Dell S2421H Review: Dell is a renowned brand in the PC industry, known for its pre-built systems, laptops, and server equipment. They also sell computer peripherals, including webcams, flash drives, keyboards, mice, and even monitors. In fact, Dell has been in the monitor business for quite some time now, producing units for both office and gaming purposes.
If you have recently been looking for an inexpensive desktop monitor for your rig, odds are you have found the 24” Dell S2421H in your search results. From top to bottom, it might seem like a “good enough” monitor to you, which it certainly is. However, there are a few other things that you should know about this particular Dell monitor before making a final purchase decision. Let’s check it out.
Dell S2421H Review
- Consistent colors: Get virtually seamless views with consistent colors across a wide 178°/178° viewing angle with In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology
- Clear views with less distraction: The three-sided ultrathin bezel design lets you enjoy superb screen clarity in 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution
- Keep everything in order: Stay organized between applications, emails and windows on one screen using Dell EasyArrange
This is our comprehensive review of the Dell S2421H monitor. Those who don’t know whether it’s a decent Full HD unit or not should find this review helpful. Read on to find out.
Price & Availability
On Dell’s official website, the S2421H sells for a sub-$200 retail price, which is reasonably affordable for a 24-inch Full HD monitor. You can easily order it from Amazon, although the price may vary depending on the stocks. It’s worth mentioning that this model often goes on sale, so you might be able to grab a good deal.
Before we begin, note that we are reviewing the Dell S2421H and not any of its two other variants: S2421HS and S2421HN. Although the variants share the same display panel as the S2421H, the former comes with an adjustable stand and costs a bit more. The latter is a cheaper model with no built-in speakers.
Dell S2421H: Design
- Dimensions w/ stand (W x D x H):17″ x 6.02″ x 16.25″
- Weight:5 lb
The Dell 24 Monitor S2421H is about as simple as entry-level monitors can get. The screen measures a 23.8-inch diagonal, and the whole unit weighs below 8 pounds. The bezels on the top left, and right sides of the screen are impressively thin, except the relatively thick bottom bezel that has the prominent “Dell” branding in the center.
The light gray back of the monitor also looks modern and elegant, with a subtle textured finish that gives it a premium feel. The black plastic frame running along the edge keeps two halves of the monitor together. There also are grilles on both ends of the bottom edge for the built-in 3W stereo speaker setup.
We aren’t particularly fond of the OSD buttons under the monitor’s bottom bezel simply because it makes navigation through the on-screen display settings unintuitive. It especially bothered us when trying to change the brightness in a dimly lit room. The joystick-style control nub on LG and Samsung monitors is a delight to use, and we hope Dell and other brands would follow suit soon. At least you can play with the S2421H’s OSD options from the Dell Display Manager app.
The flat silver stand included with the monitor is pretty sleek-looking but very basic in terms of adjustments. It allows you to tilt the screen very slightly, which is okay for regular desk setups. Fortunately, the Dell S2421H does have mounting holes for a VESA-compatible stand or arm, allowing you to use the unit in a multi-monitor setup.
Overall, the build quality of the Dell S2421H is excellent despite its low price point. The entire chassis is made of premium plastic, and there are no visible gaps between the joints. The stand does wobble a bit, but it happens only if your desk isn’t stable.
Dell S2421H: Connectivity
- I/O: 2 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x Audio line-out
- Includes a single HDMI cable in the box
In terms of video inputs, the Dell S2421H gets you two vertically-angled HDMI 1.4 ports at the back. When you have two devices connected to the monitor via the HDMI interface, you can switch between them through the OSD. There is no DisplayPort to be seen, which shouldn’t bother you too much considering the monitor’s basic capabilities.
For headphones and other audio devices, a single 3.5mm jack is available right next to the monitor’s HDMI ports. Other than that, you will find a power connector and a Kensington security lock slot.
Dell S2421H: Screen
- Panel Type: IPS
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080
- Refresh Rate: 75 Hz
- Brightness (nits): 250 cd/m²
- Contrast Ratio (Typical): 1000:1
- Response Time (GtG): 8 ms (Normal), 5 ms (Fast), 4 ms (Extreme)
- Additional Features: AMD FreeSync, Anti-glare screen coating
The Dell S2421H features a 23.8-inch 1080p IPS panel, with a maximum 75 Hz refresh rate, and a 4 ms minimum Gray-to-Gray response time. The 1000:1 contrast ratio is as expected from an IPS-grade panel. The 250 nits maximum brightness is also on par with other entry-level monitors in the same price segment.
