Dell UP3017Q Review
Review of Dell UP3017Q
**UPDATE 2-1-2017. The Dell UP3017Q has been discontinued by Dell. **
**UPDATE 4-19-2017. The Dell UP3017Q is once again available for pre-order. Click here for more information.**
It takes a lot of excellent characteristics and capabilities to be considered the crème de la crème in a certain niche. But in this day and age where cutting-edge specs are steadily becoming mainstream, keeping the crown of supremacy becomes almost impossible. With the Dell UP3017Q, Dell provides the demanding and meticulous users with a product that breaks the mold in the monitor market. This product flaunts a 400,000:1 static contrast ratio, a .01ms response time and a near perfect color gamut capability, all of which are made possible with its 30-inch OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) panel more commonly found on high-end phones. The UP3017Q’s specs steamroll what the competitors are currently offering while further advancing Dell’s Ultrasharp portfolio of professional products.
– Screen Size: 30 inches
– Resolution: 4k UHD 3840 x 2160
– Aspect Ratio: 16:9
– Panel Technology: Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED)
Refresh Rate: 120hz (DisplayPort over USB-C via Thunderbolt 3 via USB-C)
– Response Time (Gray to Gray): 0.1 milliseconds
– Contrast Ratio: 400,000:1 (Static)
-VESA Compatibility: Yes (100×100)
Design and features
The Dell UP3017Q carries the distinct looks of the Ultrasharp line. What sets it apart from its more mainstream brethren is that it is extremely slim. The bezel is almost non-existent, thanks to Dell’s dual stage design which comprises of a ultra-slim border with a plastic outer shell. The top and side strips are hard to notice on the stunning OLED screen except for the bottom piece which houses the Dell logo and the touch sensitive OSD and power buttons. Since the cabinet is as thin as a blade, the connection ports point downward. This scheme can be a bit tedious to setup but makes it easier to make the cables pass through the hole meant to hold these cords in place for a streamlined and clutter-free desk.
The stand is as typical as those that you can find on the other Ultrasharp monitors. The design is strictly minimalist but functional. The UP3017Q’s mechanism can only tilt and swivel, but there is a variant (UP3017QA) that includes a mounting arm for more articulation. Even so, the stand quickly detaches at a push of a button to reveal the VESA holes for more versatile mounting options. The neck also features a large hole for cable management or as a carry handle in case you want to move this beast around.
The UP3017Q has an unusual choice of connection ports to achieve 4k UHD at 120hz. Instead of DisplayPort 1.3+, Dell has opted to go to a USB-C connection for the feature. The USB-C ports also have support for Thunderbolt 3 which can carry both power and display data in a single cable. This feature also enables connections with Apple’s latest products. Aside from these, the display will also ship with HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 for 60hz operation.
Display Features and Performance
While there isn’t a lot that can be said about the physical features at this time, the key attribute that the UP3017Q has is its OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) panel. This model is the first to use this panel technology in Dell’s lineup, and aside from the hefty price tag, it sets it further apart from most of the options in the Ultrasharp range. OLED panels are mostly only found on top-end mobile phones. The main reason this tech has not yet reached the monitor mainstream is that it is quite expensive to produce which in turn affects the retail price of products. Even if OLED is considered superior to LCDs, the panel type also has another downside; they suffer from shorter life cycles and more burn-in. Despite that case, Dell has promised to counter it by adding a pixel shifting algorithm and an image sensor that detects if you are viewing the device or not.
The UP3017Q has capabilities that blow the competition away. Mainly due to its OLED panel, the monitor has a 400,000:1 contrast ratio, that stomps the usual 1000:1 of mainstream monitors. OLEDs do not use backlighting like LCDs and LEDs. The screen will not be vulnerable to backlight bleeding, discoloration, and uneven pictures usually experienced with LCDs and IPS panels. It is because of this revolutionary feature that this sexy piece of the future can project images that have deeper blacks and vibrant and accurate colors. The screen also has a 10-bit color output, meaning it can show 1.07 billion colors. Due to these facts, the display is capable of 100% Adobe RGB gamut and 97.8% DCI-P3 color spaces. Also, 4k UHD at 30 inches will give this product a pixel density of 146PPI producing clarity that stuns the visual sense.
Aside from the color capabilities, the UP3017Q can generate images at a 120hz refresh rate with an astounding 0.1ms response time. That’s almost forty times as fast as the quickest gaming monitors available now. As of this time, no product offers these rates at 4k UHD in an OLED panel. While mostly aimed at pleasing professional eyes, the product will not disappoint as a gaming peripheral as well. 120hz is still fantastic for most gaming applications, and the response time will also allow faster color changing reaction and reduce screen tearing to non-existence. You can add this beast to your gaming arsenal for flabbergasting performance and serious bragging rights. Just be sure to have a rig that can provide the juice so you can make full use of the out of this world features.
The Dell UP3017Q is indeed an exciting product. It has been quite some time since it has been announced at CES 2016, and most speculations for its delay are pointing towards a possible redesign of the connection ports to the newer DisplayPort 1.4 standards. There is a minuscule idea of what Dell has up their sleeve with this product’s release, but as it is the specs on paper are titillating. The hair-raising quickness of the monitor coupled with its dead-on color reproduction capabilities and the excellent contrast of the OLED panel will recast the current monitor standards available to discerning professionals and hardcore gamers.
