Articles, Blog

This 4K HDR monitor has been the video production king for over a year…

November 21, 2019


I’ve not had the best of luck with computer
monitors lately – as detailed in my short “Monitor Roulette” series. In 2017 I invested in a big LG 31MU97 panel
so I could start producing more professional video courses with great color accuracy, and
then in fall of 2018 I wanted a second similarly-high-quality panel to match with it. This resulted in a huge mess, a monitor that
wasn’t the right fit, that LG monitor outright dying, and ultimately me landing on the Dell
UP2718Q. This was the monitor I originally wanted to
upgrade to, but decided not to for some… reason… and thanks to Dell I now have two. After a few months working with these bad
boys, it’s time for a review. Spoiler alert: This was the first professional
HDR-10 certified 4K monitor and it’s still the best. Seriously. [intro/ad] Full disclosure time: I purchased my main
display and first UP2718Q from Dell’s website after the whole ordeal in my Monitor Roulette
series for myself. Following a month of using this monitor and
realizing there was no real hope for reviving my other production panel that I was supposed
to pair with it, I reached out to Dell and arranged a review sample for a second one
so I could have matching sets for color grading, dual-monitor editing, and review. No one is seeing this review before it’s
being posted, telling me what to say, paying for this review, anything like that. This is the Dell UltraSharp UP2718Q – a 27
inch, 3840×2160 4K UHD 10-bit HDR monitor. This thing is a beast. Physically, it’s quite large – these are
thicc boi monitors, not paper-thin bezel-less ornaments. I truly don’t mind even monitor bezels like
this, they look nice and keep things framed properly. They are thick and put out a lot of heat,
and they are quite heavy on my dual monitor arm on my desk here at 13.18 pounds each. They put a lot of strain on my monitor arms
which makes it hard to keep them evenly flush for those OCD folk out there. They also put out a LOT of heat compared to
more consumer-oriented monitors. Like a LOT. The monitor features two HDMI 2.0 ports with
MHL support – so you can get 4K 60hz and HDR over HDMI, which I’ve been using for my
Xbox One X and PS4 Pro gaming. There’s also a full-size and mini DisplayPort
input. The cool extra option here is that this monitor
features TWO USB 3.0 hub connections. Now, I don’t actually end up using this
for this feature in my current setup, though I could see myself doing so in a future desk
re-build – but this monitor can act as a KVM, where you map one of the specific hubs to
a specific input, and the second hub to the second input, or multiple inputs, and as you
switch inputs, your USB devices are also switched to the PC that input goes to. Pretty neat. However, two of the USB ports are on the side
of the monitor – which is handy when accessible for sure, but means if you have two paired
together, the right-most monitor’s ports will always be blocked off. I would have also loved to see an integrated
USB 3 card reader on the side for us video people, too. The panel itself is IPS, which is generally
great for video production, photo editing, color grading, etc. and again is at 4K 60hz. It has a typical brightness of 400 nits, with
a peak brightness of 1000 nits, which makes it perfect for HDR use. Admittedly I don’t have much means of testing
HDR ‘quality’ nor do I use it a ton other than some casual movie or HDR video viewing
or gaming – but the implementation here is quite nice, if not incredibly bright. This was actually one of the first (if not
THE first) HDR monitor that Linus reviewed a year or two ago and was perhaps the first
monitor to meet HDR10 standards, according to Dell’s site and based on my experience
with a few monitors and watching countless reviews of others – it might still be the
best.. One thing has greatly improved since their
review, however – Windows 10’s HDR implementation. It’s still not great, by default the Windows
UI still dims down and doesn’t have an adaptation to the HDR color space BUT this specific monitor
has a “Smart HDR” option in the settings which allows it to keep SDR content at what
you would consider “normal” brightness and let HDR have full-range, which keeps Windows
usable with HDR enabled. Admittedly there’s a little extra gamma
compared to just running the monitor in SDR mode, but it makes a HUGE difference. This feature – along with virtually no “halo
effect” in high contrast scenarios – completely sealed the deal on me switching to this monitor
from the ASUS PA32UC I originally wanted to try. Dell lists a 6ms gray to gray response time
for the UP2718Q, Using both the Leo Bodnar monitor latency tester and the Time Sleuth,
I measured a 1.3 to 1.4ms black-white latency, which is pretty dang fast. Nothing noticeable when gaming for sure. In the menus, the monitor has a “Response
Time” option of “Normal” or “Fast.” I typically keep it on “Normal” – but
using my latency tester, neither option seemed to impact the result, oddly enough. The big selling point about monitors like
these is their super sharp color accuracy, color and bit depth support, as well as color
space support – and being accurately color calibrated with a Delta-E of less than 2 for
AdobeRGB and sRGB right out of the box. This monitor supports full 10-bit color – and
yes, that even works on some GeForce cards, despite common belief, including the 1080,
1080ti, newer Titans, 2080, 2080ti, etc. Supports 100% coverage of AdobeRGB, sRGB,
Rec. 709, 97.7% of the DCI-P3 color space and 76.9% of Rec. 2020. This means that the monitor is ready to go
for even high end color-accurate needs for video production and photo editing, and for
people like myself who rarely get good results when color calibrating – it’s ready to go
out of the box. Though just about anyone will recommend you
manually calibrate every few months anyway. The Dell UP2718Q also features Picture in
Picture (PiP) and Picture By Picture (PBP) modes so you can view a small window of another
input while showing your main input full screen OR setting up side-by-side inputs, which actually
shows to your PC that the monitor is half-width for some portrait mode window organization. I’m not a fan of this, but I know some people
who are. I just use Aero Snap controls in Windows to
organize my windows. Overall these monitors are very high quality,
super color accurate and have allowed me to really work on improving my color grading
for my photos and videos – and realizing how horrible some of my older videos look, heh. They’re heavy and hot, and don’t support
high refresh rates or anything, but they have been great for my video production setup. I was also impressed at just how many issues
I had w/ the ASUS PA32UC aren’t present on these panels. None of that weird over-sharpening I couldn’t
get rid of on the ASUS, no halo-ing from poor local dimming support, no vignetting from
being too large. Since my desk is only 2 feet deep, I’m always
less than 2 feet from my monitors and the 32-inch was just too large to see light from
all corners of it at once, 27-inch is more of the perfect size for 4K panels for me. Plus, the Smart HDR functionality is incredibly
cool. I’m still finding my way through the monitor
space, but I’m happy to be done with the hassle of that mess at the beginning of the
year, and I’m incredibly grateful to Dell for hooking me up to let me have the first
matched pair of monitors I’ve ever owned. I only reached out after I was confident with
my purchase in the first one, and I’m definitely confident recommending them to other prosumers
and enthusiasts looking to step up their monitor game for their video production needs. Affiliate product links will be in the description
below, as always. Hit the like button if you enjoyed, subscribe
for more tech education. Maybe consider checking out my other monitor
videos on the channel or this cool Nintendo Switch setup video. I’m EposVox here to make tech easier and
more fun and I hope to see you in a future video. Or past videos. Or something.

