Preferred monitor store
Reviewed on Aug 22, 2018 , Eric Bousquet, Yannick Khong

Dell U2518D
MONITOR REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.0

Test Benches: test

  • 1.0: Fall 2017
7.7
Mixed Usage
Score components:
  • 30% Office
  • 30% Multimedia
  • 25% Gaming
  • 10% Media Creation
  • 5% HDR Gaming
Size : 25 "
Resolution : 2560x1440
Refresh Rate : 60 Hz
LCD Type
What it is: Type of LCD technology used by the monitor.
When it matters: Different technologies have different viewing angle properties.
:
IPS
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
:
No

The Dell Ultrasharp U2518D is a QHD 25-inch IPS LCD monitor that is good for most usages. It has great ergonomics and a good picture quality, with great peak brightness and good reflection handling, making it a suitable choice for brighter rooms. The monitor supports HDR but you will not gain much advantage from using it in this mode. It has a fast response time and a low input lag to provide a good gaming experience. In darker rooms, blacks look gray and the disappointing black uniformity becomes apparent.

Test Results
Design 7.5
Picture Quality 7.5
Motion 7.2
Inputs 8.1
Pros
  • Wide viewing angles
  • Easy to adjust stand with great ergonomics
Cons
  • HDR performance doesn't add much
  • Disappointing black uniformity

Check Price

7.5

Design

Score components: Subjectively assigned
Dell U2518D Design Picture
Curved : No
Curve radius : N/A
Weight (without stand) : 7.8lbs (3.5 kg)
Weight (with stand) : 12.8lbs (5.8 kg)

The design of the Dell U2518D is good. It has the typical Dell design, with a stand that supports the monitor well and provides good ergonomics so that you can position the monitor to your liking without much trouble. If, on the other hand, you decide to VESA mount it, the monitor won't protrude much. The build quality is good, as with most Dell monitors and you shouldn't have any issues with it.

Stand
Dell U2518D Stand picture
Width : 11.5" (29.2 cm)
Depth : 7.9" (20.0 cm)

This is a typical rectangular plastic Dell stand. It provides good support to the monitor and it is very sturdy.

8.2 Ergonomics
What it is: How much the position of the screen can be adjusted to match the viewing preference of the user.
When it matters: All usages, but especially office and gaming use.
Score components:
  • 46% Height Adjustment
  • 18% Switch portrait/landscape
  • 18% Swivel Range
  • 18% Tilt Range
Dell U2518D Ergonomics picture
Height Adjustment : 5.1" (12.9 cm)
Switch portrait/landscape : Yes
Swivel Range : -30° to 30°
Tilt Range : -22.5° to 2.5°

The ergonomics of the monitor are great. You can easily position the monitor to your liking without any issue. This is typical of most Dell monitors.

Back
Dell U2518D Back picture
Wall Mount : VESA 100x100

The back of the monitor looks very plain. It has an air vent that runs across the top side to provide cooling to the electronics. The stand pole has the typical hole that is Dell's way of providing cable management.

Borders
Dell U2518D Borders picture
Borders : 0.3" (0.7 cm)

The borders are thin with minimal bezel. However, there is a gap on the screen between the edge and where the pixels start as you can see in the image.

Thickness
Dell U2518D Thickness picture
Thickness (with stand) : 5.4" (13.8 cm)
Thickness (without stand) : 2.0" (5.0 cm)

The monitor looks fairly thin without the stand and if VESA mounted, it won't protrude much. When attached to its stand and viewed from the side, the width is pretty much the stands' width.

7.5 Build Quality
What it is: How well built and sturdy the monitor is, and how good the materials used to build it are.
When it matters: All usages.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Dell U2518D Build Quality picture

The build quality of the Dell Ultrasharp U2518D is good. The casing is plastic with no gaps and you should have no issues with it.

Good picture quality for this Dell U2518D. As an IPS monitor, the contrast ratio is only mediocre whereas viewing angles are decent. The monitor can get fairly bright in SDR and can easily be placed in a bright room. Although the monitor supports HDR, you will not benefit much from using it in this mode. Overall, the monitor has good picture quality when used in SDR and should keep most people happy.

