Display is ultra-thin, but price is quite the opposite

The Dell Ultrathin S2718D supports High Dynamic Range for more realistic and colour-accurate images.
The Dell Ultrathin S2718D supports High Dynamic Range for more realistic and colour-accurate images.PHOTO: DELL

The Dell Ultrathin S2718D is an elegant and sleek monitor with a clean industrial design. It lives up to its "ultra-thin" moniker with the edges measuring just 6.9mm thick.

In addition, the bezel is so slim on all four sides of the display that it virtually fades into the background, especially when I am watching a movie.

This illusion, though, is spoilt by the silver Dell logo at the bottom bezel. This logo should have been moved to the monitor's base, where the ports and electronics are found.

I like that the monitor's physical buttons are also located at the base, and not the underside like most other models. I can see the buttons clearly, so there is no need to fumble around and rely on touch to use the on-screen display (OSD).

There is a single downside to this design. While having the electronics at the base makes it possible to have a slim display, it also means that this monitor cannot be mounted on the wall.

The monitor's stand offers no height adjustment, though it can swivel to the sides at up to 45 degrees, and tilt upwards at up to 21 degrees.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $999

    RESOLUTION: 2,560 x 1,440 pixels

    ASPECT RATIO: 16:9

    BRIGHTNESS: 300 cd/m2

    RESPONSE TIME: 8ms

    PANEL TYPE: In-plane switching

    CONNECTIVITY: USB Type-C, HDMI, 2 x USB 3.0 downstream, audio line-out

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 3/5

    DESIGN: 5/5

    PERFORMANCE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 2/5

    OVERALL: 3/5

It has a single USB Type-C port that accepts display output from devices that support this interface. This port also delivers up to 45W of power to charge attached phones and laptops. It has an audio jack, but no built-in speakers.

Its 2,560 x 1,440-pixel screen resolution is typical of a 27-inch monitor. Viewing angles are wide, as expected of an in-plane switching (IPS) display. Response time is relatively slow at 8ms, compared with 1ms on a gaming monitor.

This, coupled with a 60Hz refresh rate, makes the S2718D less appealing to gamers.

Its peak brightness (300 nits) is on the low side, compared with Dell's premium UltraSharp monitors.

The display has a coating that gives its a glossy finish. But I am not a fan, as it makes the screen look as if it is covered with tiny sparkly grains, especially when there is a white background.

According to Dell, the S2718D supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) for more realistic and colour-accurate images. However, the company says its implementation does not follow existing HDR standards for television sets. The monitor has two HDR profiles - one for gaming and one for movies - but I honestly could not distinguish these from the non-HDR gaming and movie profiles in the OSD settings.

Out of the box, the monitor seems to be well calibrated. Colour accuracy is very good, though it supports only 99 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut, and not the wider DCI-P3 colour gamut.

For a 27-inch monitor, the S2718D is pricey. The Dell U2717D offers similar picture quality and a narrow bezel at $849, albeit without the sleek profile.

Vincent Chang

•Verdict: If looks matter more to you than actual picture quality, then the S2718D will be a good choice. Otherwise, there are cheaper alternatives.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 10, 2017, with the headline 'Display is ultra-thin, but price is quite the opposite'. Print Edition | Subscribe