Dell S2721HGF Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Reviewed Jan 14, 2021 at 09:58 am
Dell S2721HGF Picture
7.3
Mixed Usage
7.3
Office
8.1
Gaming
7.0
Multimedia
7.0
Media Creation
5.8
HDR Gaming
Size 27"
Resolution 1920x1080
Max Refresh Rate
144 Hz
Pixel Type
VA
Variable Refresh Rate
Adaptive Sync

The Dell S2721HGF is a great budget gaming monitor with a curved screen. It delivers smooth and responsive gameplay thanks to its low input lag, excellent response time, and 144Hz refresh rate. It has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature that can improve motion clarity, and it supports variable refresh rate technology to reduce screen tearing. It has a high contrast ratio to produce deep blacks, making it a good option for dark rooms, and it provides good visibility in bright settings. Although it has a VA panel, the viewing angles are okay, good enough for sharing content casually or playing co-op games. However, images still look slightly inaccurate from the side and might not be ideal for sharing work that requires accuracy. Lastly, it doesn't support HDR, and it only allows for height and tilt adjustments.

Our Verdict

7.3 Mixed Usage

The Dell S2721HGF is decent for most uses. It has low input lag, fast response time, and a high refresh rate, making it great for gaming. However, it's only decent for work and media consumption, mainly due to its 1080p resolution and poor ergonomics. Its viewing angles are okay, better than most VA panels. They're good enough for sharing content casually or co-op gaming, but not for sharing work that requires image accuracy. Unfortunately, it doesn't support HDR.

Pros
  • High contrast ratio.
  • Good reflection handling.
  • Large screen size.
Cons
  • Poor ergonomics.
  • 1080p resolution might be too low for some.
  • Images look slightly inaccurate from the side.
7.3 Office

The Dell S2721HGF is decent for office use. It has a large screen that allows you to open multiple windows side-by-side; however, the 1080p resolution might be too low for some. The viewing angles are okay, good enough for sharing work such as Word documents or Excel spreadsheets, but there's still some loss of image accuracy when viewed from the side, so it might not be ideal if you need to share work that requires precision. Unfortunately, the ergonomics are sub-par as it only allows for height and tilt adjustments.

Pros
  • High contrast ratio.
  • Good reflection handling.
  • Large screen size.
Cons
  • Poor ergonomics.
  • 1080p resolution might be too low for some.
  • Images look slightly inaccurate from the side.
8.1 Gaming

The Dell S2721HGF is great for gaming. It has excellent response time, low input lag, and a 144Hz refresh rate, resulting in smooth and responsive gameplay. It supports Adaptive Sync and is compatible with FreeSync and G-SYNC to reduce screen tearing. Its 1080p resolution isn't the most immersive, but it helps to achieve a higher frame rate, especially for those with lower-end hardware. It has a VA panel with a high contrast ratio, allowing it to produce deep blacks, great for gaming in the dark.

Pros
  • High refresh rate.
  • Excellent response time.
  • High contrast ratio.
  • Large screen size.
Cons
  • Poor ergonomics.
  • 1080p resolution might be too low for some.
7.0 Multimedia

The Dell S2721HGF is decent for media consumption. It has a large 27 inch screen that feels immersive, but the 1080p resolution might be too low for some. It handles reflections well and gets bright enough to fight glare in well-lit rooms, and it has a high contrast ratio that makes it great for dark rooms. The viewing angles are okay and should be good enough for sharing content casually, although there's still some loss of image accuracy when viewed from the side. Unfortunately, it doesn't support HDR.

Pros
  • High contrast ratio.
  • Good reflection handling.
  • Large screen size.
Cons
  • Poor ergonomics.
  • 1080p resolution might be too low for some.
  • No HDR support.
7.0 Media Creation

The Dell S2721HGF is decent for content creation. It has an excellent SDR color gamut with near-full sRGB coverage and good Adobe RGB coverage. The screen provides plenty of space for multitasking, but the 1080p might not be enough for some people. Sadly, while the viewing angles are okay and quite good for a VA panel, images still look slightly inaccurate when viewed from the side. Also, the ergonomics are poor, so it might be hard to place the screen at your optimal viewing position.

