Dell ST2420 review: Dell ST2420

Games:
Because of our intimate familiarity with World of Warcraft (WoW), it remains the best tool for judging color quality and vibrancy in games. We looked at WoW in the Dell ST2420L's Game preset and found the display delivered an image with colors that were somewhat drab and lacked vibrancy and pop.

Viewing angle:
The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually directly in front, about a quarter of the way down from the top of the screen. At this angle, you're viewing the colors and gamma as the manufacturer intended. Most monitors are not made to be viewed at any other angle. Depending on the 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, making for inaccurate color representation. The Dell ST2420L uses a TN panel, and when viewed from the sides or bottom, we perceived the screen to darken about 6 inches off from center; typical for a TN.

Recommended settings and use:
During general use, we found the Standard preset, with the contrast set to 74, to be the ST2420L's optimal picture setting.

Both the Movie and Game presets allow you to adjust the hue and saturation of the display. For movies, we recommend keeping the hue at 50 and adjusting the saturation no higher than 55 and no lower than 50. We recommend the same for games, except the saturation threshold can be as high as 60.

In movies, we weren't able to adjust the Hue to a level that diminished the green tint without also decreasing the amount of red to too great an extent. The green tint problem isn't egregious in any way, but it's noticeable next to the PX2370. Games benefited from the increase in saturation, but still looked drab compared with the PX2370.

As with most TN-based monitors, the Dell ST2420L shouldn't be used if pinpoint-accurate color reproduction is required; the monitor is fine for watching movies, playing games, and for general use, although movies and games are definitely not its strong suit. If you do have stringent color needs, we suggest you narrow your search to IPS- or PVA-based panels only. The more expensive Dell UltraSharp U2711 is a good place to start. The Samsung PX2370 is a great monitor for movies, games, and general use. The Dell ST2420L is best suited for general use and doesn't particularly excel in either games or movies.

Power consumption:
The Dell ST2420 achieved good power consumption, with a Default/On power draw of 19.62 watts, compared with the Samsung PX2370's 25.01 watts in the same test. The consumption delta was higher in our Sleep/Standby test, with the ST2420L drawing 0.62 watts and the PX2370 costing a lower 0.27 watts. With both monitors' center point calibrated to 200 candelas per square meter (cd/M2), the ST2420L drew 23.5 watts, while the PX2370 drew a lower 19.9 watts. Based on our formula, the Dell ST2420L would cost $6.28 per year to run, compared with the Samsung PX2370's $7.65 per year.

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

Contrast
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Juice box
Dell ST2420L Picture settings
19.62
On (max luminance) 25.7
On (min luminance) 9.06
Sleep 0.62
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 23.5
Annual power consumption cost $6.28
Score Good

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors

Service and support
Dell backs the ST2420L with only a one-year limited warranty that covers the backlight. Most Dell monitors are covered for up to three years, making Dell's reduced coverage of the ST2420L disappointing. Dell charges an extra $50 for the extra two years. It also offers support through a 24-7 toll-free number, and 24-7 Web chat. Dell also has a fast 24- to 48-hour e-mail turnaround time--a better package than most monitor vendors, which don't offer weekend support.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Display Type LED-backlit LCD monitor / TFT active matrix
  • Interface VGA (HD-15)
    HDMI
    DVI
  • Diagonal Size 24 in
  • Pixel Pitch 0.277 mm
  • Image Aspect Ratio 16:9