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Dell’s 32-inch 6K monitor is a more affordable alternative to Apple’s Pro display

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

Dell’s 32-inch 6K monitor is a more affordable alternative to Apple’s Pro display

With a high-resolution panel, built-in speakers, and a webcam, Dell’s UltraSharp U3224KB is designed to tick all the productivity boxes.

Having a color-accurate monitor for color grading or just a general post-production workflow is a crucial part of your toolkit. Not only do you gauge the changes you are making more accurately, but you will know what you will be delivering. However, such tools can be extremely expensive.

These features will be distinct considerations for shoppers pitting the U3224KB against other professional monitors, like the Studio Display XDR and Studio Display. The former doesn't have any integrated cameras, speakers, or microphones. Apple's Studio Display has a 12.1 MP camera with auto-framing of its own, plus six quality speakers that also support Spatial Audio and three microphones.

This is why Dell has announced a new high-performance 6K monitor that could be a viable alternative to the Apple Pro XDR, which costs upwards of $6,000, and you still have to pay for a stand. The Dell 6K 32" UltraSharp monitor has a resolution of 6144 x 3456 and promises up to 1.4x higher contrast than the standard IPS display, with more accurate colors and deeper black levels.

The U3224KB has a pixel density of 223.79 ppi, to be precise, making it noticeably more pixel-dense than a 31.5-inch, 4K (3840×2160) monitor like the Dell UltraSharp U3223QZ (139.87 ppi).

The Dell monitor also gets you more pixels per inch than a 27-inch, 5K (5120×2880) monitor like Apple’s Studio Display (217.57 ppi), and even the Pro Display XDR monitor. Apple’s display is a hair bigger, at 32 inches, with a slightly lower resolution of 6016×3384, giving you 215.7 ppi.

Dell's blog post on the U3224KB today claimed that the monitor's IPS Black panel has a contrast ratio 1.4 times greater than standard IPS when viewed from a 45-degree angle.

The blog also claimed that IPS Black monitors—citing the 4K U3223QZ as an example, rather than the 6K U3224KB—have up to 41 percent deeper black levels at a 45-degree horizontal viewing angle compared to a 31.5-inch competitor using a standard IPS monitor.

According to Dell, an IPS Black monitor could also have up to 1.2 times better color accuracy than a regular IPS monitor at that angle, “, especially in displaying low grays."

A detailed illustration of a robot that Dell showed on the screen looked extremely lively on the U3223QZ. Its rounded head had a lot of depth, thanks to varied shades of gray leading into a deep black background. The many skinny lines in the illustration seemed to pop with sharp precision.

Obviously, the specs of Dell’s and Apple’s monitors aren’t identical. Most notably, Dell’s monitor is DisplayHDR 600 certified, suggesting a peak brightness in the region of 600 nits versus 1,600 nits on Apple’s monitor. There’s also no mention of any full array local dimming technology with Dell’s monitor, just an LG Display IPS Black panel.

In other images, speckled colors on black backgrounds popped without overtly visual artifacts at first glance. And a video-editing demo showed the benefits of having extra pixels to work with when it comes to heavy workloads and multi-tasking.

But Dell has thrown a kitchen sink’s-worth of features at the U3224KB in an attempt to make it more of a one-stop-shop productivity accessory. There’s a built-in 4K HDR webcam, dual 14W speakers, echo cancellation mics, a bevy of USB-C and USB-A ports, and a Thunderbolt 4 connector that can offer up to 140W of power to a connected laptop. There’s also the ability to connect two computers and control them both with a single mouse and keyboard thanks to a built-in KVM, and content from both machines can be displayed simultaneously.

Unfortunately, the Texas-based company hasn't shared a price for its 6K monitor, but it's hard to imagine something more restrictive than the Pro Display XDR's pricing. Apple's monitor costs $4,999 for standard glass and $5,999 with nano-texture glass, plus an extra $999 if you want Apple's stand and $200 for the optional VESA mount.

When Apple released the monitor in 2019, it compared it to $43,000 reference monitors, suggesting a bargain. However, the steep price and lack of included stand continue to make the Pro Display XDR unrealistic for many. Dell's blog today was careful to note that its 6K monitor will be "fully compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems."

Dell's 6K monitor will include the stand, as well as a camera, speakers, and mic; but it also makes lesser image quality claims than the Pro Display XDR. To get a loose idea of how Dell might price the display, consider that the U3223QZ is like a 4K version of the U3224KB with a current $1,280 MSRP. And right now, Dell is listing its 8K UltraSharp monitor at $4,025 ($3,800 at Amazon).


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May 15, 2023

Having a LG 5K2K Thunderbolt Monitor (Both generations; The original 34" Thunderbolt 3 one before upgrading to the 49" Thunderbolt 4 one) and a software developer myself, this isn't competitive nor the Pro Display XDR to the productivity gains of that monitor for software development.

I use a quick detach VESA monitor arm to swap between the following monitors

  • LG 5K2K ultrawide (DisplayHDR 600 5120x2160@75hz VRR)

  • Apple's Pro Display XDR (Dolby Vision HDR 6K@60hz 1600nits, 1000 sustained nits)

  • Asus's PA32UCG (Dolby Vision HDR 4K@120hz VESA 1600, 1000 sustained nits)

I recommend doing something similar if you want more vertical space sometimes besides waiting for higher-end/larger ultra-wide monitors using DisplayPort 2.1 and so on to come out. The Pro Display XDR easily…


May 15, 2023

I love my Pro Display XDR, and bought it mostly for the massive high resolution workspace, but...

My work mostly involves looking at code and documents. I don't really need the 1600 peak nits. If I was in the market again, I would absolutely take a strong look at this display as it does have the specs I use most, and half the price of the Pro Display XDR after you factor in the stand (which I bought).

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