Aside from the limited downsides of the OLED technology in this product, the biggest drawback to the UP3017Q is its price tag; a whopping $4999 at release. We cannot deny that this product is a luxury item for most applications but having a piece of tomorrow always comes with a massive price tag. OLEDs are still too expensive to produce and vulnerable to short life expectancy that is why we can mostly find the type in small sizes in mobile phones and tablets. The panel type, its benefits and the performance on paper mainly determine the price tag, but the question lies in the justification of spending so much on a display product. For some meticulous professionals or die-hard gamers, for those who must have the absolute best, then the $4999 Dell UP3017Q is a must buy.
FYI – this monitor jas been discontinued
Paolo Reva says
Hi, Drew! Thank you for helping us update your fellow readers on the UP3017Q. We think Dell’s new 8K monitor, the UP3218K replaces this model as the ultra flagship model for the brand, but we still would have wanted to see how an OLED screen will affect users and the market more than an 8K monitor will.
Can I run this monitors with just the Intel HD Graphics 630 in the Intel Kaby Lake?
Paolo Reva says
Hi Jimmy, Yes you can as long as your motherboard has the required port to function. But as for getting 4K at 120Hz, you’re going to need a meaty graphics card or two to get the most out of the refresh rate.
Nice monitor, but I am unimpressed and I will tell you why.Current gen tv’s are coming out with 12 bit color capabilities that allow the viewer to watch hdr programming in the higher quality 12 bit dolby vision and other 12 bit implimentations of hdr,12bit color provides a signifcant picture quality improvement for movies and games over hdr10,aka 10bit color hdr.This monitor only supports 10bit color which prevents proper editing of 12bit color video and may cause this monitor to become obsolete within a 3 to 4 year time line.Now there is a chance that the lower quality hdr10 becomes the standard,largely due in part to the lack of knowledge and support from the general public and the movie production industry taking the easy and cheap way out.I fear it may become a refresh of the situation that occured many years ago,where vhs became the standard instead of the higher quality picture producing laserdisk.If we are blessed enough and one of the 12bit color hdr standards becomes the standard and more popular than 10bit,this in essence will render this monitor obselete.
Paolo Reva says
Hi, Patrick! Thank you for your feedback. We think you are right about this, but you have to remember; manufacturers always release improvements in increments to maximize profit. If they introduced 12-bit capable monitors early on, the consumers won’t find a reason to upgrade so profits will fall. Also, monitors and TVs have differences in implementation, so there could be some limitations that exist that affects pricing and functionality that we do not know of.
Some of your reply I agree too.However 12bit monitors and 12 bit television’s both need to be implemented for 12bit hdr games and film. If what you say is true about companies trying to maximize profit,then they could be as guilty as the public in causing 12 bit implementations of hdr from becoming the standard.
Film production companies are also guilty of this,as they have been releasing 4k films that are not true 4k(by recording in 1080p or downscaling to 1080p during production,the picture quality is greatly diminished),essentially making these films nothing but a 1080p film with a 4k sticker on them.
Film production companies also need to be working closer with creators of these new hdr standards for them to become apart of our future. I am surprised that the companies producing 4k television’s have not taken these film production companies to court,as I am certain that the poor picture quality of these 4k films that are not true 4k and the lack of 12bit hdr will have negative affect on sales of the new televisions.
What we need is for someone to start a company purely based on working with and bringing various companies together to insure the most advanced technologies become standardised.If properly designed this company would not become a monopoly and any and all companies in the technology industry could join and profit, it would greatly accelerate the speed at which new technologies are created and this would of course insure that the best audio and visual technologies that are available to the public become the standards.
Paolo Reva says
Thank you for sharing your valuable insight, Patrick. We hope more readers see and share your sentiments, and eventually, we wish manufacturers can hear us and allow these improvements in their future products.
Luke Grossman says
There are no 12-bit panels for tvs, only 8-bit or 10-bit, so you are mistaken Patrick. Dell has cancelled this monitor. Dolby Vision encodes the PQ EOTF (hdr metadata) with 12 bit encoding instead of 10 bit encoding. Similar to how Sony’s new tvs have a 14 bit processor. 12-bit and 14-bit processing or encoding is about reducing color banding, and is a separate issue from producing 12-bit panels. Even Dolby Vision reference monitors are 10-bit panels, but they do reach 4000 nits peak brightness. Banding affects TV images when they display a gradual change between shades of a single color. One of the clearest examples of this is footage of the sky in which the blue goes from light blue at the bottom to dark blue at the top. When banding occurs, the transition isn’t smooth and that section of the picture appears to be broken into bands, each of a solid shade. These bands create a jarring border between the shades of blue instead of a smooth transition. To be sure, The new Sony Dolby Vision OLED tv is going to be pretty sweet, but I’m waiting for HDMI 2.1 because it will bring with it OLED tvs that are 120hz and can receive a 120hz signal from a PC. True 12-bit panels are at least 5-10 years away, you don’t even see prototypes. When they come out for tvs, they’ll be out for monitors too. It’ll be the 8k micro-LED era
Drew (not the same one that posted above) says
The newer model still has a $3,500 USD price tag, making it far too expensive for all but a few professional applications.
Now, if we somehow ever venture into the territory of having 27-32″ OLED displays that are in the $800-1000 range, I would begin to consider it.
If even that sounds too expensive, remember that ten years ago it wasn’t unusual to pay $800 for a “better” 32″ 1080P LCD panel… so since this is a newer iteration of display tech, you just have to decide at what point you’re willing to adopt the newer tech and get in on it.
But $5000 or $3500? Yeah, you’re talking Samsung fake OLED prices at that point, not interested.
M Coley says
I wish Dell would release “what is up their sleeves” about this screen…..