The Dell S2721QS is a great budget 4k monitor that's suitable for a wide range of uses. It has a large screen with plenty of space for multitasking, and its high pixel density results in sharp images and text. The stand allows for a good amount of ergonomic adjustments, and its IPS panel has wide viewing angles, so you can easily share your screen with colleagues. It has a fast response time, low input lag, and supports variable refresh rate (VRR) technology to reduce screen tearing when gaming. The refresh rate is limited to 60hz, but it shouldn't be an issue for most people as gaming in 4k is still quite demanding. Like most IPS panel monitors, the contrast ratio is mediocre, which results in blacks looking grayish in the dark. Additionally, while it gets bright enough to fight glare, it isn't enough to deliver a satisfying HDR experience.
The Dell S2721QS is a great monitor overall. It has a large screen with a 4k resolution, good ergonomics, and wide viewing angles, making it a great choice for nearly any office environment. It has low input lag, a fast response time, and VRR support to provide a good gaming experience. It has full coverage of the sRGB color space, but its color accuracy is just okay out-of-the-box. The contrast ratio is low and there's some backlight bleed, so it isn't ideal for dark rooms.
The Dell S2721QS is great for office use. Its good ergonomics allow you to adjust the screen to your optimal viewing position, and you can easily share your work with colleagues thanks to its wide viewing angles. It handles reflections well and gets bright enough to overcome glare. It has a large screen that provides enough space to have multiple windows opened side-by-side, and a high resolution that results in exceptional text clarity. The contrast ratio is mediocre and there's some backlight bleed, so it isn't the best option if you work in a dark room.
The Dell S2721QS is good for gaming. It has a large screen with a 4k resolution, making it a great choice for playing atmospheric games like RPGs. In addition to its low input lag and fast response time, it has FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing. The refresh rate is limited to 60Hz, but it should be okay for most casual gamers. It isn't the best option for gaming in the dark, though, as it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks look gray.
The Dell S2721QS is great for media consumption. It has a 4k resolution and a large screen to provide an immersive viewing experience. It has wide viewing angles and good ergonomics, making it easier to share content on your screen with others. Unfortunately, it isn't ideal for dark rooms, as its mediocre contrast ratio makes blacks look gray.
The Dell S2721QS is great for content creation. It has a large screen and high resolution, allowing you to see fine details clearly. It has full sRGB coverage and good coverage of the Adobe RGB color space. It has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks look grayish, and there's some backlight bleed, although uniformity can vary between units. It has good ergonomics and wide viewing angles, great for sharing your work with clients and coworkers.
We tested the 27 inch Dell S2721QS. We have also tested its bigger sibling, the Dell S3221QS; however, it has a curved VA panel and different performance. There are many monitors in Dell's S Series lineup with various configurations, some of which you can see in the table below.
|Model||Size||Panel Type||Resolution||Refresh Rate|
|S2721QS||27"||IPS||3840 x 2160||60Hz|
|S3221QS||32"||VA||3840 x 2160||60Hz|
|S2721D||27"||IPS||2560 x 1440||75Hz|
|S2721H||27"||IPS||1920 x 1080||75Hz|
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Dell S2721QS 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 of the Dell S2721QS was manufactured in July 2020; you can see the label here.
The Dell S2721QS is a great budget-friendly monitor that's suitable for work, media consumption, and gaming. However, it has a mediocre contrast ratio and doesn't get bright enough for HDR. For more options, check out our recommendations for the best 4k monitors, the best office monitors, and the best budget monitors.
The Dell S2722QC is an updated version of the Dell S2721QS with many of the same features, but there are a few differences. They're built the same and have similar picture quality with an IPS panel with wide viewing angles and a 4k resolution. However, the main differences are with the inputs; while the S2722QC has a USB-C input and two USB 3.0 inputs, the S2721QS has a DisplayPort input, which the S2722QC doesn't have. The S2722QC has a slightly quicker response time, but other than that, both monitors are similar.
Overall, the Dell S2721QS is much better than the Dell S3221QS. Although they look similar, the S2721 has wider viewing angles, significantly better ergonomics, and gets brighter in SDR mode. However, the S3221QS' VA panel has a higher contrast ratio and is better suited for dark rooms, and its larger screen size provides more space for multitasking.
