Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Dell 32 4K USB-C Hub Monitor review: Convenient 4K docking perfection

Dell 32 4K USB-C Hub monitor sitting on desk next to plant and light.
Dell P3222QE 4K Hub Monitor
MSRP $899.00
“The Dell 32 4K USB-C Hub Monitor makes for an ideal addition to a home office setup.”
Pros
  • Excellent connectivity options
  • Great IPS picture quality
  • Sturdy, modern construction
  • Large 4K panel
  • Superb warranty
Cons
  • Expensive
  • No wide-gamut color space

Choosing the best monitor for yourself isn’t easy, especially if you’re looking for a display that can connect to your notebook over a single USB-C cable and handle all the connectivity. Fortunately, Dell has a new 32-inch 4K offering, called the Dell 32 4K USB-C Hub Monitor, codenamed the P3222QE.

The two main highlights of this display are its large 4K IPS panel along with USB-C hub capabilities, meaning it can charge your laptop, send display and audio data to the monitor, and USB and Ethernet signals, all over a single cable. But this feature set doesn’t come cheap: The P3222QE comes in costing $899. Nevertheless, it has the potential to be a great home office centerpiece for those who want to easily switch between laptop and desktop mode.

Jump to: Design | Ports & controls | Image quality | Our take

Design

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

Unpacking the display, you’re immediately greeted with the display’s hefty stand and solid build quality. You won’t find a fancy metal build here, but the P3222QE’s plastic body is built to a quality finish with a sleek design and no ugly gaps in the panels. The P3222QE has a tidy professional appearance and will fit well in most homes and offices, with its most standout visual feature being its large size.

The stand has a noticeable heft to it, and comes with all the essential features we expect on Dell stands: Height adjustments, tilt, swiveling, and rotating to portrait – this is essential on productivity monitors for achieving an ergonomic, healthy posture.

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

The stand also has a cable hole through its center for tidy cable management, though I would have preferred to see this cutout a little higher up. In positions above half-height, many of the cables are still visible — though this is not an issue at lower positions.

Ports & controls

As said, connectivity is the P3222QE’s strength, featuring HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C inputs. For hubbing, there are four USB 3.0 ports and Gigabit Ethernet, though a headphone jack is seemingly missing.

Of the USB ports, two are located next to the display inputs for connecting more fixed-type devices such as mice, webcams, and keyboards, while there are two more USB ports along the bottom of the display in a handy spot for connecting USB sticks or briefly connected devices of that nature.

Having two USB ports within hands-reach makes the P3222QE a handy desktop companion.

Some other USB-C monitors with lavish connectivity occasionally include a DisplayPort output, as the P2720DC does, and that’s helpful for daisy-chaining a second display while maintaining the one-cable docking capabilities. The P3222QE, on the other hand, does not have this feature, so you will be limited to a single monitor if you want to use just a single cable. But there is a good reason for this: the Type-C connection does not have the required bandwidth for multiple 4K displays. So it’s hardly a point of criticism.

The P3222QE is capable of charging the connected USB-C device with up to 65W of power, which is plenty for the vast majority of productivity-oriented notebooks. More powerful mobile workstations or gaming laptops may require more power though, so do double-check your laptop’s power requirements before purchasing this monitor.

The P3222QE’s OSD (on-screen display) is a simple one, but it has most of the essential features one needs for this type of monitor. At the back of the monitor are two controls: A power button, and a little joystick for controlling the OSD.

The OSD itself is sharp and easy to navigate, though its text is quite small, and it’s placed way down at the bottom right corner of the display. Being a rather large display, this makes the OSD a bit un-ergonomic to navigate as you have to hunch down to read it. But it’s just the OSD, and it’s not like you’ll spend a ton of time there anyway.

All the essential controls are there, including brightness and contrast settings, various preset color modes, and a handful of device settings. For inputs, there is even an option to rename the inputs, which is nice if you wanted to, say, name the USB-C port to ‘Laptop,’ DisplayPort to Desktop, and HDMI to Console, for example.

