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'.
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. For a great gaming monitor with an optional BFI feature, check out the MSI Optix G272.
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.
The 27", 1440p screen is great for multitasking, and delivers a sharper image for gaming, so can see more fine details in your games.
There are a few additional features on the Dell S2721DGF, including the ability to display a frame counter or timer. Unlike many recent gaming monitors, there's no option to add crosshairs, which might be a bit disappointing.
Unlike the Dell S2719DGF, the controls are located on the back of the display. The buttons are larger, though, and menu navigation is done via a joystick, making it a bit easier to use.
We tested the Dell 27 gaming monitor S2721DGF, which is the only size available. There's an S2721DGFA variant that's only available in Europe but appears to be the same monitor. There are other gaming options available from Dell's 'S' series of monitors, some of which are listed below.
|Model||Size||Native Resolution||Refresh Rate||VRR||Panel||Notes|
|S2721DGFA||27"||2560x1440p||165Hz||FreeSync||IPS||EU version only|
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Dell S2721DGF doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we'll update the review. Note that some tests such as contrast, gray uniformity, and black uniformity may vary between individual units.
Our unit was manufactured in June 2020, and you can see the label here.
The Dell 27 gaming monitor S2721DGF is a great monitor overall. It's a great gaming monitor that also works well for office use, multimedia, or media creation. See our recommendations for the best gaming monitors, the best 27 inch monitors, and the best budget gaming monitors.
The Dell S2721DGF is a bit better overall than the LG 27GL850-B. The Dell has much better ergonomics, better build quality, and better reflection handling. On the other hand, the LG is more accurate out of the box, and for the two units we tested, the LG has better black uniformity, but this varies between units.
The Gigabyte M27Q and the Dell S2721DGF are very similar overall. Gaming-wise, the Dell has faster response times. Its refresh rate is just a bit lower, 165Hz compared to the Gigabyte's 170Hz; however, this is a small difference that isn't noticeable. It also has significantly better ergonomics, making it easier to position the screen the way you want. On the other hand, the Gigabyte has more features. It includes a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, an integrated KVM switch, and a Picture-in-Picture/Picture-by-Picture mode that lets you display two input signals simultaneously, which can be useful for streamers running on two computers.
The HP OMEN 27i and the Dell S2721DGF are very similar. They're both 27 inch IPS monitors with a 1440p resolution and 165Hz refresh rate. The Dell has better response times to deliver clearer motion with less blur trail behind fast-moving objects. It also has significantly better ergonomics because it can swivel and rotate to portrait mode, and it supports HDR.
The Dell S2721DGF is a bit better than the LG 27GL83A-B for most uses. The Dell has much better ergonomics, making it easier to place in an ideal viewing position, and it's better built. The Dell also has much better reflection handling. On the other hand, the LG is more accurate out of the box.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD and the Dell S2721DGF are both great monitors with similar gaming features. They're both 1440p monitors with a 165Hz refresh rate and outstanding response time. The MSI has a BFI feature, which the Dell doesn't, but it only works within a narrow frequency range. The MSI also has a USB-C input, which supports DisplayPort Alt Mode. On the other hand, the Dell is a better choice if you want to use it in a well-lit room because it has much better reflection handling. It also has a local dimming feature, but it performs terribly.
The Samsung Odyssey G7 LC32G75T and the Dell S2721DGF are very different monitors. The Samsung has a curved VA panel and is better suited for dark rooms, while the Dell has a flat IPS panel with wider viewing angles. Gaming-wise, the Samsung performs better mainly because it has a much higher refresh rate, 240Hz compared to the Dell's 165Hz. The Dell has better response time at max refresh rate, though, especially in dark transitions. The Samsung is available in a 27 inch and 32 inch size, while the Dell is only available in a 27 inch size.
The Dell Alienware AW2721D and the Dell S2721DGF are both great gaming monitors with similar performance. That said, the AW2721D has a higher max refresh rate and slightly better picture quality overall. They have similar response times, although the S2721DGF experiences less overshoot. The S2721DGF has much better reflection handling and better ergonomics, but the AW2721D feels better built, gets significantly brighter in SDR and HDR, and has much better accuracy out-of-the-box, although this can vary between units. The S2721DGF may represent a better value to some people.
