The Dell U2721DE is a decent 1440p, 27" monitor. Dell's UltraSharp lineup tends to focus more on office features than gaming, and this one is no exception. It has great connectivity, including USB-C power delivery support, and it even has a built-in RJ45 (ethernet) port, which is extremely rare. Like most Dell monitors, it has excellent ergonomics and a simple design that looks great in any setting. It's not as good for gaming though, as it has a limited 60Hz refresh rate, a relatively slow response time, and no dedicated gaming features, and like most IPS monitors, blacks look gray in a dark room. Overall, it's a very good office monitor and a decent choice for media creation, but gamers are likely to be disappointed by it.
The Dell U2721DE is a decent monitor overall. It's a very good office monitor, with excellent ergonomics, wide viewing angles, and great connectivity options. This also makes it a good choice for media creation. It's a bit limited for gaming, as it has a low refresh rate and no dedicated gaming features. Like most IPS monitors, it has a low contrast ratio, so it's not as good for watching videos in a dark room.
The Dell U2721DE is a very good office monitor. The 27", 1440p screen delivers decent text clarity, and it has some great connectivity options. The image remains accurate when viewed at an angle, and it has excellent ergonomics.
Decent monitor for gaming, but the Dell U2721DE doesn't support any advanced gaming features, like a variable refresh rate. It has excellent low input lag, for a responsive gaming experience, but the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz, and the response time isn't very fast.
This is a decent monitor for multimedia. The Dell UltraSharp U2721DE has wide viewing angles, great screen real estate, and low input lag. It also has good reflection handling and good peak brightness, so glare shouldn't be an issue in a bright room. Unfortunately, like most IPS monitors, it has a low contrast ratio, so it's not as good for watching videos or playing games in a dark room.
The Dell U2721DE is a good monitor for media creation. The 27", 1440p screen is great for multitasking, and it has excellent ergonomics, so you can easily adjust it to an ideal viewing position. It also has wide viewing angles, excellent gray uniformity, and good reflection handling. Unfortunately, there's a bit more banding than most monitors we've tested, which might be an issue for media creation.
The Dell U2721DE doesn't support HDR.
The Dell U2721DE has a very simple design that doesn't stand out. Like most Dell monitors, it has very thin bezels, great for a multi-monitor setup, and the base is very small, so it doesn't take up a lot of space. It has decent build quality, despite being almost entirely made of plastic.
The stand is small and nearly identical to most recent Dell monitors. It supports the monitor well, with very little wobble.
The stand on the Dell U2721DE has excellent ergonomics. The hinge on the back is a bit different from most recent Dell monitors, resulting in a slightly smaller swivel range, but this shouldn't be an issue for most people.
The back of the monitor is clean, made of a single plastic panel. Like most Dell monitors, there's a cutout in the stand for cable management, and the stand can be quickly removed via a quick release button.
The borders are very thin on all four sides, making it a great choice for a multi-monitor setup.
The Dell U2721DE has a very thin side profile, great if you're planning on VESA mounting it.
The Dell U2721DE has good overall build quality, very similar to the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q. The outside panels are entirely made of plastic, but there are no obvious issues or weak points in the construction.
Like most IPS monitors, the Dell U2721DE has a mediocre contrast ratio. This is especially noticeable in a dark room, where blacks tend to look gray instead. This isn't an issue in a bright office setting.
This monitor doesn't have a local dimming feature. The video is for reference only.
This monitor doesn't support HDR. If you want a similar monitor with HDR support, check out the Dell UltraSharp U2520D.
Like most IPS monitors, the image remains accurate, even when viewed from the side. This is especially important if you like to share your screen with someone sitting beside you, or if you like to sit close to the screen, as the sides of the screen remain uniform. If you want an IPS monitor with better viewing angles, check out the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV.
Good vertical viewing angles. Colors start to wash out if you're too far above or below eye level, so a proper height adjustment is important, but this shouldn't be an issue for most users.
Like most recent Dell monitors, the Dell U2721DE has outstanding gray uniformity. The sides of the screen are a bit darker than the rest, but this isn't very noticeable. In near-dark scenes, the uniformity is even better, and there are no noticeable issues.
Decent black uniformity. There's only a little bit of backlight bleed along the bottom edge, and it's not very noticeable.
Out of the box, this monitor has decent accuracy. Gamma is a bit high, so most scenes appear a bit darker than they should, and the color temperature is a bit warm. Most people won't notice any issues with colors, and most shades of gray are displayed accurately.
After calibration, the Dell UltraSharp U2721DE has outstanding accuracy. Any remaining inaccuracies aren't at all noticeable, and the color temperature is extremely close to our calibration 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.
Excellent SDR color gamut. Coverage of the most commonly used sRGB color space is nearly perfect. Although it has good coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space, content creators looking to master content in Adobe RGB might want to look elsewhere.
Excellent SDR color volume. It's mainly limited by the low contrast ratio, as it can't display dark, saturated colors very well. It also can't display very bright blues, which is common on LCD monitors.
The Dell U2721DE can't display HDR color gamuts.
The Dell U2721DE doesn't support HDR.
There are no signs of temporary image retention, which is great.
There's quite a bit of noticeable banding on this monitor, especially in darker shades of gray and green. This is a bit worse than most similar monitors we've tested, but still good overall.
