Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor (U4025QW) review – Thunderbolt 4 and 120Hz upgrades are just not enough

Thunderbolt 4 already feels dated with Thunderbolt 5 expected later this year

Dell UltraSharp 40 Thunderbolt Curved Hub Monitor on a desk with an island scene on the screen
(Image: © Laptop Mag/Madeline Ricchiuto)

Laptop Mag Verdict

The Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor is an updated version of the original 40-inch 5K hub, but the timing feels wrong with Thunderbolt 5 just around the corner.


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    High color gamut volume and accuracy

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    Plenty of charging options for all of your devices

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    Up to 140W of power delivery

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    TUV Rheinland five-star eye comfort certification

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    Made of recycled materials


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    Dim - 240 nits of average brightness

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    Large, chunky stand base

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    Thunderbolt 4 hub, coming just as Thunderbolt 5 is scheduled to hit the market

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    5K still doesn’t have a high adoption rate, leaving it in a content desert

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Three years ago, Dell debuted the world’s first 40-inch 5K monitor at CES. The UltraSharp 40-inch Curved monitor (U4021QW), was both a massive 5K multitasking display solution and a USB 3.2 hub and it impressed us enough to make our Best of CES list that year. At CES 2024 Dell announced the updated version that sits before me with a Thunderbolt 4 hub, TUV Rheinland 5-star eye comfort certification, and 140W power delivery.

As far as business and productivity monitors go, the Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor (U4025QW) is a hybrid solution. It can replace your dual monitor setup and even run off two laptops or desktops simultaneously with its picture-in-picture or picture-by-picture modes. And as a USB hub itself, it can take the place of a docking station to reduce some of your desktop clutter.

But for all that, the UltraSharp 40 Curved hub monitor is a pricey piece of equipment. Designed to be a replacement for multiple monitor setups, it costs about as much as having multiple monitors so it may look cleaner, but you aren’t saving much financially. If all you need is extra screen space, you’re probably better off buying one or more of our best monitors

Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor (U4025QW) – Price and configuration


The Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor (U4025QW) starts at $2,399.99, while the 34-inch curved version starts at $1,019.99. As a 5K monitor, the native resolution is 4096 x 2160 at 140 pixels-per-inch. 

Outside of screen size, there are no other customization options for the UltraSharp Curved hub monitors. Of course, you can always go for the previous USB 3.2 version of the UltraSharp 40, the U4021QW which is currently $1,919.99 at Dell

Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor (U4025QW) – Setup


The monitor is boxed pretty simply, with the stand in two pieces, so once you’ve screwed the arm into the base, you can easily attach the stand to the display panel and get it ready to go in just a few moments.

When you first boot up the monitor, it will ask a few setup questions to toggle on certain settings like screen reading, hub charging, auto-brightness, and the ability to connect the monitor to multiple computers. You answer these simple yes or no questions by using the control joystick on the backside of the monitor’s lower right corner.

The whole setup process is pretty standard for Dell monitors, so there’s not much that is particularly unique about the Ultrasharp 40. I had the monitor unboxed and working in under 20 minutes and most of that time was spent getting the monitor out of the box.

Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor (U4025QW) – Design

Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor (U4025QW)

(Image credit: Future)


At 30.4 pounds, the Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor (U4025QW) monitor is not exactly a lightweight option. It’s also a 40-inch diagonal display, so it can be a bit unwiedly to haul around. It is made out of 85% post-consumer recycled plastic and 90% recycled aluminum, meeting the latest environmental standards from Energy Star, TCO Certified Edge, and the monitors are EPEAT Gold2 registered as part of Dell’s commitment to sustainability. So you can feel like you’ve done a solid for Mother Nature by picking this monitor, if you’re in the market for a new display.

The design aesthetics are standard Dell UltraSharp fare with a thicker bezel on the bottom of the display with thinner bezels on the other three sides. The rear of the monitor and the stand are in a basic, boring silver, it’s ultimately a standard business-style display. I’m not a huge fan of the massive trapezoid stand base, as it takes up a decent chunk of your desk real estate. I’d personally rather have a long V-shaped stand base so I could at least use the space in between for my keyboard or a microphone. With the stand base being so chunky, there’s little to do but live with it.

