Dell UltraSharp 38 Curved USB-C Hub Monitor review

Dell UltraSharp 38 Curved USB-C Hub Monitor review

Dell’s UltraSharp 38 Curved USB-C Monitor: Convenience with Some Caveats

Dell’s family of UltraSharp monitors with USB-C hubs has been expanding, with the introduction of the UltraSharp 38 Curved USB-C monitor. This new addition to the lineup offers a widescreen curved display, along with the convenience of USB-C connectivity. However, while it has its strengths, it falls short in some areas.

A Quality Design that Takes Up Space

The UltraSharp 38 Curved bears a resemblance to other models in Dell’s UltraSharp series, with minimal bezels and a sleek all-black appearance. The silver plastic back and stand base provide a sturdy build, although a metal stand would have been a preferable upgrade. Its conservative aesthetic makes it blend in seamlessly in an office environment.

One thing that stands out about the UltraSharp 38 Curved is its size. With its massive widescreen display, it requires plenty of desk space. Assembling the monitor is a simple task, with the stand easily attaching to the monitor in just a few minutes. The stand offers tilt, swivel, and height adjustments, though it lacks a pivot feature. Overall, the monitor exudes durability and will fade into the background while you work.

Abundance of Ports and Dual-PC Support

As the name suggests, the UltraSharp 38 Curved is equipped with a USB-C hub that provides multiple ports for peripherals. The monitor offers an upstream USB-C port that delivers 90 watts of power to a laptop, ensuring efficient charging and operation. Additionally, it supports video with DisplayPort 1.4a, two HDMI 2.2, and another USB-C port. You won’t face any obstacles when streaming content at the highest resolution, thanks to Display Stream Compression and HDCP 2.2 support.

The UltraSharp 38 Curved boasts an impressive number of ports, including USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports, an audio jack, and an Ethernet port. What sets it apart is the keyboard, video, and mouse (KVM) support, allowing you to connect and switch between two PCs effortlessly. The monitor’s dual capabilities with Picture-in-Picture (PiP) and Picture-by-Picture (PbP) make it a highly flexible option for multitasking.

Simple Controls for Everyday Use

Operating and managing the UltraSharp 38 Curved is made easy with a joystick-controlled on-screen display (OSD). The OSD, although simple and straightforward, could have been more fun to use. It offers standard color presets, color temperature adjustments, and various mode toggles for different applications. While it lacks flashy features, the OSD is practical and functional.

Image Quality that Doesn’t Quite Live Up to Expectations

While the UltraSharp 38 Curved excels in connectivity and convenience, its image quality falls slightly short. With a 38-inch widescreen display and a resolution of 3840 x 1600, it offers lower pixel density compared to smaller panels with the same resolution. This aspect makes it less impressive in terms of sharpness and positioning flexibility.

In terms of color, the UltraSharp 38 Curved performs reasonably well with wide color gamut coverage. However, it underperforms in brightness and contrast. With a measured brightness of only 232 nits and a contrast ratio of 1,060:1 (below the stated 2,000:1), it disappoints in comparison to other Dell monitors. The display’s gamma of 1.9 results in a somewhat washed-out appearance, further diminishing the visual experience. Calibration does little to improve these issues, indicating that the factory settings offer the best possible quality.

Regarding specifications, the UltraSharp 38 Curved lags behind with a locked 60Hz refresh rate and unimpressive response times. While acceptable for most non-competitive gaming scenarios, it falls short of the lightning-fast 1ms response time offered by TN panels or OLED displays. Additionally, the absence of HDR support is a drawback that many modern displays now feature.

Price vs. Performance

With a price tag of $1,530, the UltraSharp 38 Curved enters the high-end market for monitors. However, its image quality does not completely justify the cost. In comparison, Dell’s Alienware 34 Curved QD-OLED gaming monitor, priced at $1,100, offers superior picture quality, a high refresh rate, G-Sync support, and an impressive response time.

While the UltraSharp 38 Curved stands out with its USB-C hub and dual-PC support, along with its solid build quality, it disappoints with its image quality. The lack of brightness, lower contrast, and lower pixel density make it less competitive than expected. For those seeking top-notch visuals, it may be worth exploring other options within its price range.

Disclaimer: The images used in this article are from the original content and are solely for visual representation purposes.