Dell 32 4K USB-C Hub Monitor Reviewed: Sensible 4K Docking Perfection

Dell P3222QE 4K Hub Monitor

RRP $ 899.00

“The Dell 32 4K USB-C Hub Monitor is an ideal addition to a home office setup.”

advantages

  • Excellent connectivity options

  • Great IPS image quality

  • Robust, modern construction

  • Large 4K panel

  • Super guarantee

disadvantage

  • Expensive

  • Not a wide color space

Choosing the best monitor for yourself is not easy, especially if you are looking for a display that can be connected to your notebook with a single USB-C cable and will handle all of the connectivity. Fortunately, Dell has a new 32-inch 4K offering called the Dell 32 4K USB-C Hub Monitor, codenamed P3222QE.

The two main highlights of this display are its large 4K IPS panel along with USB-C hub functions, which means that it can charge your laptop, display and audio data to the monitor as well as USB and Ethernet signals via a single cable can send. But this feature set isn’t cheap: the P3222QE is priced at $ 899. Still, it has the potential to be a great home office centerpiece for those who want to easily switch between laptop and desktop modes.

design

Rear view of the Dell 32 4K USB-C Hub Monitor.Niels Broekhuijsen / Digital Trends

When you unpack the display, you are immediately greeted with the sturdy stand and the solid workmanship of the display. You won’t find a fancy metal construction here, but the plastic housing of the P3222QE is of high quality with a slim design and without ugly gaps in the panels. The P3222QE has a clean, professional appearance and fits well in most homes and offices, with its great visual feature being its large size.

The stand has a noticeable weight and has all the essential functions that we expect from Dell stands: height adjustment, tilting, swiveling and rotating into portrait format – this is essential for productivity monitors for an ergonomic, healthy posture.

Dell 32 4K USB-C Hub monitor brightness settings stand close-up.Niels Broekhuijsen / Digital Trends

The stand also has a cable hole through the middle for neat cable management, although I would have preferred to see this cutout a little higher. At halfway up positions, many of the cables are still visible – but this is not a problem at lower positions.

Ports & controls

View of the connectors and ports on the Dell 32 4K USB-C Hub Monitor.

View of the connectors and ports on the Dell 32 4K USB-C Hub Monitor.

As mentioned earlier, connectivity is the P3222QE’s strong point with HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C inputs. The hub has four USB 3.0 ports and Gigabit Ethernet, although a headphone jack appears to be missing.

Two of the USB ports are located next to the display inputs for connecting other fixed devices such as mice, webcams and keyboards, while two more USB ports are located on the underside of the display in a practical place for connecting USB sticks or for a short time connected devices of this type.

Two USB ports within easy reach make the P3222QE a practical desktop companion.

Some other USB-C monitors with abundant connectivity occasionally have a DisplayPort out, as is the case with the P2720DC. The P3222QE, on the other hand, doesn’t have this feature, so you’re limited to a single monitor if you only want to use a single cable. But there is a good reason for this: the Type-C connection does not have the necessary bandwidth for multiple 4K displays. So it’s hardly a point of criticism.

The P3222QE can charge the connected USB-C device with up to 65 W power, which is sufficient for the vast majority of productivity-oriented notebooks. However, more powerful mobile workstations or gaming laptops may require more power. So please check your laptop’s power requirements before purchasing this monitor.

The P3222QE’s OSD (on-screen display) is simple but has most of the essential features needed for this type of monitor. There are two controls on the back of the monitor: a power switch and a small joystick to control the OSD.

Dell 32 4K USB-C Hub monitor brightness settings power button.

Close up of the brightness settings on the Dell 32 4K USB-C Hub monitor.

The OSD itself is sharp and easy to navigate, although the text is quite small and is placed well down in the lower right corner of the display. Since it’s a fairly large display, navigating the OSD is a bit un-ergonomic as you have to bend down to read. But it’s just the OSD, and it’s not that you’re going to be spending much time there anyway.

