We've tested over 35 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 two to three 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, which is great if you want a multi-monitor setup on a mounting bracket.
The best Dell monitor we've tested is the Dell S2721QS. It's a 27 inch monitor with a 4k resolution, which means you get tons of screen real estate and an incredibly sharp image. It's designed as an all-purpose monitor; however, it performs well enough for some casual gaming and might be a good choice for content creators on a budget. It's also the best Dell monitor for work that we've tested. It uses an IPS panel with wide viewing angles, so the image remains accurate when viewed from the side, which is great for sharing your work or content with others. Its reflection handling is good, and it gets bright enough for most settings, although glare might still be an issue if you're in direct sunlight. The stand allows for many ergonomic adjustments, including height, tilt, swivel, and pivot to portrait mode.
It's a really well-rounded display, and it's also the best Dell monitor for photo editing. It's great for content creators working in sRGB because it covers the entire color space. It has good Adobe RGB coverage, but it might not be enough for photography professionals. The response time is quite good for a 60Hz panel, and it has both native FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing when gaming. It supports HDR and can display a wide color gamut; however, it doesn't get bright enough to make highlights pop, and it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks appear grayish in the dark, resulting in an underwhelming HDR experience overall. Unfortunately, there are no USB ports, but you do get built-in speakers. Lastly, the backlight is entirely flicker-free, which might help reduce eye strain. All in all, while it isn't the most feature-rich, it's a versatile monitor that should please most people, and it's easy on the wallet.
The best Dell monitor with an ultrawide screen that we've tested is the Dell U3818DW. The 38 inch screen and 21:9 aspect ratio make it easy to open multiple windows side-by-side, and the 3840x1600 resolution delivers clear images. It has Picture-by-Picture and Picture-in-Picture modes, allowing you to display images from two sources at once. It has a USB-C input that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode and four USB 3.0 inputs, including two on the side for easy access. It has built-in speakers in case you don't want to pay extra to get a dedicated setup. It has wide viewing angles, and the curved screen helps you see the left and right edges a bit better. Our unit has one of the best out-of-the-box accuracies we've tested, so you may not need to get your monitor calibrated.
Sadly, it's not a good choice for gaming. It doesn't have any VRR support, and it has a poor response time, resulting in motion artifacts that you may even notice while scrolling through documents. It has a low contrast ratio and doesn't support HDR, which is disappointing if you want to watch movies on the large screen. You may have to avoid using it in very well-lit environments because it doesn't get very bright, and reflections may get too distracting with direct sunlight on it. On the upside, it has great gray uniformity, and its flicker-free backlight helps reduce eye strain for those long office hours. All things considered, if you're looking for a Dell ultrawide monitor for the office, this is the best one we've tested.
The best Dell gaming monitor we've tested is the Dell Alienware AW2521H. This compact 25 inch model has a flat IPS panel with a 1080p resolution. Like most Alienware monitors, the build quality is excellent, with a stand that offers an impressive amount of ergonomic adjustments, allowing you to place the screen in an ideal viewing position. It has good reflection handling and great peak brightness, which means that visibility shouldn't be an issue, even in bright, sunny rooms. However, despite having a better contrast ratio than most IPS panels, blacks still look grayish, so it isn't ideal for gaming in the dark. Images remain accurate when viewed from the side thanks to its wide viewing angles, which is great for sharing content and playing co-op games. It covers the entire sRGB color space and has outstanding color accuracy out of the box, although the latter may vary between individual units.
It stands out for its incredible motion handling. It has a 360Hz refresh rate and superb response times, resulting in smooth and clear motion in fast-moving scenes, as well as amazing responsiveness. There's a Black Frame Insertion feature, otherwise known as backlight strobing; however, it only works within a narrow refresh rate range, and it isn't usable simultaneously with VRR. It supports G-SYNC natively but isn't FreeSync compatible, which might disappoint those with an AMD graphics card or console gamers. Unfortunately, while there's HDR support, there are some downsides because it can't display a wide color gamut, and the refresh rate at 10-bit color depth is limited to 300Hz over DisplayPort and 144Hz over HDMI. On the bright side, it has a USB hub with four USB 3.0 ports, as well as an NVIDIA 'Reflex' feature that measures input lag and helps reduce it. Overall, this is an excellent gaming monitor that should please most people.
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 models and has some available in larger sizes and higher resolutions that are better suited for multitasking.
Dell monitors generally have much better ergonomics than LG and are generally 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 models perform well for most uses.
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:
This is followed by a two-digit code that indicates the size, followed by two digits that indicate the model year. For example:
Most Dell model numbers end with one or more letters, used to identify certain features. This isn't a complete list, but here are some of the most common suffixes:
Jul 09, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks. No change in recommendations.
Apr 12, 2021: Minor text and structure changes. Replaced Dell Alienware AW2521HF with Dell Alienware AW2521H.
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.