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Dell P4317Q PC Monitor Review

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I want the biggest monitor you have... no, that's too big.

by Greg Hook Nov 17, 2017 at 6:53 AM

  • Tech review

    21

    Dell P4317Q PC Monitor Review
    SRP: £799.99

    What is the Dell P4317Q?

    With a PC there are a few components that you need to get just right. The core specification is important of course but there are a few other key components that it's worth spending that little bit extra on. For most that includes the mouse, keyboard and headset, whilst for gamers and professional users probably the most important peripheral is the monitor. If you buy a rubbish one it will annoy you every second you use the PC but get a decent one and it will make using your PC a pleasure.

    The current crop of monitors can bring such benefits as G-Sync (or Freesync if you have gone over to the dark side), fast response times, high refresh rates and of course that all-important 4K panel. The P4317Q from PC giant Dell looks to tick a few of those boxes, but the stand out specification is that this is a 43” monitor. Yes, you read that correctly, this baby has a 43-inch screen size. It also has a 4K IPS panel, 8ms response time, 60Hz refresh rate and the ability to display inputs from up to 4 clients. Read on as we put this frankly ludicrously large monitor through our tests and see if something can actually be too big...

    Specifications

    Released in May 2016, the Dell P4317Q 43” Monitor is now available for around £740, down from its near £1,000 release price, it has a meaty specification as you can see below, but only has HDMI 1.4, which means to benefit from the 60Hz refresh rate, you need to use the display port connection.
    • Resolution: 3840 x 2160 (4K) 16:9
    • Panel Type: IPS
    • Backlight: White LED edgelight
    • Refresh Rate: 60Hz (DP only)
    • Response Time: 8ms
    • Input Lag: 10.5ms
    • Brightness: 350 cd/m2
    • PPI: 104
    • Colour Gamut (typical): 82% (CIE 1976), 72% (CIE 1931)
    • Colour Depth: 1.06 Billon colours
    • Audio Output: 8W x 2
    • Viewing Angle: 178°
    • Power Consumption: 70W (typical) / 160W (maximum)

    Design and Connections

    You can’t escape the fact that this is one huge monitor and the sheer screen real estate is very impressive. It features the typical Dell build quality and clean design, with a functional but basic black plastic covered stand. No bells and whistles as far as the design goes, you have the Dell logo at the middle below the screen, then the four menu buttons and power button to the far right of the screen.

    As you would expect of a monitor of this size, it’s a pretty weighty beast coming in at just over 14kg and almost 18kg with the stand, so make sure your desk can take it! Overall dimensions with the stand, which is not height adjustable, are 658mm high x 973mm wide x 250mm deep.
    Dell P4317Q Design and Connections
    The monitor can accept up to 4 different inputs at once without bezel splits, so the ports are bountiful to say the least. We have a Display Port 1.2, Mini Display Port 1.2, 2 x HDMI 1.4 (MHL) and 1 x VGA. Then we have a USB 3.0 (upstream), 4 x USB 3.0 of which one is a charging port, audio input, headphone output and RS232 connection. It also comes with plenty of cables, so you should be able to utilise most of these connections out of the box.

    Menu System

    The menus allow for a basic level of customisation including brightness, contrast and sharpness, colour format (RGB or YPbPr) and colour settings (R, G and B only). For those looking for more advanced features to enable a full calibration, then you will be disappointed here. It may be as big as a TV, but as far as calibration is concerned it’s still just a monitor and one that offers a poor level of control.
    Dell P4317Q Menu System
    Dell P4317Q Menu System

    Calibration

    For our monitor calibrations we use SpectraCal software and a C3 Colorimeter.

    The screenshot below shows the pre and post calibration results:
    Dell P4317Q Calibration
    The maximum screen luminance detected was a blindingly bright 386.1 cd/m2. Following calibration we reduced this to a more manageable 123.4 cd/m2. Out of the box the screen was all over the place with a ColorChecker DeltaE (error) of 7.14 and Greyscale error of 8.37. Following a successful calibration, we were able to reduce the ColorChecker error measurement to just 1.43 and the GreyScale error to 1.91. That's well below the visible error threshold of three and essentially perfect, which is excellent considering the limited available calibration controls.

    Many thanks to SpectraCal for providing the software and C3 Colorimeter for use with our reviews.

    Testing and Display Quality

    For our input lag measurements we use a Leo Bodnar tester which measures the delay (latency) time that it takes a video signal to pass from the point of input until it is displayed on the monitor. With the P4317Q we got an excellent 10.5ms which is amongst the lowest you will find in a monitor. Our Acer Predator XB271HU gaming monitor, for example, has an input lag of 12.2ms.

    Note that input lag is not the same as response time. Response time is usually the number monitor manufacturers push the most in their advertising, such as ‘very low 2ms’ for example. Response time is how quickly a display can change its pixels from black to white or grey to grey. A high response time will mean you are more likely to see ghosting, which is the blurring that you see behind fast moving objects.

    The Dell P4317Q has a response time of 8ms which isn’t the lowest you will find but is still very low. It's this number that needs to be combined with the input lag to get the best idea of how well a monitor will perform. Monitor manufacturers never display the input lag, for gaming for example a monitor with a 1ms response time but a 60ms input lag will likely offer worse overall performance than one with a 8ms response time and a 10ms input lag.

