Dell’s UltraSharp U2415 is the best 24-inch monitor for most people. It offers a color-accurate and factory-calibrated IPS screen with a 1920×1200 resolution for less than $300, and it provides plenty of ports. Its stand lifts, rotates, tilts, and swivels, it has an ultrathin bezel, and its on-screen navigation is easy to use via capacitive controls. Plus, it comes with a great warranty.
The U2415 has amazing picture quality; you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the colors on the U2415’s screen and complete color accuracy. We tested our pick’s color quality by analyzing its DeltaE 2000 values, which indicate how far away a displayed color is from what the color should actually be. A value of under 1.0 is nearly perfect, and under 2.0 is sufficient for print-production work; at around 3.0, you begin to see a difference between the screen and a reference photo.
Our pick’s average DeltaE 2000 value for its grayscales was 1.6541. Good grayscale performance like this means that everything is neutral—lacking a blue, green, or red cast—so the images on your screen will look like they’re supposed to in real life, or as the creator (say, the cinematographer for a movie) intended. This Dell monitor’s grayscales stayed below a DeltaE value of 2.0 for more than half of our testing and rarely scored above 3.0, except at the very whitest points.
On our ColorChecker test, which runs through more than 100 colors, the U2415 had an average DeltaE 2000 value of 1.1396, which is excellent. Most other 24-inch monitors won’t hit such values without calibration, unless they cost significantly more than the U2415. Our pick’s average DeltaE across 10 different saturation levels of RGBCMY—a color’s overall brilliance—was great at 1.2962. This monitor also covers 98 percent of the sRGB color gamut. The Dell U2415 is more than accurate enough for doing print-production work and watching TV and movies right out of the box. Although our runner-up pick technically offers better picture quality, you wouldn’t notice the difference.
The U2415 has two HDMI 1.4 ports and three DisplayPort 1.2 connections: one DisplayPort input, one Mini DisplayPort output, and one full-size DisplayPort output. You can use either output to daisy-chain a second display. Many monitors have the DisplayPort input; few have the output. In the box, Dell includes a Mini DisplayPort–to–DisplayPort cable, a power cable, and a USB cable to connect to your computer.
Through the built-in USB 3.0 hub, you can connect storage devices, mice, keyboards, and other USB peripherals, reducing unsightly wires if your computer lives under your desk. Since it’s USB 3.0, you’ll get a huge performance bump over USB 2.0 when transferring files among USB 3.0 devices. Some monitors we researched have three or four USB 3.0 ports, but our pick has five—and one of those can quick-charge devices by providing up to 1.5 A of current, a feature we didn’t see in any other 24-inch monitor we researched. Since the U2415 is an older model, it doesn’t have the USB Type-C port that our runner-up pick has, but that’s an omission most people will be able to live with. It has an audio jack, but monitor headphone jacks tend to be pretty poor quality; we recommend connecting your speakers or headphones directly to the computer instead.
The Dell’s ultrathin bezel also makes it a great monitor. Measuring just one-fourth of an inch thick on the top and sides, and a half-inch along the bottom, the slim bezel makes the screen feel bigger than similarly sized monitors with fatter bezels, and it minimizes the ugly gap between displays in a multimonitor setup. On the bottom are touch-sensitive buttons that are both responsive and aesthetically pleasing—they blend into the smooth bezel when you’re not using them—but if you prefer the reassurance that physical buttons provide, check out our runner-up, the HP Z24n G2.
The U2415’s stand is one of its best features. In contrast with cheaper monitors, which you have to stack on something or attach to a monitor arm to put them at eye level, our pick can raise and lower within a range of approximately 4½ inches from its lowest position to its highest. It swivels about 45 degrees left and right from center, tilts 21 degrees back and 4 degrees forward, and rotates into portrait mode in either direction. You can attach the panel or remove it from its sturdy base in seconds, too. With the stand removed, you can mount the screen to a VESA-compatible wall mount or monitor arm.
Dell’s Premium Panel Guarantee means that Dell will replace the U2415 free of charge (including return shipping) if yours arrives with even one bright-pixel defect—it doesn’t cover dark pixels. The monitor also comes with a standard three-year limited hardware warranty and a three-year Advanced Exchange service in which Dell will ship you a replacement monitor first before you send the defective one back. If you want the benefits of the warranty, however, you should buy directly from Dell or from an authorized reseller like Amazon or Best Buy—Dell might not honor the warranty if you purchase from an auction site, Craigslist, or an unauthorized retailer. (Dell details a number of warranty scenarios on its website.)