Dell S2721DGF Monitor Review (2020)
We’ve got the S2721DGF, one of Dell’snew gaming monitors in 2020. It might be one of the most versatile monitorsthat we’ve seen this year and it can have a lot of value for a work or a gaming monitor. Hey, I’m Alex, a tester at RTINGS.com whereWE HELP PEOPLE FIND THE BEST PRODUCTS FOR THEIR NEEDS Make sure you subscribe to ourchannel for the latest videos, or check out our website for the full review! The Dell S2721DGF is an all-around performerthat would work for both gamers and those looking for a high-quality monitor for thatwork at home life. It has an IPS panel that offers a 1440p resolutionat 165Hz. It has an impressive picture quality and supportsHDR. With adaptive-sync for G-sync or Freesyncit’s definitely an impressive monitor to look out for and a definite competitor tothe LG 27GL83A-B and the LG27GL850. First we’ll look at the design of the monitorand then move on to the picture quality. We’ll look at the motion handling and inputlag, and then compare it to other competing models which are currently available. If you’d like to skip straight to our testresults, then see the links in the description below. Let’s start with the design of the monitor. The S2721DGF is a well designed monitor. It’s a little bit of a departure from thetypical Dell monitors, but it is by no means bad. The new stand looks modern and fits with thegaming aesthetic of the back of the display. It has a line of blue LED light that helpsto highlight this new back pattern Like most Dell monitors, it’s got a goodbuild quality. Even though it’s mainly plastic, it fitswell together and is sturdy. There are no visible gaps or bends anywhereand the bezels fit snugly on the panel. The ergonomics of the monitor are fantastic,which is to be expected from a Dell monitor. The stand doesn’t take up very much deskspace and you’re able to manipulate monitor easily thanks to a generous swivel range orjust attach it onto a 100by100 VESA mount. As far as cable management goes, there isa hole in the stand to keep all the cables in a tidy spot. The input selection on the Dell S2721DGF isgreat and should satisfy most people. There are 2 HDMI 2.0s, a single DisplayPort1.4, 4 USB 3.0 and a USB-B port. Keep in mind that the highest refresh rateyou can get through the HDMI ports is 144Hz, so you’ll need to use the DisplayPort inorder to take advantage of the full 165Hz of this monitor. You’ll also need a DisplayPort for the G-syncto work, but Freesync will work across all ports. The controls are on the back of the monitorwith a joystick and some buttons to navigate through the menus. Now we’ll move on to the picture quality. We’ll be comparing to currently availablemonitors but competing models may change as new monitors are released throughout the year. For an updated comparison with new modelsas we buy and test them, see the review page on our website which is linked below. We’ll start with the contrast. The contrast ratio is the difference betweenthe darkest black and the brightest white that a screen can display. Having a low contrast ratio makes it so thatscenes that should be black appear more gray. We measured an 882:1 contrast ratio whichis not very good. There is a local dimming feature on this monitorwhich allows it to turn on and off sections of the backlight, but it is only availablein HDR and it is automatically enabled when sending an HDR signal. Unfortunately, it does not do much to thecontrast, increasing it to 971:1. That said, it is expected because this monitorhas an IPS panel, which are notorious for having low contrast ratios. Now onto viewing angles. As I just mentioned, the S2721DGF has an IPSpanel. Where it fails in contrast ratio, it excelsin viewing angles. Having a good viewing angle means that thecolors and brightness of the screen does not deteriorate at various angles. Horizontally, it performs excellently andthere should be no issues if you’re reasonably off angle from the center of the monitor. Vertically, it is fine, but if someone isstanding next to your desk and looking at the monitor, colors and brightness will lookblander. Now we’ll move on to the reflection handlingof the monitor. This is important since it will help to controlthe amount of glare and light reflected on the screen. The S2721DGF has great reflection handlingand should work well in most rooms, but it may struggle a little by a window. Another way to combat reflections is the brightnessof the monitor. The S2721DGF has got great brightness levelswith peaks as high as 368 nits in SDR and 490 in HDR, with the local dimming featureenabled in the 100% window. This is great and as mentioned, will helpwith the glare but, it also helps with the colour, since bright screens can also producebright colours. Out of the box, the monitor has a few differentpicture modes, but the best is the Standard picture mode. Unfortunately, it has many inaccuracies inthe brighter shades of gray and most colours are not displayed accurately. The gamma tracks well, but darker