Dell S Series monitor review: Versatile monitors for work or play

Hardware Reviews / Reviews
Dell S Series Monitor Review

If you’re in the market for a new monitor, the new Dell S Series is worth a look.

TA-ratings-90Chances are good that you’re going to need a monitor at some point. Unless you’re constantly on a laptop you’ll probably need something to look at while computing. Dell has always had a wide variety of monitor options, and today I’ll be talking about their newly launched Dell S Series of monitors. Specifically the Dell 27 (S2718HX) and Dell 24 (S2418HX). Dell was nice enough to send over both monitors for review, and since they are literally the same monitor with the exception of screen size, I’ll be talking about both in this review. Do the new Dell 27 and Dell 24 S Series monitors have what it takes to earn a spot on your desk? Keep reading to find out.

Specifications

The Dell S Series 24″ and 27″ monitors feature the following features and specifications:

  • Device Type: LED-backlit LCD monitor
  • Power Consumption (On mode): 24 W
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen – 16:9
  • Native Resolution: Full HD 1920 x 1080 @ 60HZ
  • Pixel Pitch: 0.3114 mm
  • Brightness: 250 cd/m²
  • Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 / 8000000:1 (dynamic)
  • Response Time: 6 ms (gray-to-gray)
  • Color Support: 16.7 million colors
  • Input Connectors: HDMI, VGA
  • Display Position Adjustments: Tilt
  • Screen Coating: Anti-glare, 3H Hard Coating
  • Color: Black
  • Dimensions (WxDxH) 24″ – with stand: 21.2 in x 6.4 in x 16.2 in
  • Dimensions (WxDxH) 27″ – with stand: 24.1 in x 6.4 in x 17.9 in
  • Environmental Standards: ENERGY STAR Qualified
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year warranty
  • InfinityEdge Display allows for a more expansive edge-to-edge viewing experience without borders
  • Modern and chic designed monitor with an elegant, glossy back cover (classic black piano finish)
  • Superb screen clarity with Full HD resolution (1920×1080), and a wide viewing angle enabled by In-plane switching technology
  • Dell HDR (high dynamic range) combines greater depth of colors, remarkable clarity and a high contrast range of shades to create strikingly accurate images.
  • Flicker-free screen with ComfortView optimizes eye comfort and reduces harmful blue light emissions
  • AMD FreeSync™ technology delivers perfectly smooth gameplay with highly responsive, stutter-and tear-free visuals for more impressive gaming

What’s in the Box

  • Dell S Series monitor
  • Power adapter and cable
  • Removable speaker
  • HDMI cable
  • Drivers & Documentation CD
  • Quick Start guide and Safety Information paperwork

Everything you need to get started

Design

When it comes to monitors, you’re usually going to have the same general overall shape. Sure, there are some curved monitors, some aggressively styled monitors, but for the most part monitors are very… monitor-looking. That’s not at all a bad thing because your attention should be drawn to the display itself, not what’s surrounding the display.

In this instance, what’s surrounding the display is very little. The Dell 27 and Dell 24 monitor feature a virtually borderless InfinityEdge Display, which covers nearly the entire front panel with your viewing area. There is a very slight bezel all the way around, but very little to distract you from what’s happening on the screen. The sides and top have barely over ¼” of bezel, while the bottom isn’t much bigger at ½”.

Along the bottom edge of the bezel you’ll find the power and menu buttons on the lower right side. The power button has a small LED to indicate its status: solid white when on, a slow blinking white when no signal is present. The sides and top are free from any buttons, ports, etc.

Around back you’ll see the Dell logo in its standard centered location. The back panel on the 24″ and 27″ model feature a glossy piano black finish, which looks nice, but is also a fingerprint and dust magnet. If your monitor sits up against a wall you probably won’t notice or care, but if you’re out in the open, you may want to give the back a little cleaning attention occasionally.

The plugs and inputs are positioned in a way that the cords are plugged vertically up and into the back of the monitor. They thankfully are not positioned behind the stand on these models, but are instead off to the side. This makes them a bit easier to access. From left to right you’ll find the power input, included external speaker input (via mini DIN port), stand attachment, HDMI input, VGA input, Audio-in port, Audio line-out port. The audio line-out port does not support headphones, but can be used for another set of speakers that use a 3.5mm plug.