6.3 Contrast
What it is: Brightness difference between white and black. This is the main component of picture quality.
When it matters: Always, but especially when watching dark scenes.
Score components:
Dell U2518D Checkerboard Picture
Native Contrast
What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
1187 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with local dimming turned on (maximum) with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
N/A

The contrast of this Dell U2518D monitor is mediocre. However, this is expected for an IPS monitor. In fact, it is in the middle of the range of IPS monitors we've tested so far.

0 Local Dimming
What it is: The lights behind the LCD layer adapt to the picture displayed, improving the contrast ratio.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Local Dimming
What it is: Whether it has a feature that controls the LEDs behind the LCD layer, to match the picture and darkens the dark portion of it.
When it matters: On LED TVs only. Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
:
No
Backlight
What it is: Configuration of the lights of the backlight.
When it matters: Effectiveness of the local dimming.
Good value: Full-array/direct lighting is better for local dimming. As for the uniformity of the screen, it depends on the implementation. Some edge-lit monitors have more uniform blacks than some full-array monitors.
:
Direct

This monitor does not feature a local dimming option. The video is for reference only.

8.2 SDR Peak Brightness
What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and with SDR content.
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; SDR content.
SDR Real Scene
What it is: The maximum luminosity the TV can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. Our Real Scene was selected to represent a more regular movie condition. All measurements are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming on, max backlight and with an SDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies and TV shows in SDR.
:
406 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time
:
423 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time
:
426 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
426 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
426 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
426 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent during a scene.
:
421 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent during a scene.
:
424 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
425 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
425 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
425 cd/m²
SDR ABL
What it is: The standard deviation of the SDR sustained brightness, after linearizing for noticeable differences in luminosity
When it matters: Content with large bright areas, such as for PC or video game use, and sports such as hockey
:
0.0

The SDR peak brightness of the Dell Ultrasharp U2518D is great. The monitor is suitable for bright rooms as it can overcome glare. The brightness is relatively constant at all window sizes and this is good. This is due to the lack of local dimming or frame dimming.

7.2 HDR Peak Brightness
What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and with HDR content.
When it matters: HDR content
HDR Real Scene : 498 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window : 476 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window : 520 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window : 545 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window : 562 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window : 584 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window : 279 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window : 304 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window : 317 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window : 328 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window : 340 cd/m²
HDR ABL : 0.012

Decent HDR peak brightness. The Dell U2518D can get bright in HDR but unfortunately not enough to give you the entire HDR 'wow' effect.

7.3 Horizontal Viewing Angle
What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the side.
Dell U2518D Horizontal Color Shift Picture
Color Shift from Left
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your left
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
37 °
Color Shift from Right
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
36 °
Dell U2518D Horizontal Brightness Picture
Brightness from Left
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your left.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
49 °
Brightness from Right
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
47 °
Dell U2518D Horizontal Black Level Picture
Black Level from Left
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
75 °
Black Level from Right
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
75 °
Curve Radius : N/A

Decent horizontal viewing angles for the Dell U2518D, typical of an IPS monitor. At a relatively large angle off center, the colors start to shift and just a few degrees later so does the brightness.

7.0 Vertical Viewing Angle
What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the top or bottom.
Dell U2518D Vertical Color Shift Picture
Color Shift from Below
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor from below.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
28 °
Color Shift from Above
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor when standing up.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
28 °
Dell U2518D Vertical Brightness Picture
Brightness from Below
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor from below.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
36 °
Brightness from Above
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor while standing up.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
37 °
Dell U2518D Vertical Black Level Picture
Black Level from Below
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor from below.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
49 °
Black Level from Above
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor while standing up.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
22 °

Decent vertical viewing angles. Again, colors are the first to shift as we move up from the center axis. Surprisingly when looking from above blacks do shift relatively fast. This might affect the picture quality perceived by someone who looks at the monitor while standing.

