September 14, 2022

Found Guilty and Sentenced to Use a Dell Monitor

Recently, I had to give up one of my favorite pieces of electronics — my M1 iMac. The process wasn’t easy. It was love at first sight when I saw the new, colorful M1 iterations of the iconic Mac desktop. The aluminum and glass combination was sturdy, aesthetically pleasing, and the choice of colors made the machines feel personal. I was grateful to be able to afford a refurbished version. My previous iMac, which I had to give to my son for remote schooling, is over 10 years old (yes, he’s still using it and perfectly happy). I bought the blue iMac with the funds I acquired selling my Star Wars pinball machine.

Unfortunately, not long after getting my new machine, I realized that it was going to be a problem working from home with it. It couldn’t be used for work, since I had to use my company-provided MacBook Pro. I had to get a monitor that would work with both a personal machine and a work machine. I set out to find a screen (and a new computer) that would fit my work-from-home needs. It was almost a foregone conclusion that I would get a Mac mini (I’m not switching to Windows for many reasons). However, the monitor was something I was not sure about. The Apple-made Studio monitor starts at $1500, so that was out of the question.

After a lot of research, I ended up choosing a mid-range Dell.1 I had high hopes for the device. It had USB-C, HDMI and display port inputs, so it would allow me to switch between my work and personal machines. It had a good resolution that was reviewed as crisp and vivid. Unfortunately, the monitor has been a disappointment in many ways.

  • It feels cheap. When you touch it, it half seems like it could come apart at the seams. It sometimes just creaks like an old house that is settling” (it just happened while I was typing this bullet point).
  • It rarely comes on when you want it to, preferring to pretend that it doesn’t recognize that any devices are attached. You usually have to go through a ritual of changing the input, turning the monitor off and on and/or plugging and unplugging the cable from the computer.
  • It comes on when you don’t want it to. The monitor doesn’t stay asleep when you are not using the computer. Instead, it has a seemingly random pattern of going off and on. This is especially annoying at night when the rest of the house is dark, and I see that glow coming from my office.
  • Text rendering on websites is not great and often looks jagged and pixely.
  • Images are frequently scrambled” when you scroll up and down. Once scrambled, the images stay that way for the session. (hah, it just happened while I was typing this bullet).

In summary, I hate this monitor and the horse it rode in on. Perhaps it’s a good monitor to use with a PC, but it’s terrible with a Mac. I wouldn’t wish in on my worst enemy. It’s really a shame that the PC and monitor manufacturers have such lower quality standards than Apple. No matter how many issues I have with Apple, their hardware and software combination blows away their competitors. It’s not even close.

Dude, I hope you’re not getting a Dell. 

  1. A Dell UltraSharp U2520D 25 Inch QHD (2560 x 1440) LED Backlit LCD IPS USB-C Monitor↩︎


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Canned Dragons is a blog about faith, noise and technology. This blog is written by Robert Rackley, an Orthodox Christian, aspiring minimalist, inveterate notetaker, software dev manager and paper airplane mechanic. If you have any comments about these posts, please feel free to send an email to Robert at (this domain).
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