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The 5 Best Dell Monitors of 2020
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Best Dell Monitors

We've reviewed nearly 20 Dell monitors. Dell releases a handful of monitors each year, usually towards the end of the year, and like many manufacturers, some of their most popular models tend to stay on the market for 2-3 years. Dell monitors range from basic 1080p monitors to the most advanced gaming or professional-grade monitors. Many Dell monitors target office users, and from Dell's website, it's even possible to buy monitors without stands, or in kits, great if you want a multi-monitor setup on a mounting bracket.

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Best Dell Monitors


  1. Best Dell Monitor

    7.8
    Mixed Usage
    8.1
    Office
    7.5
    Gaming
    7.7
    Multimedia
    8.1
    Media Creation
    6.7
    HDR Gaming
    Size 27"
    Resolution 3840x2160
    Max Refresh Rate
    60 Hz
    LCD Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    No VRR

    The best Dell monitor we've tested so far is the Dell U2718Q. This is a 27 inch 4k monitor that provides excellent text clarity, and its simple, minimalist design fits into any office setting. The stand offers excellent ergonomics so you can adjust it to your optimal viewing position, and the thin bezels are great for a multi-monitor setup. With an IPS panel, it has good viewing angles so you can share your work with colleagues easily, but unfortunately, its low contrast ratio makes blacks look gray, although it's typical for this type of panel. It has a good peak brightness that makes it suitable for use in bright rooms, but it's best to avoid placing it opposite a window, as its reflection handling is rather mediocre.

    This monitor has good response time and low input lag for a good desktop experience. While gaming feels responsive, its refresh rate is limited to 60Hz and there's no support for any variable refresh rate technology. It supports HDR; however, it can't display a wide color gamut and it can't get bright enough to make highlights pop. On the upside, it has a 10-bit panel with superb gradient performance, and it has an excellent SDR color gamut, with outstanding coverage of the sRGB color space, as well as a good Adobe RGB coverage, which is great if you need to do some light photo editing.

    There aren't many extra features on this monitor, but it does have a USB hub built-in that supports fast charging, and it can be used even when the monitor is in standby mode. Overall, this is a versatile monitor that can handle any task and it's a great choice for anyone looking for a high-resolution monitor for work, whether it's at the office or at home.

    See our review

  2. Best Dell Ultrawide Office Monitor

    7.7
    Mixed Usage
    8.1
    Office
    7.8
    Gaming
    7.5
    Multimedia
    7.5
    Media Creation
    5.6
    HDR Gaming
    Size 38"
    Resolution 3840x1600
    Refresh Rate 60 Hz
    LCD Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    No

    The Dell U3818DW is the best ultrawide Dell office monitor that we've tested so far. It's a monitor with a 21:9 aspect ratio, which is great for multitasking, and it has a resolution of 3840 x 1600 to deliver detailed images and sharp text. It has an IPS panel with wide viewing angles and it has a slightly curved screen that can help with visibility. Build quality is very good and its ergonomics are decent for an ultrawide, although it can't rotate to portrait mode due to its aspect ratio. If you work in a well-lit room, this monitor can get bright enough to combat glare and it has great reflection handling too. Unfortunately, it isn't as well-suited for dark rooms due to its low contrast ratio and sub-par black uniformity, although it's expected of most IPS panels.

    Out-of-the-box, this monitor has excellent color accuracy and it can display the entire sRGB color space; however, it doesn't support HDR. It has a Picture-by-Picture mode that allows you to display two sources at once, and It also functions as a KVM switch, so you can use just one set of mouse and keyboard to control both devices. It comes with a USB hub that includes four USB 3.0 ports, and there's a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort Alt mode, allowing you to display an image from a compatible device and charge it at the same time with a single cable.

    If you want to do some gaming on the side, this monitor has a low input lag and a fast response time, but there's no support for FreeSync or G-SYNC, and it has a 60Hz refresh rate. On the whole, it's a good ultrawide monitor for most people, with plenty of screen real estate to work comfortably and efficiently.

    See our review

  3. Bigger Alternative

    Size 49"
    Resolution 5120x1440
    Refresh Rate 60 Hz
    LCD Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    No

    If you want an even larger monitor, check out the Dell U4919DW. This massive 49" monitor is the equivalent of two 27", 1440p monitors side-by-side. This delivers an impressive amount of screen real-estate, great for multitasking. It also supports picture-by-picture, so you can work with multiple sources at once.

    Overall, the U3818DW is the best Dell office monitor that we've tested so far, but if you want something even larger, the U4919DW is the best super ultrawide alternative that we've tested so far.