8.6 Gray Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of colors onscreen (not just gray).
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Score components:
Dell U2518D 50% Uniformity Picture
50% Std. Dev.
What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 50% gray.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 2.5%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
3.18 %
50% DSE
What it is: High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 0.165%
Noticeable difference: 0.025%
:
0.109 %
Dell U2518D 5% Uniformity Picture
5% Std. Dev.
What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 5% gray.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 1.15%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
0.34 %
5% DSE
What it is: High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 0.116%
:
0.046 %

The gray uniformity of this Dell Ultrasharp U2518D is great. In the darker shades, there is no visible clouding whereas in the lighter shades you might be able to notice some faint uniformity issues towards the edges that look darker. The good news is that there is almost no dirty screen effect.

5.9 Black Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components:
Dell U2518D Native Black Uniformity Picture
Native Std. Dev.
What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: <2%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
2.053 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks with Local Dimming enabled
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: <2%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
N/A

Disappointing black uniformity. There is clouding scattered all over the screen and only the corners look uniform. There is backlight bleed around the edges of the screen that can be easily noticed in a dark room.

9.1 Pre Calibration
What it is: Monitor's color accuracy before a full calibration. The measurements are taken with out of the box 'factory setting'.
When it matters: All video on an uncalibrated TV. This represents most people's use cases.
Score components:
Dell U2518D Pre Calibration Picture Dell U2518D Pre Gamma Curve Picture Dell U2518D Pre Color Picture
Picture Mode
What it is: The picture mode that was used to do the pre-calibration reading. We usually go for the picture mode that gives us the more control over all the picture quality setting.
:
Standard
Luminance
What it is: The luminance at which the pre-calibration reading was done. This represents the luminance of the monitor when it is at the factory default settings.
:
275 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
What it is: The luminance settings, often named 'Brightness' on monitors, usually range from 0 to 100.
:
75
Contrast Setting
What it is: The monitor contrast setting, usually ranging from 0 to 100.
:
75
RGB controls
What it is: This is the value for each color (red, green, and blue) used in the monitor internal RGB cuts/gains controls. If the monitor does not have an internal RGB cuts/gains controls, then the color temperature setting will be used instead, and the color temperature that gives us the best result will be used.
:
N/A
Color Temperature
What it is: The color temperature is a measure of the color of light. A colder color temperature (7000K) will look bluer and a warmer color temperature (4000K) will look yellower/redder. 6500K is the standard color for PC monitors and also for the sRGB color standard.
When it matters: When you care about color reproduction and accuracy.
Good value: 6500K
Noticeable difference: 400K
:
6720 K
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all video.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
1.28
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
1.15
Gamma
What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.19

Excellent out of the box color accuracy. The Picture mode at which we obtained the best results is the 'Standard'.

The color temperature is a little colder than our target of 6500 K, and Gamma does not track too close our target curve, but its average value is close to our 2.2 sRGB target, and the white and color balance dEs are well below the threshold of 3 where most people will notice any color inaccuracies.

9.7 Post Calibration
What it is: Monitor's color accuracy after a full calibration with a spectrophotometer.
When it matters: All graphics and video content on a monitor that has been professionally calibrated.
Score components:
Dell U2518D Post Calibration Picture Dell U2518D Post Gamma Curve Picture Dell U2518D Post Color Picture
Picture Mode
What it is: The picture mode that was used to do the calibration reading. We usually go for the picture mode that gives us the more control over all the picture quality setting.
:
Custom Color
Luminance
What it is: The luminance at which the calibration was executed. We aim for a luminance level of 100 cd/m².
:
99 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
What it is: The luminance settings, often named 'Brightness' on monitors, usually range from 0 to 100.
:
17
Contrast Setting
What it is: The monitor contrast setting, usually ranging from 0 to 100.
:
75
RGB controls
What it is: This is the value for each color (red, green, and blue) used in the monitor internal RGB cuts/gains controls. If the monitor does not have an internal RGB cuts/gains controls, then the color temperature setting will be used instead, and the color temperature that gives us the best result will be used.
:
99-98-100
Color Temperature
What it is: The color temperature is a measure of the color of light. A colder color temperature (7000K) will look bluer and a warmer color temperature (4000K) will look yellower/redder. 6500K is the standard color for PC monitors and also for the sRGB color standard.
When it matters: When you care about color reproduction and accuracy.
Good value: 6500K
Noticeable difference: 400K
:
6513 K
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all videos.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.45
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.48
Gamma
What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.18

The Dell U2518D achieved a remarkable accuracy after calibration. For the calibration, we set Picture mode to 'Custom Color' which is the mode that allows changing the monitor's RGB balance. The white balance dE and color dE are below 0.5, which means that the level of inaccuracy is almost unnoticeable. The gamma curve was corrected to match more closely the target curve and although the overall value is now a bit further from our 2.2 sRGB target the overall result is better. Finally, the color temperature, after calibration, it is much closer to our 6500k target.

