The Dell S2721DGF is a 27 inch, 1440p monitor, with great all-around performance. The IPS panel delivers wide viewing angles, but unfortunately, this comes at the expense of contrast. It has an excellent response time, with very little blur behind fast-moving objects, and it has outstanding low input lag for a responsive gaming experience. It's a versatile monitor, with outstanding ergonomics, great reflection handling, and a high peak brightness in SDR, so glare isn't an issue in a bright room. Although this monitor supports HDR and can display a wide color gamut, it can't get very bright in HDR and has low contrast, so HDR doesn't add much.
The Dell S2721DGF is a great monitor for most uses. It has wide viewing angles, excellent ergonomics, and great reflection handling, making it a very good choice for office use or multimedia. Motion looks great thanks to the excellent response time, and it has low input lag, making it a great choice for gaming as well. Unfortunately, although it supports HDR, this doesn't add much due to the low peak brightness and low contrast.
The Dell S2721DGF is a great office monitor. The 27", 1440p screen is great for multitasking, and it has wide viewing angles, great if you often share your screen with someone else. It has great reflection handling and high peak brightness in SDR, so glare shouldn't be an issue in a bright room. Unfortunately, it has a low contrast ratio and bad black uniformity, so it's not ideal if you're in a dark room.
The Dell 27 gaming monitor S2721DGF is great for gaming. It has an excellent response time, resulting in clear motion with little blur behind fast-moving objects, whether you're gaming on a high-end PC or a console. It also has low input lag, for a responsive gaming experience. Finally, it supports AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, and it's certified to work with NVIDIA's G-SYNC Compatible mode.
The Dell S2721DGF is a very good choice for multimedia. The wide horizontal viewing angle makes it a great choice for watching the latest trending videos with some friends. The high SDR peak brightness and great reflection handling means you don't have to worry about glare in a bright room. It doesn't look as good in the dark, though, due to the low contrast ratio and bad black uniformity, which might disappoint some people.
The Dell S2721DGF is a great choice for media creators. The large, high-resolution screen makes it easier to see more of your work at once. It has excellent ergonomics and an outstanding horizontal viewing angle, so you can easily share the screen with clients or colleagues. It also has an outstanding SDR color gamut, with great coverage of the Adobe RGB color space.
The Dell S2721DGF is a decent monitor for HDR gaming, mainly due to the outstanding response time and low input lag. Although it supports HDR, it can't get very bright in HDR and has a low contrast ratio. Although there's a local dimming feature, it's not very effective due to the limited number of zones. Overall, HDR doesn't add much.
The Dell S2721DGF has a slightly different design from most Dell monitors we've tested, with a redesigned stand and a gaming-inspired design on the back. It has thin bezels on three sides, outstanding ergonomics, and a great stand. Like most Dell monitors, it's well-built, and it fits into any decor.
The stand is very different from other Dells we've tested. It supports the monitor well, but the base is slightly more bulky than other Dell monitors.
Typical for a Dell monitor, the stand has excellent ergonomics, making it a very versatile choice.
The back has a different design than other Dell S-series monitors we've tested, like the Dell S3220DGF. Although there is a bias lighting feature, you can only turn it on or off, and it's a fixed color (blue). There's a hole in the stand for cable management, and although it's pretty basic, it works well and helps to keep your cables neat.
The borders are thin on three sides, making this a great choice for a multi-monitor setup.
The Dell S2721DGF is a bit thicker than the Dell S2719DGF, but it's not very noticeable.
Like most Dell monitors, it has great build quality. Although it's mainly made of plastic, the panels are sturdy and appear well-built. The hinge on the stand is solid and easy to use.
Like most IPS monitors, the Dell S2721DGF has a low contrast ratio, so blacks look gray if you're in a dark room. The local dimming feature helps to improve black levels a bit, but it's only available in HDR. This is pretty close to Dell's advertised typical contrast ratio of 1000:1, but this varies between units.
Although not advertised to support it, the Dell S2721DGF has a local dimming feature. It's automatically enabled with HDR, and can't be turned off. Unfortunately, due to the limited number of zones, it's not very effective. Zone changes can be clearly seen, and there's significant blooming around bright objects in dark scenes due to the large area of each dimming zone.
Great peak brightness, with no noticeable variation with different content. This monitor can easily overcome glare if you're in a bright viewing environment.
Okay peak brightness in HDR. Small specular highlights stand out a bit, but they're not as bright as they should be. Most real content isn't much brighter than SDR. We measured the HDR peak brightness with the Smart HDR setting set to 'DisplayHDR'.
Unlike the TN panel on the Dell S2719DGF, the Dell S2721DGF uses an IPS panel, and the horizontal viewing angle is excellent. This is great if you often share your screen with someone else.
The vertical viewing angle is passable, but it's not ideal if you often share your screen with someone standing beside you.
