Dell UltraSharp U3417W
If we compare the Dell UltraSharp U3417W with its older brother in terms of specifications, there are no extreme differences. In terms of design they are clearly distinguishable, mainly because the U3415W has a silver base while the new monitor has a black one, where the latter looks slightly more playful thanks to its shape.
Aside from this we mainly see similarities, also in regards to the connectivity. With two displayport-inputs (a regular and a mini) as well as a displayport-output, two times hdmi and a usb 3.0 hub with two inputs and four host-connectors there seem to be no differences. As is more often than not the case, the difference is in the details: the hdmi-inputs now support hdmi 2.0 (although reportedly not with hdcp 2.2) and two of the four usb 3.0 host-connectors are on the side instead of at the bottom, meaning they are slightly easier to reach. Useful, but not a reason to upgrade.
Another difference is the position of the buttons to operate the on-screen menu. With the U3415W these could be found at the front on the right, with the U3417W they are still on the right but below the bezel.
At the back the U3417W has a good finish and all connectors point down. This makes cable management easier and results in a clean desk. Then again this was definitely not worse with the U3415W – in fact this was even better then because you had a small cover plate.
Also worth mentioning is that Dell makes their own software available to optimize the use of the monitor. With this Display Manager you can, for example, always open applications in the same place on the monitor or move them to your desired position with the use of a grid. This is not an unnecessary luxury with a monitor this big, because for example using your browser in full screen is a waste of the space.
At least as important is that the U3417W, as all other UltraSharp monitors, has a standard calibration with a DeltaE < 3. Furthermore the monitor has uniformity optimization. However, as we will see with the test results, this is a knife that cuts on both sides.