You can download our ICC profile calibration here. This is provided for reference only and should not be used, as the calibration values vary per individual unit even for the same model due to manufacturing tolerances.

8.7 SDR Color Gamut
What it is: The palette of colors the monitor can display
When it matters: General content consumption or production
Score components:
Dell U2518D Color Gamut s.RGB Picture
s.RGB xy
What it is: Coverage of the s.RGB colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: Almost all content. Includes websites, standard windows environment and SDR movies
Good value: > 95%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
98.1 %
Dell U2518D Color Gamut ARGB Picture
Adobe RGB xy
What it is: Coverage of the Adobe RGB colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: Professional photography.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
76.1 %

sRGB Picture Mode: 'Custom Color' (calibrated)
Adobe RGB Picture Mode: 'Custom Color'

Excellent SDR color gamut. The Dell Ultrasharp U2518D covers the sRGB color space adequately. On the other hand, the coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space is limited and that might be an issue for professional users for editing graphics or print media.

8.8 SDR Color Volume
What it is: How much of the SDR color spaces the monitor can reproduce
When it matters: General usage and SDR media creation
Score components:
Dell U2518D s.RGB Color Volume ITP picture
s.RGB in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the s.RGB colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: Most content, including web, SDR video games, and SDR media creation
:
95.9 %
Dell U2518D Adobe RGB Color Volume ITP Picture
Adobe RGB in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the Adobe RGB colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels, normalized to the monitor's peak brightness.
When it matters: Professional media creation
:
80.8 %

sRGB Picture Mode: 'Custom Color'
Adobe RGB Picture Mode: 'Custom Color'

Excellent SDR color volume. The sRGB in ICtCp color volume is covered adequately except at the darker shades that are limited by the monitor's mediocre contrast ratio. The Adobe RGB in ICtCp color volume is limited both by the monitor contrast ratio and the limited color gamut of the Adobe RBG color space. This might be an issue for professionals in the publishing industry.

6.5 HDR Color Gamut
What it is: The monitor's ability to reproduce HDR color spaces
When it matters: HDR content consumption or media creation
Score components:
Wide Color Gamut
What it is: Whether the monitor can support wider color gamuts
When it matters: HDR content and media creation
:
No
Dell U2518D Color Gamut DCI-P3 Picture
DCI P3 xy
What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy
When it matters: When consuming or producing HDR content.
:
72.6 %
Dell U2518D Color Gamut Rec.2020 Picture
Rec. 2020 xy
What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: When consuming or producing HDR content.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
56.9 %

The Dell U2518D displays a decent color gamut with HDR content. The coverage of the smaller DCI-P3 is ok, but the coverage of the wider Rec.2020 color space is disappointing.

5.8 HDR Color Volume
What it is: How much of the HDR color spaces a monitor can display at different luminosity levels.
When it matters: HDR content consumption and production. Includes streaming services, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Score components:
Dell U2518D P3 Color Volume ITP Picture
DCI-P3 in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels, normalized to the monitor's peak brightness output.
When it matters: HDR content.
Good value: 80%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
66.6 %
Dell U2518D 2020 Color Volume ITP Picture
Rec. 2020 in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the Rec. 2020 colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels, normalized to the monitor's peak brightness output.
When it matters: HDR content.
Good value: 80 %
Noticeable difference: 5 %
:
49.6 %

The monitor has a disappointing coverage of HDR color volume due to its limited HDR color gamut and contrast ratio. The monitor can't display vivid colors at a wide range of brightness levels so HDR content won't look much more saturated than SDR content.

