Dell S2409W review: Dell S2409W

We tested the Dell S2409W with its DVI connection. The display posted a composite score of 87 on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based performance tests compared with the 24-inch BenQ E2400HD's score of 85. The two displays exhibited similar performance in most of the DisplayMate test screens, but the Dell scored slightly better in our color tracking tests as it exhibited no noticeable compression or expansion at the dark or light ends of the color scale. A color-tracking error occurs when the intensity of red, green, and blue (RGB) do not adjust identically with signal-level changes. During two color tests, Low Saturation Colors and 64-256 Intensity Color Ramp, the BenQ showed clear signs of expansion at the light end of the scale, while the Dell displayed the colors in the scale smoothly.

The Dell S2409W posted a brightness score of 242 candelas per square meters (cd/m2), according to our test, which is lower than the 300 cd/m2 maximum claimed by Dell. The BenQ E2400HD barely bested it with a 246 cd/m2 brightness rating. Contrast ratio was more favoring to the Dell as we measured it at a 1,001:1 contrast ratio, virtually the same as Dell's claimed 1,000:1 rating. This beat out BenQ's 892:1 contrast ratio by more than 100.

We got a huge surprise when we looked at World of Warcraft on the Dell S2409W; it looked crisp, colorful, and darn near perfect running at 1,920x1,080. WoW looks great on pretty much every monitor we test, however, we do want to point out a viewing angle problem. Unfortunately, viewing the game from a lower-than-optimal viewing angle made the screen darken to the point that graphic details of the game could not be seen--typical of most TN panels. See the paragraph at the bottom of this section for more details on viewing angle.

When watching our favorite test scenes in the Kill Bill Vol. 1 DVD on the Dell S2409W, what we noticed most was that its performance was virtually identical to the BenQ E2400HD's. Colors were vibrant, but didn't have the same kind of pop like we saw with the Apple LED Cinema Display. The blacks were deep without losing any dark details in dark scenes. We didn't notice any streaking or ghosting, and the screen remained sharp for a DVD.

The 1080p Blu-ray version of House of Flying Daggers looked great for the same reasons stated above; however, we did not notice any quality advantage to the screen's 16:9 aspect ratio.

The best settings we determined for watching games and movies on the Dell S2409W, was Standard preset mode, with a contrast of 65, and the brightness set however high your eyes can take. We settled on an 87 for brightness.

The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually directly in front, about a quarter of the screen's distance down from the top. At this angle, you're viewing the colors and gamma correction as they were intended. Most monitors are not made to be viewed at any other angle. Depending on its panel type, picture quality at nonoptimal angles varies. Most monitors use TN panels, which get overly bright or overly dark in parts of the screen when viewed from nonoptimal angles. Both the Dell S2409W and the BenQ E2400HD displays use TN panels, and when they are viewed from the side angles, the screens appeared to only darken slightly. When viewed from the bottom the screen darkened immediately but not as dramatically as some smaller monitors like the Gateway HD1900 and the Samsung SyncMaster 953BW. Of course, when viewed from the optimal angle, we had no problems.

Juice box
Dell S2409W Average watts per hour
On (Default Luminance) 36.1
On (Max Luminance) 41.58
On (Min Luminance) 18.11
Sleep 0.84
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 33.08
Score Fair
Annual energy cost (@$0.1135/kWh) $11.35

Brightness (in cd/m2)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Dell S2409W
BenQ E2400HD
HP w2408h True Color Widescreen

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors

Service and support
Dell backs the S2409W with great coverage, including a three-year parts-and-labor warranty that covers the backlight. It also offers support through a 24-7 toll free number, 24-7 Web chat, and fast 24- to 48-hour turnaround e-mail. Navigating Dell's site and finding the drivers, product manual, and quick guide was simple and easy.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Dell S2409W

Part Number: Y183D
Low Price: $343.13 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Display Type LCD monitor / TFT active matrix
  • Interface DVI
  • Diagonal Size 24 in
  • Pixel Pitch 0.276 mm
  • Image Contrast Ratio 1000:1
  • Image Aspect Ratio 16:9