scenes mayappear too dark. After calibration, we’re able to completelyget rid of any noticeable issues. The gamma almost perfectly follows the curveand we’re almost at our color temperature target of 6500k. You can find the ICC profile and calibrationsettings in the full review on the website, linked here. Do note though, these settings are specificto our unit, and should not be copied, as calibration does vary between units. Another important aspect of the picture qualityis the color gamut which is the range of colors that a screen can display. The wider a color gamut, the more saturatedand more colors the display can reach. In SDR, the S2721DGF has almost perfect coverageof the sRGB color space and a great coverage of the Adobe RGB. It’ll work great in regular web viewing,and it will look nice for professionals who need a color accurate screen for work. For HDR content, it has a decent coverageof the P3 color space at about 74% and about 70% for the rec 2020 color space. This means that when playing HDR Games orwatching an HDR movie, you won’t be getting the full experience. Depending on the content, you may want tokeep the monitor in SDR for color accuracy. We’ll finish off picture quality with theblack uniformity. Black uniformity tells us how uniform thescreen is when displaying black. Issues with black uniformity are seen as brighterspots or areas of the screen that are noticeable; which is known as backlight bleed. Unfortunately, the S2721DGF suffers from backlightbleed. The entire black slide is gray, thanks toit’s low contrast, but there are noticeably brighter areas in the top corners, the bottomleft, and the brightness leaks down towards the middle. This can be really distracting in dark scenes. The local dimming feature when HDR enableddoesn’t make it better. Since there are so few zones, it creates alarge section of clouding in the center of the screen around the cross. Black uniformity can vary between units dueto manufacturing tolerances, so if yours is any different, let us know in the comments. Now we’ll move on to the motion handlingof the Dell S2721DGF, starting with the response time. The response time is the time it takes forthe monitor to switch from one color to another. It’s important to have a fast response time,especially in gaming, because a slower response time will result in a blurry trail behindmoving objects. There are overdrive settings on this monitorthat allow you to adjust the response time. We found the ‘Fast’ setting to be thebest, since there is almost no overshoot and fast transitions, which results in clear andsmooth motion at the maximum refresh rate of 165Hz. The response time is heavily related to therefresh rate the monitor is set to, and so when testing the monitor at 60Hz, it performsalmost as well, which is excellent. Now, onto the input lag, which is how longit takes for the monitor to process and display an image. It’s very important to have a fast inputlag, especially for gamers, since any delay between your inputs and the change affectingthe screen can mean success or fail. Thankfully, the S2721DGF has an amazing inputlag of only 3.7ms at 165Hz and 11.1ms at 60Hz, which is a little bit high, but it won’tbe noticeable compared with most other monitors. Either way, input lag is a non-issue on thismonitor. Finally, we’ll look at the refresh rateand the VRR settings. High refresh rates are important for gamersespecially, since it smooths out motion and it feels much more responsive. The S2721DGF has a high refresh rate of 165Hzwhen at 1440p over DisplayPort. As I mentioned earlier in the video, the highestrefresh rate you can get when plugged in through HDMI is 144Hz at 1440p. As for VRR, Freesync and G-Sync are both supportedby this monitor, however, G-sync is only able to work over DisplayPort. So overall, the Dell S2721DGF is a great monitorfor a lot of different people. Gamers will like it for it’s popular refreshrate and resolution combination and professionals will like it for it’s great coverage ofthe Adobe RGB color space, it’s ergonomics and viewing angles. It’s a very good overall monitor for alltypes of uses. A popular comparison is the LG 27GL850 orthe LG 27GL83A-B, which are both 1440p monitors with 144Hz refresh rate. They are very similar to the S2721DGF, butthe P3 color space has a higher coverage on the 27GL850 and 27GL83A-B. Otherwise, theS2721DGF is a little better for gaming due to the higher refresh rate and slightly bettermotion handling in general. So that’s it! What do you think of the Dell S2721DGF? Have you bought it? Let us know what you think below. You can check out all of the measurementson our website. If you like this video, subscribe to our channel,or become an insider on the website for access to our latest results first! Also, we are currently hiring in our officesin Montreal for various positions. So, if you want to help people find the bestproduct for their needs, have a look at the careers page on our website. Thank you for watching and see you next time.