10 Image Retention
What it is: How much a static image is retained on a monitor screen after a certain amount of time.
When it matters: When working or playing video games on your PC monitor.
Dell U2518D Image Retention Picture
IR after 0 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured right after the static image exposure, without recovery time.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 2 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 2 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 4 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 4 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 6 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 6 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 8 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 8 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 10 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 10 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %

This monitor shows no sign of image retention after displaying a high contrast static image for 10 minutes.

9.4 Gradient
What it is: How finely levels of color can be displayed.
When it matters: Details in shadows, sky and skin tones. Matters more for HDR content.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Dell U2518D Gradient Picture
Color Depth
What it is: Number of bits per pixel to represent a specific color. Note: we consider 8-bit with dithering to be equivalent to 10-bit, as long as the 10-bit gradient looks smooth.
When it matters: HDR content like HDR video games or HDR UHD movies. Won't matter for regular Blu-ray movies, SDR video game or desktop environment content displayed from a Windows PC. Those are limited to 8-bit color.
Good value: 10-bit.
Noticeable difference: 1 bit.
:
10 Bit

Excellent results on our gradient test. The Dell Ultrasharp U2518D displays our gradient test image with almost no banding, as we can see in our test picture. Very minimal banding is visible in the dark part of the colors. As this monitor supports a 10-bit input, no banding generally seen on an 8-bit monitor is visible, and this is excellent.

10.0 Color Bleed
What it is: How much the color from one area of the screen affects the color in another area of the screen.
When it matters: All usages, but especially media creation.
Score components:
Dell U2518D Color bleed horizontal
Pixel row error
What it is: The amount of bleed that appears across the screen horizontally.
When it matters: General usage of a PC monitor, can appear when browsing the web or with media creation like graphics.
Good value: <0.2%
Noticeable difference: 0.1%
:
0.000 %
Dell U2518D Color bleed vertical
Pixel column error
What it is: Amount of color bleeding that appears across the screen vertically.
When it matters: Most uses of a PC monitor. Can appear while browsing the web or when editing images or graphics.
Good value: <0.2%
Noticeable difference: 0.1%
:
0.001 %

When displaying large stripes of a single color, no bleeding issues can be seen on this Dell U2518D monitor.

7.5 Reflections
What it is: How much light is reflected by the TV.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Dell U2518D Average room Dell U2518D Average room off picture Dell U2518D Bright room off picture

The reflection handling of the Dell U2518D is good. It diffuses direct reflections on the screen using a light matte finish that give them a reddish tint. This is good for an average lit or dark room but in a very bright room, you might find the reflections distracting.

7.2

Motion

Score components:

The Del U2518D has decent motion handling. It has a very fast response time that creates little blur, but unfortunately, it is not flicker-free and has a refresh rate of only 60Hz that might not be enough for some gamers. Furthermore, the monitor does not have any advanced gaming features like support for variable refresh rate to remove tearing or Black Frame Insertion to clear up blur.

8.8 Motion Blur
What it is: The performance of the pixel response time. Poor response time causes trails to follow moving objects. Response time is one of a few sources of motion blur.
When it matters: When there's fast movement on screen, such as during video games and sports.
Score components:
Dell U2518D Motion Blur Picture Dell U2518D Response Time Chart
80% Response Time
What it is: How quickly pixels can reach 80% of a full transition from one color to another.
When it matters: When there's fast movement on screen, such as during video games and sports.
Good value: < 8 ms
Noticeable difference: 4 ms
:
5.2 ms
100% Response Time
What it is: How quickly pixels can fully transition from one color to another.
When it matters: When there's fast movement on screen, such as during video games and sports.
Good value: < 20 ms
Noticeable difference: 10 ms
:
11.7 ms
Best Overdrive Setting
What it is: If the monitor has adjustable pixel overdrive settings, which one produces the best response time with minimal overshoot.
When it matters: When adjusting the monitor's settings to get the least possible motion blur.
:
Normal

Response Time Normal
Response Time Fast

Excellent pixel response time, good enough for fast motion in video games and TV shows. This results in a clear image with only a short trail visible as the photo above shows. You can set the Response Time setting to 'Fast', but you will observe a distracting amount of overshoot and therefore, is not recommended.

