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Reviewed on Sep 12, 2018 , Simon Barbier, Yannick Khong

Dell D3218HN
MONITOR REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.0

Test Benches:

  • 1.0: Fall 2017
6.7
Mixed Usage
Score components:
  • 30% Office
  • 30% Multimedia
  • 25% Gaming
  • 10% Media Creation
  • 5% HDR Gaming
Size : 32 "
Resolution : 1920x1080
Refresh Rate : 60 Hz
LCD Type
What it is: Type of LCD technology used by the monitor.
When it matters: Different technologies have different viewing angle properties.
:
IPS
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
:
No

The Dell D3218HN is a basic IPS FHD 32" monitor with mediocre picture quality. It can get bright, which is good for rooms with some glare. The native contrast ratio is decent, one of the best for IPS monitors, and it has a low input lag which makes it responsive for casual gaming. Unfortunately, it has bad ergonomics and does not have any advanced features to improve gaming or picture quality.

Test Results
Design 7.0
Picture Quality 6.5
Motion 7.1
Inputs 8.4
Pros
  • Low input lag
  • Good brightness
Cons
  • Bad ergonomics
  • Poor black uniformity

Check Price

7.0

Design

Score components: Subjectively assigned
Dell D3218HN Design Picture
Curved : No
Curve radius : N/A
Weight (without stand) : 13.8lbs (6.3 kg)
Weight (with stand) : 16.1lbs (7.3 kg)

The design of the Dell D3218HN is decent. The monitor has a very sturdy stand that feels robust and supports it well but does not give it any ergonomic freedom other than tilt, which might bother some people. The overall design is very plain and there is no cable management.

We noticed that the monitor we bought is slightly convex on its horizontal axis. We do not know whether this is a manufacturing fault, but it is not noticeable in regular use.

Stand
Dell D3218HN Stand picture
Width : 13.2" (33.4 cm)
Depth : 8.3" (21.0 cm)

This is a very different stand from the usual Dell stands. It supports the monitor very well but there is still a little wobble.

0.9 Ergonomics
What it is: How much the position of the screen can be adjusted to match the viewing preference of the user.
When it matters: All usages, but especially office and gaming use.
Score components:
  • 46% Height Adjustment
  • 18% Switch portrait/landscape
  • 18% Swivel Range
  • 18% Tilt Range
Dell D3218HN Ergonomics picture
Height Adjustment : N/A
Switch portrait/landscape : No
Swivel Range : N/A
Tilt Range : -10° to 5°

The ergonomics of this Dell D3218HN are bad. The monitor can only be tilted and even that is constrained to a very narrow range.

Back
Dell D3218HN Back picture
Wall Mount : VESA 100x100

The back of the monitor is very plain without any planning for cable management.

Borders
Dell D3218HN Borders picture
Borders : 0.6" (1.6 cm)

The borders of this monitor are metallic and of average thickness. There is a plastic black bezel that goes around the screen and is fairly thick, You should be aware of it if you plan to place two monitors side by side as it will create a gap between the images of the two monitors.

Thickness
Dell D3218HN Thickness picture
Thickness (with stand) : 4.9" (12.4 cm)
Thickness (without stand) : 2.1" (5.4 cm)

The thickness of this monitor without the stand is average for its size group and will not protrude much if you decide to VESA mount it. When it is placed on its stand, it is one of the thinnest monitors we have tested thus far which is great for those who plan to place it close to a wall.

6.5 Build Quality
What it is: How well built and sturdy the monitor is, and how good the materials used to build it are.
When it matters: All usages.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Dell D3218HN Build Quality picture

The build quality is decent. There are, however, a few small issues. The black plastic bezel that goes around the screen is not well attached to the screen, and as a result, there is a small gap between the screen and the bottom edge bezel. Also, the slight inverse curve the monitor has along its horizontal axis does not indicate a high-quality build.

