A Review of Dell’s better than 4K Ultra HD 5K UP2715K 27-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor
Well before Apple revealed its exquisite iMac desktop computer with a 5K Retina display, backin September of 2014, Dell teasingly showed fans a PC display that could have definitely been called ahead of its time. The Ultra HD 5K UP2715K 27-Inch monitor promised an extraordinary resolution of roughly 10 million pixels on a single 27-inch screen and when it was finally released towards the end of 2014, boy did it deliver.
Aside from Apples also 5K monitor, this is the single most stunning piece of PC display technology in terms of clarity, even if its price and problems with displaying certain content make the Dell UP2715K somewhat impractical in comparison to other more conventional 4K ultra HD monitors.
The Dell UP2715K definitely delivers the goodies in terms of features and overall high quality specs, and with its price tag, it had better do this as a piece of Dell hardware to boot.
For starters, there’s the obvious, the 5K resolution itself. Truly fantastic to behold, the pixel density on the screen is such that when actual 4K or 5 content is available for viewing, you pretty much can’t identify individual pixels even if you look very closely. The unfortunate side of this, as we’ll later cover in more detail, is that a lot of content isn’t anything close to 4K and much less 5K resolution. This can be problematic with the UP2715K.
In terms of overall design, this Dell monitor is superb. Its ergonomic stand allows for full screen adjustability according to preferred pivot, tilt, height or position and the visual appeal of the machine is definitely there. This isn’t nearly as clunky a 4K monitor as many others on the market are for some reason.
Furthermore, this is a stand-alone monitor for multi-purpose use and as such is compatible with various hardware types. This is definitely one of the advantages it offers against the otherwise much more comprehensive iMac. It does give you a whole computer in the bargain but the Apple monitor itself can’t be used with any external video output.
4.0 - 16 Reviews
The Dell 5K Ultrasharp does have a few defects, and while this is inevitable with any piece of complex electronic technology, the problems the UP2715K are a bit more annoying than normal.
For one thing, there’s the price. There’s just no getting around the fact that it really is a bit steep even for a 5K screen. In fact, the consistent impression given here is that you’re really paying all that extra money for those extra pixels and little more since the other specs of the UP2715K aren’t as professional or heavy duty as those of other monitors that cost the nearly $2,000 of the UP2715K.
Finally, there is the problem of rendering low definition and HD content on a screen with so many damn pixels. While the UP2715K does feature an internal upscaling engine to make many kinds of content work on its screen, it doesn’t always perform as desired ans many software apps and videos that aren’t designed for such super scaling will look very iffy under the 5K display resolution.
Dell’s UP2715K 5K monitor is mainly a worthwhile purchase if you really want to have your own screen with a 5K resolution and aren’t happy with Apple’s more narrowly compatible but more complete iMac package. However, for all other professional or non-pro uses, there are many other more affordable 4K monitors out there which offer a better deal and a barely noticeable resolution decrease.
For starters, the Dell UP2715K doesn’t come with the more basic plastic surface of the cheaper but very similar looking Dell 4K P2715Q and instead is covered in a shiny metal casing. Considering it’s price tag, this is a definite nice touch and a rare feature in many 4K displays.
In addition to this, the overall design is slightly boxy but nonetheless highly elegant, giving you a monitor that looks absolutely spectacular when being used but also quite nice even when turned off. Physical design attributes in a PC monitor might not be as important as those of a 4K resolution by unplugging one of the DP 1.2 cables, you can use the extra connection to string together two of these monitors and still get 4K at a full 60Hz for both screens.
For starters, the Dell UP2715K doesn’t come with the more basic plastic surface of the cheaper but very similar looking Dell 4K P2715Q and instead is covered in a shiny metal casing. Considering its price tag, this is a definite nice touch and a rare feature in many 4K displays.
In addition to this, the overall design is slightly boxy but nonetheless highly elegant, giving you a monitor that looks absolutely spectacular when being used but also quite nice even when turned off. Physical design attributes in a PC monitor might not be as important as those of a 4K TV but they’re still a nice highlight for some users and this particular monitor does well by its appearance.
