Dell's UltraSharp U2713HM is a 27-inch LCD display that uses an in-plane switching (IPS) panel and LED backlights to provide a high-end, 2560-by-1440-resolution display that compares favorably with Apple's offerings but costs considerably less. Unlike Apple's Thunderbolt Display, the U2713HM lacks Thunderbolt ports and a glossy screen, but some users prefer a nonglare display and have no interest in using Apple's latest peripheral connector. See also: Group test: What's the best flat-panel display?
Simply unpacking the U2713HM gives the impression that Dell considers this display to be a high-end product, especially in comparison with the company's Dell S2740L.
Packaged with cardboard rather than styrofoam, the box contains all of the necessary cabling. Setup is straightforward: You attach the one-piece stand to the display, plug the power cord from the monitor into a power outlet, and hook the included dual-link DVI cable to your computer. (Mac users may need to purchase an adapter, depending on their Mac's available connectors.) In addition to DVI, the display has DisplayPort, VGA, and HDMI connectors.
Interestingly, instead of the U2713HM polling the available ports when it started up, I had to manually select the DVI connection from Dell's on-screen menus. Once I did that, the U2713HM fired right up and displayed in its native WQHD (2560-by-1440-pixel) resolution.
The monitor itself is rather nondescript, with its thin, matte-black plastic bezel and nonglare screen. Its silver and black stand offers impressive flexibility, permitting height adjustment, tilt, swivel, and pivot into portrait mode. Other niceties include a USB 3.0 hub with one upstream and four downstream ports, and a three-year warranty.
The U2713HM's on-screen performance is impressive. It sailed through our battery of test images, displaying accurate colors, smooth gradients, and excellent viewing angles. Text at small point sizes was very legible. Our solid-color test screens showed no dead or stuck pixels, and colour was uniform across the display.