If you’re looking to make the step up from common 60 frames per second gaming to the silky world of ultra-high refresh rates, the new Dell 24 Gaming Monitor is a good place to start.
What we have here is a 1080p, 144Hz panel with adaptive sync certified for both AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync use. With fast pixel response and sRGB color, it ticks all the right boxes. And at $166 (at time of publishing; regular price $249.99), it’s certainly priced to make your upgrade an easier decision.
Dell 24 Gaming Monitor Technical Specifications
- 23.8 Inch TN-type display
- 1080p (1920 x 1080) FHD resolution
- 144Hz refresh rate
- 1ms pixel response
- 1000:1 contrast ratio
- 350 nits peak brightness
- Matte anti-glare with 3H hardness
- 2x HDMI 1.4, 1x DisplayPort 1.2, headphone jack
Faster Is Better
It’s great to see the entry-level gaming monitor market heating up with more high refresh rate options for those on a tight budget. Once you go high refresh rate, it’s hard to go back.
These days, 144Hz is pretty much the standard for high refresh rate panels, and that’s exactly where we sit with the Dell 24 Gaming Monitor. FreeSync support is also present, helping to make sure that the screen and the graphics card are always in sync, eliminating screen tearing or judder. And although G-Sync isn’t advertised, Nvidia cards work with FreeSync screens now, too.
Even though the 1080p resolution sits at the low end of the scale, this 24-inch panel still manages to look suitably crisp.
Gray-to-gray response time is a claimed 1ms, although this is with the pixel overdrive setting set to ‘Extreme’, which can cause the pixels to overshoot their target colors sometimes. This especially affects darker areas on the screen. But when set to normal, this screen doesn’t exhibit any ghosting issues.
Brightness is actually quite good for an entry-level screen, at around 350 nits peak. And the contrast ratio is a basic but expected 1000:1. Its TN architecture means that it doesn’t quite have the color accuracy of more modern screens, but it’s as good as you’d expect from a TN panel. And it generally looks pretty good with some tweaking to color and brightness.
A New Look
Dell has placed a heavy emphasis on its new design for this panel, and it’s a nice one at that. For a gaming-centric device, its sports a surprisingly understated look with the only clue of its gaming prowess being the slightly angular stand.
It boasts a small footprint, which is great news for small desk users. And the cable management hole in the stand helps keep things neat.
As for the display itself, the three-sided thin bezel design looks great when a game is running on it full screen, although it would be nice to see the sexy four-side thin bezel design on Dell’s new XPS laptops make its way to desktop monitors soon.
The rear of the display is covered in a stylish vented design that pulls in air to cool the innards, and vents out through a patterned grating along the top.
Suffice to say, the days of entry-level screens looking and feeling cheap and flimsy are long gone. This looks as expensive and well-built as any of the higher-end panels I’ve tested.
The only issue is with the limited adjustability of the base. Height and tilt are adjustable, but it doesn’t swivel, and its maximum height is way too low. In my normal seating position, my eye line is about two inches over the top of the screen. Some may also lament the lack of any USB pass-through ports.
Intuitive OSD Design
The “gaming centric” on-screen display is controlled via a nice little joystick on the back of the display, which makes navigation through the menus easy.
Below the joystick are four customizable shortcut keys for preset modes and settings. These include gaming-oriented features like an FPS counter, a timer, and a ‘Dark Stabilizer’, the latter of which is designed to help make it easier to spot enemies in the shadows. I generally leave this mode switched off, however, because it tends to wash out the darker shades.
Why Stick with TN?
TN panels were once the kings of speed and response times, but recently, things have changed. The newer IPS technology has matured to a point where it can now match TN for speed, while delivering superior color accuracy, brightness and image quality. So why buy TN in 2020?
There is still one area in which TN panels dominate: value. As IPS screens continue their march towards total dominance, TN panels still thrive because they represent the most budget-friendly option for high-performance gaming.
The Dell 24 Gaming monitor isn’t the absolute cheapest 24-inch gaming panel on the market, but at $249.99, it’s still a great value screen backed by a well established brand. Most IPS screens with comparable specs are over $300, and the one prominent exception – the impressively cheap MSI Optix MAG273R – is sold out almost everywhere and seemingly hard to find.
Dell also runs frequent sales ($166 at the time of publishing), which further enhances value.
Should You Buy the Dell 24 Gaming Monitor?
IPS panels with high refresh rates are being released in ever increasing numbers, and if you’re the patient type, you might consider holding off buying a monitor until prices on those come down to comparable numbers.
That said, the new Dell 24 Gaming Monitor is a great value upgrade for those who want to experience high refresh rate gaming. And the 1080p resolution means you won’t need a ridiculously expensive PC to get the most of its high frame rate capabilities.