Dell Ultrasharp U2412M Display $229.95

If you’ve needed a larger screen to lay out books or keep track of all your Scrivener research and writing windows, both Amazon and Best Buy are selling Dell’s UltraSharp U2412M display for $229.95. List price is $400 and it typically goes for a little under $300. … /4154798.p

Both include free shipping in the U.S. I went with Amazon since I know that means no sales tax in my state.

A couple of years ago, I researched larger displays and concluded that this one was the best on the market at a reasonable price. Amazon certainly has a lot of rave reviews of it. I could not find it for under $300, so budget reasons meant I went with a smaller & cheaper display.

Most in this price range have a 1080i movie aspect ratio of 1920x1080 pixels. This one is designed especially for computer work and is a bit taller at 1920x1200 pixels. That 120 pixels isn’t much, but it can make viewing portrait-oriented book pages display much better. In my case, it means I can retire my very ancient 19" display and use this display with a 1080i one. The two should match better.

I suspect Dell is clearing out this model for a new one. It is old enough the USB ports are 2.0. That said, the replacement may be only slightly better and the price may jump back up to $400 for a year or more.

–Mike Perry

Alas, the price is now back up to a more normal $279.99. Amazon did accept my order, made within an hour after discovering that discount on The special price may have only been good for a few hours. Best Buy’s price is now even higher, $319.99 (labeled as “On Sale.”)

One Tip: If you’ve got something that’s sold on Amazon that’s price a bit more than your budget permits, you might want to list it on:

Set a target price and they’ll let you know by email if it drops below that price.

It works. There was a book I’d wanted. I had the first two volumes in paperback. It was the third in a three-volume collection. Unfortunately, for the first two the publisher had released a hardback edition followed by a paperback. For that third volume, there was a limited run of the hardback and no paperback. As a result that hardback, which should have been about $40 new, was selling for around $200, new or used. Not good!

I decided that ‘there’s always someone who doesn’t get the message’ and set a camelcamelcamel watch at $20. About two months later, I got an email saying that it was being offered used at that price, which is actually a rather normal price for a used hardback.

I didn’t wait a second. I jumped on Amazon and ordered it on the spot, saving myself about $180. And it’s still selling for about $200.

For commonly request items, Camel even has a chart of past prices as a guide to help your decide on a practical price to set. Here’s that Dell monitor: … xt=tracker

You can see why I knew $229.99 was a very good price. You can set up separate tracking prices for Amazon itself, third-party new, and used sold through Amazon. The last is where the best bargains are likely to be found, although with a little risk.

Camel is also great if plan to buy elsewhere and need to get a feel for the market price.


That highly discounted display finally arrived from Amazon. Although it took just a few hours shy of a week to ship, it arrived two days after that and double-boxed to prevent damage.

It’s the same width as my 23" display that has a now standard movie viewing 1080i pixel count, but with 2" more of pixels vertically. Since those extra pixels are for the entire large width, that’s quite a bit more screen space and it does may it easier to view entire book pages at a time when I am editing. I wouldn’t pay this display’s full $400 list for that extra space, but at a heavily discounted $230, it’s certainly worth it to have a larger and more high quality display than those you’ll find discounted to around $100.

I don’t know what motivated Amazon to offer that large a discount. There seems to be a weird, random factor in how it does business. The discount seems to have lasted only a few hours. Perhaps some Amazon ‘bot’ find a cheaper price somewhere else, some vendor dumping excess inventory, and triggered automatic price matching.

I’ve learned another useful trick with the CamelCamelCamel described above. Yesterday, a book I’ve wanted, an academic title by C. S. Lewis that sells new for over $100 and used for around $40, briefly was available for $0.01 (plus shipping), probably from a thrift store. Alas, while Camel did faithfully alert me, I didn’t notice their email until too late. I’ve now set up a Rule in Mail, my Apple-made email program, so when anything comes in from camelcamelcamel I get an sound alert and that email is highlighted in red. You might want to do something similar. Good deals often disappear quickly.

The one negative about Camel is that Amazon won’t let them price watch Kindle titles. That’d be quite helpful. Kindle titles can’t be sold used, but they are sometimes heavily discounted. There is another site that has a workaround. You put the Kindle titles in a public wish list and it watches that for you. Here’s where it is offered:

–Mike Perry, Inkling Books, Auburn, AL

One more comment.

After using this display for a few weeks, one factor does impress me. Most of today’s displays are much wider than tall so they can be used for movies as well as computers. This one is 120 pixels taller than those. That may not sound like much, but it’s just enough that I’m now editing my book with InDesign showing pages side by side like they’re be in the print version rather than as single scrolling pages. That speeds up editing a bit.

If you do a lot of book layout, that may be a reason to buy a display like this. If you’re more concerned with writing in Scrivener, which has a wider-than-tall format, you probably won’t find those 120 extra vertical pixels that useful.

And if you’re looking for a good deal, you might use like I suggested to watch for a closeout price on Amazon or for good deals elsewhere. This model is probably getting toward the end of its sales life. If Dell ends up with a large inventory when they drop it, they may cut prices radically to clear out inventory.