The Dell S2721QS is a bit better than the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q for most uses. The S2721QS has higher peak brightness and better reflection handling, and it supports variable refresh rate technology to reduce screen tearing when gaming. However, the U2720Q has better ergonomics and more connectivity options, including a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode.
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 Dell U2723QE and the Dell S2721QS are both 4k office monitors, but the U2723QE has a few more features. It has a massive USB hub that the S2721QS lacks, and it has a KVM switch so you can control two sources with the same keyboard and mouse. The U2723QE also displays a wider range of colors in SDR and HDR with better accuracy, and it has an improved contrast ratio. Both get bright in SDR, but the S2721QS is better in bright rooms because it has improved reflection handling.
The ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV and the Dell S2721QS are both great productivity monitors. The main difference is that the ASUS has a 1440p resolution, while the Dell is 4k. The ASUS has USB ports, and its faster 75Hz refresh rate provides a slightly more responsive desktop experience. On the other hand, the Dell has a Picture-in-Picture mode and supports HDR.
The Dell S2721QS and the ASUS ProArt Display are both great 27 inch office monitors. The Dell has a 4k resolution, whereas the ASUS is 1440p; however, the difference might not be very noticeable at typical viewing distances. Feature-wise, the Dell has a Picture-in-Picture mode, but the ASUS has USB ports, including a USB-C that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode and 65W charging.
The Dell S2721QS and the Gigabyte M27Q are very different monitors. The Dell is a 4k productivity monitor with a 60Hz refresh rate, while the Gigabyte is a 1440p gaming monitor with a 170Hz refresh rate. If you only need it for work, the Dell is better because it delivers much sharper text due to its higher pixel density, and also because the Gigabyte has a BGR subpixel layout that may cause blurry text in some applications. However, the Gigabyte feels more responsive, and it offers more features, like a USB-C input.
The Dell S2721QS is much better than the BenQ EL2870U. The Dell has much better ergonomics, higher peak brightness, and its IPS panel has wider viewing angles. It also has a better contrast ratio and can display a wide color gamut for HDR content. On the flip side, the BenQ has better color accuracy out of the box.
The Dell S2721QS and the Lenovo ThinkVision M14 are both office monitors meant for different uses. While the Lenovo is a portable monitor with a 14 inch screen and 1080p resolution, the Dell is a stationary model with a 27 inch, 4k screen. Despite the differences in size and resolution, they have similar pixel density, so text looks sharp on each. The Dell is more versatile because it gets brighter, has better reflection handling, and supports HDR, but the Lenovo is to be used on the go anyways.
The Dell S2721QS has a simple design and looks almost identical to its bigger sibling, the Dell S3221QS, but with a flat, non-curved screen. It has thin borders that aren't distracting, making it a good option for multi-monitor setups. It doesn't stand out in any way and should fit easily into most settings.
The Dell S2721QS' build quality is good, very similar to the Dell S3221QS. The display is made entirely of good quality plastic. There are no loose parts, and the back doesn't flex much. The stand is a mix of metal and plastic, and it supports the monitor well. The quick-release feature works well and doesn't feel cheap.
Good ergonomics. It allows for all manner of adjustments so that you can place the screen at your ideal viewing position. The back is plain and made of textured plastic. There's a cutout on the stand for cable management and a quick-release feature to remove the stand if you want to VESA-mount it.
Update 12/17/2021: There was a mistake in the depth of the stand. We've updated it to the correct depth.
The stand is a mix of metal and plastic. It doesn't take up too much space, and the flat base lets you put things on it. It feels stable and doesn't wobble much.
You can find the controls on the right underside of the screen. There are five buttons, and they allow you to power the monitor On/Off and navigate the on-screen menu.
The Dell S2721QS has a mediocre contrast ratio; however, it's better than most IPS panels and close to the advertised 1300:1 contrast. That said, blacks still look gray in the dark.
The Dell S2721QS doesn't have a local dimming feature. The video above is provided for reference only.
The Dell S2721QS' SDR peak brightness is great. It's consistent across different content and bright enough to overcome intense glare, so you shouldn't have any visibility issues in well-lit rooms.