The stand has an open design, where the bottom has a curved top leading up to the monitor, with a partial trapezoidal remainder that sits on your desk. The open area fits the included external speaker perfectly, while the mini DIN plug can run up between the open area just above the base (that area also adds some extra cable management). The speaker cable includes a rubber plug to keep it stopped up and attached to the stand.

The included speaker obviously fits the exact shape of the opening in the base, and slopes slightly from the back to the front. On the right side there are volume up/down buttons. Overall, the Dell 24 and Dell 27 are very sharp looking monitors with very little unnecessary ornamentation. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Display

Measuring at 27” and 24” respectively, these monitors feature a default 1920X1080 resolution via VGA and HDMI 1.4, and a maximum resolution of 3840 x 2160 via HDMI 2.0. Even running at 1080P, you’ve got plenty of screen real estate at your disposal. The screen is big and very bright, with its LED backlighting.

The 27” model gives you all kinds of room for multitasking, and apps and games running on the monitor look great. By default, the brightness is set at 75% and that may even be a bit high for some. I turned it down to 50% most of the time and that was still plenty bright.

Colors are represented very well, with a nice crisp image. There’s very little oversaturation, and colors look pretty true from what I can tell. Text is crisp, sharp, and easy to read.

Lighting isn’t ideal, but these are definitely big and bright monitors

These aren’t necessarily gaming monitors per se, but any games that I ran on them worked perfectly well. The inclusion of AMD FreeSync will definitely help if you’re running an AMD video card. You might find other monitors geared specifically for gaming that offer certain tweaks and settings that are missing here, but you won’t have any problems if you use these monitors for some gaming.

Dell’s Display Manager software allows easier access to the settings normally handled by the buttons on the bottom of the display. This is still a nice way to more easily toggle various settings, brightness levels, etc. without having to poke through on-screen menus via the tiny buttons. The buttons do, however, offer on-screen assistance to show what each button will do when pressed, which is a nice addition.

Sound Quality

The removable speaker attaches to the monitor via the mini DIN plug, as mentioned in the design section above. If you’re plugging in the monitor via HDMI, audio will pass through to the speaker that way. Otherwise, there is an audio line in via 3.5mm plug that you can use.

The speaker integrates directly into the stand, which saves room on your desk

The included speaker includes dual 6W front-firing drivers tuned by Waves Maxx Audio. The speaker is relatively small, but puts out a decent sound. This is going to work best for some YouTube videos or other light audio. The speakers have a good high/mid sound, but they just don’t have enough power to put out much of any bass. If you just need them for some video watching or light audio they’ll work in a pinch, but for anything that requires additional bass you’re going to want a nice pair of headphones or an external speaker system.

Price/Value

The 24” monitor is $219.99 USD while the 27” variety will run you $289.99 USD. If you’re a Dell.com member you can get the 24″ for $199.49 USD and the 27″ for $256.49 USD. Both are pretty fantastic prices considering the size and quality of these monitors. The removable speaker definitely adds value, as does the InfinityEdge bezel design. This is definitely a very nice series of monitors and I think you’ll enjoy looking at them.

Wrap Up

If you’re in the market for a new monitor, the new Dell S Series is worth a look. The design is very nice, the addition of a removable speaker is great in many situations, and the price is right for monitors of this size. Dell continues to impress with their monitor lineup.

*We were sent a review unit of the Dell S Series 24″ and 27″ monitors for the purposes of this review.

Dell S Series Monitors

$219$289 USD and USD
Dell S Series Monitors
9

Design

10/10

    Display

    10/10

      Sound Quality

      8/10

        Price/Value

        9/10

          Nailed it

          • InfinityEdge display looks great
          • Almost zero bezel
          • Display is bright, colors look natural
          • Removable speaker integrates into stand, saving room

          Needs work

          • Removable speaker works for some light video watching, but is otherwise a bit underpowered
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