The Dell S2716DG is a great 27 inch TN-type G-Sync monitor with a 144 Hz refresh rate and a high 1440p resolution. Its low input lag and a slew of motion features make it a particularly great choice for PC gaming. Unfortunately, its flexibility is greatly limited by its narrow viewing angle and low contrast ratio, reducing its picture quality in a dark room.
The design of the Dell S2716DG is very similar to other Dell monitors, such as the U2415H. It has a flat rectangular base which supports the monitor well, and the stand also allows for easy ergonomic adjustment to find the most comfortable gaming position. Like other Dell monitors, the build quality is good.
The stand is simple, with a flat rectangular base similar to the U2715H. It doesn't take up a lot of desk area but still provides a stable support which is good.
The Dell S2716DG has a disappointing picture quality. The poor contrast ratio and terrible black uniformity ruin dark room performance, as most dark content looks washed out and blacks tend to look gray. When used in a brighter room, which is recommended for this monitor, the S2716DG fares better but even then, it might struggle to overcome the glare. Viewing angles are passable at best, especially when the monitor is viewed from a higher position.
Gray uniformity is decent though, and dirty screen effect is not really a problem here, which is good. The out of the box accuracy could be better, but this can be fixed if the monitor is calibrated. Finally, the S2716DG does not support HDR nor more advanced features like local dimming, but for the SDR standard, it does a good job and covers the sRGB color space well.
The Dell S2716DG has a poor contrast ratio. In comparison, the S2716DG is the Dell monitor with one of the lower contrast ratio that we measured in 2017. Unfortunately, dark room performance is really disappointing, as it can't display deep black and this results in washed out dark scenes. For this reason, the S2716DG is better suited for a well-lit environment, as the ambient light will make the low contrast ratio effect less apparent.
The Dell S2716DG does not have a local dimming feature. The video is for reference only.
The SDR peak brightness is decent. While the Dell S2716DG will get bright enough to suit most environments, direct light sources such as windows might cause reflections too strong for the monitor to remain usable.
HDR is not supported on this monitor.
Poor horizontal viewing angle. Most noticeable are its raised black levels which shift with fairly small lateral movements. The brightness fares a bit better, but users shouldn't expect the S2716DG to remain accurate off-axis.
Mediocre vertical viewing angle. As is typical of TN-type LCD monitors. the picture deteriorates very rapidly when viewing the monitor from below. Colors shift to an inverted state and the screen dims significantly. Picture quality is retained decently when viewed from above.
The S2716DG has a better than average gray uniformity, as seen in our test pictures. Looking at the 50% gray uniformity picture, we can see that the top part and the edges are a bit darker than the center of the screen but overall, it is not too bad and a dirty screen effect is not noticeable, making this monitor suitable for content with even colors like sports or generated graphics.
The monitor fares a bit better in our 5% gray uniformity test picture, as no major issues show themselves at this intensity, matching the low result in our standard deviation and DSE calculation.
The Dell S2716DG black uniformity is awful and is one of the worse we have measured. The edges of the monitor are all a bit brighter than the rest of the screen, and they even have a blue tint. There is also a strange rectangular zone near the center of the screen, where clouding is more prominent. All this results in a poor dark room performance, as those come up when displaying very dark content, and this is particularly striking when the monitor is used in a dark room.
Out of the box, this Dell monitor accuracy could be better. The most accurate picture mode was the 'Standard', but with a white balance dE of almost 4 and a color dE of over 3, most enthusiast out there could notice there is something wrong with the accuracy. The color temperature is not far from our target of 6500k, but when it comes to the gamma, if we look at the target curve, we see that the S2716DG undershoot it considerably.
After the 'Standard' picture mode, the 'Warm' picture mode is the second most accurate one, followed by the 'custom Color' and finally the 'Cool' picture mode.
After the calibration, which was done on the 'Custom Color' picture mode, the Dell S2716DG accuracy is excellent. Both the white balance dE and color dE are both under 1, which is very good since, at this level, inaccuracies are almost not perceivable at all. The color temperature is now almost on target (6500k) and the gamma, which was too low before calibration, is now also almost on target for both the value and the curve.
You can download our ICC profile calibration here.
Good reproduction of standard color gamuts. s.RGB is well represented by the S2716DG, giving no issue displaying most content. Unfortunately, its coverage of the Adobe RGB gamut is a bit lackluster.
Good SDR color volume. The Dell S2716DG can reproduce the great majority of the ubiquitous s.RGB volume. Like most monitors, it doesn't properly support the larger Adobe RGB colorspace leading to unsatisfactory coverage. In either cases though, a big limitation is the screen's low contrast ratio which renders it unable to display very dark tones.
HDR gamuts are not supported.
HDR volumes are not supported.
Perfect score on our image retention test for the Dell S2716DG, as no retention could be picked up by our image analysis.
The Dell S2716DG can display our gradient test image very well, and besides the 8-bit banding due to the panel limitation, not much comes up while looking at the test picture. Some really small issues can be seen in the darker color, but they are really minimal and overall, this is a good result.
The S2716DG produces an insignificant amount of color bleed. You're unlikely to notice its presence when displaying large vertically oriented elements of uniform color or fine grid pattern.
Motion looks excellent on the Dell S2716DG. It has an extremely fast response time, a flicker-free backlight, a high 144 Hz refresh rate and supports NVIDIA's G-Sync variable refresh rate. Most of these are a boon for almost any usage but are especially good for gaming.