Image quality

Featuring a large, 31.5-inch IPS panel with a 3840 x 2160 4K resolution, the image produced by the P3222QE is pleasantly sharp on the eyes with great color performance. The panel is capable of 1.07-billion colors, with a rated gamut covering 99% of the sRGB space. As such, this isn’t a wide gamut monitor, nor does it come with factory calibration, so we’ll see how it fares in our testing momentarily. Dell also promises a static contrast ratio of 1000:1 which is what’s expected from an IPS panel, and typical brightness is rated at 350 nits.

One of Dell’s strengths with its monitors is its coatings — where it used to be quite aggressive a decade ago, Dell has refined its coating process to produce a very soft anti-glare coating that is still highly effective at reducing glare. The P3222QE also has this soft coating, which makes its image pleasant on the eyes even at higher brightness levels.

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

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

All things considered, the P3222QE actually puts up a good performance. Its gamut is indeed limited to 99% of the sRGB space, which will leave lovers of wide-gamut panels wanting, but its color space is easy on the eyes and, qualitatively, this is a very good sRGB panel. Gamma performance is perfect out of the box nailed at 2.2 with just an 0.01 deviation, and color accuracy is tested at a Delta-E (difference from real) of 1.67. This is good enough for photo editing work, which the P3222QE is great for at its large size and high resolution.

Meanwhile, brightness performance is right on-point at 350 nits, with the static contrast ratio measured at a peak of 1100:1, exceeding the promised spec. Only the white point was a little off from the target at 6900K, producing a slightly colder image than desired.

After using the Spyder X Elite to calibrate the display and re-evaluate its performance, we found that we squeezed out 1% more sRGB coverage and color accuracy was improved to an impressive Delta-E of just 1.01. The white point was also refined, so all things considered, there is still an improvement to be found in the P3222QE’s performance with just a simple calibration. But, the image is more than good enough for most use cases, so unless you’re doing professional editing work, we’d just leave it as is.

Our take

The P3222QE is an excellent 4K monitor that’s especially suited for use with notebooks thanks to its integrating hubbing capabilities. With up to 65 watts of power delivery over its USB-C connection, four USB 3.0 ports, and Gigabit Ethernet, the P3222QC has all the connectivity needed to set up a (home) office workstation that docks with the laptop over a single cable.

And that’s not to ignore the P3222QE’s image: With a large 32-inch 4K panel you get a ton of sharpness on a big panel, at a DPI that’s just comfortable enough for most people not to need UX scaling, giving you a ton of monitor real estate to work with. Color performance is also great, provided you operate within the sRGB color space. For most people, this won’t be a problem, and might in fact be preferable due to being easier on the eyes, though professional editors may prefer to opt for a high-gamut display if their work demands it.

Altogether, the P3222QE is an excellent big monitor for use with modern laptops, offering an unmatched level of practicality and excellent build and image quality. The only real catch is its $899 price point, though this is not completely outlandish if you consider its panel size and quality, along with the connectivity options and Dell’s excellent warranty program.

Are there any alternatives?

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

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

How long will it last?

Dell covers the P3222QE with a 3-year advance exchange-service warranty, which means that they’ll deliver a new one to your office or home before picking the old one up — and in my experience, they’re very swift with it too. This is great for when you can’t be without a monitor for long.

Beyond the warranty period, the P3222QE should last a minimum of five years too, if not longer. The LED lighting isn’t prone to failure, and there aren’t any other complexities that might detract from its potentially useful lifespan.

Should I buy it?

Yes, if you’re looking for a big 4K monitor to use with your laptop that has the convenience of a single-cable connection, the Dell P3222QE is for you. It’s a tad expensive at $899, but you get a lot of quality and kit for the money, so the price is justified.

Editors' Recommendations