Dell has earned itself a well-deserved reputation for making sleek and capable productivity screens in recent years with its line of Ultrathin monitors. And the new 27-inch S2719DC model is no exception.
With a diverse set of modern features, the latest Dell Ultrathin monitor holds its own against many of the high-end, specialized panels on the market. And while this panel is certainly aimed primarily at the productivity market, FreeSync and HDR support actually make it quite a unique, one-size-fits-all product.
We took a closer look at the new Dell 27 USB-C Ultrathin Monitor to find out where it shines, where it could improve, and most importantly, whether it’s worth its regular retail price of $550.
Special thanks to Dell for loaning us a monitor to review!
Dell 27 USB-C Ultrathin Monitor (S2719DC) Specifications:
- 27.0 inch display
- 2560 x 1440 at 60Hz (109 PPI)
- HDR600 support
- AMD FreeSync
- 16:9 aspect ratio
- Brightness: 400 cd/m² (typ), 600 cd/m² (peak)
- Response time: 5ms (fast), 8ms (normal)
- IPS panel type
- Anti-glare treatment of front polarizer (3H)
- Ports: 1x USB Type-C, 1x HDM 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, 1x 3.5mm jack Audio Out
Enhanced Brightness and Contrast
Let’s kick things off with one of the most significant features of this monitor: HDR 600 support. This relatively new technology helps a screen tangibly burst with brightness. Standard screens typically feature a limited capacity for displaying scenes with extreme contrast, which means super-bright imagery often carries washed-out blacks, while dark scenes have a dulling affect on any localized highlights (such as a camp fire at night).
HDR drastically improves this issue, allowing a screen to display both deep blacks and ultra-bright highlights at the same time. Additionally, HDR technology allows for peak brightness that is way beyond the capabilities of a standard screen. It cannot be overstated how visually striking HDR-compatible content can be on the right display. And yet, while this technology has made quite a splash in the television market, adoption in the PC space has been rather lackluster.
With the inclusion of HDR, Dell’s new Ultrathin monitor boasts top brightness of around 600 nits — double the brightness of typical displays. Movies look great on this monitor, and video games seem to jump right off the screen. I tested Forza Horizon 4, and it looks absolutely fantastic, with gorgeous sunsets and startlingly bright highlights.
But even content that is not HDR-compatible looks great on this panel. Its super-powerful backlights deliver a consistently vibrant, clean image, which makes it a great option for video and photo editing. IPS pixels under a reflection-resistant matte finish also ensure great color consistency and excellent viewing angles.
A View to the Future
If occasional gaming is on the menu, this screen is a surprisingly solid performer with support for AMD’s FreeSync technology. This ensures silky-smooth variable V-sync for those with an AMD graphics card or Xbox One X. When combined with HDR support and a respectable 8ms pixel response time, this screen serves as a competent panel for casual gamers. Just keep in mind, however, that this is not necessarily a gaming monitor, mainly because the screen’s refresh rate is locked to 60Hz. If you want higher refresh rates so you can take full advantage of say, your Dell gaming laptop, you may want to consider the Alienware 34-inch Curved Gaming Monitor.
Flipping the panel around, you’ll find one conventional HDMI port, as well as one for USB-C. Not only does this port offer full support for USB-C video (typically found on modern laptops), but also the ability to charge your laptop at the same time through the same cable (provided your laptop supports recharging via USB-C).
This makes the Dell Ultrathin Monitor perfect for someone who works on a laptop PC, but wants the option of a larger screen at home. And since the entire panel weighs in at just 11.38 lbs total, moving it from one location to another is easy.
This potential for portability is bolstered by a super sleek design. The slim panel comes out of the box pre-mounted to a tasteful stand with a very small footprint (at just under 9 x 9 inches). This minimalist design does come with one caveat, though: limited adjustments. The base offers only forward and backward tilting, which means you’ll have to move the entire stand for left and right swiveling, and there’s no elevation adjustment at all.
Other connections include two USB 3.0 ports for added data transfer options, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Unfortunately, the lack of a second HDMI port means anyone with multiple devices will need to constantly switch them out manually (or invest in an HDMI switch box). And while USB-C offers a second video input, this port doesn’t offer support for HDR content. Having a need to connect two devices with HDR capabilities may be an edge case right now, but it’s worth mentioning for long-term considerations as HDR becomes more widely adopted.
Should You Buy the Dell 27-inch Ultrathin Monitor?
Tearing Dell’s newest ultra-slim offering out of the box, I expected a sleek monitor that would be perfect for a second display — particularly for laptop users — aimed squarely at enhancing productivity. It succeeded at doing exactly that, and also went beyond my expectations.
Excellent HDR-content delivery allows for impressive brightness and color vibrancy right out of the box, and with FreeSync support and respectable gaming credentials, you can transition from your work day to your favorite video game with ease. Carrying a price tag of $419.99 (at time of publish; MSRP is $550), we wouldn’t consider this monitor to be low-cost, but with such versatile capabilities, it’s a worthwhile investment for those who can take full advantage of the many built-in features.