The Dell D3218HN has a decent picture quality. The contrast ratio is ok for an IPS monitor but it cannot display deep uniform blacks in a dark room. It can get fairly bright but because reflection handling is mediocre the Dell D3218HN is suitable for a bright room where the light sources are not directly facing the screen. The color space coverage is better suited for home use or gaming but not for professionals in the publishing business who may use the Adobe RGB gamut. The horizontal viewing angles are decent, but worse than the average IPS panel.

This monitor has an FHD (1920x1080p) native resolution and due to its large size (32"), some people might notice the screen door effect where a tiny grid is visible separating the pixels. This can be more evident when you take detailed pictures of the screen and for this reason, some of our pictures are softer in an effort not to overstress this issue as most people will not notice anything during regular use.

6.6 Contrast
What it is: Brightness difference between white and black. This is the main component of picture quality.
When it matters: Always, but especially when watching dark scenes.
Score components:
Dell D3218HN Checkerboard Picture
Native Contrast
What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
1416 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with local dimming turned on (maximum) with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
N/A

Decent contrast ratio for the Dell D3218HN. It is on the upper end of the list of IPS monitors and the best performance of all Dell monitors we've tested thus far, even better than the previous top performer, the Dell U2718Q.

0 Local Dimming
What it is: The lights behind the LCD layer adapt to the picture displayed, improving the contrast ratio.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Local Dimming
What it is: Whether it has a feature that controls the LEDs behind the LCD layer, to match the picture and darkens the dark portion of it.
When it matters: On LED TVs only. Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
:
No
Backlight
What it is: Configuration of the lights of the backlight.
When it matters: Effectiveness of the local dimming.
Good value: Full-array/direct lighting is better for local dimming. As for the uniformity of the screen, it depends on the implementation. Some edge-lit monitors have more uniform blacks than some full-array monitors.
:
Edge

The Dell D3218HN does not have a local dimming feature. The video is for reference only.

7.8 SDR Peak Brightness
What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and with SDR content.
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; SDR content.
SDR Real Scene
What it is: The maximum luminosity the TV can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. Our Real Scene was selected to represent a more regular movie condition. All measurements are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming on, max backlight and with an SDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies and TV shows in SDR.
:
320 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time
:
353 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time
:
351 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
351 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
351 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
350 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent during a scene.
:
352 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent during a scene.
:
351 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
351 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
350 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
350 cd/m²
SDR ABL
What it is: The standard deviation of the SDR sustained brightness, after linearizing for noticeable differences in luminosity
When it matters: Content with large bright areas, such as for PC or video game use, and sports such as hockey
:
0.000

Good SDR peak brightness for this Dell monitor. The monitor is suitable for well-lit rooms as it can overcome glare. The lack of local dimming and frame dimming allow this monitor to keep a relatively constant brightness at all window sizes which is good.

0 HDR Peak Brightness
What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and with HDR content.
When it matters: HDR content
HDR Real Scene : N/A
HDR Peak 2% Window : N/A
HDR Peak 10% Window : N/A
HDR Peak 25% Window : N/A
HDR Peak 50% Window : N/A
HDR Peak 100% Window : N/A
HDR Sustained 2% Window : N/A
HDR Sustained 10% Window : N/A
HDR Sustained 25% Window : N/A
HDR Sustained 50% Window : N/A
HDR Sustained 100% Window : N/A
HDR ABL : N/A

HDR is not supported.

6.7 Horizontal Viewing Angle
What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the side.
Dell D3218HN Horizontal Color Shift Picture
Color Shift from Left
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your left
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
29 °
Color Shift from Right
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
28 °
Dell D3218HN Horizontal Brightness Picture
Brightness from Left
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your left.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
38 °
Brightness from Right
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
39 °
Dell D3218HN Horizontal Black Level Picture
Black Level from Left
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
75 °
Black Level from Right
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
75 °
Curve Radius : N/A

As an IPS panel this Dell D3218HN has decent horizontal viewing angles, better than most TN and VA panels. Its performance is very similar to the HP V320.

