parts are easy to assemble, with two locking mechanisms that took less than a minute to put together out of the box.
Menus Made Better
No surprises here when it comes to the number of port options available, but the identity of one is unusual.
The inputs comprise one DisplayPort 1.4b, one HDMI 2.0, and one USB Type-C. The last is uncommon but welcome. USB-C for video-signal input allows for easy connectivity to slim laptops and other systems that support DisplayPort over USB-C. Also aboard (from a peripherals-connectivity aspect) are one USB 3.0 upstream port, two USB 3.0 downstream ports, and two USB ports with device-charging capability.
If there’s one area that can really make or break the experience of using a monitor, in my experience, it’s the onscreen display (OSD) menu. When I can find one, a five-way joystick is my preferred method of navigation, but I can do without one if the buttons used in its place are intuitive enough to get me around without thinking too much. Luckily, the four buttons used to work through the U3219Q’s menus serve their roles perfectly, thanks in part to Dell’s clever management of how they handle the job.
Each button changes function depending on what you’re trying to do. What work as up/down buttons in the main menu swap to left/right buttons when you’re adjusting settings like brightness or contrast. They’ll also stay as up/down buttons if you’re selecting among different color profiles or HDR loadouts. The whole experience is intuitive and won’t leave you pulling out your hair every time you want to swap a setting or two.
In the OSD, I found a range of settings to fiddle with, including the option to activate Dell’s picture-in-picture or picture-by-picture features. These allow you to keep two feeds from separate inputs running at the same time on the same screen, a must for productivity enthusiasts who might want to have multiple machines they swap between tied to the same display.
Another option is to ignore the OSD menu altogether and use Dell’s Display Manager software. Just know: Not all the options found in the OSD menu are available to tinker with here. Display Manager makes it easy to quick-change settings like brightness and contrast using your keyboard and mouse, as well as tweak the input or create an overlay of borders that will help you better manage where all your windows should line up onscreen.
An Eye-Pleaser for Any Occasion
Dell has included four different HDR display modes with this monitor, each of which is designed to cater to specific applications. There’s Desktop HDR, Movie HDR, Game HDR, and Reference.
Of those, Movie HDR is certainly the most vibrant when watching HDR videos on YouTube and Netflix, but it looks very out of place on the desktop, where text would blur around the edges due to the intense contrast. Conversely, Desktop HDR tones down all of this, and it looks far better than most other implementations of desktop-bound HDR color profiles that I’ve seen to date.
The glare reduction was also well above the curve, thanks to Dell’s own antiglare coating. Even during the sunniest days, I was able to clearly make out text and images on the screen without having to crank up the brightness or squint to see smaller details.
Overall, both the standard and HDR image quality of the U3219Q was exceptional in visual tests, providing crisp, clear lines and beautifully toned movies, TV shows, and test videos. Games also looked great on the monitor, though anyone hoping for extra features like support for Nvidia’s G-Sync or refresh rates higher than 60Hz may need to look toward other monitors, like the elite-level Acer Predator X27, for options like that.
Very Accurate Color (Almost Always)
With this panel, Dell advertises color-space coverage of 99 percent of Adobe RGB, which would mean that even though the monitor is advertised as a general-purpose display, it could still prove plenty color-accurate enough for most mid-to-pro-level photographers, artists, and cinematographers.
On this test, the Dell scored just barely under the target, at 98.1 percent. However, its standard RGB results were right in line with what was advertised, at a solid 99 percent return.
The DCI-P3 color gamut results were well under what Dell advertises (95 percent), however. On this test, the monitor only scored 73.4 percent, despite multiple runs through SpectraCal’s CalMan suite…
That said, the panel exceeded expectations in brightness….
While the monitor is rated for a maximum brightness of 400 nits in HDR, it achieved a total result of 444 nits in our tests.
The U3219Q’s Delta E results were quite good out of the box, scoring a 1.81. These aren’t the pinnacles you’d aim for if you were working on highly color-sensitive jobs, but that showing is still accurate enough for most amateur and semi-pro employees in relevant fields.
In our input-lag testing, using the Leo Bodnar input-lag tool, the U3219Q registered a score of 9.4ms. This is not bad for gaming at all, but again, given that this monitor isn’t skewed specifically toward the gaming set, numbers in this category don’t have as significant of an impact as they would for other monitors.
Black levels on the U3219Q could have been a little better, scoring 0.22, while normally we prefer to see results at 0.1 or under for monitors in this price bracket.
Built for Business, But Up for Anything
Though the primary focus of the Dell U3219Q is on the business set, we’d be comfortable setting up this monitor in our home office, gaming den, or even as a (well, admittedly very pricey) replacement TV in the kitchen. This display returned stellar test scores across the board in color reproduction (aside from its DCI-P3 results), and both its gaming performance and 4K movie clarity were good enough to warrant the U3219Q being used as a general media display once your time at the office comes to a close.