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Reviewed on Sep 12, 2018

Dell D3218HN MONITOR REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.0
6.8
Mixed Usage
7.0
Office
7.1
Gaming
6.7
Multimedia
6.6
Media Creation
5.2
HDR Gaming
Size : 32"
Resolution : 1920x1080
Refresh Rate : 60 Hz
LCD Type
:
IPS
Variable Refresh Rate
:
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

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7.0

Design

Curved : No
Curve radius : N/A
Weight (without stand)
:
13.8 lbs (6.3 kg)
Weight (with stand)
:
16.7 lbs (7.6 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
Width
:
13.2" (33.5 cm)
Depth
:
8.3" (21.1 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.

1.7 Ergonomics
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
Wall Mount : VESA 100x100

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

Borders
Borders
:
0.6" (1.5 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
Thickness (with stand)
:
4.9" (12.4 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
:
2.1" (5.3 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

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.

6.5

Picture Quality

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
Native Contrast
:
1416 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
:
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
Local Dimming
:
No
Backlight
:
Edge

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

7.8 SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
:
320 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
:
353 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
:
351 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
:
351 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
:
351 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
:
350 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
:
352 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
:
351 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
:
351 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
:
350 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
:
350 cd/m²
SDR ABL
:
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
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
Color Shift from Left
:
29 °
Color Shift from Right
:
28 °
Brightness from Left
:
38 °
Brightness from Right
:
39 °
Black Level from Left
:
75 °
Black Level from Right
:
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
Color Shift from Below
:
23 °
Color Shift from Above
:
24 °
Brightness from Below
:
30 °
Brightness from Above
:
30 °
Black Level from Below
:
75 °
Black Level from Above
:
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
50% Std. Dev.
:
4.154 %
50% DSE
:
0.113 %
5% Std. Dev.
:
0.362 %
5% DSE
:
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
Native Std. Dev.
:
2.530 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
:
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
Picture Mode
:
Standard
Luminance
:
226 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
:
80
Contrast Setting
:
80
RGB controls
:
100-100-100
Color Temperature
:
6821 K
White Balance dE
:
4.46
Color dE
:
4.79
Gamma
:
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
Picture Mode
:
Standard
Luminance
:
101 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
:
12
Contrast Setting
:
80
RGB Controls
:
96-96-100
Color Temperature
:
6451 K
White Balance dE
:
0.57
Color dE
:
0.53
Gamma
:
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
sRGB xy
:
97.1 %
Adobe RGB xy
:
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
sRGB in ICtCp
:
96.1 %
Adobe RGB in ICtCp
:
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
Wide Color Gamut
:
No
DCI P3 xy
:
N/A
Rec. 2020 xy
:
N/A

HDR is not supported.

0 HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 in ICtCp
:
N/A
Rec. 2020 in ICtCp
:
N/A

HDR is not supported.

10 Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
:
0.00 %

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

8.5 Gradient
Color Depth
:
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
Pixel row error
:
0.000 %
Pixel column error
:
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

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

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
80% Response Time
:
6.9 ms
100% Response Time
:
13.3 ms
Best Overdrive Setting
:
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
Flicker-free : Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
:
0 Hz
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
:
No
BFI Maximum Frequency
:
N/A
BFI Minimum Frequency
:
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
Native
:
60 Hz
Factory Overclock
:
N/A
Variable Refresh Rate
:
No
G-SYNC Compatible
:
No
VRR Maximum
:
N/A
VRR Minimum
:
N/A
VRR Maximum With OC
:
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

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
Native Resolution
:
8.5 ms
Non-Native Res @ Native Refresh
:
8.6 ms
Native Resolution @ 60 Hz
:
8.5 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
:
N/A
10 bit HDR
:
N/A
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
:
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
Native Resolution : 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
Power Supply : Internal

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
Speakers
:
No
HDR10 : No
Multiple input display
:
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)

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

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

  • 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

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. See our recommendations for the best monitors under $200, the best PC gaming monitors and the best 32 inch monitors.

Dell S3219D
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Dell S3219D and the Dell D3218HN have different panel types so they are better in different aspects. The Dell D3218HN has an IPS panel and wider viewing angles, so it favors collaboration, whereas the Dell S3129D has a VA panel and a better dark room performance. The Dell S3219D also has higher resolution and supports FreeSync, which is great for gaming.

HP V320
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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, they have the same performance but are different brands.

LG 29UM69G-B
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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.

MSI Optix G27C
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

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 reflection handling, which is great if you have a room with many small windows.

Samsung C34F791/CF791
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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 a faster pixel response time that leaves a shorter motion blur, and faster refresh rate with FreeSync support to eliminate tearing.

+ Show more
6.8 Mixed Usage

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.

7.0 Office

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.

7.1 Gaming

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.

6.7 Multimedia

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.

6.6 Media Creation

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.

5.2 HDR Gaming

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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