We measured the SDR peak brightness after calibration in the 'Custom Color' Picture Mode with Brightness set to max.
The HDR peak brightness is okay. It's again very consistent when displaying different scenes, but it isn't bright enough to deliver a good HDR experience.
We measured the HDR peak brightness using the 'Desktop' Picture Mode in the Smart HDR settings menu.
Update 12/08/2020: We've retested the horizontal viewing angle, as some users have reported that the edge of the screen seems blurrier than the rest when viewed at an angle. This is normal for most monitors since that area is behind the border, but it's a bit more noticeable on this monitor. The score hasn't changed.
The Dell S2721QS has great horizontal viewing angles. Images remain accurate when viewed from the side, good for sharing content on your screen with coworkers and clients.
Great vertical viewing angles. You shouldn't lose any image accuracy unless you mount the monitor far above eye level.
Gray uniformity on our Dell S2721QS is great; however, this can vary between units. The edges are visibly darker, but dirty screen effect is minimal.
Black uniformity is decent, but this can vary between units. The whole screen looks gray/blue, and there's slight backlight bleed along the top and bottom edges. The sides also appear darker than the rest of the screen.
Out of the box, the Dell S2721QS has okay accuracy. There are visible inaccuracies with most colors and shades of gray. The color temperature is on the cooler side, resulting in a slight blueish tint. Gamma doesn't follow the sRGB curve at all, causing most scenes to appear darker than they should. Note that color accuracy can vary between units. If you care about accuracy, then check out the Dell U2723QE.
After calibration, accuracy is exceptional. The remaining color inaccuracies shouldn't be visible to the naked eye. The color temperature is almost right on our 6500K target, and white balance is nearly perfect. Gamma is significantly improved, but very dark and very bright scenes are slightly over-brightened.
The Dell S2721QS has an outstanding SDR color gamut. It has full coverage of the sRGB color space used in most content and very good coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used mostly for photo editing.
Outstanding SDR color volume. It has difficulty displaying dark colors due to its low contrast ratio.
Decent HDR color gamut. It has great coverage of the DCI P3 color space used in most HDR content, but its coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 is mediocre.
The HDR color volume is just okay. It struggles with dark, saturated colors due to its low contrast ratio, and it also has trouble with bright blues, although that's typical for LCDs.
Good reflection handling. It has a matte anti-reflective coating that reduces the intensity of reflected lights. Combined with the screen's great peak brightness, you shouldn't have any visibility issues in well-lit environments.
The Dell S2721QS has exceptional text clarity due to its high pixel density. Windows ClearType makes the letters look bolder (top photo), but it might not be necessary.
The Dell S2721QS has superb gradient handling. You shouldn't see any banding in most content.
The Dell S2721QS supports FreeSync natively to reduce screen tearing when gaming, and it works with G-SYNC as well even though it isn't officially certified by NVIDIA. However, both FreeSync and G-SYNC only work over a DisplayPort connection, not HDMI.
|Overdrive Setting||Response Time Chart||Response Time Tables||Motion Blur Photo|
The Dell S2721QS has good response time at its max refresh rate, resulting in only a short blur trail behind fast-moving objects. We recommend using the 'Normal' overdrive setting, as it provides the best performance with no overshoot at all.
This monitor doesn't have a Black Frame Insertion feature.
The backlight is flicker-free, which helps minimize motion duplication and reduce eye strain.
The Dell S2721QS has excellent low input lag, providing a responsive desktop and gaming experience.
The Dell S2721QS's resolution and screen size are outstanding for work, media consumption, and gaming. There's plenty of screen real estate to have multiple windows opened side-by-side, and the high pixel density makes images and text look incredibly sharp.
The Dell S2721QS doesn't have a USB-C input, but if you want a monitor that does, then check out the Dell S2722QC.
Unfortunately, this monitor doesn't work properly when connected to a MacBook. 4k @ 60Hz signals work fine when connected via HDMI, but if you're using a USB-C to DisplayPort adapter, the connection is very unstable unless you decrease the refresh rate to 30Hz. VRR doesn't work properly at all, and HDR doesn't look very good, but this has more to do with the capabilities of the display.
There aren't many additional features on this monitor, only a Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture mode, allowing you to display images from two input sources simultaneously.