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

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Enlarge / Dell UltraSharp U3223QZ 4K Monitor.

Charon Harding

Features at a Glance: Dell UltraSharp U3223QZ
panel size 31.5 inches
Resolution 3840×2160
Refresh assess 60Hz
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 3.5mm, 1x RJ45
Cut 28.06×9.06×19.6-25.48 inch with stand
(712.6×230×497.84-647.27mm)
lester 26.23 pounds
(11.9kg)
guarantee 3 years
Price (MSRP) $1,029

I understand; 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 stuffing the UltraSharp U3223QZ 4K monitor with fluff like motion-activated controls, monstrous speakers, and a webcam with presence detection. But after weeks with the monitor, I haven’t found 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 Apple Studio Display 5K (starting at $1,600). Dell has since 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 produce about twice as much contrast as a typical IPS monitor. I confirmed it with a colorimeter and, more pleasantly, with my eyes.

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

Design

If you want an IPS Black panel, 31.5 inches is your biggest 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 you mind, we’ll remind you of Apple’s Studio Display at the same price. It packs 5K resolution into a (traditional) 27-inch (217.57ppi) IPS panel, which makes the pixel density of both UltraSharps paltry.

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

Charon Harding

The U3223QZ has Apple-appropriate hues and shapes, including thin bezels, a trapezoid-like silver base, and a gray smooth plastic back. A variety of connectivity options allow up to two computers to be connected simultaneously, but I preferred using USB-C with power delivery. This meant fewer cables running through the stand opening, which also makes basic cable management easier.

thicker lines

The U3223QZ has the thin bezels of Dell’s UltraSharp line of monitors, but it still gives off big vibrations. Indeed, in addition to the slim bezels, the panel is framed by thicker top and bottom bezels to accommodate the 1.3-inch speakers and camera (top) and touch controls (bottom). It’s the most visually striking monitor to grace my desk in a while.

Due to technical issues, I checked two U3223QZ units. Both review units had fabric over the speakers, and it felt pretty tight, but that’s still a lot of fabric that could snag for a long time (the monitor has a three-year warranty). Each of my review units also had a pesky gap between the panel chassis and the speaker.

This small space near the speaker is a small problem but which nags me.
Enlarge / This small space near the speaker is a small problem but which nags me.

Charon Harding

Meanwhile, the lower left corner of the monitor has touch controls for launching Microsoft Teams, starting or ending a call, adjusting the volume, and turning the mic and camera on and off. The buttons only light up when a hand is near or when the mic mute or camera shutter is activated, which is a good thing as bright lights are somewhat distracting.

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

I would ditch the Teams button in a heartbeat.
Enlarge / I would ditch the Teams button in a heartbeat.

Charon Harding

The U3223QZ’s stand supports tilt from -5 to 21 degrees, swivels 30 degrees left or right, and provides 5.88 inches of height adjustment. Admirably, the monitor gets 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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