Dell UltraSharp U3011 review

On April 4, 2014, in Monitors For Photo Editing, Reviews, by Harry Jackson
Dell UltraSharp U3011 review

Dell UltraSharp U3011 review

Dell UltraSharp U3011 review here shows that it is not a typical high end display. With just average features. But rather a professional grade high performing monitor with excellent color reproduction abilities. But not without some flaws as we shall soon see below.


The features and functionalities in this monitor makes it one of the best 30-inch professional grade display you will come across. Its 10-bit H-IPS panel comes with a 2560 by 1600 resolution. It supports up to 1.07 billion colors. It comes with a 100% factory tuned sRGB, 96% Adobe RGB, and 102% NTSC. Aspect ratio is 16:10 while contrast ratio is 1000:1. It also features generous connectivity options, an intuitive OSD, LG’s LM300WQ5-SDA1 Display, and the superior W-CCFL backlighting.


It however comes at a premium price because it is more costly compared to others in its category. If you are already using Dell U2711, there may be very little to excite you about this monitor. Because they have similar features. Except for the larger screen real estate and a few new specs you will find in it here and there.


Watch this YouTube video of it below to see what it looks like;




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Dell UltraSharp U3011 specs (manufacturer specifications)

Here are the specs of this product in the table below. We also compared it with Dell U2711 and U2410 that are similar to it.


Hint: Click the next button below the table to see more of its specs and features.


Design color

Panel type




Screen type
Enhanced W-CCFL

Matte/anti-glare coating
Enhanced W-CCFL

Enhanced CCFL backlight


Aspect ratio
30-inch widescreen

27-inch widescreen

24-inch widescreen


Refresh rate

Pixel pitch (Dot pitch)
2560 x 1600


0.2505 mm
2560 x 1440


0.233 mm
1920 x 1200


0.277 mm
Amazon rating

Free shipping?



Dimension (inches)
Weight/Shipping weight
33.2 x 27 x 11.4

20.5 pounds/ 32.4 pounds
29.2 x 9.9 x 23

3,000 pounds/ 30.5 pounds
25.4 x 18.2 x 9.3

24.5 pounds/24.6 pounds
Color Gamut

Color coverage

Wide color gamut

102% NTSC
100% sRGB
96% Adobe RGB
Wide color gamut

102% NTSC
100% sRGB
96% Adobe RGB
Wide/extended gamut

102% NTSC
100% sRGB
96% Adobe RGB
Bit depth (Color bits)

Color support

1.07 billion colors
8-bit + AFRC with 12-bit internal processing
1.07 billion colors
8 bits with 10-bit internal color processing

16.7 million colors from a palette of 1.07 billion colors
Factory calibrated?YesYesYes
Response time (Milli-seconds)7ms gray-to-gray6ms gray-to-gray6ms Gray-to-gray
Connectivity & inputs options
2 x DVI (with HDCP)
2 x HDMI
1 x Displayport
1 x D-sub (VGA)
4 x USB 2.0 ports
Component video
2 x DVI-D (with HDCP)
1 x HDMI 1.3
1 x Displayport
1 x D-sub (VGA)
4 x USB 2.0 ports
Component video
Composite video
2 x DVI (with HDCP)
1 x HDMI
1 x Displayport
1 x D-sub (VGA)
4 x USB 2.0 ports
Composite video
Composite audio
Ergonomics & Adjustment options22° Tilt
60° Pivot (rotate)
& 3.5-inch height adjustment
Pivot (rotate)
& height adjustment
Pivot (rotate)
height adjustment
VESA compliant?Yes (100 x 100mm)Yes (100 x 100mm)Yes
Viewing angles (Horizontal/vertical in degrees)
Contrast ratio1000:1 static

100,000:1 dynamic
1000:1 static

80,000:1 dynamic
1000:1 Static;

80,000:1 Dynamic
Brightness (in Candelas per meter squared)370 cd/m2350 cd/m2400 cd/m2
Warranty3-year limited hardware warranty & 3 years of Dell's Advanced Exchange service 3 years limited hardware warranty & 3 years of Dell's Advanced Exchange service 3 years limited warranty
Other features and fine details7-in-1 card reader
PremierColor technology
Drivers & utility software included
Compatible with Window 7
Security lock slot (cable lock sold separately)
EPEAT Silver compliant
8-in-1 card reader
PremierColor technology
12-bit internal color processing
Drivers & utility software included
Intuitive controls & capacitive touch switches
Compatible with Window 7
Security lock slot (cable lock sold separately)
9-in-one memory card reader included
Premier Color technology
Green compliant
Picture-in-picture (PiP) & Picture-by-picture (PbP) function
Compatible with Window 7
Security lock slot provided
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  • Design and features
Design is similar to U2711 and U2410

