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Dell S2718D HDR Monitor Review

OSD Setup & Calibration

The S2718D’s OSD is much like what you’d see on any Dell monitor. It’s logically laid out and contains plenty of options for the user. HDR is supported by two of the picture presets. For SDR content, you can perform a calibration in the Custom Color mode. No image adjustments are available for HDR content.

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Luminance is the first sub-menu, and you can adjust the sliders here or with one of the programmable control keys. They are grayed out in HDR mode.

The input selector toggles between HDMI and USB-C interfaces. If you leave Auto Select on, the S2718D will lock onto the first active signal it sees.

The Color menu offers nine image presets plus a Custom Color mode that enables RGB sliders. When viewing HDR content, you must select either Game HDR or Movie HDR before inserting a disc or firing up your HDR-compatible game. If the content has the appropriate metadata, the monitor will flash for a moment as it locks on. In our tests, the Philips Ultra HD Blu-ray player we used indicated HDR mode with an onscreen message.

You can manually select the input format between YPbPr or RGB. We used RGB for both the pattern generator and the Philips UHD player. Different sources may require the component format depending on their individual capabilities.

Remaining image settings include aspect ratio, sleep timer, sharpness, dynamic contrast, and response time. Sharpness is set to 50 by default, but that causes a bit of unwanted edge enhancement so we turned it down one click to 40. In HDR mode, there is ringing that cannot be defeated with the sharpness control. However, it wasn’t too obvious in actual content. Dynamic contrast is only enabled in certain picture modes, but it's locked to the on position in HDR mode. You’ll need it to maximize dynamic range, and it seems to work well without calling attention to itself through brightness pumping. It effectively maintains fine detail in highlight and shadow areas of the image.

Energy consumption can be managed by turning off the power LED during operation and disabling the USB ports’ power-off charge feature. Leaving them on means you can charge things like phones or tablets even when the S2718D is turned off.

The OSD comes in multiple languages, can be made more transparent, and can stay on the screen for up to 60 seconds. You can also lock it to prevent changes by other users.

The first two control keys can be programmed to a variety of monitor functions. The defaults are picture modes and luminance.

The final menu has the DDC/CI toggle, an LCD conditioner to prevent burn-in, and firmware version. If you need to return all settings to their factory defaults, that function is here as well. The signal info appears in the margins of all OSD screens, but we missed any indication of HDR mode when using our Philips UHD Blu-ray player. We had to rely on that component’s messages to know it was working.

Calibration

Calibration is only possible in the Custom Color mode where there are RGB sliders available. The other presets are task-specific and will change color to suit their labeled tasks. For HDR content, you’ll need to select Movie HDR or Game HDR before loading a disc or game. These modes are non-adjustable though we found Movie HDR to be pretty accurate. For SDR content, you’ll want to calibrate or try our recommended settings. We found the S2718D had below-average out-of-box performance in Rec.709-encoded material.

Dell S2718D Calibration Settings
Preset ModeCustom Color
Brightness 200cd/m257
Brightness 120cd/m227
Brightness 100cd/m220
Brightness 80cd/m213
Brightness 50cd/m23
Contrast76
Sharpness40
White BalanceRed 93, Green 92, Blue 100


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Christian Eberle
Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.