7.5 Image Flicker
What it is: Luminosity pattern when displaying images
When it matters: Nearly all the time during PC monitor use, but especially during fast movement such as video games
Dell U2518D Backlight Picture
Flicker-free : No
PWM Dimming Frequency
What it is: Flickering pattern at different luminosities.
When it matters: For people sensitive to flickering.
Good value: N/A or high frequencies (> 300 Hz). Frequencies that are multiples of 60Hz are better.
:
940 Hz
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
What it is: Option to turn screen black between frames
When it matters: Reduces eye tracking blur in motion
Good value: Yes
:
No
BFI Maximum Frequency
What it is: Highest possible frequency of flickering pattern
When it matters: Reduces eye-tracking blur in motion
Good value: Matches the native refresh rate
Noticeable difference: 20 Hz
:
N/A
BFI Minimum Frequency
What it is: Lowest possible frequency of flickering pattern
When it matters: Reduces eye-tracking blur in motion
Good value: 60 Hz
Noticeable difference: 20 Hz
:
N/A

The Dell Ultrasharp U2518D has flicker at low brightness settings but the flicker frequency is very high and most people will not notice it.

On the other hand, the monitor lacks a black frame insertion feature to clear up motion, but most 60 Hz monitors don't have this feature because most people find 60 Hz flicker bothersome.

6.7 Refresh Rate
What it is: How frequently the monitor can refresh and show new frames, and whether it can vary its refresh rate in real time using technologies like G-sync and FreeSync.
When it matters: Mostly for gaming, but does provide a little better motion during normal usage.
Native
What it is: The frequency at which the monitor is capable of displaying images every second
When it matters: General usage, but better results are most important for gaming
Good value: >100 Hz
Noticeable difference: 15 Hz
:
60 Hz
Factory Overclock
What it is: The frequency at which the monitor's can be boosted to using its internal menu.
When it matters: Gaming and other usages where high frame rate content is consumed.
Good value: >100
Noticeable difference: 15
:
N/A
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
:
No
VRR Maximum
What it is: The maximum frequency covered by the Variable Refresh Rate feature of the monitor.
When it matters: Any time the VRR feature is enabled.
Good value: Matches Refresh rate
Noticeable difference: 10 Hz
:
N/A
VRR Minimum
What it is: The lowest frequency covered by the monitor's Variable Refresh Rate feature.
When it matters: When using the VRR feature of the monitor at lower frame rates.
Good value: 30 Hz
:
N/A
VRR Maximum With OC
What it is: The maximum frequency covered by the Variable Refresh Rate feature when the monitor's overclocking feature is used.
When it matters: When both the overclocking and VRR features are used.
Good value: Matching the overclocked refresh rate.
Noticeable difference: 10 hz
:
N/A
VRR Supported Connectors : N/A

The Dell U2518 has a good refresh rate of 60Hz, but unfortunately, it does not support any advanced gaming features like variable refresh rate.

8.1

Inputs

Score components:

The Dell U2518D has a low input lag that will keep most people happy except the most competitive gamers. It is equipped with a good QHD resolution that most people will find sufficient for the 25" screen size of the monitor. As far as input ports, the monitor is pretty versatile and will accept both HDMI and DisplayPort inputs.

8.1 Input Lag
What it is: Delay between input and onscreen reaction.
When it matters: General usage of the mouse and gaming.
Native Resolution
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying its native resolution at its native refresh rate.
When it matters: General usage and while playing video games.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
15.8 ms
Non-Native Resolution
What it is:

Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying an alternative resolution at its native refresh rate. The non-native resolution tested depends on the native resolution of the monitor, following this pattern unless otherwise specified in the Input Lag text:

Native Resolution Non-Native Resolution Tested
4k UHD QHD
QHD FHD
FHD 1600x900
3440x1440 2560x1080
2560x1080 1920x1080
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
15.7 ms
Native Resolution @ 60 Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying its native resolution at a refresh rate of 60 Hz.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
15.8 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is using its Variable Refresh Rate feature at its native resolution.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
N/A
HDR
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying an HDR signal at its native resolution and refresh rate.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
19.8 ms
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when BFI is enabled and the monitor is displaying a signal at the highest supported BFI refresh rate.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
N/A

The input lag of the U2518D is great, and it does not increase when the monitor is displaying the non-native FHD resolution we tested it on. When in HDR mode the input lag is only slightly higher.