Design is similar to U2711 and U2410

Dell UltraSharp U3011 has the same design as the U2410 and U2711 models. It comes in a matte black chassis. That is punctuated with a gray highlight throughout the middle of its panel. Its 30-inch screen is conspicuously bigger than the U2711. The full monitor depth stands at 3.7 inches thanks to the panel’s depth of 1.75-inches And its back that extends another 1.8 inches. The width of the panel measures around 27.4-inches. And all the sides of its bezel measures 0.90-inch. The body is well built using high quality materials and it is fairly compact.


  • Ergonomic Features

 It provides a 100mm height adjustment range that is good but not very impressive. Because there are many monitors in its category that provide more than this height adjustment range. Its height adjustment is however smooth and hassle free. Which you will find very easy to use. The bottom of its screen is approximately 135mm above the base at the highest height adjustment. And 35mm above the base at the lowest height adjustment. The tilt function is good enough and easy to use. The pivot function is a bit stiff. But it can be adjusted without having to move the entire base.


  • Connectivity
Extensive connectivity options

Extensive connectivity options

There are a total of 4 USB ports provided in this monitor. There are two on the left hand side. The other two is under the backside of the screen just beside the interface connections. A card reader that comes with it is also conveniently located by the side of it. Just like its two smaller predecessors, all the connectors provided in this monitor can be found at the back underside of the screen. There are two DVI ports, two HDMIs, a Displayport, and a component port. It does not come with integrated speakers. But it is compatible with Dell’s Soundbar. That you can purchase at an additional cost if you need speakers with it.


  • Onscreen Display (OSD)

 The OSD function in this monitor is intuitive and easy to navigate. Its menu buttons are featured on the bottom right edge of the screen. Just like the U2711, there are no labels on these buttons. At the lower right hand corner of the bezel, you will see five buttons arranged vertically. If you press any of these buttons, the OSD menu pops-up parallel to the button line, each option corresponding to one button. With a new menu, you will notice that the top two buttons swiftly become the up and down navigation keys.

OSD is intuitive and easy to navigate

OSD is intuitive and easy to navigate

Menu options include the different color options and standard contrast and brightness. These color options include custom controls for offset and gain. Used for adjusting the primary color values in the dim and bright sections respectively. Saturation and hue options include RGB and CMY adjustments. CMY simply stands for Cyan Magenta and Yellow.

Main presets include standard, sRGB, Adobe RGB, multimedia, movie, game, cool, warm, and xv mode. You also have additional options for tweaking the sharpness and OSD transparency levels. And for setting the OSD to hang around the screen for a minute. The movie mode is actually an additional feature because it was not featured in the U2711 or the U2410.


  • Calibration

You will need to calibrate this monitor if you are a professional that deals on color critical works. But if you are an average user, there are presets that will just work well for you.

One common mistake that many people make that makes them end up with horrendous results during calibration is resetting to the factory default mode to remove the standard setting. Doing so installs it instead of removing it. To do it correctly, ensure that just after the global reset, you go to presets and select custom color. This takes you to the custom mode where calibration can be done properly.

You get precise and industry standard colors right out of the box with it

You get precise and industry standard colors right out of the box with it

This monitor calibrates better and more accurately than many we’ve seen. And unlike the U2711 that requires you to adjust the brightness level. Above the level recommended by the calibration software. In order to get clean and bright whites after calibration, Dell U3011 obtains cleaner and brighter whites just with what the software recommends.

This is good for you if you are a large format printer. Because brightness above the level recommended by the software may lead to darker print outs. To avoid this, you may be forced to do some compensation work. Which is not difficult at all. But will certainly take more of your time.


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Still on Dell U3011 review, lets see how it performs in areas where it is most applicable.


  • Image versus Text


Experience the power of its IPS panel technology

Experience the power of its IPS panel technology

It features a bigger screen real estate with a 16:10 aspect ratio that is very good for photo editing applications. Like the Premiere Pro software and Adobe Photoshop.  And it offers you lesser pixels per inch of 101. Compared to Dell U2711’s 109. Which means images will look more glorious than what is obtainable with the U2711.

However, texts are bound to be much smaller with the Dell U3011 in our review today than the U2711. Because of its high pixel density that makes text extremely small. This can be a bit problematic especially if you are working on graphics with lots of text. However on the plus side, Black text on white background with Dell U3011 is perfect. And text visibility is good up to a size of 6.8.