The USB charging hub drops down from the lower left side of the display, which adds some visual interest but the UltraSharp’s design is intended to fade into the background of your work day. So while I may find it boring, I have to concede the simple aesthetic choices do a great job of disappearing from view.

Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor (U4025QW) – Ports

Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor (U4025QW)

(Image credit: Future)


As a thunderbolt hub monitor, there are more ports on the UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor (U4025QW) monitor than you will probably ever need. The monitor offers Thunderbolt 4 connections with up to 140W power delivery, though that is limited to only one Thunderbolt 4 upstream port.

On the back side of the monitor, you have a power connector, one HDMI 2.1 port, one DisplayPort 1.4 port, a Thunderbolt 4 downstream port (15W) for daisy chaining, a Thunderbolt 4 upstream port for video and data that can also be used for DisplayPort 1.4 with extended power delivery of up to 140W, one USB Type-C upstream port for data only (SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps, USB 3.2 Gen2), and three USB type-A downstream ports (SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps, USB 3.2 Gen2).

Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor (U4025QW)

(Image credit: Future)

There are also three USB quick access ports on the lower left of the monitor, with two USB-C downstream (SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps, USB 3.2 Gen2) and one USB Type-A downstream (SuperSpeed 10Gbps, USB 3.2 Gen2) port for fast data transfer and charging up to 15W power.

Of course, with Thunderbolt 5 just around the corner, the Thunderbolt 4 hub feels like it’s got a clock ticking above it, just waiting to become obsolete.

The monitor also features an Audio line-out and LAN (RJ-45) port along with a security lock slot, so you can properly kit out your work desk to the max.

Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor (U4025QW) – Display

Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor (U4025QW)

(Image credit: Future)


The UltraSharp lives up to its name with gorgeous colors, a high refresh rate, and crisp contrast. However, the 5K resolution feels like an odd choice. This is Dell’s new flagship monitor but the company is still making 8K displays. And 5K has yet to find much of an audience, or even made a niche for itself. 4K is still not quite the ubiquitous resolution standard but it is headed in that direction, which leaves 5K languishing in the realm of non-adopted resolutions. While 8K has set itself up as a future display standard, 5K just doesn’t have the same future-proofing ideal. So it feels like a strange choice. While the 5K panel is absolutely gorgeous, it exists in something of a content desert. Games aren’t built for it, movies aren’t filmed with 5K in mind, and even YouTube barely has videos streaming in 5K. 

The strongest case for 5K is amongst MacBook owners, graphic designers, and content creators. Apple is the biggest champion of the resolution, but even Apple turned to 6K for its Pro Display XDR panel. For content creators, the added resolution allows you to playback a full 4K video while retaining your tools and timeline, while graphic designers will never say no to extra pixels. 

 However, for general users if you’re okay with putting 4K content on your 5K display, there’s plenty to enjoy in the visual realm. I streamed the new “Godzilla x King: The New Empire” trailer in 4K and was blown away by the sheer detail presented on the Pyramids of Giza even as King Kong’s massive hand breaks out from under the sand. The contrast and detail on Godzilla’s glow in the dark spines as he dives down into the ocean was also positively stunning.  

Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor (U4025QW)

(Image credit: Future)

To see some 5K content on the monitor, I booted up a “5K Madagascar Wildlife” video from YouTube which was admittedly an impressive visual display. But I didn’t notice too much difference between 4K and 5K content unless they were viewed side-by-side. The 5K footage had just that little bit of extra contrast and detail. But if I wasn’t looking for it, I wouldn’t notice a change.

While the UltraSharp is a productivity monitor, it does have a gaming mode. So I did boot up my favorite MMORPG to see how well it put up with the crystalline visuals of “Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker.” Taking advantage of the monitor’s 120Hz resolution, the game was only hampered by the computer hardware I was using. So you can repurpose the UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor into a gaming display in a pinch. 