As far as specs go, the Dell S2421H is quite basic by today’s standards, but it does the job for productivity work and some casual gaming. The 24” screen size is a sweet spot for 1080p, so texts in documents look crisp and clear on this monitor, especially if you are coming from a lower resolution monitor of the same size.
Brightness and Contrast Ratio
We measured a maximum brightness of 250 cd/m² on our unit, which is on par with the Dell S2421H’s specifications. However, if you work or game in a well-lit room, the brightness might not be enough. That said, the matte screen surface does help with glares.
IPS panels usually max out at a lower 1000:1 contrast ratio, which is nowhere close to that of VA panels. It makes darker scenes look slightly greyed out instead of being close to pitch black, especially noticeable in dimly lit conditions.
The IPS panel on the Dell S2421H is surprisingly color-accurate, covering 100% of the sRGB color space and 72% of the DCI-P3 gamut. The brighter colors pop out without any sort of oversaturation on out-of-the-box factory settings, so Dell has done a great job with the calibration. It makes this budget monitor fairly decent for color correction work.
The Dell S2421H has a slightly higher ΔE average on factory-calibrated settings. Though once we used a colorimeter to calibrate the unit, it managed to achieve an impressive average Delta E value of 1.13, genuinely impressive for an entry-level monitor. While most people won’t be able to spot the difference, it’s still good to know if you are into photo and video editing.
IPS panels are generally not that good in terms of uniformity, and the Dell S2421H is no exception in that regard. Although it shows excellent uniformity under normal circumstances, the clouding is very noticeable in darker images.
Part of the problem is the minor backlight bleeding on our unit, but in Dell’s defense, most entry-level monitors with an IPS panel tend to suffer from the same issue.
Response Time and Adaptive-Sync
Despite the refresh rate being limited to 75 Hz, the pixel response times are great on the Dell S2421H. The OSD offers three modes in total: Normal, Fast, and Extreme.
Selecting the Fast mode brings down the response time close to 5 ms, which reduces the ghosting when moving an app window or turning rapidly in first-person shooters. The Extreme mode gets the pixel response time down to 4 ms, but it also makes moving images look a bit blurry.
The Dell S2421H isn’t made for competitive e-Sports gaming by any means, but it should be fine for casual RTS and RPG titles. It’s worth noting that the monitor has AMD FreeSync support, but we also got G-Sync (VRR) working with an NVIDIA GPU. If the graphics card in your system can’t keep with the monitor’s 75 Hz refresh rate, the adaptive-sync technology will at least reduce the screen tearing in games.
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Dell S2421H: Speakers
As mentioned previously, the Dell S2421H comes with a pair of 3W speakers that playback audio coming from the HDMI signal. The built-in stereo speaker setup is decent for regular YouTube sessions but it doesn’t particularly sound great when playing music.
However, it’s a welcoming addition if you suffer from listening fatigue and don’t want to wear headphones for longer durations.
If you aren’t willing to spend too much on a computer monitor, the Dell S2421H is worth considering. It sports a Full HD IPS panel with a 75 Hz refresh rate and comparably low pixel response times, which is also color-accurate enough for creative work.
We also highly regard the monitor’s minimal design choices, premium build quality, as well as its compatibility with VESA mounts. Those who prefer adjustability are advised to get the Dell S2421HS. It comes with a better stand that offers pivot, swivel, tilt, and height adjustments. That variant also features a DisplayPort 1.2 port.
The compromises that the Dell S2421H has made are mostly forgivable at its sub-$200 price point. Whether you are in search of a monitor for office work or casual gaming, this wallet-friendly unit should meet most of your requirements.
|The IPS display is surprisingly decent for the price||The included stand doesn’t provide much adjustability|
|FreeSync / G-Sync Compatible||Weaker brightness and contrast ratio|
|Minimal aesthetics||The refresh rate maxes out at 75 Hz|
|Built-in 3-watt speakers|