Pros
  • High contrast ratio.
  • Good reflection handling.
  • Excellent SDR color gamut.
  • Large screen size.
Cons
  • Poor ergonomics.
  • 1080p resolution might be too low for some.
  • Images look slightly inaccurate from the side.
  • No HDR support.
5.8 HDR Gaming

The Dell S2721HGF doesn't support HDR.

  • 7.3 Mixed Usage
  • 7.3 Office
  • 8.1 Gaming
  • 7.0 Multimedia
  • 7.0 Media Creation
  • 5.8 HDR Gaming
  1. Updated Jan 14, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Jan 11, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Curved Yes
Curve Radius 1500R
Weight (without stand)
9.0 lbs (4.1 kg)
Weight (with stand)
15.0 lbs (6.8 kg)

The Dell S2721HGF has a somewhat gamer-oriented design that's almost identical to the Dell S2721DGF, but with a curved screen. It has thin borders on three sides with a slightly thicker bottom bezel and a simple stand with a hexagon-shaped base.

Design
Stand
Width
9.2" (23.3 cm)
Depth
7.6" (19.4 cm)

The stand is a mix of metal and plastic. It's very sturdy, and the monitor doesn't wobble much. The base is smaller than the one on the Dell S2721DGF, leaving you more usable desk space.

5.2
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
5.0" (12.8 cm)
Switch Portrait/Landscape No
Swivel Range No swivel
Tilt Range -21° to 5°

The ergonomics are poor. It only allows for height and tilt adjustments.

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 100x100

The back is plastic and looks almost identical to the Dell S2721DGF, but without the RGB lighting around the airflow vents. The cutout in the stand is for cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders
0.3" (0.7 cm)

The borders are thin and aren't distracting, making it a good option for multi-monitor setups.

Design
Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
6.2" (15.8 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
2.8" (7.1 cm)

The Dell S2721HGF is relatively thin for a curved monitor. It doesn't require a deep desk, but it sticks out a bit when VESA-mounted.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The build quality is great. The plastic back feels strong, and the stand feels sturdy. There's a small gap between the bottom bezel and the screen, but it's only noticeable if you're up close and tugging on it.

Picture Quality
8.1
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
3,432 : 1
Contrast With Local Dimming
N/A

The Dell S2721HGF has a great contrast ratio that results in deep blacks, making it a good choice for dark rooms. It's quite a bit higher than the advertised 3000:1; however, contrast can vary between individual units.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

The Dell S2721HGF doesn't have a local dimming feature. The video above is provided for reference only.

7.5
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
288 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
320 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
322 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
322 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
322 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
322 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
320 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
321 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
322 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
322 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
322 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.000

The Dell S2721HGF has good SDR peak brightness. There's virtually no variation in brightness when displaying different content. It's bright enough to provide good visibility in most lighting conditions, but it may struggle a bit to overcome intense glare in very bright, sunlit rooms.

We measured the SDR peak brightness after calibration in the 'Custom' Picture Mode with Brightness set to max.

0
Picture Quality
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

This monitor doesn't support HDR.

6.9
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
46°
Color Washout From Right
45°
Color Shift From Left
68°
Color Shift From Right
69°
Brightness Loss From Left
46°
Brightness Loss From Right
45°
Black Level Raise From Left
23°
Black Level Raise From Right
21°
Gamma Shift From Left
18°
Gamma Shift From Right
17°

The horizontal viewing angles are okay, better than most VA panel monitors. It should be good enough for sharing content casually or for co-op gaming, but it isn't ideal for sharing work that requires image accuracy. If you prefer something with better viewing angles, then look into the HP X24ih.

6.0
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
33°
Color Washout From Above
34°
Color Shift From Below
53°
Color Shift From Above
54°
Brightness Loss From Below
35°
Brightness Loss From Above
35°
Black Level Raise From Below
16°
Black Level Raise From Above
15°
Gamma Shift From Below
17°
Gamma Shift From Above
19°

The vertical viewing angles are mediocre. This makes the image look inaccurate if you have the monitor mounted above eye level.

8.6
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
3.023%
50% DSE
0.114%
5% Std. Dev.
0.599%
5% DSE
0.072%

The Dell S2721HGF has excellent gray uniformity; however, this can vary between units due to manufacturing tolerances. Dirty screen effect is pretty minimal, but the left side of the screen is visibly darker than the rest. Uniformity is much better in near-dark scenes.

