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Dell XPS 13 9350 improper contrast / colors via HDMI on external display

I have a Dell XPS 13, model 9350 (released Fall 2015), with the matte 1080p display (non-touch).  It has the new USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 port to connect to external monitors.  It requires an adapter to connect the USB-C port to HDMI inputs on external monitors

I have purchased two different USB-C to HDMI adapters and have tried connecting both to my relatively new LG LA6900 1080p HDTV as well as an older 1080p computer monitor, both with HDMI inputs.  Regardless of which adapter or external display I use, the colors come out washed out with very poor contrast when I export to the displays.  Regular greens and blues become neon, the whites are so bright they wash out all detail, browns are a light yellow, etc.  In general, the contrast and colors are so off that the external displays are pretty much unusable.

I have used both of these monitors as external displays for several other laptops with no problems.  I never have to adjust the monitors’ settings or the computers’ settings.  With the Dell, I have tried every imaginable adjustment on the monitors.  I have also used Windows 10’s color calibration tool.  I have also played around with the display driver’s settings. I also tried using several different HDMI cables. NOTHING fixes the bad contrast and washed out colors.

By process of elimination I know, therefore, that the problem lies in the Dell.  I have spent hours on the phone with Dell tech support.  They reinstalled and updated the relevant drivers, but to no avail.

Has anyone else expereinced this or have any suggestions?  I would really appreciate the help.

My XPS’ specs are as follows:

  • Dell XPS 13, model 9350
  • Matte 1920 x 1080 non-touch display
  • Intel HD Graphics 520
  • 8 gigs of ram
  • 256 gig solid state hard drive
  • 6th Generation Intel Core i5-6200U (3M Cache, up to 2.8 GHz)
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit

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RE: Dell XPS 13 9350 improper contrast / colors via HDMI on external display

Regarding the notebook, am I correct in understanding that the color problem only appears on your two external monitors and not on the LCD of the notebook itself? If this is correct then I don’t suggest reinstalling video drivers, if the LCD has a good display the drivers aren’t going to be the problem.

Have you tried other connections than thunderbolt to HDMI? Does the TV and monitor have Display port, standard VGA or DVI connections that you can try different Adapters with?  I certainly understand how you may not have these extra adapters lying around but if possible, this may be a way to see if it’s a problem with the type of adapters you are using, or a problem with any type of adapters.  You mentioned you have tested both displays on other notebooks, where you using thunderbolt to HDMI adapters on these other notebooks?

I mention power options on a lot of my posts but with notebooks you can’t emphasize it enough, I certainly suggest testing with the AC adapter connected to the notebook, and the Windows Power options plan set to High Performance and check to see if that makes a difference.

I don’t know if I suggest a service right now, especially if I am correct in understanding that the image on the LCD is fine but it may eventually be something to try. I will shoot you a DM to get your information if this turns out to be a suitable option.



Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices

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RE: Dell XPS 13 9350 improper contrast / colors via HDMI on external display

Thank you so much for the detailed reply.  In response:

  • The color problem does not appear on the notebook itself, only the two external monitors.  Good point, I will not bother with reinstalling the drivers any further.
  • I have not tried other connections yet.  Though one of the monitors has a VGA and DVI connection, I do not own an adapter to convert the USB-C on the Dell to either VGA or DVI.  I have used VGA to test one of the monitors with another notebook and it was fine.  There is no VGA or DVI connection on the other monitor (the LG tv), but I tested it with HDMI with the other notebooks and it was fine.

  • I have been using the notebook plugged in when testing, but I will try setting the power option to high performance tonight when I get home and see if that helps.  

  • I look forward to connecting with you further via DM.


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RE: Dell XPS 13 9350 improper contrast / colors via HDMI on external display

I have Dell XPS 13 9360 i7-7560U, Iris 640, 16GB RAM.

I am using adapter DA200, usb-c.

My screen is 27" Samsung S27C750 1080p HDMI.

My built-in laptop screen is fine.

The problem is, my external screen contrast is just not right. Pale, washed out, or low contrast.

All drivers are updated from dell.com, as of 25.10.17.

My Iris Plus 640 settings are defaults.

Tried my Samsung optimized settings, as well as the factory defaults, no avail.

But I tried the follows:-

1. Open the Iris Control Panel

2. Go to "Color Settings"

3. Select Display "(( your external displaly ))"

4. Set YCbCr to "Enable"

5. Click "Apply"