    See our review

  4. Best Dell Gaming Monitor

    7.5
    Mixed Usage
    7.4
    Office
    8.5
    Gaming
    7.2
    Multimedia
    7.4
    Media Creation
    5.6
    HDR Gaming
    Size 24"
    Resolution 2560x1440
    Refresh Rate 144 Hz
    LCD Type
    TN
    Variable Refresh Rate
    G-Sync

    The Dell S2417DG is the best Dell gaming monitor that we've tested so far. Although some may find the size of this monitor a bit small, it has a good number of features that most gamers look for. The TN panel provides an outstanding response time, a high 144Hz refresh rate, and has an optional black frame insertion feature to further reduce motion blur. Along with a low input lag and native support for NVIDIA's G-SYNC variable refresh rate technology, this monitor provides a smooth and responsive gaming experience that should please even the most hardcore gamers.

    Unfortunately, TN panels have their disadvantages, as contrast ratio and black uniformity are rather poor, making this monitor less ideal for dark rooms. Viewing angles are also sub-par, which is disappointing for those who like to play co-op games. Additionally, out-of-the-box color accuracy is quite bad, but on the upside, the monitor's 1440p resolution provides a detailed picture, and the monitor's flicker-free backlight helps to reduce eye strain.

    Overall, if you don't mind the smaller size, this is a great choice for those looking for a responsive monitor with exceptional motion handling.

    See our review

  5. Ultrawide Alternative

    Size 34"
    Resolution 3440x1440
    Refresh Rate 100 Hz
    LCD Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    G-Sync

    If you find the Dell S2417DG too small, take a look at the Dell Alienware AW3418DW. This monitor also supports G-SYNC, but it has a 100Hz refresh rate and a 21:9 aspect ratio that provides an incredibly immersive gaming experience. Build quality is excellent and viewing angles are good, but like most IPS monitors, contrast ratio is mediocre and black uniformity is rather poor. This monitor is also a great choice for watching movies. As most modern movies are shot in the same aspect ratio, the picture fills up the entire screen, with no presence of black bars. Do note, though, that the extra screen real estate also means that there are more pixels, which will require a more powerful graphics card, especially if you want to achieve high frame rates.

    If you want a higher refresh rate for a smoother gaming experience, go with the S2417DG, but for the best immersion, the AW3418DW/1900R is worth considering.

    See our review

Compared to other brands


  • Great ergonomics. Most Dell monitors have easily adjustable stands, allowing you to place the monitor in the ideal viewing position. Many of them are designed with multi-monitor setups in mind.
  • Good quality. With very few exceptions, most Dell monitors have good build quality and are well-designed.
  • Good color accuracy. Dell monitors typically have good pre-calibration results and accurate colors.
  • Mediocre contrast. Almost all Dell monitors use IPS panels, which typically have mediocre contrast. There are a few exceptions to this though, including the S3219D, and the S3220DGF.
  • Basic gaming performance. Most Dell monitors have very basic gaming performance. Dell's Alienware lineup is more gamer-oriented, though.

Dell vs ASUS

ASUS monitors typically have better motion handling and are more gaming-oriented than Dell monitors, offering more advanced gaming features. Dell has a wider range of monitors and has some available in larger sizes and higher resolutions that are better suited for multitasking.

Dell vs LG

Dell monitors generally have much better ergonomics than LG, and are generally a bit better suited for office use. Most LG monitors we've tested offer better motion handling and more advanced gaming features.

Buying a Dell monitor is generally a pretty safe bet. Like most brands, they vary greatly in performance, but even most cheaper Dell monitors perform well for most uses.

Lineup

Dell's lineup ranges from very basic, cheaper models, to more advanced professional monitors. Their naming scheme is very easy to understand, so you know almost exactly what you're getting just by the model number.

Dell model numbers start with a letter, which indicates the series:

  • E: Essential. This is Dell's budget category. We haven't tested any of them.
  • P:​ Professional.
  • S: These monitors are typically designed for home office or small business.
  • U: UltraSharp monitors.
  • UP: UltraSharp, with PremierColor.
  • AW: Stands for Alienware, which is used to differentiate Dell's gaming monitor.

This is followed by a two-digit code that indicates the size, followed by two digits which indicate the model year. For example:

  • 2719: 27", 2019 model
  • 3218: 32", 2018 model

Most Dell model numbers end with one or more letters, which are used to identify certain features. This isn't a complete list, but here are some of the most common suffixes:

  • H: 16:9 aspect ratio
  • W: Ultrawide aspect ratio
  • D: 1440p resolution
  • Q: 4k resolution
  • F: AMD FreeSync support
  • G: NVIDIA G-SYNC support

Conclusion

Dell monitors range from basic, small monitors that are great for students to the most advanced professional displays for photo editing, media creation, or general office use. They also have a few great gaming monitors, but this isn't their main focus. Dell monitors are well-built, and almost all of them have great ergonomics. Dell is very consistent in their design language, with most models sharing a very similar style, and even the UI is consistent across lineups. Usually, buying a Dell monitor is a pretty safe bet.

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