5.4
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
2.427%
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

Black uniformity is poor, but this can vary between units. There's a lot of backlight bleed along the top and bottom edges of the screen. That said, this is only noticeable when viewing dark scenes in a dark environment.

8.0
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
Standard
Luminance
250 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
75
Contrast Setting
75
RGB Controls
100-100-100
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Color Temperature
6,353 K
White Balance dE
2.73
Color dE
2.27
Gamma
2.25

The Dell S2721HGF has great accuracy out of the box. Most colors and shades of gray are only slightly inaccurate and hard to spot. The color temperature is on the warm side, which gives the picture a slight reddish tint. Gamma follows the sRGB curve relatively well, but both dark and bright scenes appear darker than they should. Note that accuracy can vary between individual units.

9.6
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
Custom Color
Luminance
99 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
21
Contrast Setting
78
RGB Controls
100-98-100
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Color Temperature
6,536 K
White Balance dE
0.48
Color dE
0.61
Gamma
2.18

Accuracy is exceptional after calibration. The remaining color inaccuracies aren't visible to the naked eye, and white balance is nearly perfect. The color temperature is much closer to our 6500K target, just a little on the cooler side. Gamma is much improved, but very dark and very bright scenes are now slightly too bright.

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 due to manufacturing tolerances, even for the same model.

8.6
Picture Quality
SDR Color Gamut
sRGB xy
96.8%
Adobe RGB xy
75.8%
sRGB Picture Mode
Custom Color
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Custom Color

The Dell S2721HGF has an excellent SDR color gamut. It has near-full coverage of the commonly-used sRGB color space and good coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, which is mostly used for photo editing. If you want something with much better coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, then consider the MSI Optix G27C6.

8.9
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB In ICtCp
97.1%
Adobe RGB In ICtCp
81.3%
sRGB Picture Mode
Custom Color
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Custom Color

The SDR color volume is excellent; however, it has trouble displaying dark colors despite its high contrast ratio.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
N/A
DCI P3 xy
N/A
Rec. 2020 xy
N/A
DCI P3 Picture Mode
No HDR
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
No HDR

This monitor doesn't support HDR.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 In ICtCp
N/A
Rec. 2020 In ICtCp
N/A
DCI P3 Picture Mode
No HDR
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
No HDR

This monitor doesn't support HDR.

10
Picture Quality
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%

There are no signs of image retention, even after displaying a high-contrast image for ten minutes. However, this can vary between individual units.

8.6
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
8 Bit

The Dell S2721HGF has excellent gradient handling. The most visible banding is in the grays, and there's a little bit in the greens and reds. That said, it shouldn't be an issue with most content.

10
Picture Quality
Color Bleed
Pixel Row Error
0.000%
Pixel Column Error
0.001%

There are no signs of color bleed.

7.9
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
4.5%
Indirect Reflections
2.7%
Calculated Direct Reflections
1.8%

The Dell S2721HGF has good reflection handling. Glare shouldn't be an issue in most lighting conditions, but it can struggle a bit in very bright rooms with direct sunlight.

7.0
Picture Quality
Text Clarity
Sub-Pixel Layout
RGB

Text clarity is decent. Windows ClearType can improve clarity a bit (top photo), especially with diagonal lines, but it behaves strangely as it causes some pixels to remain partially lit. We're not sure what causes this behavior. We tested it with different computers and obtained the same results.

Motion
8.6
Motion
Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
Best Overdrive Setting
Super Fast
Rise / Fall Time
5.0 ms
Total Response Time
13.0 ms
Overshoot Error
3.5%
Dark Rise / Fall Time
4.0 ms
Dark Total Response Time
14.8 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
8.3%

Overdrive Setting Response Time Chart Response Time Tables Motion Blur Photo
Fast Chart Table Photo
Super Fast Chart Table Photo
Extreme Chart Table Photo

The Dell S2721HGF has excellent response time at its max refresh rate. It's a little slow in the darker transitions, so you may notice a bit more blur trail in dark scenes. The best overdrive setting is 'Super Fast' because it provides the best performance while keeping overshoot at an acceptable level.

