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

Enlarge / Dell’s UltraSharp U3223QZ 4K monitor.

Sharon Harding

Specifications at a glance: Dell UltraSharp U3223QZ
panel size 31.5 inches
Solution 3840×2160
Refresh rate 60 Hz
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
Mate 28.06 × 9.06 × 19.6-25.48 in with stand
(712.6 × 230 × 497.84–647.27mm)
Weight 26.23 lbs
(11.9kg)
Guarantee 3 years
Price (recommended price) $1,029

I get it; not everyone finds monitoring as exciting as I do. For most people, a little extra color or a wider tonal range won’t really differentiate one screen from another. So I don’t blame Dell for stuffing the UltraSharp U3223QZ 4K monitor with fluffy motion-activated controls, monstrous speakers, and a presence-sensing webcam. But after weeks with the monitor, I found none of those extra features as exciting as the monitor’s IPS Black panel.

The U3223QZ has a lot to prove. First, it debuted at the same MSRP as the 5K Apple Studio Display (starts at $1,600). Since then, Dell has made the price more competitive ($1,029 at time of writing), but it’s still expensive for a 31.5-inch monitor. Dell’s U3223QZ is also one of the few monitors to use IPS Black technology, which should provide about twice the contrast of the typical IPS monitor. I confirmed this with a colorimeter and, more fun, with my eyes.

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

Design

If you want an IPS Black panel, then 31.5 inches is your largest option. All panels are 4K, meaning the larger U3223QZ panel has a lower pixel density (139.87 pixels per inch) than its smaller brother, the 27-inch Dell UltraSharp U2723QE (163.18 ppi). If that bothers you, we remind you of Apple’s similarly priced Studio Display. It crams 5K resolution into a 27-inch (traditional) IPS panel (217.57 ppi), which makes the pixel density of the two UltraSharps seem skimpy.

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

Sharon Harding

The U3223QZ features Apple-friendly tones and shapes, including thin bezels, a silver trapezoidal base, and a smooth gray plastic back. A variety of connectivity options help to connect two computers at the same time, but I preferred to use powered USB-C. That meant fewer cables running through the opening of the stand, which also helps with easy cable management.

Thicker lines

The U3223QZ has the thin bezels of Dell’s UltraSharp monitor range, but it still gives off a chunky vibe. That’s because, in addition to thin bezels, the panel is framed by thicker top and bottom bezels to accommodate the 1.3-inch speakers and camera (top) and the touch controls (bottom). It’s the most visually striking monitor I’ve had on my desk in ages.

Due to technical difficulties, I checked out two U3223QZ units. Both review units had dust running over the speakers, and it seemed pretty tight, but that’s still a lot of dust that could snag over a long period of time (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 space near the speaker is a minor issue, but one that irks me.
Enlarge / That small space near the speaker is a minor issue, but one that irks me.

Sharon 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 near or when the microphone is muted or the camera shutter is activated, which is a good thing as the bright lights are somewhat distracting.

The controls are not programmable, which is a pity for someone who does not use Teams.

I'd ditch the Teams button in a heartbeat.
Enlarge / I’d ditch the Teams button in a heartbeat.

Sharon Harding

The U3223QZ’s stand supports -5 to 21 degrees of tilt, swivels 30 degrees left or right, and allows 5.88 inches of height adjustment. It’s admirable that the monitor gets lower than most, with just 1.5 inches between the desk and the monitor’s chin at its lowest setting. For comparison, the Samsung S80UA 4K monitor I have sits at least 2.75 inches above the desk.

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