7.7 Vertical Viewing Angle
What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the top or bottom.
Dell D3218HN Vertical Color Shift Picture
Color Shift from Below
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor from below.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
23 °
Color Shift from Above
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor when standing up.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
24 °
Dell D3218HN Vertical Brightness Picture
Brightness from Below
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor from below.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
30 °
Brightness from Above
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor while standing up.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
30 °
Dell D3218HN Vertical Black Level Picture
Black Level from Below
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor from below.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
75 °
Black Level from Above
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor while standing up.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
75 °

The vertical viewing angle of the D3218HN is good and the monitor ranks in the middle of the list among the other IPS panel monitors we've tested thus far. Its black level remains fairly constant when viewed from the sides. On the other hand, colors shift and brightness fades once your vertical viewing angles increase.

8.4 Gray Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of colors onscreen (not just gray).
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Score components:
Dell D3218HN 50% Uniformity Picture
50% Std. Dev.
What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 50% gray.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 2.5%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
4.154 %
50% DSE
What it is: Dirty Screen Effect. High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 0.165%
Noticeable difference: 0.025%
:
0.113 %
Dell D3218HN 5% Uniformity Picture
5% Std. Dev.
What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 5% gray.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 1.15%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
0.362 %
5% DSE
What it is: Dirty Screen Effect. High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 0.116%
:
0.035 %

The gray uniformity of the Dell D3218HN is great. The center of the screen is clear from clouding, but the sides do look slightly darker. This is due to the horizontal viewing angles of the monitor. Very similar performance to the HP V320.

5.2 Black Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components:
Dell D3218HN Native Black Uniformity Picture
Native Std. Dev.
What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: <2%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
2.530 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks with Local Dimming enabled
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: <2%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
N/A

Poor black uniformity. There is visible backlight bleed across the top and bottom edges. Unfortunately, dark scenes on this monitor do not look great.

5.5 Pre Calibration
What it is: Monitor's color accuracy before a full calibration. The measurements are taken with out of the box 'factory setting'.
When it matters: All video on an uncalibrated TV. This represents most people's use cases.
Score components:
Dell D3218HN Pre Calibration Picture Dell D3218HN Pre Gamma Curve Picture Dell D3218HN Pre Color Picture
Picture Mode
What it is: The picture mode that was used to do the pre-calibration reading. We usually go for the picture mode that gives us the more control over all the picture quality setting.
:
Standard
Luminance
What it is: The luminance at which the pre-calibration reading was done. This represents the luminance of the monitor when it is at the factory default settings.
:
226 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
What it is: The luminance settings, often named 'Brightness' on monitors, usually range from 0 to 100.
:
80
Contrast Setting
What it is: The monitor contrast setting, usually ranging from 0 to 100.
:
80
RGB controls
What it is: This is the value for each color (red, green, and blue) used in the monitor internal RGB cuts/gains controls. If the monitor does not have an internal RGB cuts/gains controls, then the color temperature setting will be used instead, and the color temperature that gives us the best result will be used.
:
100-100-100
Color Temperature
What it is: The color temperature is a measure of the color of light. A colder color temperature (7000K) will look bluer and a warmer color temperature (4000K) will look yellower/redder. 6500K is the standard color for PC monitors and also for the sRGB color standard.
When it matters: When you care about color reproduction and accuracy.
Good value: 6500K
Noticeable difference: 400K
:
6821 K
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all video.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
4.46
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
4.79
Gamma
What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.81

Disappointing out of the box color accuracy. The most accurate Picture mode was the 'Scenery' with the following results:

  • White balance dE:4.5
  • Color dE:3.88
  • Color Temperature:6104
  • Luminance:107.5
Unfortunately, the D3218HN does not allow you to change the brightness in any Picture mode except in 'Standard'. Because the luminance in 'Scenery' can't be adjusted, we decided to score the monitor on the 'Standard' Picture Mode. The results are very similar.
In the 'Standard' mode, the white balance dE and the Color dE are well above our threshold of 3 and most people will be able to notice the inaccuracies. Also, the color temperature is colder than our target of 6500 K and it might feel slightly blueish. Finally, the gamma is very low and does not follow our curve at all.

