We've tested over 30 Dell monitors on our latest test bench. 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 4k Dell monitor for office use that we've tested is the Dell S2722QC. It's part of Dell's S Series productivity lineup that includes the Dell S2721QS, which is a similar monitor with a 4k resolution, but it has fewer features. The high 4k resolution helps deliver clear text as it raises the pixel density on 27 inch screen, so text looks sharp and legible, and images are crisp. It's a great all-around monitor with a focus on productivity as it has a USB-C input with support for DisplayPort Alt Mode. This allows you to connect a compatible laptop and display an image from it and charge it at the same time. It has two HDMI inputs, but since it has a 60Hz refresh rate and is limited to HDMI 2.0 bandwidth, you can't use it for next-gen console gaming, but that doesn't make a difference for office use anyways.
It has an IPS panel, which means it sadly has a low contrast ratio, so blacks look gray when viewed in the dark. If that's important to you, there's also the Dell S3221QS that has a VA panel with higher contrast, but it doesn't have wide viewing angles like the S2722QC. It also performs well in bright rooms because it gets bright enough to fight glare and has good reflection handling. Your mouse movements will feel responsive thanks to its low input lag, and it has a quick response time, meaning you won't notice much motion blur. Overall, it's one of their best models with a 4k resolution.
The best Dell monitor for gaming with a 1080p resolution that we've tested is the Dell Alienware AW2521H. This compact 25 inch model has a flat IPS panel, and like most Alienware monitors, the build quality is excellent, with a stand that offers an impressive amount of ergonomic adjustments. It has good reflection handling and great peak brightness, meaning visibility won't be an issue, even in bright, sunny rooms. It stands out for its incredible motion handling. It has a 360Hz refresh rate and superb response time, resulting in smooth and clear motion in fast-moving scenes, as well as amazing responsiveness. There's a backlight strobing, but it only works within a narrow refresh rate range, and it isn't usable simultaneously with variable refresh rate (VRR). It supports G-SYNC natively but isn't FreeSync compatible, which might disappoint those with an AMD graphics card.
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. Also, despite having a better contrast ratio than most IPS panels, blacks still look grayish. 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. Images remain accurate when viewed from the side thanks to its wide viewing angles, which is great for playing co-op games. Overall, this is the best Alienware monitor we've tested, and it's an excellent gaming monitor that should please most people.
If you prefer a gaming monitor with a higher resolution, then the Dell S2721DGF is the best 1080p gaming monitor for Dell that we've tested. It's different from the Dell Alienware AW2521H because it's slightly bigger at 27 inches, and the higher 1440p resolution delivers a more immersive gaming experience. Although you won't get the same 360Hz refresh rate, it still has a high 165Hz refresh rate, and it has native FreeSync support with G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing. It also has an incredibly fast response time that results in almost no motion blur, and it remains quick even when gaming at 60Hz. Also, you won't notice any delay while gaming, thanks to its low input lag.
Unfortunately, our unit has disappointing out-of-the-box accuracy, meaning you may need to get it calibrated to enjoy the most accurate colors, but this also may vary between units. It doesn't have an optional backlight strobing feature to reduce motion blur, but you likely won't need it anyway since the response time is so fast. It supports HDR10, but it doesn't add much because it doesn't get bright enough in HDR to make highlights pop, the contrast ratio is low, and even though it has a local dimming feature, it performs terribly and causes blooming around bright objects. Due to its IPS panel, it has wide viewing angles, and the excellent ergonomics make it easy to place in an ideal viewing position for co-op gaming. Overall, if you want a 1440p gaming monitor from Dell, you should be happy with this one.
The best Dell monitor with an ultrawide screen that we've tested is the Dell S3422DWG. It's a very good 34 inch monitor with an ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratio and a VA panel. It has good contrast, resulting in deep blacks, with amazing black uniformity, so it's a great choice for a dark room. It's a great gaming monitor, with an excellent response time at the max refresh rate, fantastic low input lag, and a fast refresh rate. The ultrawide aspect ratio delivers a more immersive gaming experience, great for first-person games or immersive RPGs. It supports FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, which helps reduce tearing and stutter when gaming. Although it's not certified by NVIDIA, it works with their G-SYNC Compatible feature, but only over DisplayPort.
Unfortunately, the image appears washed out at an angle, but the curved screen somewhat mitigates how noticeable this is. It also has a somewhat limited stand, with no swivel and a limited height adjustment, and it doesn't support USB-C, which might disappoint some office users. Like most VA panels, there are also some noticeable issues in dark scenes, with some distracting black smear behind fast-moving objects. Still, it looks great in most viewing environments. It has good reflection handling and great peak brightness in SDR, meaning glare won't be an issue in most viewing environments. It supports HDR, is bright enough to deliver a good HDR gaming experience, and can display a wide color gamut. Overall, despite its limitations, it's a very good ultrawide 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 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. Whether you need an office monitor or a gaming model, you'll likely find it with Dell.
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:
Jan 13, 2022: Replaced the Dell S2721QS with the Dell S2722QC because it's newer and has a USB-C input; added the Dell S2721DGF as the 'Best 1440p Gaming Monitor' and renamed the Dell AW2521H as the 'Best 1080p Gaming Monitor'.
Oct 07, 2021: Removed the Dell U3818DW, as it's no longer available. Added the Dell S3422DWG as the 'Best Dell Ultrawide Monitor'.
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 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 in their Alienware lineup, 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.