There are no noticeable signs of color bleed on this monitor.
Decent text clarity, similar to the LG 27GL83A-B. It benefits from enabling ClearType (top photo), especially in diagonal lines, like on the letters R and N.
|Overdrive Setting||Response Time Chart||Response Time Tables||Motion Blur Photo|
The Dell U2721DE has decent response times, but it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, which may be disappointing for gaming. There are two overdrive settings: "Normal" and "Fast". "Fast" is a bit faster, but there's significant overshoot in almost every transition, so we don't recommend it.
The backlight is completely flicker-free at all brightness levels.
This monitor doesn't have an optional black frame insertion feature.
The Dell U2721DE has a simple 60Hz refresh rate, and it doesn't support any of the variable refresh rate technologies, which is disappointing for gaming. If you want an office monitor with an even higher refresh rate, check out the ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV.
Outstanding low input lag, this results in a more responsive gaming experience.
The 27", 1440p screen is great for multitasking, but the image isn't as sharp as Dell's 4k offerings, like the U2720Q.
The Dell U2721DE has a good selection of inputs. There's a single USB-C port with power delivery, great for charging your laptop while you work on the computer, but it's limited to 65W, which is too low for some recent MacBooks. It even has an RJ45 ethernet port, which can be used as a passthrough connection from your laptop to your LAN. It also has a DisplayPort Out connection, which can be used to daisy chain to a second monitor.
This monitor has almost no additional features other than the connectivity options mentioned above.
The OSD on this monitor is controlled through four buttons located beneath the bottom bezel. This isn't as easy to use as the joystick controls found on most LG monitors.
We tested the Dell U2721DE, and it's also available in a 24" size, but that model has a lower native resolution. There are other models in Dell's UltraSharp lineup, some of which are listed below.
|U2721DE||27"||IPS||1440p||1 x USB-C, DisplayPort Alt mode|
|U2421HE||24"||IPS||1080p||1 x USB-C, DisplayPort Alt mode|
|U2720Q||27"||IPS||4K||2 x USB-C, DisplayPort Alt Mode|
|U2520D||25"||IPS||1440p||1 x USB-C, DisplayPort Alt Mode|
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Dell U2721DE doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we'll update the review. Note that some tests such as the gray uniformity may vary between individual units.
Our unit of the U2721DE was manufactured in April 2020, you can see the label here.
The Dell UltraSharp U2721DE is a basic 27", 1440p monitor. It has very few additional features, but it's a good choice if you're looking for a workstation to quickly connect your laptop, thanks to the built-in USB hub and USB-C features. See also our recommendations for the best 27 inch monitors, the best USB-C monitors, and the best office monitors.
The Dell UltraSharp U2720Q is much better than the Dell UltraSharp U2721DE. The U2720Q supports HDR, and it has a much higher native resolution, resulting in much clearer text, and better multitasking thanks to the greater screen real estate. On the other hand, the Dell U2721DE has better reflection handling, so it might be a better choice for a bright office environment.
The Dell UltraSharp U2520D is better than the Dell UltraSharp U2721DE. The U2520D supports HDR, it displays a wider SDR color gamut, has much better out-of-the-box color accuracy, and it has a quicker response time. The U2721DE handles reflections better and it has a wider vertical viewing angle.
The LG 27UK650-W is much better than the Dell UltraSharp U2721DE. The LG has a higher native resolution, which delivers clearer text and a better multitasking experience. The LG also has much better gradients, and it supports HDR. On the other hand, the Dell has better ergonomics, and a better selection of inputs, with a built-in USB-C hub and an Ethernet port.
The BenQ EX2780Q is better than the Dell UltraSharp U2721DE. The BenQ has a much higher refresh rate, making it much better for gaming, although even desktop users will notice a difference. The BenQ also supports HDR, although this doesn't add much. The Dell has better ergonomics and a better stand, and it supports power delivery over its USB-C port.
The Dell UltraSharp U2721DE is much better than the Lenovo Q27q-10. The U2721DE has much better ergonomics, it's brighter, and it can display a wider color gamut. The Dell has a lower refresh rate and it doesn't support any variable refresh rate technologies, but despite this, it has a better response time than the Lenovo, resulting in cleaner-looking motion.
The Dell U2518D is a bit better than the Dell UltraSharp U2721DE. The U2518D is a bit smaller, but it supports HDR and has much better gradient handling. The smaller screen on the U2518D results in slightly sharper text, but it's not quite as good for multitasking. On the other hand, the UltraSharp U2721DE has better connectivity, including USB-C power delivery support.
The Dell UltraSharp U2721DE is better than the Samsung T55. The Dell has a native 1440p resolution, excellent ergonomics, wide viewing angles, decent out-of-the-box color accuracy, and it also has a quicker response time. The Samsung has more gaming features like a slightly lower input lag and FreeSync VRR support. It also has a VA panel that displays deep blacks and its SDR color gamut is wider too.
The LG 32UD99-W is much better than the Dell UltraSharp U2721DE for most people. The LG has a larger, higher-resolution screen, which is much better for multitasking, and it delivers sharper text. The LG also supports HDR and is a more versatile monitor thanks to a few dedicated gaming features. On the other hand, the Dell has much better reflection handling, making it a better choice for a bright office.