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The 3 Best Dell Monitors of 2020
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Best Dell Monitors

We've reviewed over 25 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

    7.7
    Mixed Usage
    8.1
    Office
    7.5
    Gaming
    7.7
    Multimedia
    8.0
    Media Creation
    6.6
    HDR Gaming
    Size 27"
    Resolution 3840x2160
    Max Refresh Rate
    60 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    No VRR

    The best Dell monitor we've tested so far is the Dell U2718Q. This is a good overall 4k monitor and it's a great choice for any office setup. Like most Dell monitors, it's fairly well-built and it has excellent ergonomics, so you can place this monitor how you like in your at-home office setup. The 27 inch screen offers enough screen space to open multiple windows at once, and the low input lag ensures you get a responsive desktop experience. Like most IPS panels, it has wide viewing angles, ideal for sharing your screen with others. This monitor is also a good choice to use in moderately-lit rooms, as it gets bright enough to combat glare, but it has mediocre reflection handling.

    Sadly, this isn't an ideal monitor for gaming. It has a 60Hz refresh rate and doesn't support any variable refresh rate technology. Still, if you want to use it for console gaming, it has a good response time, so there's not much motion blur with fast-moving objects. It also has a low contrast ratio and mediocre black uniformity, but that's expected from an IPS panel. On the upside, it has excellent gray uniformity and perfect gradient handling, with no visible banding between shades. It's limited on extra features, but there's a USB hub you can use to charge your devices while you work. Note that this is an older version of the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q, which is a bit better overall and has two USB-C inputs. The older model is cheaper while you can still find it, so for now, it's a better choice, making it the best Dell monitor we've tested so far.

    See our review

  2. Best Dell Ultrawide Office Monitor

    7.2
    Mixed Usage
    7.8
    Office
    6.8
    Gaming
    7.1
    Multimedia
    7.3
    Media Creation
    5.2
    HDR Gaming
    Size 38"
    Resolution 3840x1600
    Max Refresh Rate
    60 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    No VRR

    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 3840x1600 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 excellent, and its ergonomics are good for an ultrawide monitor, although it can't rotate to portrait mode. 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.

    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. It's not ideal for really bright rooms too as it has mediocre reflection handling. However, 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. It's not ideal for gaming, as even though it has a low input lag, the response time is bad, and it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate. On the whole, it's the best Dell monitor for work, with plenty of screen real estate to work comfortably and efficiently.

    See our review

  3. Best Dell Gaming Monitor

    7.7
    Mixed Usage
    7.9
    Office
    8.4
    Gaming
    7.4
    Multimedia
    7.4
    Media Creation
    5.7
    HDR Gaming
    Size 25"
    Resolution 1920x1080
    Max Refresh Rate
    240 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    FreeSync

    The best Dell gaming monitor we've tested so far is the Dell Alienware AW2521HF. This is an impressive gaming monitor in Dell's Alienware lineup with a 240Hz refresh rate. Even though the 1080p resolution isn't ideal for office use, it doesn't put too much stress on your graphics card, making it ideal for gaming. The response time at its max refresh rate is incredible, one of the best we've seen on a monitor so far. It remains excellent at 60Hz, so even though there's no black frame insertion feature, motion looks extremely smooth regardless. The input lag is also really low, and although it slightly increases with VRR enabled, most people won't notice. It has native FreeSync support and it's certified by NVIDIA to be G-SYNC compatible over a DisplayPort connection.

    It's really well-built and it has good ergonomics, but the stand has a fairly large footprint, so if you don't choose to VESA-mount it, it takes up a good amount of space on your desk. Sadly, like most IPS monitors, it has a low contrast ratio and blacks appear closer to gray when viewed in the dark. It doesn't support HDR10 either, but overall, it has a good picture quality. It has wide viewing angles, impressive reflection handling, great peak brightness, and it has good out-of-the-box color accuracy too. It also has some good features like RGB illumination and a USB hub. There's a large variant of this monitor, the Dell Alienware AW2720HF, which has a worse response time at 60Hz and a lower pixel density, but you should consider whichever size you prefer. Overall, this is the best Dell monitor for gaming that we've tested so far.

    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:

  • 2520: 25", 2020 model
  • 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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