9.6 Post Calibration
What it is: Monitor's color accuracy after a full calibration with a spectrophotometer.
When it matters: All graphics and video content on a monitor that has been professionally calibrated.
Score components:
Dell D3218HN Post Calibration Picture Dell D3218HN Post Gamma Curve Picture Dell D3218HN Post Color Picture
Picture Mode
What it is: The picture mode that was used to do the calibration reading. We usually go for the picture mode that gives us the more control over all the picture quality setting.
:
Standard
Luminance
What it is: The luminance at which the calibration was executed. We aim for a luminance level of 100 cd/m².
:
101 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
What it is: The luminance settings, often named 'Brightness' on monitors, usually range from 0 to 100.
:
12
Contrast Setting
What it is: The monitor contrast setting, usually ranging from 0 to 100.
:
80
RGB controls
What it is: This is the value for each color (red, green, and blue) used in the monitor internal RGB cuts/gains controls. If the monitor does not have an internal RGB cuts/gains controls, then the color temperature setting will be used instead, and the color temperature that gives us the best result will be used.
:
96-96-100
Color Temperature
What it is: The color temperature is a measure of the color of light. A colder color temperature (7000K) will look bluer and a warmer color temperature (4000K) will look yellower/redder. 6500K is the standard color for PC monitors and also for the sRGB color standard.
When it matters: When you care about color reproduction and accuracy.
Good value: 6500K
Noticeable difference: 400K
:
6451 K
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all videos.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.57
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.53
Gamma
What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.17

The color accuracy after our calibration is excellent. The White balance dE and color dE are almost perfect, and it is almost impossible to spot the imperfections. Also, the color temperature is brought closer to our target of 6500 K, but most importantly, gamma is corrected to 2.17, very close to our target average of 2.2, and it follows much better the target curve, although, at low luminosity, scenes are slightly darker.

You can download our ICC profile calibration here. This is provided for reference only and should not be used, as the calibration values vary per individual unit even for the same model due to manufacturing tolerances.

8.6 SDR Color Gamut
What it is: The palette of colors the monitor can display
When it matters: General content consumption or production
Score components:
Dell D3218HN Color Gamut s.RGB Picture
s.RGB xy
What it is: Coverage of the s.RGB colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: Almost all content. Includes websites, standard windows environment and SDR movies
Good value: > 95%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
97.1 %
Dell D3218HN Color Gamut ARGB Picture
Adobe RGB xy
What it is: Coverage of the Adobe RGB colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: Professional photography.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
75.4 %

s.RGB Picture Mode: Standard (calibrated)
Adobe RGB Picture Mode: Standard

The Dell 3218HN has an excellent color gamut as it covers almost fully the standard s.RGB color gamut and this is great for gaming. However, the wider professional Adobe RGB color space has only limited coverage and thus this monitor, just like the Acer GN246HL, is not recommended for professional use.

8.8 SDR Color Volume
What it is: How much of the SDR color spaces the monitor can reproduce
When it matters: General usage and SDR media creation
Score components:
Dell D3218HN s.RGB Color Volume ITP picture
s.RGB in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the s.RGB colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: Most content, including web, SDR video games, and SDR media creation
:
96.1 %
Dell D3218HN Adobe RGB Color Volume ITP Picture
Adobe RGB in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the Adobe RGB colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels, normalized to the monitor's peak brightness.
When it matters: Professional media creation
:
80.3 %

s.RGB Picture Mode: Standard
Adobe RGB Picture Mode: Standard

The color volume of this monitor is excellent. The great color gamut allows it to display rich and saturated colors in most luminosity levels except in the darker shades where the low contrast ratio limits the performance. The coverage of the wider Adobe RGB in ICtCp color volume is not as great because of the limited Adobe RGB color gamut and the low contrast ratio. Performance is similar to the Dell U2518D.