The Dell S3220DGF and the Dell S2721DGF both have a 1440p resolution and a 165Hz refresh rate, but they have different panel types. The S3220DGF has a 32 inch curved VA panel, while the S2721DGF has a 27 inch flat IPS panel. The S2721DGF's motion handling is significantly better because it has much quicker response times. It also has better reflection handling, wider viewing angles, and gets brighter to combat glare. If you mostly game in the dark, the S3220DGF might be a better choice because it has a much higher contrast ratio to produce deeper blacks.
Overall, the Dell S2721DGF performs better than the Dell S2721HGF. The S2721DGF has a 1440p resolution compared to the S2721HGF's 1080p and a higher 165Hz refresh rate. It also has a better response time at max refresh rate and 60Hz, resulting in clearer images in fast-moving scenes. The S2721DGF has an IPS panel with much wider viewing angles, and the stand allows for more ergonomic adjustments, making it a better choice for sharing content or playing co-op games. If you often game in the dark, the S2721HGF might be a better choice due to its higher contrast ratio.
The ASUS TUF VG27AQ is slightly better than the Dell S2721DGF overall, but the Dell might be a better choice. The ASUS has better vertical viewing angles, and the unit we tested has better black uniformity, but this varies. On the other hand, the Dell has much better reflection handling and faster response time, resulting in clearer motion.
The Dell S2721DGF is a bit better overall than the LG 27GN850-B, but the two monitors are very similar. The Dell has a max refresh rate of 165Hz, as opposed to the LG's 144Hz, and this results in a slightly quicker response time. It also has much better ergonomics, making it a better choice for office use, and it gets brighter. On the other hand, the LG has much better out-of-the-box accuracy, so you may not need to get it calibrated.
The Dell S2721DGF is much better than the Gigabyte G27QC. The Dell has significantly better ergonomics, faster response time, and its IPS panel provides much wider viewing angles. The Gigabyte's higher contrast ratio is better for dark rooms, and it has better color accuracy out-of-the-box.
The Dell S2721DGF and the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A are two monitors that perform very similarly overall. The Dell has better ergonomics, gets brighter in SDR, has better reflection handling, and the response time is much quicker. However, the ASUS has a BFI feature, its max refresh rate is 170Hz, and it gets brighter and displays a wider color gamut in HDR.
The Dell S2721DGF and the LG 27GP83B-B perform nearly identically. The Dell has better ergonomics, though, with a wider swivel range, better height adjustment, and it can switch to portrait orientation in either direction. The other differences between them are minor and can mainly be attributed to panel variance, but the LG we bought has better black uniformity, a slightly better response time, and better accuracy out of the box.
Overall, the Dell S2721QS is marginally better than the Dell S2721DGF; however, they're intended for different uses. The S2721QS is a 4k monitor with a basic 60Hz panel while the S2721DGF is a gaming monitor with a 1440p resolution and a 165Hz refresh rate. The S2721QS delivers sharper text and has better color accuracy out of the box. The S2721DGF has better ergonomics, faster response time, and lower input lag.
The Acer Nitro XV272U KVbmiiprzx and the Dell S2721DGF are both 27 inch IPS monitors with a 1440p resolution. The Acer has a slightly higher refresh rate of 170Hz next to the Dell's 165Hz, but the difference is small and shouldn't be noticeable to most people. The Acer has better response times, especially at 60Hz. Other than that, the only other big difference between them is the screen brightness. The Dell gets a lot brighter in SDR, making it better suited for well-lit rooms; however, the Acer has higher brightness in HDR.
The Dell S2721DGF and the LG 27GP850-B are very similar, each with strengths and weaknesses. The LG has an optional black frame insertion feature, which can help reduce the amount of persistence blur seen on-screen. The Dell has a more versatile stand, as it can swivel and switch to portrait orientation on either side, and it feels a bit better built than the LG.
The Dell S2721DGF and the MSI Optix G273QF are two 1440p, 165Hz monitors with IPS panels, and the Dell is better for most uses. The Dell has much better ergonomics, allowing you to place the screen how you like, and it's better for well-lit rooms as it gets brighter and has much better reflection handling. The Dell also supports HDR, which the MSI doesn't, but it doesn't deliver a true HDR experience because it has low peak brightness and a terrible local dimming feature.
The LG 32GP850-B is slightly better than the Dell S2721DGF, but the main differences are minor and could be due to panel variance. The LG has more screen real estate, a faster refresh rate, better black uniformity, and it's more accurate out of the box. The LG, on the other hand, has better ergonomics and seems to be better-built.