  • Photos


You get to experience rich, lifelike visuals for photos with it

You get to experience rich, lifelike visuals for photos with it

It exhibits an excellent color accuracy and a color reproduction that cannot be matched easily by its competitors. Because it reproduces perfectly clear photos with accurate tints and a balanced color saturation. And it does not show any signs of a green push that is sometimes seen in HP ZR30w-a similar professional grade monitor. All of which makes it ideal for photo editing and similar color oriented applications.


  • Movies

 Its H-IPS panel gives accurate and natural colors with movies. Images are true to life with the help of its huge screen. Many who own it did not witness any egregious color problem so far with it. Moreover its movies’ cool tone provides a solid feel and lower black levels to movies.


  • Games

 Dell UltraSharp U3011 review imagebStar Craft II which runs on a native resolution of 2560 x 1600 showed vibrant and accurate colors on this monitor. Everything appeared detailed and real. And with the wide array of presets and calibration options, you can still enhance the output quality further. Moreover the warm tone in the game preset enhances vibrancy with games.


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Other aspect of its performance


  • Factory-tuned to AdobeRGB and sRGB modes

    Factory-tuned to AdobeRGB and sRGB modes

    Out Of The Box Calibration


It performs well out of the box for the average user who may not have access to hardware calibration tools. Because its Adobe RGB and sRGB modes are factory calibrated to deliver accurate colors at the ideal gamma level. Which is very important so you can start using it as soon as you receive it. Gamma level of this monitor is quite impressive. Even when the full color space is being used and with the standard preset.


  • Dark and Bright Uniformity

 Dell UltraSharp U3011 review image20bIt exhibits an impressive performance with dark screen and uniformity tests performed on it. With just a slight backlight bleed. It also gave good results with the grayscale tests performed on it. Because it featured dark grays two levels above black for an excellent black performance. However, static streaking sometimes occurs in it with big changes in contrast. This means that a lighter or darker color shows on its counterpart. For example white bars may appear on a black background.


  • Warranty

There are a few complaints about Dell’s warranty with this monitor. If you are not buying from Dell directly, it is advisable to get in touch with them through e-mail or web chat to activate the warranty on this monitor. Usually, when goods are shipped to a retailers’ warehouse, the warranty comes in their name. You need to have the warranty transferred to your Dell account as soon as you buy the monitor.

Some people also complained that the warranty on it is just for 365 days. But that’s not true. What happens is that as the system transfers the warranty to your account, it may initially reflect 365 days. But it is bound to change to the official warranty period after about 24 to 48 hours.


  • Screen Colors/Hues

 Dell UltraSharp U3011 review image18bMany people have complained about uneven hues on it. But we suppose the problem is really with the older versions that have not perfected this technology. Because there have been no uneven screen colors with the latest Rev A07.


Click here to see what others are saying about it



Pros and Cons

This Dell UltraSharp U3011 review continues here with a look at its pros and cons below;



  • Dell UltraSharp U3011 review image13bEmits less heat compared to other 30-inch monitors like the Apple 30-inch LCD display
  • Exhibits no sleep wake issues
  • Comes fairly well calibrated at factory level. And is easy to further calibrate for your own needs
  • Blacks and gray are as deep and dynamic as you will expect
  • Its extra-large 30-inch monitor size is ideal for photo editing, watching movies and playing games on a grand stage. Which  also offers you a lot of screen space for the applications you make use of everyday.
  • It provides an amazingly wide viewing angles with color consistency across any angle you view the screen.
  • It allows for a wide and generous view with its 16:10 aspect ratio and 2560 x 1600 high resolution.



  • It offers you a reliable limited hardware warranty and service options

    It offers you a reliable limited hardware warranty and service options

    Start up time can be as slow as 15 seconds

  • A bit more expensive than most 30-inch monitors
  • Matte Anti-glare problem still persists in it
  • May exhibit instances of static streaking
  • It is not quite energy efficient. Because it consumes over 110Watts of energy when used before calibration.
  • It is quite huge and bulky. Making it not portable at all


Click here to see what other users had to say about it.




More useful features

Our Dell U3011 review continues in this section with a look at more of its useful features below;


  • Easy connectivity

Dell U3011 UltraSharp 30" MonitorIt offers you easy and versatile connectivity options. Because it comes with several up to date input connections to help you connect it easily with other devices. These connectivity options include DisplayPort, USB ports, HDMI, and DVI-D among others. With these several options for connectivity, you are able to connect it easily with your PC, camera, USB devices, gadgets and peripherals.