0 HDR Color Gamut
What it is: The monitor's ability to reproduce HDR color spaces
When it matters: HDR content consumption or media creation
Score components:
Wide Color Gamut
What it is: Whether the monitor can support wider color gamuts
When it matters: HDR content and media creation
:
No
DCI P3 xy
What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy
When it matters: When consuming or producing HDR content.
:
N/A
Rec. 2020 xy
What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: When consuming or producing HDR content.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
N/A

HDR is not supported.

0 HDR Color Volume
What it is: How much of the HDR color spaces a monitor can display at different luminosity levels.
When it matters: HDR content consumption and production. Includes streaming services, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Score components:
DCI-P3 in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels, normalized to the monitor's peak brightness output.
When it matters: HDR content.
Good value: 80%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
N/A
Rec. 2020 in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the Rec. 2020 colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels, normalized to the monitor's peak brightness output.
When it matters: HDR content.
Good value: 80 %
Noticeable difference: 5 %
:
N/A

HDR is not supported.

10 Image Retention
What it is: How much a static image is retained on a monitor screen after a certain amount of time.
When it matters: When working or playing video games on your PC monitor.
Dell D3218HN Image Retention Picture
IR after 0 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured right after the static image exposure, without recovery time.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 2 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 4 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 6 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 8 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 10 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %

Perfect score on our image retention test as no retention was present immediately after the test.

8.5 Gradient
What it is: How finely levels of color can be displayed.
When it matters: Details in shadows, sky and skin tones. Matters more for HDR content.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Dell D3218HN Gradient Picture
Color Depth
What it is: Number of bits per pixel to represent a specific color. Note: we consider 8-bit with dithering to be equivalent to 10-bit, as long as the 10-bit gradient looks smooth.
When it matters: HDR content like HDR video games or HDR UHD movies. Won't matter for regular Blu-ray movies, SDR video game or desktop environment content displayed from a Windows PC. Those are limited to 8-bit color.
Good value: 10-bit.
Noticeable difference: 1 bit.
:
8 Bit

Excellent performance for the Dell D3218HN on our gradient test. The monitor has an 8-bit color depth, and thus there is obvious 8-bit banding due to the limitations of the monitor. Other than that, only a few issues can be noticed (minor shades in colors, in very dark colors), which is great.

10 Color Bleed
What it is: How much the color from one area of the screen affects the color in another area of the screen.
When it matters: All usages, but especially media creation.
Score components:
Dell D3218HN Color bleed horizontal
Pixel row error
What it is: The amount of bleed that appears across the screen horizontally.
When it matters: General usage of a PC monitor, can appear when browsing the web or with media creation like graphics.
Good value: <0.2%
Noticeable difference: 0.1%
:
0.000 %
Dell D3218HN Color bleed vertical
Pixel column error
What it is: Amount of color bleeding that appears across the screen vertically.
When it matters: Most uses of a PC monitor. Can appear while browsing the web or when editing images or graphics.
Good value: <0.2%
Noticeable difference: 0.1%
:
0.000 %

The Dell D318HN does not suffer from color bleed, so large colored patterns do not affect the screen's uniformity.

6.0 Reflections
What it is: How much light is reflected by the TV.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Dell D3218HN Average room Dell D3218HN Average room off picture Dell D3218HN Bright room off picture

The monitor is the most reflective of all monitors we've tested so far, along with the HP V320 and the Acer Predator XB271HU. The brighter reflections may be an issue in brighter rooms.

7.1

Motion

Score components:

This monitor has decent motion handling. The pixel response time of the Dell D3218HN is fast and there is only a small amount of persistence blur. Unfortunately, the monitor does not have any option to introduce flicker to make the image crisper. At the same time, some people might find this good as the monitor is only a 60Hz monitor and if there were flicker, it could be bothersome.