Dell claims that the UltraSharp 40-inch Curved Thunderbolt Hub monitor covers 99% of the DCI-P3 color space and our lab backed up that claim pretty well. The monitor has three preset modes and we ran all three through our display and brightness testing procedures. In Standard mode, the UltraSharp 40-inch Curved monitor covered an impressive 123.8% of the DCI-P3 color gamut with a Delta-E accuracy of 0.26. In Movie mode the monitor did a bit worse with only 115.8% DCI-P3 gamut coverage and a Delta-E of 0.32. Game mode was almost the same as Standard, with 123% DCI-P3 coverage and a Delta-E of 0.24.

Dell also claims the monitor is rated for HDR 600, and it is possible HDR content will hit that brightness but you won’t see more than 300 nits of SDR brightness according to our lab results. In both Standard and Game mode, the monitor peaked at 298 nits in the center of the screen, while the average was 241 nits on Standard mode and 240 nits on Game mode. Movie mode was the dimmest preset, with an average of 173 nits and a peak of only 217 nits.

The monitor comes with TUV Rheinland® five-star eye comfort certification so your eyes should feel less fatigued working all day with the UltraSharp’s high refresh rate, high color-accuracy, reduced blue light, and reduced screen flicker. 

Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor (U4025QW) – Audio


With 9 watt stereo speakers, you can get decent sound out of the Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor (U4025QW). To see just how well the speakers would handle thrashing bass, I kicked off my audio testing with Mastodon’s “Colony of Birchmen.” While they did a fantastic job with the high and mid-range notes, the stereo speakers can get a bit tinny when pushed up to the max on bass. While they can get a bit loud, the stereo speakers could stand to be louder still. So if you need them for a video call or for listening to podcasts while you work they’re serviceable. I don’t recommend them for immersive movie audio, however.

So if you want great sound quality for music or movies, you’ll be better served by picking up some external speakers or a sound bar from our best computer speakers list. 

Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor (U4025QW) – Settings and configuration

Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor (U4025QW)

(Image credit: Future)


There are only three display presets, so finding the correct settings for the Ultrasharp 40 Curved monitor is a breeze. That said, I prefer my monitors to be bright, colorful, and with high contrast so I used the Standard preset mode even while gaming.

I didn’t see much of an improvement with the Movie preset mode, as it just feels dim and lifeless. Movie mode also has a much more obvious blue-tint than Standard or Game, which displays bright white shades poorly.

While you can customize your brightness, contrast, sharpness, color input, and color temperature settings they’re not worth the deep-dive unless you have very specific needs. But with the presets already having such high color accuracy, there isn’t much reason to get too invested in fine-tuning your settings.

Bottom line


If you want a 40-inch curved 5K monitor with high color accuracy and top-of-the-line eye comfort, the Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor (U4025QW) monitor is an excellent choice. It can charge all your devices, hook up to multiple monitors or computers, and it performs well under a number of different workloads. You also won’t need to spend too much time fine-tuning your settings.

As an updated version of the 2021 40-inch Curved WUHD USB 3.2 hub monitor (U4021QW), the updated refresh rate and hub power feel like needed upgrades. As Dell’s new monitor flagship, this does feel like an odd choice. Sure, it’s a pricey monitor, but 5K display technology isn’t exactly new anymore and there are plenty of good 8K monitors already on the market. While Thunderbolt 4 is a nice upgrade from USB 3.2, even that tech is about to be completely eclipsed by Thunderbolt 5 in the near future.

But if you hate the look of multiple monitors and need the extra screen space, the UltraSharp 40 Thunderbolt Hub will fill that niche. And because it's made with mostly recycled materials, you can even feel good about buying it.

Madeline Ricchiuto
Staff Writer

A former lab gremlin for Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Tom's Hardware, and Tech Radar; Madeline has escaped the labs to join Laptop Mag as a Staff Writer. With over a decade of experience writing about tech and gaming, she may actually know a thing or two. Sometimes. When she isn't writing about the latest laptops and AI software, Madeline likes to throw herself into the ocean as a PADI scuba diving instructor and underwater photography enthusiast.