Dell U2722DE review: A combined monitor, KVM and USB hub is bliss

Nancy J. Delong

In the globe of doing work from residence, you are probable to have two machines that you work from: The company supplied official device that you should be employing for work and your dwelling device that you use after hours, or alternatively, do as a lot work as possible on.

For the past 18 months, my function products have either lived in a bag until required, or along with some former office environment remnants on a table with a now redundant keep track of, USB hub, keyboard, and mouse for these periods when I absolutely required to use the operate notebook. Switching involving units intended physically switching desks, a thing that I was blessed ample to be able to could squeeze into one particular home.

But this arrangement was speedily superseded when the Dell U2722DE appeared in my daily life — and you can find no heading back again.

Like

  • Dell U-sequence panel provides for operate applications
  • USB hub and DisplayPort daisy chaining is a cable management gamechanger
  • Switching the exhibit and inputs in between desktop and laptop computer is fantastic

Do not Like

  • High-priced and challenging to obtain
  • Photo-in-photograph is not a leading selling level

The to start with factor this watch does is turn into the centre of your setup, thanks to its USB hub features and sheer sum of ports. It has one upstream USB-C port for facts and 90 watts of electricity, an additional upstream facts-only USB-C port, just one downstream USB-C port that delivers 15 watts of electrical power, four USB 3.2 Gen2 ports rated at 10Gbps, an RJ45 networking port, a single DisplayPort as input from a computer and another DisplayPort for daisy chaining, a single HDMI port for that previous-university feel, and a headphone jack.

The concept with this monitor is alternatively than plugging into a desktop or laptop, you hook up the peripheral to the observe and then have a single twine go back again to a computer or notebook about USB-C if you can, or in my desktop’s circumstance, just one DisplayPort cable and a one USB cable. If you’ve used a USB hub, this is the actual similar situation, despite the fact that it is nonetheless mindbending to realise the Ethernet connectivity is passed from the monitor to the desktop, which also usually means when a machine is chosen as the input, the wired connectivity drops.

Making use of the U2722DE will not magically change your current cable mess into some form of Marie Kondo-inspired delight, soon after all, the cables still have to plug in someplace, but alternatively than getting a mess powering the desk managing to the desktop, and sometimes getting displays and equipment in non-best positions because of to cable lengths, it can be simpler to sort and significantly additional accessible with the U2722DE taking part in intermediary.

At least a person cable that no for a longer period runs all the way back to the desktop is the DisplayPort cable that connects to 1 of my screens, as it is daisy chained off the U2722DE.

For the past couple weeks I’ve had a laptop computer sitting down below a trio of screens: An more mature Dell U-collection linked to a desktop, the U2722DE in the centre, and yet another U-series daisychained off the U2722DE.

In this set up, the still left display is completely connected to the desktop by using DisplayPort, and the two on the ideal are in a position to switch amongst the desktop and notebook many thanks to the built-in KVM inside the U2722DE and daisy chaining the displays by means of DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport (MST).

Theoretically there is a GPU and/or DisplayPort 1.2 MST limitation on the selection of pixels that can be driven by means of MST, but with a 2560×1440 resolution on the U2722DE and 1920×1200 on a U2415 there have been no troubles, but chaining a third watch can thrust the technical specs. In my case, the Nvidia 1060 in the Linux desktop experienced no problem with three shows chained up, but the 8th technology ThinkPad X1 Carbon working Windows could not deal with the laptop computer screen as effectively as 3 chained screens, and generally needed one particular of the exterior screens disabled.

The place the uncluttering genuinely arrives into enjoy is the KVM swap in the check. Working with two distinctive equipment throughout the working day no more time necessitates me to go away my seat as the check lets me to alter the enter among the desktop DisplayPort and laptop USB-C relationship. That means the redundant desk and set up could head in other places, if I can obtain a put for them other than the bin.

A single attribute that Dell touts about the U2722DE is the potential to have a photograph-in-photo exactly where 1 machine’s output will overlay the next. Possessing applied it, there are a few causes why I stay with switching inputs in between the diverse devices relatively than using picture-in-image. For just one, it disables DisplayPort daisy chaining, which not only sends the display configuration haywire if the device expects the full enhance of monitors but also would make the laptop computer complain endlessly that it has a misbehaving USB relationship till the USB-C cable is removed and set back again in.

In any other case, the perspective is a scaled down variation of what would be proven on the exhibit, so it is difficult to read through text, and most of the solutions contain an overlay, which implies you are sacrificing viewability on the U2722DE as properly. There is an option for a break up down the middle but the 27-inch U2722DE isn’t really quite major adequate to make this do the job nicely, but it can be anything that can be employed in a pinch.

The killer blow though is the only way to swap which equipment will get USB connectivity is interacting with the again of the display screen where by the knob to work the monitor’s menu lives. So switching inputs is a little clunky at finest.

Specified these tradeoffs and the method to switch in between USB and check input is essentially the similar, I obtain it is less difficult to just change the enter of the U2722DE holus-bolus and have it, as effectively as the daisy chained display screen, swap in between devices.

As a monitor overview, at some issue the real panel utilized in this observe really should be discussed. It is a 27-inch IPS Quad Hd panel, and as aspect of the UltraSharp series, it does not refresh with the sort of substantial hertz that avid gamers may want, but for everybody else it is a excellent panel usual of the U-series.

As you could have guessed from the variety of screens all-around it, I am fairly partial to the U-sequence and like the far more accurate colors as opposed to the prior Dell S-series monitor I utilised that most well-liked a much more washed out search.

One location exactly where I really feel Dell has headed backwards is in ditching the conventional buttons and changing them with an outsized energy button and a joystick management on the again of the keep an eye on. This implies each time you want to change concerning gadgets, or access a menu, you require to guess at exactly where the joystick is. The guesses get far better, but they are nevertheless guesses. By contrast, the S-series had buttons on the underside of the bezel, which was a much greater option.

If you simply want this panel with no the full hub and KVM goodness, the Dell U2722D exists, and prices a bit above AU$100 considerably less at the time of producing at AU$700.

Having said that, if you are likely to pay back that amount for a monitor, the full AU$820 value tag of the U2722DE is not substantially extra, in particular when USB hubs on their own can expense a number of hundreds of bucks on their very own. In my intellect at minimum, it is served offset the high cost by getting rid of a USB hub from my existence.

The major explanation you could not purchase this watch nevertheless is that it is terribly really hard to find. Several destinations have both revealed it as out of inventory or taken a guess at when it may possibly be restocked, with those estimates becoming a lot of months in the foreseeable future.

If you make your mind up you want this keep an eye on and you see a single accessible, bounce on it even though you can as stock does look to be truly minimal.

Provide problems aside, this monitor is a satisfying revelation that has allowed me to simplify my set up — by generating it more complicated with a KVM in the center — with the high-quality of the panel currently being a lovely reward.

Up to date at 11:37am AEDT, 29 January 2022: Removed wired keyboard and mouse demands.

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