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Dell S30MX review:

Dell S30MX

Games: When evaluating the look of games on a monitor, the two most important features to consider are vibrancy and color. If the monitor can display games with a bright and vibrant cleanness, this goes a long way toward benefiting its looks. If colors can also pop with fullness and depth, games will usually look great.

While Torchlight on the Dell S2330MX looked good with a superior contrast to the S23A5550H, it couldn't match the Samsung in terms of vibrancy. Still, the S2330MX displayed the game with color as accurate as on the Samsung, with a slight green push.

To test refresh rate, we used DisplayMate's motion graphics tests and stared at a number of colored blocked as they moved around the screen at various speeds. The Dell S2330MX displayed slightly less streaking behind its blocks compared with the S23A550H and would likely have less issue with streaking in games compared with the S23A550H.

Photos: Color in photos was decent, but didn't really pop the way they do on the Samsung PX2370. Compared with the S23A550 however, the colors looked almost identical, with fairly accurate representations.

Recommended settings: We used SpectraCal's CalPC to calibrate the Dell S2330MX for bright-room viewing. The following settings are what the monitor had been adjusted to after calibration.

Attribute Setting
Brightness 88
Contrast 71
Preset Custom
Color settings R-100

Viewing angle: 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 colors as the manufacturer intended. Most monitors aren't designed 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 not viewed from optimal angles.

The Dell S2330MX uses a TN panel so its viewing angle from the sides, top, and especially underneath is narrower than high-end displays like the Asus PA246Q, which uses IPS panel technology.

Power consumption: The Dell S2330MX achieved good power consumption, with a Default/On power draw of 24.8 watts, compared with the S23A550H's 26.7 watts in the same test. Fairly close results, but these power consumption contests are usually decided during sleep time.

Juice box
Dell S2330MX Average watts per hour
On (default luminance) 24.8
On (max luminance) 28.6
On (min luminance) 14.7
Sleep 0.65
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 24.7
Annual power consumption cost $7.85
Score Good

In our Sleep/Standby test, the S2330MX costs 0.65 watt and the SA23550H pulled a lower 0.31 watt. The S2330MX's higher power consumption during sleep isn't enough to do it in however as the S23A550H comes in 33 cents higher.

Based on our formula, the S2330MX would cost $7.85 per year to run, compared with the S23A550's's higher $8.18 per year.

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

Contrast ratio
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
HP 2310e
Dell S2330MX

DisplayMate test
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors

Service and support
Dell backs the S2330MX with a solid warranty, including a three-year, parts and labor warranty covering the backlight. 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.

Dell was smart to save on the S2330MX's manufacturing costs by not including HDMI, but instead offering an included DVI-to-HDMI adapter as a consolation. While its performance won't shake up the world, the S2330MX still performs well in general tasks, movies, and gaming. Also, there are some build quality issues, but overall, the S2330MX's low price and good performance make it a very sound buy for those looking for a basic monitor.

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