All the important controls are there, including brightness and contrast settings, various preset color modes and a handful of device settings. For inputs, there is even the option of renaming the inputs, which is nice if you want to name the USB-C port in “laptop”, DisplayPort in desktop and HDMI in console, for example.

picture quality

Equipped with a large 31.5-inch IPS panel with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 4K, the image generated by the P3222QE is pleasantly sharp for the eyes with great color performance. The panel is able to display 1.07 billion colors, with an evaluated color space covering 99% of the sRGB space. As such, this isn’t a wide color gamut monitor, nor does it come with factory calibration, so we’ll see how it performs in our tests in a moment. Dell also promises a static contrast ratio of 1000: 1, which is expected from an IPS panel, and the typical brightness is stated at 350 cd / m².

One of Dell’s strengths in its monitors is the coatings – where it was quite aggressive ten years ago, Dell has refined its coating process to produce a very smooth anti-glare coating that is still very effective at reducing glare is. The P3222QE also has this soft coating, which makes its image easy on the eyes even at higher brightness levels.

So without further ado, let’s throw our Datacolor Spyder X Elite at the P3222QE and see how it performs.

Dell 32 4K USB-C Hub Monitor sits on desk next to plant and light.Niels Broekhuijsen / Digital Trends

All in all, the P3222QE actually delivers a good performance. Its color space is limited to 99% of the sRGB space, which fans of wide gamut panels will miss, but its color space is easy on the eyes and a very good sRGB panel in terms of quality. Gamma performance is perfect at 2.2 with a deviation of just 0.01, and color accuracy is tested with a Delta-E (difference from reality) of 1.67. This is good enough for photo editing work, which the P3222QE is great for with its large size and high resolution.

Meanwhile, the brightness performance of 350 cd / m² is just right, with the static contrast ratio measured with a peak value of 1100: 1 and exceeding the promised specification. Only the white point was a bit off the target at 6900K, which creates a slightly colder image than desired.

After using the Spyder X Elite to calibrate the display and reevaluate its performance, we found we were squeezing out 1% more sRGB coverage and improving color accuracy to an impressive Delta-E of just 1.01 . The white point has also been refined, so that the overall performance of the P3222QE can be improved even further with a simple calibration. But the picture is more than good enough for most use cases. So if you’re not doing professional editing, we’d just leave it as it is.

Our opinion

The P3222QE is an excellent 4K monitor that is particularly suitable for use with notebooks thanks to its integrated hub functions. With up to 65 watts of power output via its USB-C port, four USB 3.0 ports and Gigabit Ethernet, the P3222QC has all the connectivity required to set up a (home) office workstation that is connected to the Laptop docks.

And that’s not to ignore the picture of the P3222QE: with a large 32-inch 4K panel, you get a lot of sharpness on a large panel, at a DPI that is just comfortable enough for most people to not allow UX scaling to need what offers you a lot of monitor real estate to work. Color performance is also excellent as long as you work in the sRGB color space. For most people this is not a problem and might even be preferable for eye protection, although professional editors may opt for a high color gamut display if their job calls for it.

All in all, the P3222QE is an excellent large monitor for use with modern laptops, offering an unmatched level of practicality and excellent processing and image quality. The only real catch is the $ 899 price tag, although that’s not entirely absurd when you consider the panel size and quality, along with connectivity options and Dell’s excellent warranty program.

Are there alternatives?

If a 4K panel is too big for you and you prefer smaller displays, the Dell P2720DC might be more for you.

Otherwise alternatives are the LG Ergo 32UN880 with similar specifications, or the LG 32UP550 at almost half the price if you’re willing to sacrifice the quality of the IPS panel for a cheaper VA unit.

How long it will take?

Dell covers the P3222QE with a 3-year upfront exchange service guarantee, which means you have a new one delivered to your office or home before you pick the old one up – and in my experience they get you there really quickly, too. This is ideal when you can’t be without a monitor for long.

Even beyond the warranty period, the P3222QE should last at least five years, if not longer. LED lighting is not prone to failure and there are no other complexities that could affect its potential lifespan.

Should I buy it?

Yes, if you’re looking for a large 4K monitor for your laptop that offers the convenience of a single cable connection, the Dell P3222QE is for you. It’s a bit pricey at $ 899, but for the money you get a lot of quality and gear, so the price is justified.

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