The Dell S2721DGF has excellent gray uniformity. The sides of the screen are a bit darker than the center, but this isn't very noticeable. There's very little dirty screen effect (DSE) in the center, which is especially important for sports games or even browsing the web. In near-dark scenes, the uniformity is even better, with almost no noticeable issues. Uniformity varies between units, though, so let us know if you get one that looks worse than ours.
Unfortunately, our Dell S2721DGF has bad black uniformity. There's significant clouding throughout the screen, and some light bleed in the corners (commonly called IPS glow). Local dimming makes it worse, due to the limited number of zones, causing significant clouding around the test cross. This varies between units, though, so let us know if you get one that's better than ours.
Unfortunately, there are some noticeable issues out-of-the-box. There are noticeable inaccuracies in brighter shades of gray, and most colors aren't displayed accurately. On the other hand, gamma follows the sRGB target curve, and only some darker scenes are displayed a bit darker than they should be. Note that the exact out-of-the-box calibration can vary between units. If color accuracy is important to you, check out the ASUS ROG Strix XG279Q.
After calibration, there are no noticeable issues with any color, or with the white balance. Gamma follows the sRGB target curve almost perfectly, and the color temperature is very close to our target of 6500K.
You can download our ICC profile calibration here. This is provided for reference only and shouldn't be used, as the calibration values vary per individual unit even for the same model due to manufacturing tolerances.
The Dell S2721DGF has an outstanding SDR color gamut, with perfect coverage of the sRGB color space used by most web content, and great coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space.
Outstanding SDR color volume. The Dell S2721DGF can't produce dark, saturated colors due to the low contrast ratio. Like most LCD monitors, it can't produce bright blues either, but this isn't very noticeable.
The Dell S2721DGF has a decent HDR color gamut. It can display a wide color gamut, and coverage of the DCI P3 color space used by most current HDR content is satisfactory.
Note that the DCI P3 coverage is much lower than the 98% coverage advertised by Dell. This is normal and is due to the way we measure DCI P3. Like all reviewers, we measure DCI P3 by sending a Rec. 2020 signal, but unlike most reviewers, we limit the colors we're sending to the DCI P3 primaries. This results in a lower, but arguably more accurate measurement.
Okay HDR color volume. It can't display dark saturated colors very well, and can't fill out it's gamut, especially in bright scenes.
There are no signs of temporary image retention on our Dell S2721DGF. This can vary between units, though, so let us know if you see signs of image retention.
The Dell S2721DGF has outstanding gradient handling, with no noticeable banding in most shades.
There's no noticeable color bleed on our unit.
The Dell S2721DGF has great reflection handling. Combined with the high peak brightness, glare shouldn't be an issue, even in a bright room.
Update 10/21/2020: We received reports of people noticing a row of dim pixels when using a 60Hz refresh rate. We were able to recreate this issue and this dim row only appears at 60Hz.
Decent text clarity, but it's recommended to enable ClearType for the best results. This is especially noticeable in diagonal or curved lines, as seen in the top photo. When using the monitor at 60Hz, a row of pixels near the bottom dim, as you can see in this photo. If you have this monitor, let us know if you have the same issue.
|Overdrive Setting||Response Time Chart||Response Time Tables||Motion Blur Photo|
The Dell S2721DGF has an outstanding response time at the maximum refresh rate. Fast-moving objects are very clear, with only a short blur trail behind them. Like most gaming monitors, the level of overdrive can be adjusted, but we recommend the lowest setting, 'Fast'. Higher settings have slightly faster Rise/Fall times, but due to the level of overshoot, the total response time is slower.
|Overdrive Setting||Response Time Chart||Response Time Tables||Motion Blur Photo|
Outstanding 60Hz response time, with a much faster total response time than the Dell S2719DGF. There's very little overshoot, and only a very short blur trail behind fast-moving objects. We recommend the 'Fast' overdrive setting, as the higher settings are slower overall, with more noticeable overshoot.
The backlight doesn't use PWM to dim, but there's a very high-frequency flicker. This is extremely unusual, we rechecked it with different equipment and confirmed that it's flickering at about 20kHz. This isn't at all noticeable in person.
There's no optional Black Frame Insertion feature on this monitor.
The Dell S2721DGF has a very high refresh rate, great for gaming. It supports AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, and it's also certified by NVIDIA to work with their G-SYNC Compatible technology. Although FreeSync works over both HDMI and DisplayPort, G-SYNC mode only works over DisplayPort.
Over HDMI, the maximum refresh rate is 144Hz.
The Dell S2721DGF has outstanding low input lag, which is important for a responsive gaming experience. The 60Hz input lag is slightly higher than the Dell S2719DGF, but this isn't a noticeable difference.
Note: Due to limitations with our testing equipment, the HDR input lag was measured over HDMI at 60Hz.