Sharp Ultra-High-Definition (UHD) picture. Wide-gamut coverage. Excellent color and grayscale performance. Loaded with features.
Expensive. All ports are located around back. No pivot capability.
- Bottom Line
The Dell UltraSharp UP3216Q is a pricey 32-inch, professional-grade monitor that delivers precise colors, excellent grayscale reproduction, and stunning UHD imagery.
When we reviewed Dell's UltraSharp 32 Ultra HD UP3214Q back in 2014, it earned high praise for its color performance, robust features set, and highly detailed Ultra-High-Definition (UHD) image quality. However, we thought its $3,500 price was over the top. With the UltraSharp 32 Ultra HD 4K Monitor (UP3216Q), Dell once again offers a professional-grade 32-inch UHD display that delivers excellent performance and tons of features. At $1,399.99, it isn't exactly affordable, though it's around $2,100 less than its predecessor. If your work requires extreme color and grayscale performance, however, it is money well spent.
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Design and Features
Design-wise, the UP3216Q isn't that much of an update from the Dell UP3214Q. It uses the same matte-black cabinet with silver trim and three-quarter-inch bezels. The 18.9-pound cabinet is supported by a sturdy silver stand that provides height, tilt, and swivel adjustments, but lacks pivot adjustability. You can easily remove the cabinet from the stand and mount it on a wall using a VESA-compatible mounting kit.
The 3,840-by-2,160-resolution In-Plane Switching (IPS) screen is a wide-gamut panel that uses Dell's PremierColor technology to cover 100 percent of the Rec. 709 (HDTV) color space, 99.5 percent of the Adobe RGB color space, 100 percent of the sRGB color space, and 87 percent of the DCI-P3 (digital cinema color standard) color space. It features a 12-bit Look-Up Table (LUT) that supports hardware calibration, and has a peak brightness of 300 cd/m2, a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, a 60Hz refresh rate, a 6-millisecond pixel response, and a 16:9 aspect ratio.
Around back, facing downward, are two DisplayPort inputs (one full size and one mini), an HDMI 2.0/MHL port, an audio output, a USB 3.0 upstream port, and three USB 3.0 downstream ports. An additional USB 3.0 downstream port is also located at the rear of the cabinet, facing outward. With a monitor of this size, it would be nice if at least two of the USB ports were mounted on the side of the cabinet, where they would be easier to reach. For instance, the Asus PA328Q has four USB 3.0 ports on its cabinet's left side. An SD card slot located on the left side of the UP3216Q's cabinet supports MS Pro, MS Duo, SD, and MMC media.
There are five touch-sensitive function buttons and a power switch located on the lower-right-hand bezel. You use the function buttons to access and navigate your way through the settings menus, and they also serve as hotkeys for selecting a preset mode, adjusting Brightness and Contrast, and selecting an input source. There are eight preset selections, including Standard, Multimedia, Movie, Game, Paper, Color Temperature, Custom Color, and Color Space. The Color Space sub-menu offers presets for Adobe RGB, sRGB, DCI-P3, Rec. 709, and two calibration presets (Cal 1 and Cal 2). The Custom Color sub-menu has Gain and Offset settings for red, green, and blue colors, as well as six-color Hue and Saturation settings.
Other settings are made up of Picture-in-Picture (PIP) and Picture-by-Picture (PbP) size and position settings, Uniformity Compensation to achieve uniform brightness, and Zonal Color space, which allows you to display different color spaces on the left and right side of the screen. That means, for instance, that you can have one half of the screen using sRGB and the other half using Adobe RGB.
Dell covers the UP3216Q with a three-year warranty on parts, labor, and backlight. It ships with a DisplayPort cable, a USB upstream cable, a Quick Start guide, and a resource CD containing drivers and a User Guide.
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The UP3216Q was a stellar performer in testing. My 4K test images appeared razor-sharp, with excellent viewing angles; colors remained vibrant, and the panel maintained luminance when viewed from extreme top, bottom, and side angles. The panel aced the DisplayMate 64-Step Grayscale test, correctly displaying every shade of gray, with no noticeable tinting. My black-and-white test images showed excellent shadow and highlight detail as well.
Since the UP3216Q is calibrated at the factory, it comes as no surprise that out-of-the-box color accuracy was spot-on. As shown on the chromaticity chart below, red, green, and blue color measurements, which are represented by the colored dots, are very closely aligned with their ideal CIE coordinates, which are represented by the boxes. Moreover, colors appeared evenly saturated in the DisplayMate full-screen Uniformity and Purity tests and while displaying scenes from Marvel's Daredevil series on Netflix.
The panel's 6-millisecond pixel response did a good job of handling fast motion without an overabundance of artifacts. Granted, there was some motion blur and minor screen tearing in our Crysis 3 (PC) and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (Sony PlayStation 4) gaming tests, but chances are, this monitor won't be pressed into gaming duty all that often. The UP3216Q's input lag of 10.1 milliseconds, as measured with a Leo Bodnar Video Input Lag Tester, is relatively short, but not as short as the 9.5-millisecond lag that we saw with the BenQ SW2700PT.
In our power-consumption tests, the UP3216Q averaged 43 watts of power while operating in the Standard preset mode (it does not offer a power-saving ECO mode). That's significantly more energy efficient than the Dell UP3214Q (88 watts) and nearly identical to the BenQ PD3200U (44 watts). The Asus PA328Q used 53 watts in Standard mode and 44 watts in ECO mode.
The Dell UltraSharp 32 Ultra HD 4K Monitor (UP3216Q) will appeal to graphics professionals, photo editors, and content creators who require precise color accuracy and superior grayscale performance. The 32-inch IPS panel provided incredibly sharp UHD imagery in our tests, and the monitor is equipped with a full complement of picture settings and a 12-bit LUT to help keep the panel perfectly calibrated. A couple of side-mounted USB ports would be nice, as would a stand that allows you to pivot the panel.
If portrait-mode viewing is a must, consider the Asus PA328Q, our Editors' Choice for extra-large-screen UHD monitors. Like the UP3216Q, it is a top-performing 32-inch UHD display, but it offers pivot adjustability, a few extra HDMI ports, and easily accessible USB ports, and does so for $100 less.
By John R. Delaney Contributing Editor
As a Contributing Editor for PCMag, John Delaney has been testing and reviewing monitors, TVs, PCs, networking and smart home gear, and other assorted hardware and peripherals for almost 20 years. A 13-year veteran of PC Magazine's Labs (most recently as Director of Operations), John was responsible for the recruitment, training and management of the Labs technical staff, as well as evaluating and maintaining the integrity of the Labs testing machines and procedures. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, John spent six years in retail operations for… More »
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