Dell UltraSharp U2711 vs Apple Thunderbolt Display

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Tsuchiya, May 15, 2012.

  1. Tsuchiya macrumors 68020

    Tsuchiya

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #1
    OK, so I'm pretty set on one of these displays and will probably order in the next 12 hours or so so I can have it by Thursday. However I'm still torn between them.

    Dell technically has the better display (more colours, better response time), and has more ports then the TBD i.e. HDMI which would be great because I can sneak in a games console underneath my desk :D). It's also much cheaper and has better ergonomics.

    However, the TBD is beautifully designed and made and will fit into my Mac setup nicely. Also Facetime HD would be a nice addition, and HDMI isn't really necessary (I'll get more done at the very least). Also if I'm not gaming will I really notice the difference between the response time? I don't need super accurate colour or anything I don't do much editing outside of footage taken on our HD camcorder...

    I know the whole glossy vs matte issue should bother me, but it doesn't really. My current Dell monitor (which has served me well for the past 6 years (yes it needs replacing now...) has a matte screen which is very, very good (it still beats the pants off a lot of monitors I see on the market today) and well my Macbook has a glossy screen. I can work with either.

    So guys, what do you think? Is the Dell screen the obvious winner and sensible option or shall I take the plunge on a TBD?

    (final note: I really don't care about having a TB port on my monitor, neither do I need ethernet etc)
     
  2. McGilli, May 15, 2012
    Last edited: May 15, 2012

    McGilli macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    #2
    Just to be sure....

    You have a Thunderbolt computer right?

    Since one monitor is Thunderbolt, and one is not - not sure what connection you have on your machine....


    Regardless, I just bought 2x TB monitors and I'll never use another brand now...

    (EDIT: Ooops now I see your signature with what Mac you have....)
     
  3. Tsuchiya thread starter macrumors 68020

    Tsuchiya

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    Jun 7, 2008
  4. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #4
    I would pick the Ultrasharp over the Thunderbolt display.

    I have both. The matte finish, tons of connectivity options, and Dell's rather excellent advanced replacement warranty (and you can add accidental)—all why I choose the Dell display.

    The convenience of being able to "dock" my MacBook Air when I get home to a bigger display with Ethernet and a power source is nice, but for a Mac mini, it's not as useful. Plus I still don't like the glass display.
     
  5. Tsuchiya thread starter macrumors 68020

    Tsuchiya

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #5
    I went with the UltraSharp screen in the end. As beautiful as the TBD is, it was the impractical option. The lack of ports is a killer and it's hard to justify spending so much more for it.

    In a moment of madness I almost ordered both, but I don't think I can fit 2x27" screens on my desk :p
     
  6. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a

    iAppl3Fan

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    Sep 8, 2011
    #6
    I went with the 27" TBD. Couldn't be happier.
     
  7. Tsuchiya thread starter macrumors 68020

    Tsuchiya

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #7
    I should have done the same :mad: The U2711 is a nice display but it requires a lot of calibration, out of the box it's pants. Also apparently my Mini can only drive the full resolution with display port.
     
  8. Ashok0 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #8
    I RMA'ed my DELL Ultrasharp and bought an Apple ACD. The thing was hideous, the aggressive AG is atrocious, it was actually more distracting that reflections.
    Go with a TB display.
     
  9. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    #9
    Well that in itself isn't a problem - the cable is cheap. And it will (if that's a consideration) pass through audio as well.
     
  10. Fastball32 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    #10
    Return the Dell. Although both brand new makes a difficult decision, the Apple display will hold its value much longer with time. It's also a lot nicer looking and has more features like an HD camera with built in speakers and microphone.
    If you can afford it, Apple is the way to go, you won't regret it.
     
  11. Tsuchiya thread starter macrumors 68020

    Tsuchiya

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #11
    I've ordered a cable which should arrive in the next day or so. Any idea why I can't get full resolution with DVI and an adapter though? I tried DVI to HDMI and DVI-Mini Displayport and neither works.


    Connectivity is a major sticking point for me and was the main reason why I was so hesitant about getting one. With the Dell I can plug in my Mini, 360 and have a spare port available for my MBP if I wanted. Hopefully a displayport cable will fix my issues with the Dell and with some calibration it'll be stunning. When I was driving it with my Macbook Pro I was impressed.

    A TBD is still insanely tempting though, if I were in the market for a second display it would be my first choice now. I guess that'll be when I upgrade my Mini to something a bit more capable...
     
  12. mfram macrumors 65816

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    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA USA
    #12
    Probably because you're not using a dual-link DVI cable. Any resolution higher than 1920x1200 over DVI requires a dual-link DVI cable. Apple makes such a cable, but it's pretty expensive.
     
  13. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a

    iAppl3Fan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    #13
    Yeah that is correct. All the other ports cannot get the full resolution of your screen. I miss all the other connection ports to but in the end since I made the switch to Mac less then a year ago, I might as well get a uniform look.
     
  14. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #14
    I'm wondering what you mean by this. It's an Adobe RGB display. Does it look weird out of the box? I mean are you UI icons really saturated or something? Is it an issue of greenish greys? The more colors thing is commonly misunderstood. They're spread out more. OSX doesn't actually support full 10 bit displayport, so the issue is primarily addressed by dithering. If you're dealing with a lot of photo work, the Dell is probably better. Neither is that easy to "calibrate" (actually profile, but no one seems to get the difference). Anyway I prefer NEC if you get a good one, but if you're not using this for work, it's not really necessary.