  • Excellent high resolution

This monitor is equipped with a 2560 x 1600 high resolution across its screen. That provides a generous and wide view for you to work with. A high resolution means more detailed and sharp crispy images on display. Which is what you need for an excellent picture clarity of your photos on display. Its high resolution also comes with a 16:10 aspect ratio to further enhance image quality.


  • Wide viewing angles
Wide viewing angles

Wide viewing angles

This monitor is designed to enhance your experience with it by offering amazingly wide viewing angles. It uses the In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology in it to achieve this collaborative viewing angle. The IPS technology in it also enables it to deliver bright and stable pictures without any loss in color consistency. Which helps for a high color fidelity of all kinds of images on display to be consistent with ultra-wide viewing angles. The wide viewing angles will be of much benefit to you while working on your desktop. Especially when somebody like your client beside you needs to see colors of your pictures exactly how you want them to see it. And with it, you will enjoy playing games and watching movies sitting from any angle.


  • Excellence in motion

Dell UltraSharp U3011 is designed to offer you excellent moving pictures. Which is very good so you can enjoy watching movies and playing games with it. It uses a gray-to-gray technology that enables it to achieve a quick seven-millisecond response time for displaying moving images. Which in turn helps it to deliver razor-sharp images on screen. Moreover it helps it to provide a ghost-free viewing experience for movies and games.


  • Over one billion colors at your disposal

    Over one billion colors at your disposal

    Incredible color accuracy

It is one of the best monitors that deliver excellent color accuracy for photo editing and graphic design. Because it offers precision and accuracy when it comes to colors. Whether you are a professional photographer or a designer, you will be impressed by the incredible colors offered by this monitor. Moreover it covers 100% sRGB and 99% AdobeRGB color spaces. To deliver about 1.07 billion colors.


  • Custom color adjustment

It offers you excellent custom color adjustment options. Which enables you to fine-tune it to the customized color palette preferred by you. In particular, it features a Custom Color Mode that is used to customize colors to personal levels. Which will help you fine tune it to deliver reliable and true to life colors.


  • Plug-and-play flexibility

Dell UltraSharp U3011 review image18bIt offers you full automation with its plug and play abilities. Which enables it to connect faster and easily with your peripherals. You can also share your content with it via USB ports. And it will automatically start playing the content of your USB device immediately.


Click here to see what others who own it had to say about it.




Dell UltraSharp U3011 review image15bSo far in this Dell U3011 review, we have seen all that it has to offer you. Including its flaws that are not deal breakers at all. If what you are looking for is a reliable and high performing monitor for photo editing or home use, Dell U3011 is one of such that will meet your needs.


It is one of the most sought after since 2005 when market brand giant, Dell first released it. Since then, it has steadily grown in popularity. And is being used in most homes and offices across Europe, America, Asia, and even Africa. Dell manufactured this monitor to continue its renowned trend of elite family displays.


It was manufactured mainly to deliver outstanding performance in colors and contrast. And to outperform what was available in the market then. Because of its generous features and accurate colors, it has earned the trust of many marketers and users as well. Moreover, it offers one of the best dark grayscale performance you will find in the display market today.


Dell U3011 is the perfect type of monitor that is suitable with your office or home studio. This monitor will scale up your gaming experience and enhance your experience working with texts, pictures and videos on your desktop.




Experience premium color experience with it

Experience premium color experience with it

A final look at this Dell UltraSharp U3011 review that has been described as one of the best 30-inch monitor ever will help you make an informed decision about it. It comes with color accurate features and a 2,560 x 1,600 resolution that enables it to deliver a superior color performance. Which is ideal for office and home use. The only major problem we see with it is its cost because it is a bit pricey. Which many consider to be more expensive than most others in its category.


In conclusion, we can say that, though it is a bit expensive, this monitor delivers what it says it can. True colors out of the box with excellent color reproduction. It is very dynamic and can meet the needs of professional artists. As well as gamers, movie lovers, web browsers and other general users.


Another monitor that comes close to it is HP ZR30w which features crisp sharp colors, excellent viewing angles and much better latency specs for gaming. At a relatively cheaper price than the U3011. That is if cost is your problem with it.


However, if cost is not the problem, we urge you to go for it if you have the budget. Because what you will get from this monitor is an outstanding color performance and the ideal features you need for most applications. Such as for gaming, photo editing, graphic design, writing text, watching movies, etc. Which will cover the cost and serve as an investment for you that will last for years to come.


Where to buy it

List Price: $1,299.99
Current Price: $1,299.99
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You can purchase this monitor right now with fast free shipping from Amazon.

Amazon is a trusted retailer of this product from Dell. And they offer deals and price discounts on products like this from time to time..

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