Then there is the 5K resolution. This really is absolutely amazing to behold and while it isn’t necessary yet in today’s world of mostly HD and occasionally 4K content, the knowledge that you can ramp up the pixels so much might be useful for some extremely detailed visual design uses you might put the P2715K to. However, if you want to switch down to 4K pixel counts, you can also do that and get the much more usual 3840 x 2160 pixels to your screen.
Also, if you like DisplayPort 1.2, then the P2715K is definitely your device. It comes with 2 of these connections as a necessity of making its 5K resolution work since DisplayPort 1.2 can’t handle the necessary data loads via a single connection. Thus, if you drop the screen down to 4K resolution by unplugging one of the DP 1.2 cables, you can use the extra connection to string together two of these monitors and still get 4K at a full 60Hz for both screens.
In terms of visual specs, the P2715K 5K monitor really does deliver the goods nicely. In fact, due to its superb color gamut delivery alone, you could definitely rank this monitor for professional use. Thus, in addition to the capability of delivering 5K resolution at a solid 60Hz, the P2715K also offers a full 100% of the sRGB spectrum and 99% of the Adobe Spectrum at least according to out-of-the-box official specs.
In reality, tests done on spectrum for both gamut ranges showed the claimed 100% sRGB to be true and delivery of just slightly less than the claimed 99% of the AdobeRGB to be the case at an actual 96%. However, these might vary slightly from unit to unit.
Either way, the color delivery of the P2715K is downright excellent compared to many other 4K monitors, even professional-use models.
Furthermore, in terms of contrast ratio, although Dell promises the standard 1000:1, live testing indicated something closer to 650:1 at maximum brightness and slightly less than that at half-bright settings. Overall, this isn’t bad and the dark levels are definitely respectable if not outright great.
Then there is the response time on the P2715K. In this regard, the monitor definitely doesn’t do well enough to ever be popular with gamers. At 8ms, the lag could definitely lead to responsiveness problems.
Finally, we should mention what dealing with the 5K resolution is like in this monitor. When it comes to things like high resolution photos and web page elements like fonts that have been rendered to expand according to even very high resolutions, then the 5K display of the P2715K works wonderfully and creates a visual impact that is almost mesmerizing. The same applies to editing ultra-high resolution 4k photos and videos. The fact that you can actually view them in their full pixel count all at once makes for a very useful tool, particularly in combination with the excellent color gamuts we’ve describe above.
On the other hand, the 5K resolution can lead to mediocre results for HD, Full HD and SD video from sources like YouTube. The problem here is that the P2715K’s natural 5K resolution is so stunningly broad that it turns videos in these resolutions into fuzzy things with little appeal.
The Dell P2715K 5K monitor comes with the connectivity you need to make it work with any PC capable of dealing with its resolution. Thus, you get the benefit of two DisplayPort 1.2 connections, one mini DisplayPort slot and a total of 5 USB 3.0 ports, one of which is for upstream use.
There are no HDMI 1.4 or 2.0 ports on this machine but since most PC GPUs don’t even come with HDMI 2.0 connectivity and because you do get two DisplayPort 1.2 ports, the lack of HDMI shouldn’t be a serious problem. In fact, the double DP 1.2 ports let you run two of these monitors together at 4k at a full 60Hz if you happen to have a PC and GPU with enough horsepower to handle the load, or to run a 4K laptop while using the Dell's screen through the extra DP 1.2 port.
The Dell Ultra HD 5K UP2715K 27-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor originally went on sale for a very heavy $2,500 but its most recent retail price on Amazon or the Dell website has been dropped down to just $1,979. Still expensive but it does offer some very good professional specs to fgo with that price.
4.0 - 16 Reviews
As we had already said, the Dell UP2715K’s biggest defect is its high price tag. Yes, it does offer excellent resolution of a kind seen in only one other PC on the market and it also includes the benefits of excellent color gamut and a robust but elegant design but for just under $2000, you can also get your hands on a professional IPS or even IGZO 4K monitor that offers much of the same visual quality, superb color gamut, better contrast ratios and even better connectivity with only the minor absence of the 5K display, which few people need anyhow.
• Excellent refresh rate
• decent contrast ratio
• Very high color gamut
• 16:9 aspect ratio
• The 5K resolution
• Nice design
• Two DisplayPort 1.2 ports!
• Bad response time
• Too expensive
• Scales SD and HD video badly thanks to 5K resolution