8.2 Motion Blur
What it is: The performance of the pixel response time. Poor response time causes trails to follow moving objects. Response time is one of a few sources of motion blur.
When it matters: When there's fast movement on screen, such as during video games and sports.
Score components:
Dell D3218HN Motion Blur Picture Dell D3218HN Response Time Chart
80% Response Time
What it is: How quickly pixels can reach 80% of a full transition from one color to another.
When it matters: When there's fast movement on screen, such as during video games and sports.
Good value: < 8 ms
Noticeable difference: 4 ms
:
6.9 ms
100% Response Time
What it is: How quickly pixels can fully transition from one color to another.
When it matters: When there's fast movement on screen, such as during video games and sports.
Good value: < 20 ms
Noticeable difference: 10 ms
:
13.3 ms
Best Overdrive Setting
What it is: If the monitor has adjustable pixel overdrive settings, which one produces the best response time with minimal overshoot.
When it matters: When adjusting the monitor's settings to get the least possible motion blur.
:
N/A

The D3218HN monitor has a great, fast response time without any overshoot and only a small blur trails the image. Unfortunately, this monitor does not offer any overdrive options.

7.5 Image Flicker
What it is: Luminosity pattern when displaying images
When it matters: Nearly all the time during PC monitor use, but especially during fast movement such as video games
Dell D3218HN Backlight Picture
Flicker-free : Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
What it is: Flickering pattern at different luminosities.
When it matters: For people sensitive to flickering.
Good value: N/A or high frequencies (> 300 Hz). Frequencies that are multiples of 60Hz are better.
:
0 Hz
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
What it is: Option to turn screen black between frames
When it matters: Reduces eye tracking blur in motion
Good value: Yes
:
No
BFI Maximum Frequency
What it is: Highest possible frequency of flickering pattern
When it matters: Reduces eye-tracking blur in motion
Good value: Matches the native refresh rate
Noticeable difference: 20 Hz
:
N/A
BFI Minimum Frequency
What it is: Lowest possible frequency of flickering pattern
When it matters: Reduces eye-tracking blur in motion
Good value: 60 Hz
Noticeable difference: 20 Hz
:
N/A

The Dell D3218HN dims its brightness with a flicker-free backlight and shows each image for a full frame. Although this results in smoother motion, it also introduces persistence blur. Unfortunately, this monitor doesn't have a BFI setting to reduce persistence blur by adding flicker. This, however, is rare for 60 Hz monitors as 60 Hz flicker can be bothersome.

6.7 Refresh Rate
What it is: How frequently the monitor can refresh and show new frames, and whether it can vary its refresh rate in real time using technologies like G-sync and FreeSync.
When it matters: Mostly for gaming, but does provide a little better motion during normal usage.
Native
What it is: The frequency at which the monitor is capable of displaying images every second
When it matters: General usage, but better results are most important for gaming
Good value: >100 Hz
Noticeable difference: 15 Hz
:
60 Hz
Factory Overclock
What it is: The frequency at which the monitor's can be boosted to using its internal menu.
When it matters: Gaming and other usages where high frame rate content is consumed.
Good value: >100
Noticeable difference: 15
:
N/A
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
:
No
VRR Maximum
What it is: The maximum frequency covered by the Variable Refresh Rate feature of the monitor.
When it matters: Any time the VRR feature is enabled.
Good value: Matches Refresh rate
Noticeable difference: 10 Hz
:
N/A
VRR Minimum
What it is: The lowest frequency covered by the monitor's Variable Refresh Rate feature.
When it matters: When using the VRR feature of the monitor at lower frame rates.
Good value: 30 Hz
:
N/A
VRR Maximum With OC
What it is: The maximum frequency covered by the Variable Refresh Rate feature when the monitor's overclocking feature is used.
When it matters: When both the overclocking and VRR features are used.
Good value: Matching the overclocked refresh rate.
Noticeable difference: 10 hz
:
N/A
VRR Supported Connectors : N/A

The monitor only has the very common 60 Hz refresh rate and does not support any kind of variable refresh rate like free FreeSync. This is good enough for most uses, but gamers might prefer a higher refresh rate and an implementation of FreeSync or G-Sync.

