Dell has long marketed an impressive line of monitors for every conceivable use, but only recently has it come out with true gaming displays. The S-series is billed as gaming and multimedia appropriate, but only a couple of models have sufficient cred for the enthusiast crowd.
Now that adaptive refresh technology has taken hold in the form of the AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync brands, it’s pretty much a requirement that any gaming monitor have one. To that end, Dell has introduced the S2417DG. It’s a 24-inch TN screen with QHD resolution, Nvidia G-Sync, ULMB blur reduction, and a 165Hz maximum refresh rate. Let’s take a look.
We suspect there will be a few groans about the use of a TN panel on this monitor, but the fact remains that it is the easiest and least expensive way to achieve low input latency and quick response times. Dell claims one millisecond for the gray-to-gray test. You’ll see in our results on page five that it is indeed one of the quickest monitors we’ve ever measured.
For those wishing to leave FHD resolution behind, the S2417DG is an ideal candidate. QHD is more often seen in 27" screens, so its inclusion here means a nice and tight pixel density of 122ppi instead of the 109ppi seen in the larger panel. It’s a noticeable bump in image quality, but the difference is small enough that Windows elements are still readable at normal viewing distances.
This monitor is packed with pretty much everything a gamer could want: 165Hz refresh, ULMB, G-Sync, and one of the thinnest bezels we’ve seen. A white LED backlight, coupled with a fairly new AU Optronics part, offers good output, reasonable contrast, and solid out-of-box color accuracy. But how does it play? Let’s get to the unpacking and find out.
Packaging, Physical Layout & Accessories
Dell has become an expert at designing packing that provides maximum security with minimal material. Rather than foam blocks, paper pulp is molded into a stiff shell that holds the contents in place and weighs almost nothing. The box opens clamshell-style so you can lift everything out easily. The base and upright go together with a single captive bolt; then you snap the assembly onto the panel. No tools required. Bundled cables include DisplayPort, USB 3.0, and IEC power. There is a printed quick start guide and a CD with drivers and documentation.
The S2417DG appears to be bezel-free when the power’s off, but there is a 6mm frame around the image at the top and sides and a wider 15mm strip at the bottom. It’s the thinnest border we’ve seen, making the Dell an ideal candidate for multi-screen setups. The anti-glare layer has a 3H hardness rating and maintains a tight air gap for high clarity and zero grain or softness. Light rejection is excellent, and you can set this panel up just about anywhere.
The controls consist of tiny buttons along the bottom right of the bezel. They take a bit of pressure to activate, and we found ourselves having to double-tap on occasion. Small icons appear on the screen to indicate their function. The power button and LED glows a steady white when on and pulses gently during standby.
The stand allows for full tilt, swivel, height, and portrait adjustments. Movements are reasonably solid but there's a little extra friction involved. But there is no excess play or movement once you find your ideal position.
The panel is a slim 2" thick, and you’ll find two USB 3.0 ports and a headphone jack on the left side. The smooth taper seen in the photo has a flat area in the center to make fitting aftermarket brackets easy.
The back is a single piece of smooth-sculpted plastic with a high-gloss finish. A 100mm VESA mount lurks beneath the included upright. Ventilation is stealthily-handled by thin grills across the back and around the panel’s perimeter. The tiny speakers are hidden back there as well, and though polite, will suffice for quiet gaming or other tasks.
The bottom-facing input panel contains two more USB 3.0 downstream ports plus the upstream connector. You also get HDMI 1.4 and DisplayPort 1.2. G-Sync and 165Hz are only possible over DP. The HDMI port will handle 2560x1440 signals at up to 60Hz.
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