7.1
Motion
Response Time @ 60Hz
Best Overdrive Setting
Super Fast
Rise / Fall Time
6.0 ms
Total Response Time
19.6 ms
Overshoot Error
6.4%
Dark Rise / Fall Time
6.5 ms
Dark Total Response Time
24.5 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
10.9%

Overdrive Setting Response Time Chart Response Time Tables Motion Blur Photo
Fast Chart Table Photo
Super Fast Chart Table Photo
Extreme Chart Table Photo

The response time at 60Hz is decent. However, it's much slower than at its max refresh rate, and there's also more overshoot. The best overdrive setting is again 'Super Fast', which means you don't have to change the overdrive setting if your frame rate drops. The 'Extreme' option has a slower total response time and significantly more overshoot.

10
Motion
Image Flicker
Flicker-Free Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz

The Dell S2721HGF has a flicker-free backlight, which helps minimize image duplication and reduce eye strain.

6.0
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Yes
BFI Maximum Frequency
144 Hz
BFI Minimum Frequency
120 Hz

The Dell S2721HGF has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature to improve motion clarity called MPRT, and it's accessible as an overdrive setting in the settings menu. However, it isn't usable while VRR is active, and it only works within a narrow frequency range. Note that the BFI score is based on the minimum and maximum frequency at which it can operate, not the BFI's performance.

9.0
Motion
Refresh Rate
Native
144 Hz
Max Refresh Rate
144 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
FreeSync
Yes
G-SYNC
Compatible (NVIDIA Certified)
VRR Maximum
144 Hz
VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors DisplayPort, HDMI

The Dell S2721HGHF has a high refresh rate to deliver a smooth and responsive gaming experience, and it supports Adaptive Sync to reduce screen tearing. It's compatible with FreeSync and G-SYNC; however, G-SYNC only works over a DisplayPort connection.

Inputs
9.5
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution
4.1 ms
Native Resolution @ 60Hz
8.9 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
4.9 ms
Variable Refresh Rate @ 60Hz
9.9 ms
10 Bit HDR
N/A
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
8.9 ms

The Dell S2721HGF has exceptionally low input lag, resulting in an extremely responsive gaming experience. Most people shouldn't feel any delay.

7.1
Inputs
Resolution And Size
Native Resolution 1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Megapixels 2.1 MP
Pixel Density
82 PPI
Screen Diagonal 27.0"
Screen Area 310 in²

The Dell S2721HGF has a decent resolution and size. The 27 inch screen provides an immersive gaming experience and plenty of space for multitasking. However, the 1080p resolution might be too low for some, especially for productivity.

Inputs
Inputs
Inputs
Total Inputs
DisplayPort 1 (DP 1.4)
Mini DisplayPort No
HDMI 2 (HDMI 1.4)
DVI No
VGA No
DisplayPort Out No
USB No
USB C No
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 1
Microphone In 3.5mm No
Digital Optical Audio Out No
Analog Audio Out RCA No
Power Supply Internal
Features
Features
Additional Features
RGB Illumination
No
Speakers
No
HDR10 No
Multiple Input Display
No

The Dell S2721HGF has a few additional features, including:

  • Timer: Adds a timer on the screen.
  • Frame rate counter: Adds an overlay showing the current frame rate.
  • Display alignment: Helps align displays in a multi-monitor setup.
  • Dark stabilizer: Makes objects more visible in dark scenes.

Features
On-Screen Display (OSD)
Features
Controls

The controls consist of four buttons and a joystick located on the right backside of the screen. They allow you to power the monitor On/Off and navigate the on-screen menu.

Features
In The Box

  • User guide
  • HDMI cable
  • Power cord

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Dell S2721HGF 27 inch gaming monitor, and it's the only size available. There are other similar monitors with various configurations, some of which you can see in the table below.

Model Size Panel Type Resolution Refresh Rate Curved
S2721HGF 27" VA 1920 x 1080 165Hz Yes
S2721DGF 27" IPS 2560 x 1440 165Hz No
S2421HGF 24" TN 1920 x 1080 144Hz No
S3220DGF 32" VA 2560 x 1440 165Hz Yes

If someone comes across a different type of panel or their Dell S2721HGF doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we'll update the review. Note that some tests, such as gray uniformity, may vary between individual units.

Our unit was manufactured in October 2020; you can see the label here.

Compared To Other Monitors

The Dell S2721HGF is a great budget gaming monitor. However, its 1080p resolution might be too low for some, especially for work or media consumption. The AOC CQ27G2 is a great 1440p option that performs similarly gaming-wise, but it doesn't get as bright to combat glare, and it has narrower viewing angles. For more options, check out our recommendations for the best budget gaming monitors, the best 1080p monitors, and the best 27 inch monitors.

