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

Zoom in / Dell UltraSharp U3223QZ 4K Monitor.

Scharon Harding

Specs in brief: Dell UltraSharp U3223QZ
Panel size 31.5 inches
Resolution 3840×2160
Reload Rate it 60 hertz
Panel type and backlight Black IPS, LCD
You bring 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
Dimension 28.06×9.06×19.6-25.48inch with stand
(712.6×230×497.84-647.27mm)
Weight 26.23 lbs
(11.9kg)
Warranty 3 years
Price (recommended price) $1,029

I understand; not everyone finds monitors as exciting as I do. For most people, a little more 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, monster speakers, and a presence-sensing webcam. But after weeks with the monitor, I haven’t found any of those extra features as exciting as the monitor’s IPS Black panel.

The U3223QZ has a lot to prove. For one thing, 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 expensive for a 31.5-inch monitor. The Dell U3223QZ is also one of the few monitors to use IPS Black technology, which should produce about twice the contrast of the typical IPS monitor. I confirmed this with a colorimeter and, more pleasantly, with my eyes.

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

Drawing

If you want an IPS Black panel, 31.5 inches is the largest 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 that bothers you, we’ll remind you of Apple’s similarly priced Studio Display. It packs 5K resolution into a 27-inch (traditional) IPS panel (217.57 ppi), making the pixel density of the two UltraSharps seem paltry.

The deep power button and protruding 5-way joystick on the back were easy to distinguish.
Zoom in / The deep power button and protruding 5-way joystick on the back were easy to distinguish.

Scharon Harding

The U3223QZ comes in Apple-friendly shades and shapes, including slim bezels, a silver trapezoidal base, and a smooth plastic back in gray. A variety of connectivity options help connect up to two computers simultaneously, but I preferred using USB-C with power. This meant fewer cables running through the stand opening, which also helps with basic cable management.

Thicker lines

The U3223QZ has the thinnest bezels of Dell’s UltraSharp range of monitors, but still gives off heavy vibes. That’s because, in addition to the thin bezels, the panel is framed by thicker top and bottom edges to accommodate the speakers and 1.3-inch camera (top) and touch controls (bottom). It’s the most visually striking monitor to grace my desk in quite some time.

Due to technical problems, I checked two U3223QZ units. Both review units had cloth that ran over the speakers and felt pretty tight, but that’s still a lot of cloth that could snag over a long period (the monitor has a three-year warranty). Each of my review units also had an annoying gap between the panel chassis and the speaker.

That small gap next to the speaker is a small problem but one that bothers me.
Zoom in / That small gap next to the speaker is a small problem but one that bothers me.

Scharon Harding

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

The controls aren’t programmable, which is a shame for non-Teams users.

I'd abandon the Teams button in a heartbeat.
Zoom in / I’d abandon the Teams button in a heartbeat.

Scharon Harding

The U3223QZ’s stand supports tilt from -5 to 21 degrees, rotates 30 degrees left or right, and allows for 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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