Gamers looking for an affordable game monitor are content with their choice. Dozens of attractive options sell for between $ 200 and $ 300. Dell’s entry in this packed space, the S2721HGF, is a 27-inch 1080p display with a refresh rate of 144Hz, a curved screen, and a suggested retail price of $ 279.99 (usually discounted to $ 224.99).
None of these specifications, even curves, stand out. Instead, Dell wants its reputation for consistent and reliable performance to be devoted to the S2721HGF. Is it enough to fend off fierce competition with Asus, AOC, Gigabyte and more?
Dell 27 Curved Gaming Monitor S2721HGF Review
Dell 27 Curved Gaming Monitor – Design and Features
Dell gaming monitors have settled on a simple and effective design language that combines matte black plastic with vents that surround the stand. The more expensive Dell gaming monitors incorporate LED lighting and a more premium gunmetal look, but the cheap and hilarious 2721HGF can’t afford the extra talent.
Still, the Dell 2721HGF is rugged. We’ve been dealing with monitors that are three times as expensive as they feel are less durable. It is also handsome to give out individuality with a slim bezel and a small touch. I like the hexagonal stand and the cosmetic vents that line both the stand and the back of the display.
The stand mounts on a curved gaming monitor’s VESA mount and offers 100mm height adjustment and a 26 degree tilt. This is better than some alternatives like Specter’s C275B, but not as good as the AOC C27G1 which offers more height adjustment and rotation.
Unfortunately, the stand is too light to keep the monitor grounded, and the overall monitor weighs only 19 pounds. If you have an Ikea desk like me, ferocious typing is a wobbling recipe. Its lack of weight can be due to a lack of extra functionality. The 2721HGF doesn’t even include speakers.
Settings are managed with joystick-style controls and a few buttons on the right side of the monitor. Pressing the joystick opens the monitor’s main menu, moving the joystick up / down / left / right to navigate. This is a simple and intuitive system that makes adjustments easy. Press the button below the joystick for even quicker access to basic settings such as brightness.
Dell offers a wide range of color customizations across gain, offset, hue and saturation. This is great for viewing on a game monitor. Even better, the monitor has three game mode settings, each with its own color customization and response time settings. The colors are open to calibration, but the monitor does not include gamma or color temperature customization. It limits calibration. Still, the S2721HGF offers many choices for monitors where professional colors are not built for critical work.
It introduces some special features for gamers. Response time can be adjusted in four levels, from the default fast mode to the fastest mode “video response time”. It doesn’t have a built-in reticle, but it does have a black stabilizer, frame rate monitor, and timer to bring out the details in dark games. These features work, but are common on game monitors in all price ranges.
The connection spans two HDMI 1.4 ports, one DisplayPort 1.2, and a headphone output jack. You can’t use the S2721HGF as a wired mouse and keyboard hub to reduce wiring clutter because you can’t find a USB connection. The GIGABYTE C27FC goes against the trend with two USB 3.0 ports, but the most affordable game monitors share this drawback.
In summary, the Dell S2721HGF’s design and feature set is robust, but limited. Most monitors in this category cut out one or two features, such as speakers and USB connectivity, but this monitor drops almost everything. Instead, prioritize attractive designs and intuitive settings menus. I understand Dell’s thinking, but it feels like it’s missing next to a competitor like the Gigabyte C27FC, which has a more adjustable stand, more ports, and built-in speakers.
Dell 27 Curved Gaming Monitor – Productivity Performance
The 27-inch, 1080p monitor is controversial. Stretching 1080p across the panel, this large pixel density is about 82 pixels per inch. This is as low as what you see on modern monitors.
The Dell S2721HGF handles this issue appropriately. The font has visible aliasing, and small interface buttons such as Slack’s reply button look a bit rough. However, the S2721HGF is still available and sometimes fun. Fine text can display serrated edges, but the large panel of the monitor and high contrast make the text reasonably readable.
Anti-glare coatings do not work better than usual, but they prevent glare in most situations. The maximum brightness of the monitor I benchmarked on the 358nit is high enough that glare isn’t an issue unless you’re playing the game directly across from a sunlit window.
