For performance PC enthusiasts, an IPS panel with a big native resolution is as good as it gets. They won't be disappointed by the Dell U2711. While the colours aren't as in-your-face as some monitors with PVA panels, the subtlety and accuracy are to die for.
Perhaps surprisingly, this top drawer image fidelity is most obvious in movies. If there's a monitor that renders more realistic flesh tones than the U2711, we haven't seen it. Similarly, the dark scenes in our 1080p test sequence are realised with phenomenal detail and clarity. It's enough to make most other monitors look flat and foggy.
Fine detail isn't the U2711's only trick. It also has a ludicrously powerful backlight and excellent response for an IPS panel. If cranking it up in-game is your bag, this monitor delivers. Predictably, it also puts on a very fine show in the Lagom test suite.
The white saturation and colour scales betray absolutely no evidence of compression. The way it handles the viewing angle image also approaches perfection.
As for ergonomics, some will find the 27-inch diagonal noticeably more usable than a 30-inch display. Unlike a 30-incher, the edges of the screen never feel excessively distant. Consequently, you're more likely to use the full expanse when working on the desktop.
If that makes the U2711 seem perfect, it's worth noting that the black levels aren't quite as good as the best VA panels. Likewise, Dell has not been able to shake off an image artefact known as IPS glow.
Apart from the price, there's very little not to like about Dell's gorgeous 27-inch panel. The colours are to die for, there's buckets of desktop space and it has a quality stand with a full range of adjustability. You also get more inputs than you're ever likely to need. PC monitors don't get much better than this.
The only significant problem with the Dell U2711 is that you probably can't afford it. For those who can, the niggles are few. For the record, however, the black levels aren't world beating. What's more, the design of the chassis and stand has taken a step back from Dell's awesome '07 monitors.