31 Comments

  • Reply Kohega May 17, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    First ?

  • Reply TheWayOfShawn May 17, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    This thing just screams highest of high quality.

  • Reply EposVox May 17, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    🎶 Music via Epidemic Sound: 🎵

    For more Epidemic Sound music: http://link.epidemicsound.com/Focus_Beats_PlaylistVY

  • Reply James Clark May 17, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    What game are you playing @2:17?

  • Reply CallumlousTV May 17, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    what is a good recommendation for a cheap high quality UltraWide?

  • Reply Andrew Fort May 17, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    A "full sized" mini DisplayPort input? @2:18 what with the who, now?

  • Reply Ayush Bakshi May 17, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    Monitor Roulette Flashbacks INTENSIFIES

  • Reply Techvania May 17, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    5:15 – On DELL monitors that enables pixel overdrive to help "eliminate" ghosting. I've found it only creates more artifacts and instead of ghosts, there's usually extra highlighting of the ghosted pixel due to overdrive.

  • Reply Hey! We're Playin' May 17, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Never watched anyone struggle with monitors as much as EposVox lmao

  • Reply Otter.pro May 17, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    the price of $1500 is a little high, but I'd love to get it when the price comes down a little bit

  • Reply Byte Syze May 17, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    I appreciate your OBS tuts they are life savers.

  • Reply Apostolos Vakirtzis May 17, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    Are you sure that 1080 supports 10bit? I think only quadro cards do that

  • Reply Links Keyblade May 17, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    I couldn't ever go back to 60hz

  • Reply Samuel Schwager May 17, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    Phew, and I thought spending 700-800$ for a monitor was quite some money 😉

  • Reply Derek Turtle Roe May 17, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Glad to finally see your monitor woes are over. One thing I would like to see is modern 240Hz monitor reviews from you, such as the ones made by ViewSonic and BenQ. Just sounds like something I would enjoy watching. Great video as always!

  • Reply Bojan Glamocak May 17, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Dude? What about, HP dream color and EIZO.

  • Reply iKingRPG May 17, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    You videos look a lot nicer now, but just a personal opinion, so excuse me please.

    Those bad transitions and effects suck. It makes it look like someone got a video editor for the first time. I'm talking about the colorful intros, and in general. I like the new camera angle and lighting though

  • Reply Giovanni P. May 17, 2019 at 11:17 pm

    'We' originally bought large, expensive 'high quality' monitors for room displays. In retrospect all we needed was a cheap big screen TV because it was used to convey information and 'video instruction' to people – not video production in our case. As we've seen if you are a gamer fps, latency and refresh time is important. For video production screens like what you've shown above. Most attempts to make a monitor that meets everyone s needs leads to disappointments.

  • Reply philosoaper May 17, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    Did you ever consider the BenQ PD2720U or PD3220U ones? And apart from the potential vignetting of 32".. how is the readability in W10 on 27"?

  • Reply Danny D May 18, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    That's a lot of soy for a tech video.

  • Reply Nisco Racing May 18, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    Does the monitor overheat and lowers it's brightness?

  • Reply Messyfool from twitch Tv May 20, 2019 at 3:28 am

    what is windows tin?

  • Reply Retro Rad Films May 23, 2019 at 7:04 am

    Ha Ha, I love it.

  • Reply eMpTy May 23, 2019 at 11:22 am

    This video just got recommended to me even though I didn't watch any videos of you prior

  • Reply Springloft Studio June 5, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    Thanks! I’ve been struggling between PA32UC and this monitor and won’t trust other big reviewers that seems everything is good buy. You press my button concerning halo effects, can’t imagine monitor at this price have this cheap monitor problem… Now I know what to get for a few years unless having the needs going for Apple XDR…

  • Reply Dan June 14, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Apparently, ASUS PG27UQX has been announced at Computex 2019 which is coming soon.

  • Reply Me and my Nikon D500 June 16, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Good Info. Can I connect to another monitor? is it
    AMD Free Sync Technology

  • Reply Ultimvtum - Jordan Kost July 7, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Been using this for the last 13 months as well and it's honestly incredible how much value I get out of this thing. The level of detail and color is truly crazy good

  • Reply Roger Huston July 9, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    Anyone? How does this compare to the BenQ SW271?

  • Reply 'Ainoa Manuia August 22, 2019 at 6:18 am

    Nice review. Very detailed, supported with specifications and experience.

  • Reply BloodyJoe August 22, 2019 at 11:53 am

    I got this one too and it is great!

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