    I disagree that the Apple is better:p or that it will hold its value. All displays degrade with use and drift over time. Some have better compensation for it than others, but this is just in the nature of the technology. You should buy electronics to use them, not on the hope of residual value. Dell actually dropped the price on that one as the panels became cheaper, so it's not that bad of a deal.
     
  15. Tsuchiya thread starter macrumors 68020

    Tsuchiya

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #15
    The icons seemed over saturated and even on the Lion wallpaper that comes standard with the OS, the colours just seemed a bit bright. What I made was a snap judgement though based on 10 minutes use with the wrong cable. I was also no where near full resolution as well so it seemed blurry. I've tried the display with my Macbook Pro at full resolution and it seems A-OK. Also I tried out my 360 and it seems OK too.

    (Also yeah, Dell dropped the price on the monitor quite a bit, with the difference I upgraded my desktop speakers :p)
     
  16. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #16
    Ohh.. I missed that cable thing. I never thought you'd try to run that over hdmi. It is a nice display. They sold them around the price of the Apple in the past. When the panel costs dropped, Apple came out with the thunderbolt display implementing additional hardware to make it into a full docking station. Dell cut pricing to make it more palatable as a consumer grade option.

    I'm glad it looks good on the macbook pro. When you mentioned calibration I thought you might be involved with photography or graphic design or something of that sort. Both of those displays only profile well with a pretty limited range of colorimeter hardware unless you want to spend a fortune. Pretty much in either case (Dell or TB display) trying to use an older colorimeter is just asking for headaches.
     
  17. mfram macrumors 65816

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    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA USA
    #17
    There are different presets on the U2711 for Apple/sRGB/PC color balances. If you are having weird colors, play with that setting.
     
  18. unfrostedpoptar macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    #18
    Yeah - the TBD can only go full res over Displayport too. Also, if you're serious about graphics work at all, you should be getting something like a Spyder, so that's a moot point.

    The advantages of the TBD are the camera, which would be nice, and the speakers, which can't compare to the stereo I have my Mac hooked to. I also despise the glossy screen. And the stand isn't adjustable and is too high for my desk. Oh - and only one input.

    I'm one of the people with the Dell u2711 and, other than the camera, and TB/power (if you're talking about the TB Display), it totally blows away the Apple. The screen is much easier to read. It's got 2 * Dual-link DVI, one Displayport, HDMI, component, and composite video inputs. I can use it with any Mac and also have it hooked to my TiVo with HDMI. Also has a great, adjustable height / tilt / swivel stand. And you can get it $100-$200 less than the Apple monitor.

    Right now, I've got a 27" iMac next to (and driving) the Dell for a dual screen. I hate the glossy screen so much (and they're actually the identical LCD panel internally!) that I'm going to spend a lot more to sell the iMac and get a Mac Pro and a 2nd (and possibly 3rd!) Dell.
     
  19. Tsuchiya thread starter macrumors 68020

    Tsuchiya

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #19
    I didn't return the Dell in the end and I'm pretty happy with my decision. A cheap mini-displayport>displayport cable from Amazon did the trick and it looks amazing now at 2560x1440.

    Connectivity was one of my main concerns and on this the Dell won out against the TBD's webcam and speakers. I have an iSight on my MBP if I want to video chat and the price difference between the monitors freed up some extra cash in my budget for a pair of Bowers and Wilkins MM-1s :D
     
  20. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a

    iAppl3Fan

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    Sep 8, 2011
    #20
    Glad to hear things worked out for you.
     
  21. cosmicjoke macrumors 6502

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    Oct 3, 2011
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #21
    heh, if you happen to live near Portland, OR i'd trade you one of my TB Displays for the Dell :p am sure plenty here disagree but I think you made the right decision to go w/ the Ultrasharp... Thunderbolt's lack of compatibility is a major drawback if your needs change down the road, as i've found out the hard way.

    nice hassan i sabbah quote in sig btw, maybe you're a robert anton wilson fan? :)
     
  22. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #22
    I bought a U2711 for my work computer because of the connectivity. I really had no choice as I use a Lenovo X201 and a MBA and needed two ports. For home, I use the ATD for my MBA. When I get my new iMac... I might also use it as a second display when I do not have the MBA connected.

    Of the two, I prefer the ATD... but they are both really nice.

    /Jim
     
  23. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

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    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #23
    I'm pretty sure the response times are actually the same. The Dell lists a 6ms grey to grey response time, whereas Apple just lists a 12ms response time (not grey to grey, I assume)
     
  24. enkay18 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    #24
    How much did you buy the Dell U2711 for? I'm also thinking of picking between thunderbolt or dell and i was wondering how much discount does Dell give on the listed price. Any coupons you used?
     
  25. 314631 macrumors 6502a

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    May 12, 2009
    Location:
    iDeaded myself
    #25
    I'm sorry you made the wrong decision. The Apple display is absolutely stunning and blows away the washed out U2711 in every situation. You really missed a wonderful opportunity to add another beautiful Apple product to your toolset.
     

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