Dell S2721DGF

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.

Samsung Odyssey G5 LC27G55T

The Dell S2721HGF and the Samsung Odyssey G5 LC27G55T are both 27 inch, 144Hz VA panel monitors, but the Samsung has a 1440p resolution while the Dell is 1080p. The Dell has a better response time, especially in dark scenes. It has better ergonomics because it allows for height adjustment, and the viewing angles are better, quite good for a VA panel. The Dell gets brighter to combat glare; however, you might still have some visibility issues in very well-lit, sunny environments. The Samsung has HDR support, but it doesn't add much since it can't display a wide color gamut.

AOC CQ27G2

The Dell S2721HGF and the AOC CQ27G2 score similarly overall; however, there are a few differences between them. The AOC has a higher 1440p resolution compared to the Dell's 1080p, making it a better choice if you also use it for work, but its response time isn't as good as the Dell's, especially in dark scenes. Both monitors have VA panels that are well-suited for dark rooms; however, the Dell is better for well-lit rooms because it gets a lot brighter. If you often share your screen with others, the Dell has wider viewing angles, but it doesn't allow for any swivel adjustment, which the AOC does.

Samsung Odyssey G3 LF27G35T

The Dell S2721HGF and the Samsung Odyssey G3 LF27G35T are both decent monitors. They share similar characteristics with VA panels, a 1080p resolution, and 144Hz refresh rate, but the Dell is curved while the Samsung is flat. The Dell is a bit better for gaming mainly because of its quick response times, especially at its max refresh rate, so motion looks better. The Dell is also a bit better for use in bright rooms because it has better reflection handling and higher peak brightness. However, the Samsung has a more ergonomic stand as you can swivel it or rotate it into portrait mode.

ASUS VG279Q

The Dell S2721HGF and the ASUS VG279Q have very similar gaming performance as they're both 1080p monitors with a 144Hz refresh rate, excellent response time, and low input lag. The main difference is that the Dell has a VA panel and is better suited for dark rooms, while the ASUS has an IPS panel with wider viewing angles. The ASUS is also a better choice for well-lit environments because it gets brighter, and it offers more ergonomic adjustments, including a wide swivel range and rotation to portrait mode. Also, if you want to use it for 60fps console gaming, the ASUS has a better response time at 60Hz.

Acer Nitro VG271 Pbmiipx

The Dell S2721HGF and the Acer Nitro VG271 Pbmiipx are both 1080p 144Hz monitors and very similar in terms of gaming performance. The main difference is the panel type. The Dell has a VA panel that makes it a better choice for dark rooms, while the Acer has an IPS panel with wider viewing angles. The Acer is better for bright rooms due to its higher peak brightness, and it supports HDR. Also, it has a faster total response time at 60Hz with less overshoot, making it a better choice for 60fps console gaming.

HP X24ih

The HP X24ih and the Dell S2721DGF are two great gaming monitors with different panel types. The HP has an IPS panel with wider viewing angles, and it also has a much quicker response time that results in smoother motion. However, the VA panel on the Dell provides a better contrast ratio, making it a better choice for dark room gaming. Other than that, they each have FreeSync support and low input lag for gaming.

MSI Optix G27C5

The Dell S2721HGF and the MSI Optix G27C5 are both 27 inch VA panel gaming monitors with a 1080p resolution. The MSI has a slightly higher 165Hz refresh rate compared to the Dell's 144Hz; however, the Dell has a much better response time, especially in dark scenes. The Dell has better viewing angles, one of the best among VA panel monitors, and it gets brighter to combat glare. If you care about color accuracy or want to use it for content creation, the Dell has better accuracy out of the box, but the MSI has a better SDR color gamut.

Lenovo ThinkVision M14

The Dell S2721HGF is better overall than the Lenovo ThinkVision M14, mainly because they're for different uses. The Dell is a curved screen monitor designed with gamers in mind as it has a higher 144Hz refresh rate, VRR support, and much quicker response times. It's also a better choice for use in dark rooms because it has a much higher native contrast ratio. For well-lit rooms, the Dell gets brighter and has better reflection handling. On the other hand, the Lenovo is a portable monitor meant for on-the-go use. It has a smaller screen, resulting in a higher pixel density and better text clarity.

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