8.3 Resolution and Size
What it is: The number of pixels the monitor can display, and the surface area of its screen.
When it matters: All usages, but especially for office and media editing.
Score components:
Native Resolution : QHD, 2560 x 1440
Aspect Ratio : 16:9
Megapixels : 3.7 MP
Pixel Density : 118 PPI
Screen Diagonal : 25.0 inches
Screen Area : 266 sq inches

The Dell U2518D monitor has a sharp 1440p resolution but only an ordinary 25" size. This resolution for this specific size is great for most usages.

Inputs
Total Inputs
DisplayPort : 1 (DP 1.2)
Mini DisplayPort : 1 (DP 1.2)
HDMI : 1 (HDMI 2.0)
DVI : No
VGA : No
DisplayPort Out : 1 (DP 1.2)
USB : 4 (USB 3.0)
USB C : No
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : 1
Microphone In 3.5mm : No
Digital Optical Audio Out : No
Analog Audio Out RCA : No

The monitor has a DisplayPort Out for daisy chaining with another monitor. This allows two monitors to be fed from one DisplayPort on a computer. Also, the lower of the two USB ports on the side supports the USB BC1.2 battery charging standard and has a different icon. This gives it enhanced charging capabilities, such as higher current modes. The same is true for one of the USB ports on the bottom, the one closer to the left edge.

Features

The Dell U2518D has a couple of additional features that are very helpful. One is the option to have USB always on so that you can use its USB ports for charging other devices (2 of them support BC1.2 for fast charging). And second, the monitor supports DisplayPort daisy chaining. It does not have built-in speakers, but it does have a 3.5mm speaker out port, allowing you to connect a single set of speakers. The On-Screen Display is intuitive and easy to use.

Additional Features
What it is: Additional features found on the monitor
Score components:
Speakers
What it is: Whether or not the monitor features standalone speakers.
When it matters: When using your computer without headphones or a dedicated pair of speakers.
:
No
HDR10 : Yes

The Dell U2518D just like its sister monitor, the Dell U2718Q, can be used as a USB hub. The USB ports can be left powered when the monitor is off, and two of the ports support BC1.2 fast charging. Also, there is one DisplayPort Out for daisy chaining with another monitor. So only one DisplayPort is needed from the graphics card to display to two monitors.

HDR is only supported when connected via HDMI. DisplayPort is not supported for HDR.

On-Screen Display (OSD)
Controls
Dell U2518D Controls picture

The monitor has the standard four-button control scheme for the OSD, and one power button. The buttons are hard to press and sometimes you are not really sure if you have pressed them or not.

In The Box
Dell U2518D In The Box picture

  • Manual and drivers
  • Power cable
  • Displayport cable
  • USB 3.0 Cable

Differences between Sizes and Variants

We've tested the 25" U2518D. The monitor is also available in a 27" size (Dell U2718Q) that we have also tested.

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Dell U2518D doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. Note that some tests such as the gray uniformity may vary between individual units.

Size Model
25" U2518D
27" U2718Q

The U2518D we reviewed was manufactured in May 2018.

Compared to other Monitors

Dell U2518D Group Shot Picture
Left: Dell U2718Q. Middle: Dell U2518D. Right: Dell U2715H.
Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The Dell U2518D is a monitor oriented for productivity with great ergonomics and decent picture quality.

Dell U2515H

The Dell U2518D is better than the Dell U2515H. The Dell U2518D has HDR support, and this gives it an advantage over the Dell U2515H in almost all usages. On the other hand, the Dell U2515H has somewhat better input lag that makes it very responsive and will be appreciated mostly by gamers.

Dell U2415

The Dell U2518D is better than the Dell U24115. The U2518D supports HDR and has a much better resolution that can display more detail on the screen. The U2518D also has a faster response time and can handle fast action with less blur. On the other hand, the U2415 has a lower input lag, and this is great news for gamers.

