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The S2722DGM has a few options for picture optimization. You can stick with the default Standard mode and see reasonable accuracy. But there are better choices that result in a superior image.
Grayscale and Gamma Tracking
The default image is decidedly cool in tone with elevated blue levels in the middle brightness range. Blue errors are visible from 30 to 90%, which can be seen in real-world content. Gamma is a bit light, too, which slightly reduces the picture’s depth. It tracks straight, which is a good thing.
The easy choice is to switch to Custom Color mode. That removes all visible grayscale errors except the one at 100%. That one can be fixed by lowering the contrast slider from 75 to 70. Adjust the two-point white balance sliders as I recommended back on page one for accuracy near the reference level if you want to go all the way. My only complaint is the lack of gamma options. I’d prefer to see a darker preset to make the picture even better.
A 3.67dE default grayscale value puts the S2722DGM at the average mark among gaming monitors in its price class. While you can enjoy it without calibration, its errors are just visible. If you change to the Custom Color mode and do nothing else, the error is reduced to 1.35dE. Calibration of the RGB sliders takes that to an excellent 0.78dE. Though that is a last place score here, the S2722DGM still breaks the 1dE barrier, which is good.
Gamma tracking is very linear with a class-leading 0.05 range of values. The only flaw is that it tracks a little light. While not a detriment to image quality, there is some room for improvement. Additional presets would take care of this nicely. I measured an actual average of 2.03, which is 7.73% off the mark.
Color Gamut Accuracy
Color gamut accuracy is very good whether you calibrate or not. Out of the box, the errors are below the visible threshold with slight under-saturation in red mid-tones and hue errors for magenta and cyan. Switching to Custom Color lowers the error to 1.82dE and tightens up the hue and saturation targets.
Red is a little over-saturated in all cases but only at the 100% target. Calibration barely makes a difference in the gamut test with a 0.01dE improvement. In all cases, the S2722DGM’s color gamut accuracy is very high.
With a final value of 1.81dE, the S2722DGM is one of the better budget gaming screens I’ve measured. It’s only slightly outdone by the MSI and Acer screens, both of which cost more. And in this group, only the Viotek has any visible color errors after calibration.
Color volume is one place where Dell has saved a bit of money by not offering a wide gamut like the other screens. It is larger than sRGB at 111.8%, so you will see a bit more red. And the VA panel’s extra contrast increases the perception of color vibrance. But the other screens can deliver anywhere from 85 to 101% of DCI-P3. Dell has made the right choice for SDR content, and since the S2722DGM doesn’t support HDR, that’s acceptable, especially considering its low price.
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Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.