Outstanding pixel response time, good enough for even the fastest motion. Most of the blur in the photo is due to 144 Hz persistence; barely any ghosting trail can be seen following the moving logo at all, which is excellent. The 'Response Time Normal' overdrive setting was the best; the 'Fast' setting had very bad overshoot and is not recommended. Overall, this response time is very fast, even better than most gaming monitors.
The Dell S2716 has a flicker-free backlight, which is great. However, it can also add optional flicker that matches the input frame rate, using NVIDIA's ULMB feature. This improves the look of motion by making moving objects sharper, as seen in the photo above. There is also a 'Pulse Width' option that can change the pulse width of the flicker, which can make motion even clearer by sacrificing brightness. Unfortunately, activating ULMB adds some overshoot to pixel transitions, which can be seen as inverted ghosts following the pattern in the photo as well as in this response time plot; however, this shouldn't be too noticeable in normal usage.
Update 07/03/2018: There was an error in the BFI Maximum Frequency (it is actually 120Hz). The review has been updated.
The Dell 2716DG has a high native refresh rate of 144 Hz, which will benefit almost any usage but especially gaming. The monitor also has G-Sync variable refresh rate technology, supporting a very wide range of frequencies; this is great when gaming on this monitor using an NVIDIA graphics card. Although the monitor does have an HDMI port, it is unfortunately limited to 2560x1440 @ 60 Hz and does not support G-Sync.
The Dell S2716DG has a large 27" 1440p panel, which will please during almost any usage. It also has excellent low input lag, good enough for even competitive gamers.
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|
BFI frequency tested: 120 Hz
Excellent low input lag, good enough for even competitive gamers. The G-Sync input lag is roughly equal to the native 144 Hz input lag, which is great; using the ULMB backlight flicker feature adds a little bit more input lag, but it's still fairly low. Unfortunately, during testing we couldn't get any non-native resolutions to work over DisplayPort, although the monitor's manual says that it can support 1024x768, 800x600 and 640x480 at 60 Hz. This isn't a concern for most people though as most graphics cards will handle the upscaling themselves and send a 2560x1440 signal anyway.
One of the 3.5mm analog audio out ports is a headphone port with adjustable volume, while the other is a fixed volume line out port.
The Dell S2716DG uses Dell's well organized on-screen display and has all the standard features expected of a monitor such as adjustable color and overdrive settings. It also has a 'Monitor Deep Sleep' feature for extra power saving.
The Dell Gaming S2716DG has a 'Monitor Deep Sleep' option to let it save even more power when it is in sleep mode.
We've tested the 27" S2716DG, another size is available.
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Dell S2716DG 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.
Update 07/09/2018: The S2716DG we reviewed was manufactured in September 2017 (A07 Revision).
The Dell S2716DG is a good monitor overall. It excels as a gaming monitor thanks to its many related features. It's priced quite competitively too, so it tends to be a good choice if you're looking for a gaming monitor (see our recommendations for the best gaming monitors and the best PC gaming monitors).
The Dell S2716DG is a bit better than the HP OMEN 27 mainly due to the better ergonomics that allow you to position the monitor to your liking. Other than that, the two monitors perform very similarly.
The Dell S2417DG has a very similar performance than the Dell S2716DG. The differences between the two monitors can be attributed to manufacturing panel variances. Both monitors have native QHD resolution but the S2716DG is bigger and this makes it more comfortable when you work on it or watch multimedia.
The ASUS ROG PG279Q is a significantly better monitor than the Dell S2716DG regardless of the usage. The IPS panel of the ASUS has better viewing angles, so when viewed from up close the image remains more accurate. The uniformity is also marginally better on the ASUS and this is good for a variety of usages.
The Acer Predator XB271HU is a monitor that has good viewing angles and performs better in almost all usages than the Dell S2716DG. But if you sit directly in front of the monitor and want the fastest response time for gaming, and an image with minimal blur, get the Dell. The Acer Predator XB271HU has better gray uniformity so that you browse the web without any clouding on your screen. On the other hand, the Dell S2716DG has better reflection handling.
If you will be sitting directly in front of the monitor and your primary usage will be gaming, then get the Dell S2716DG, but for usages where viewing angles are of importance, the Dell U2715H is a better choice. The Dell S2716DG has a faster refresh rate, a lower input lag, and a faster pixel response time that only leaves a small blur trail in fast-moving content. The Dell S2716DG has an option to clear motion blur and make the image crisper by introducing flicker. All these characteristics make it a better choice for gamers. The Dell U2715H, on the other hand, has an IPS panel, and the image remains good at wider angles off the center axis, and this is great if you will be looking at the monitor from the side.
The Samsung CHG70 is better than the Dell S2716DG. The Samsung CHG70 supports HDR and performs decently in that mode. The Samsung can display deeper blacks in a dark room due to the higher contrast ratio and local dimming support. The Samsung CHG70 also has better gray uniformity which is good when you browse the web. On the other hand, the Dell S2716DG has a faster pixel response time with a smaller blur trail, and better ergonomics so it is easier to position it comfortably.
The AOC AGON AG271QX is marginally better than the Dell S2716DG. The AG271QX has better black and gray uniformity which is great if your work involves a lot of web browsing or photo editing. The AOC AGON AG271QX also has a remarkable gradient with no visible banding. The Dell S2716DG, on the other hand, has an option to introduce flicker so as to make the image crisper.
The Dell S2716DG is better than the Dell U2717D for most users, unless you need a wider viewing angle. The S2716DG has better motion handling thanks to the higher native refresh rate, and lower input lag, great for gaming. The Dell U2717D uses an IPS panel and has wider horizontal and vertical viewing angles.