8.4

Inputs

Score components:

The Dell D3218HN has a low input lag that will keep most casual gamers happy. It has a 32" size screen but only an FHD resolution so you are not able to display much detail or multitask in this large screen.

9.0 Input Lag
What it is: Delay between input and onscreen reaction.
When it matters: General usage of the mouse and gaming.
Native Resolution
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying its native resolution at its native refresh rate.
When it matters: General usage and while playing video games.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
8.5 ms
Non-Native Resolution
What it is:

Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying an alternative resolution at its native refresh rate. The non-native resolution tested depends on the native resolution of the monitor, following this pattern unless otherwise specified in the Input Lag text:

Native Resolution Non-Native Resolution Tested
4k UHD QHD
QHD FHD
FHD 1600x900
3440x1440 2560x1080
2560x1080 1920x1080
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
8.6 ms
Native Resolution @ 60 Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying its native resolution at a refresh rate of 60 Hz.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
8.5 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is using its Variable Refresh Rate feature at its native resolution.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
N/A
HDR
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying an HDR signal at its native resolution and refresh rate.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
N/A
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when BFI is enabled and the monitor is displaying a signal at the highest supported BFI refresh rate.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
N/A

The Dell D3218HN has a very low input lag very similar to Dell P2417H, and it will keep most people happy. The input lag remains fairly constant when displaying non-native resolutions and this is great for those low-resolution games.

7.4 Resolution and Size
What it is: The number of pixels the monitor can display, and the surface area of its screen.
When it matters: All usages, but especially for office and media editing.
Score components:
Native Resolution : FHD, 1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio : 16:9
Megapixels : 2.1 MP
Pixel Density : 70 PPI
Screen Diagonal : 31.5 inches
Screen Area : 424 sq inches

For a monitor with a screen size of 32", the FHD resolution results in a fairly low pixel density. So despite the large size, you can't display much detail and multitask as efficiently as on higher resolution monitors.

Inputs
Total Inputs
DisplayPort : No
Mini DisplayPort : No
HDMI : 1 (HDMI 1.4)
DVI : No
VGA : 1
DisplayPort Out : No
USB : No
USB C : No
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : No
Microphone In 3.5mm : No
Digital Optical Audio Out : No
Analog Audio Out RCA : No

Very basic inputs and no DisplayPort.

Features

This monitor does not have any additional features. The OSD is plain and not very intuitive to navigate, and the four buttons that control it are also fairly difficult to use.

Additional Features
What it is: Additional features found on the monitor
Score components:
Speakers
What it is: Whether or not the monitor features standalone speakers.
When it matters: When using your computer without headphones or a dedicated pair of speakers.
:
No
HDR10 : No

There are no additional features other than an ECO mode that locks the brightness to 50 and a DCR feature that adjusts the brightness according to the input signal (not ambient light). We do not recommend using either as they lock the brightness slider.

On-Screen Display (OSD)
Dell D3218HN OSD picture

The screen display is plain and although it looks intuitive to use, the buttons at the bottom of the monitor might trouble some people until they get the used to them.

Controls
Dell D3218HN Controls picture

The menus of this Dell D3218HN are controlled by four buttons under the lower edge. They can take some time until one gets used to them

In The Box
Dell D3218HN In The Box picture

  • Manual and drivers
  • Power cable
  • VGA cable

Differences between Sizes and Variants

We've tested the 32" D3218HN, which is the only size this monitor is available in.

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Dell D3218HN doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. Note that some tests such as the gray uniformity may vary between individual units.