The Dell S2721DGF is much better than the Samsung Odyssey G5 overall. The Dell has better gaming performance due to its higher refresh rate, faster response time, and lower input lag. It also has wider viewing angles, higher peak brightness, and significantly better ergonomics. However, the Samsung's VA panel has a better contrast ratio, and it has a Black Frame Insertion feature to improve motion clarity.
The Dell S2721DGF and the Acer Predator XB273U GXbmiipruzx both perform well when it comes to gaming, but the Acer has a significantly higher refresh rate at 270Hz, while the Dell maxes out at 165Hz. Still, both have exceptional response times and low input lag. The Acer has a few extra features that the Dell doesn't, like Black Frame Insertion (BFI), built-in speakers, and a USB-C port with power delivery and DisplayPort Alt mode.
Overall, the Dell S2721DGF is significantly better than the Dell S2721D. The S2721DGF is a better choice for gaming, as it has faster response time, lower input lag, and a much higher refresh rate. It also has better ergonomics, wider viewing angles, and supports HDR. However, the S2721D has better screen uniformity and color accuracy out-of-the-box.
The LG 27GN880-B and the Dell S2721DGF are both 27 inch 1440p monitors. They have very similar response times, but the Dell has a slightly higher refresh rate of 165Hz versus the LG's 144Hz. Feature-wise, the LG comes with a monitor arm with a wider swivel range, and it takes up less desk space. The Dell has a USB hub with four USB ports, whereas the LG has none. If you tend to game in a bright room with a lot of glare, the Dell might be a better choice because it has better reflection handling and gets a bit brighter overall.
The Dell S2721DGF is slightly better than the LG 27GN950-B for gaming. The Dell has much better ergonomics, significantly better reflection handling, a lower input lag, and a slightly quicker response time at its max refresh rate. However, the LG has a higher 4k resolution, better out-of-the-box color accuracy, a quicker response time, and a lower input lag at 60Hz.
The ASUS ROG Strix XG279Q is slightly better than the Dell S2721DGF. The ASUS has a BFI feature, a quicker response time at 60Hz, a slightly higher max refresh rate, and much better color accuracy. However, the Dell has a quicker response time at its max refresh rate and a much lower input lag at 60Hz.
The Dell S2721DGF is much better than the AOC CQ27G2 for most users. The Dell has much better ergonomics, higher peak brightness, better reflection handling, and much better motion handling. The Dell also has wide viewing angles. On the other hand, the AOC has better contrast, so it might be a better choice for a dark room.
The Dell S2721DGF and the LG 32GN650-B are both gaming monitors, but they use different panel types with different advantages and disadvantages, and they are differently sized. The Dell is a 27 inch IPS monitor, so it has much wider viewing angles, resulting in an image that stays accurate when viewed from the side. However, it has a much lower contrast ratio than the VA panel on the LG, meaning that blacks appear grayish in the dark. The LG is better suited to dark room gaming. Its larger screen size also means it has a lower pixel density than the Dell, so the image isn't quite as sharp. The Dell also has a faster response time for clear motion, and it gets brighter, making it more suited to well-lit rooms.
The ASUS TUF Gaming VG249Q1A and the Dell S2721DGF are great gaming monitors with a 165Hz refresh rate, but the ASUS has a 24" screen with a 1080p resolution, while the Dell has a 27" screen with a 1440p resolution. They're very similar in terms of gaming performance; the main differences are in the features. The Dell has USB ports, significantly better ergonomics, and it gets a lot brighter to combat glare. It also supports HDR and a wide color gamut.
The Dell S2721DGF is much better than the MSI Optix G272. The Dell has much better ergonomics, better viewing angles, and a higher resolution screen. The Dell supports HDR, but this doesn't add much. On the other hand, the MSI has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature, and the unit we bought has better black uniformity, but this varies between units.
Although the Dell S2721DGF and the LG 34GP83A-B have different screen sizes and aspect ratios, they're quite similar in gaming performance. Both monitors have exceptional response times, and the Dell's 165Hz refresh rate is only marginally higher than the LG's 160Hz. The Dell has better ergonomics and wider viewing angles, making it a better choice for sharing content or playing co-op games. On the other hand, the LG's 21:9 aspect ratio feels more immersive and provides more space for multitasking.
The Dell S2721DGF and the Lepow Z1 are completely different displays that target different uses. The Lepow is a portable monitor designed for office/productivity, while the Dell is a desktop gaming monitor. The Dell vastly outperforms the Lepow in almost every way, but the Lepow is far more portable.