Using the monitor for precision work can change the perspective of the image, so the prominent 1500R curve on the screen can be an issue. This monitor is not suitable for photo and video editors, as Dell does not claim the color accuracy or gamut of the monitor either. However, this is typical of game monitors that sell for less than $ 500.
Dell 27 Curved Gaming Monitor – Game Performance
The Dell S2721HGF is an excellent monitor for gaming with excellent contrast, vibrant colors and clarity of movement, satisfying all players except the most discerning players. Your eyes will tell you that it is worth more than you paid.
Uses Vertical Placement (VA) technology. Contrast is the greatest strength of VA, as monitors using this technology can display deeper shades of black than monitors using TN or IPS technology. The benefits are immediately apparent with the S2721HGF. It displays deep black shadows and provides an illusion of great depth. This is strange for Diablo 3, which has a lot of tough scenes.
S2721HGF also has bright and rich colors. This is not a wide color gamut display, but it covers 99% of the sRGB color space. This is an excellent result for any game monitor. I am also grateful for the warm tone of the monitor. Game monitors often lean towards overly cool images that can cause your character’s skin tones or lose depth in sunlit scenes, but that’s not a problem here. was.
Spending more on your monitor may not show any significant improvement. The S2721HGF was compared side-by-side with Dell’s digital high-end series U3421WE. This is an ultra-wide cream built for color-critical work and retails for $ 1,199. The U3421WE definitely offers more accurate colors, but the Dell S2721HGF doesn’t look that attractive in most games. I also compared it to Acer’s XFA240, a popular TN panel option, but it’s not a contest. Dell is clearly better at a glance.
As mentioned earlier, the S2721HGF packs only 82 pixels per inch, so problems can occur wherever aliasing is a concern. The FINAL FANTASY XIV trees shimmered in the distance as I flew across the zone to find materials to collect. You can fight the problem with supersampling. Still, this is a flaw that you will definitely notice in various games.
On the other hand, you will be impressed by the black and gray uniformity of the monitor. There was a small amount of cloudiness in the black test image, especially at maximum brightness, but the problem is much lessened. This is great news in dark games where bright spots can always be annoying. The gray uniformity was also stable, with only a slight difference between the left center and the right edge of the display.
Overall, the S2721HGF has the advantages of a VA panel. However, VA panels are not without defects. The most scary is “black smear”. This causes the movement to become excessively blurry in the dark areas of the image.
Thankfully, I found it difficult to find the problem in the game. I rarely saw it when panning the camera quickly in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, but at that point traditional blur seemed like a more obvious problem.
In that respect, the Dell S2721HGF works well, but it’s not noticeable. A refresh rate of 144Hz provides a solid leap in both motion clarity and responsiveness if you can drive the frame to your monitor fast enough to maximize the potential of the frame. In this regard, the 1080p resolution of the panel can be advantageous.
However, when comparing the S2721HGF side-by-side with the Acer XFA240, a 24-inch monitor with a TN panel, Dell is one step behind. With the S2721HGF, fast-moving objects don’t look very clear, and fast camera panning creates distracting blurs. The S2721HGF is a major upgrade above 60Hz, but behind the top 144Hz monitors.
Dell includes a black frame insertion feature labeled MPRT. Black frame insertion adds a blank black frame between standard frames, significantly reducing motion blur. It can improve clarity, but in this case it doubles the effect on fast-moving objects and significantly darkens the display. I don’t think I like playing with this feature turned on.
The viewing angle is a drawback of the S2721HGF, as is the case with all VA panel monitors. Desktop monitors usually appear straight, so they are not relevant to most owners. However, you need to be aware of this when using your monitor as an alternative to your TV in tight spaces. Monitors with VA panels do not work well in this situation.
Finally, and certainly at least a curve. Don’t miss it. Still, when I load the game, I forget the curve. It’s a bit of a flair to make your display look more unique on your desk, but that’s it.
Overall, the Dell S2721HGF offers outstanding image quality at its price. Affordable VA panel monitors usually outperform in terms of image quality, but this Dell stands out for its beautiful colors and excellent uniformity.
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Dell 27 Curved Gaming Monitor – Buying Guide
The Dell 27 Curved Gaming Monitor S2721HGF is available from Amazon, Best Buy, Micro Center, and directly from Dell for $ 279.