LG 27UD58-B

The Dell U2518D is much better than the LG 27UD58-B. The Dell U2518D supports HDR whereas the LG 27UD58-B does not. The Dell U2518D has better motion blur for slightly better gaming and significantly better ergonomics that allow you to place it more comfortably. The Dell U2518D can get brighter and this great for office use. On the other hand, the LG 27UD58-B has a better resolution which makes it slightly better for those who seek the extra detail. Also, the LG 27UD58-B has better input lag and better refresh rate.

LG 27UD68P-B

The BenQ Zowie XL2540 is a much better monitor for gaming, For all other usages and HDR support, the Dell U2518D is a better choice. The BenQ Zowie XL2540 is equipped with features like variable refresh rate and black frame insertion, and very low input lag and fast pixel response time. All of these make it an excellent choice for gamers. On the other hand, the Dell U2518D has much better viewing angles and HDR support, along with a better QHD resolution that gives you more detail on your screen, and this is great for multitasking in an office or for multimedia.

ASUS PB277Q

If you will be sitting right in front of the monitor and responsiveness is what you are after, the ASUS PB277Q is a better choice. For a monitor that will perform well in almost all usages and with HDR support, the Dell U2518D is a better choice. The PB277Q is better for gaming as it has lower input lag and faster response time. On the other hand, the U2518D has better viewing angles that make it more versatile for more usages. Also, the Dell U2518D has better gray uniformity so you will not notice any clouding when browsing the web. 

+ Show more

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

7.7Mixed Usage
Score components:
  • 30% Office
  • 30% Multimedia
  • 25% Gaming
  • 10% Media Creation
  • 5% HDR Gaming
This is a good monitor for mixed usage. It has good resolution for its size and will allow you to see a lot of detail on your screen. The ergonomics are good so you can easily position the monitor comfortably. It has wide viewing angles so those sitting next to you will enjoy a good picture quality and its brightness makes it suitable for rooms with a lot of ambient light.
The Dell Ultrasharp U2518D is a good monitor for office use. It has wide viewing angles encouraging cooperation among colleagues and a good resolution for its size so that you can multitask without issues. The ergonomics are great and you can place the monitor to your preference without trouble. The color gamut is sufficient for most but not for professionals working with photos for publishing. It is bright enough and placing in a bright office should not be an issue.
The Dell U2518D will satisfy most casual gamers. It has a fast response time with a short image trail and a low input lag that makes it responsive. The resolution is good for its size and it will fit most of the details on your screen. Unfortunately, it does not have any advanced gaming features like variable refresh rate or black frame insertion to further improve the gaming experience, and the image only refreshes at 60Hz that is low for advanced gaming.
This is a good monitor for multimedia usage. The QHD resolution is great so you can view your favorite movie or stream most content without losing any detail. The ergonomics are very good thus you can position the monitor comfortably. You need not worry about the picture quality for those who are looking from the side as the monitor will maintain a good picture quality for a decent off center viewing. Unfortunately, this monitor is not suitable for dark rooms as blacks appear gray and the disappointing black uniformity becomes apparent.
Using this monitor for media creation is a good experience. It has a QHD resolution, which for the 25-inch screen size is great and will allow you to multitask easily and be more productive. It has a low input lag and thus it is very responsive and can easily be placed in a room with a lot of ambient light. It can get bright enough to fight glare and has good reflection handling. Unfortunately, it can not display deep uniform blacks and thus you should avoid using it in darker rooms.
This is a decent monitor for HDR gaming. It cannot get bright enough nor does it have a wide color gamut to make all HDR scenes pop. HDR is usually meant to be watched in darker rooms and this can not deliver deep blacks due to its mediocre contrast ratio and sub-par black uniformity. It is, however, a decent entry-level HDR gaming monitor.

Discussions

Log In

Register

Subscribe to emails:

Create Discussion

Preview Back to editor Format guide

The editor uses special characters (aka. markdown).

To post formatted content follow these rules:

What you typeWhat it will look like
*italic text*italic text
**bold text**bold text
[link](http://rtings.com)link
> quoted text
quoted text
# header

header

- item 1
- item 2
- item 3
  • item 1
  • item 2
  • item 3

* Quotes and lists must be followed by a blank line