Size Model
32" D3218HN

The D3218HN we reviewed was manufactured in April 2018

Compared to other Monitors

Dell D3218HN Group Shot Picture
Left: HP V320 Middle: Dell D3218HN. Right:: MSI Optix G27C.
Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The Dell D3218HN is a large budget monitor with a sub-par picture quality. 

HP V320

The HP V320 and the Dell D3218HN both have very similar performance. Their scores on our tests were almost identical and there isn't any single score that differentiates one from the other. One difference is in the input ports where the HP has DVI + VGA, and the Dell has VGA + HDMI. Other than that same performance, different brand.

LG 29UM69G-B

The LG 29UM69G-B is somewhat better than the Dell D3218HN. The LG 29UM69G-B has better reflection handling if you have a room with many lights, and has a better resolution that allows you to see more detail on the screen. If you play video games you will appreciate the better refresh rate of the LG 29UM69G-B. The LG is also equipped with a BFI feature that allows it to introduce flicker and make the image crisper.

 

Samsung CF791

The Samsung CF791 is somewhat better than the Dell D3218HN. The Dell has better viewing angles and is more suitable for collaborative work whereas the Samsung is larger and has a much better resolution that allows you to multitask better. The Dell D3218HN has lower input lag if you play casual video games, but the Samsung has faster pixel response time that leaves a shorter motion blur, and faster refresh rate with FreeSync support to eliminate tearing.

MSI Optix G27C

The Dell D3218HN is slightly better than the MSI Optix G27C for mixed usage. The Dell D3218HN is larger and has an IPS panel that makes it more suitable for collaborative work as it has better viewing angles. The MSI Optix G27C, on the other hand, has a faster refresh rate with Freesync support and a lower input lag which make it great for gaming. Finally, the MSI Optix G27C has a curvy profile that many people like and better reflection handling than the Dell.

Sceptre C325W

The Dell D3218HN is significantly better than the Sceptre C325W. The Dell D3218HN has wider viewing angles due to its IPS panel and a better input lag which is great if you play video games. The Dell D3218HN also has a faster pixel response time and will leave a shorter blur trail. The Sceptre C325W, on the other hand, has better reflections handling, which is great if you have a room with many small windows.

+ Show more

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

6.7Mixed Usage
Score components:
  • 30% Office
  • 30% Multimedia
  • 25% Gaming
  • 10% Media Creation
  • 5% HDR Gaming
This monitor performs decently in a variety of usages. It will perform ok for most home or office applications or if you wish to use it for casual gaming. It is not a monitor that performs exceptionally well in any of the usages although its large screen size will be an attraction for the given price.
This monitor is ok for office use, mainly due to its large screen size and its viewing angles that favor cooperative work. The bad ergonomics, however, will give you a hard time to position it to your preferences and the limited resolution will not allow you to see much detail or multitask on the large screen size.
This Dell D3218HN is a decent monitor for gaming. It has low input lag that makes it very responsive and a fast pixel response time which allows only a small blur trail in fast-moving content. Unfortunately, the monitor has only the basic refresh rate of 60Hz and does not support any of the more advanced features like FreeSync or G-Sync to improve picture quality by removing tearing.
The D3218HN a decent monitor for watching multimedia content. It has a large screen size which unfortunately has only FHD resolution. The monitor is better suited for brighter rooms as it can overcome glare, and because of its low native contrast ratio that cannot display deep blacks in a dark room. Unfortunately, the Dell will not make it easy for you to position it to your liking.
Decent performance of this Dell monitor in media creation. Although the monitor has a large screen, you can not take full advantage of it to multitask or see much detail due to the limited FHD resolution. Furthermore, the monitor will not allow you to place it to your liking with ease, and even though it has a wide color gamut, enough for regular home or office use, it is not well suited for professionals of the publishing business as it has limited coverage of the Adobe RGB color space.
HDR is not supported, and the monitor can't produce bright, saturated colors. If you are looking for HDR support, then check out the Samsung CHG70.

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