    Dell P4317Q Testing and Display Quality
    As for the display quality itself the 4K is, as you would expect, sublime. It may be because the monitor is so large that you end up sitting much closer to it than you would an equivalent sized TV, so the 4K resolution is that much more noticeable. Despite sitting so close, setting the Windows scaling to 200% does seem like the sweet spot for general browsing, reading and using Word for example with bold and clear text. The colours are strong and vibrant and playing a few 4K demo videos on YouTube for example really does look outstanding. Since the monitor uses an IPS panel, the viewing angles are excellent but that isn't really a requirement anyway when you're sat right in front of a massive 43" monitor.

    This monitor isn’t marketed as one for gaming, it’s too big in our opinion for gaming via a mouse and keyboard as with a traditional PC and desk setup you will be far too close to the screen, although with games that support controllers you can sit further away. But despite that, it performed very well in the 4K gaming tests. You need a very meaty PC to get the best out of it, even with the limitation of the 60Hz refresh rate, our testing PC with a GTX1070 for example managed close to 60FPS on a selection of the latest games, but sadly not at high settings. Although the response time isn’t the lowest, with such a low input lag we had no noticeable issues during gaming.

    4K resolution is excellent to have in a monitor but with Windows, even today with 4K everywhere, it still isn’t properly supported. 200% scaling worked well here, but a lot of software still is not designed for 4K and doesn’t cope with a high Windows scaling. You either have the issue of the image being off screen and unusable, or if you drop the scaling the text and menus become far too tiny to use. A few games such as Sims4 are good examples of this issue.

    Overall we found 43" as a PC monitor to be far too big for our liking. With a traditional desk setup, the monitor is too big for you to sit far enough away from which causes several problems. Firstly, even if you lower the brightness of the screen it is still a huge bright panel shining in your eyes which did cause us some eye strain and headaches. Secondly, if you do try and use it on a desk you end up sitting further back with the keyboard and mouse on your lap which is not very comfortable to say the least. For a monitor of this size to be of any use with a PC, wall mounting it would be the ideal situation, trying it with the stand doesn't seem like an option as no desk is likely to be deep enough to get far enough away from the screen.

    Multi Client Display Feature

    One of the key features of this monitor is the ability to accept inputs from up to 4 different clients. This can be 4 PC inputs or any combination of a device that uses HDMI, Display Port or VGA. For HDMI that could be a Blu-ray player or Apple TV for example. Via the menu you select either Picture in Picture (PIP) or Picture by Picture (PBP). With PBP you can select different screen layouts if you are just using 2, 3 or 4 inputs. Further menu settings also allow you to choose the source for each of the windows. If you want your main PC to be top left, you can choose that option.
    Dell P4317Q Multi Client Display Feature
    When using multiple inputs, the resolution for each client is limited to a maximum of Full HD. During testing we found this feature to work very well with the quality of each input excellent and there were no display related issues. The lack of bezels to break up the displays further enhanced this feature.

    The photo below shows our testing setup using our PC, a very old VGA laptop, Apple TV and Amazon Firestick. All worked without issue. Whilst we have said this display may be too big for the casual user or PC gamer, for a Professional looking for a monitor that can display multiple inputs, this was certainly impressive in this area.
    Dell P4317Q Multi Client Display Feature

    Conclusion

    8
    AVForumsSCORE
    OUT OF
    10

    Pros

    • Excellent build quality
    • Stunning 4K visuals
    • Very low input lag
    • Will display up to 4 discrete inputs with no bezel splits

    Cons

    • Too expensive
    • Out of the box calibration poor
    • Could be too big for some
    You own this Total 0
    You want this Total 0
    You had this Total 0

    Dell P4317Q PC Monitor Review

    Should I buy the Dell P4317Q?

    Available now for around £740, the Dell 43” P4317Q offers a lot for the money with a stunning 4K resolution, more connections than you can shake a stick at and the ability to accept inputs from up to 4 client PCs, an excellent input lag of just 10.5ms and a refresh rate of 60hz using the display port.

    It is massive though, it’s almost comically large for a PC monitor. With a standard desk layout, you will be far too close to the screen to be able to comfortably use it, but if you can use a controller for gaming, or can wall mount it or sit further back then this size issue should not be too much of a concern. Just make sure your desk can take the 18kg weight!

    Out of the box we had expected better from Dell regarding the calibration which wasn’t particularly great, but following our own calibration we achieved excellent results. The menu system is easy to use and includes most of what you will need for basic setup and control.

    What alternatives are available?

    As for alternatives, this is where the Dell P4317Q starts to look a bit pricey. You have to take into account the Dell premium that is on every monitor of theirs, but even so there are now several alternatives in the ‘far too big PC monitor' market, such as Acer’s 43” ET430K and Philips BDM4350UC which both offer very similar specifications but with the improvement of HDMI 2.0, so you aren’t limited to display port for 60Hz. These are both available for under £500.

    So if you are looking for a huge PC monitor that can offer stunning 4K visuals and accept inputs from up to 4 clients, along with plenty of connections and an excellent build quality, then the Dell P4317Q is definitely one to consider. However at the moment it's a bit too pricey when compared to the competition and thus just misses out on a badge.


    Suggested retail price when reviewed: £799.99

    The Rundown

    Design

    8

    Connectivity

    9

    Out-of-the-box accuracy sRGB

    7

    Calibrated sRGB

    10

    Bright Screen Uniformity

    8

    Dark Screen Uniformity

    8

    Viewing Angles

    8

    Input Lag

    9

    Pixel Response

    8

    Value for Money

    7

    Verdict

    8

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