CNET editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.
The Dell 22-inch P2210 has a list price of $240, but Dell currently sells it for $209. For that price you get four-way ergonomic support, including screen height adjustment, panel swiveling, pivot, and tilt. Its On Screen Display (OSD) is easy to navigate and it has one of the lowest carbon footprints we've seen in a display. Also, it has good movie and gaming performance. Unfortunately, Dell forgoes HDMI in favor of DisplayPort, a less popular connection. That said, if you're looking for a low-price 22-inch monitor with a plentiful assortment of features and good performance, the P2210 will serve you well. If superior all-around performance is more important, the Dell G2210 is the better choice.
Design and features
The 22-inch Dell P2210 looks a lot like the G2210 from the front. It's plainly designed with angular features and a matte black finish. The bezel measures a short 0.6 inch long on all sides. The middle of the bottom bezel has a slightly raised, silver Dell logo on it. The panel is 1.25 inches deep (most 22-inch models we've tested have a panel depth of more than an inch, also); however, the back of the display, which houses the backlight, connection options, and ventilation system, extends another 1.5 inches, bringing the full monitor depth to about 2.75 inches. The panel measures 20.2 inches long--average for a monitor of this screen size.
The rectangular footstand measures 11 inches wide and 7.25 inches deep. The height of the panel is adjustable by 4 inches. The distance from the bottom of the bezel to the desktop is 1.2 inches. We saw only minimal wobbling when we knocked the display from the sides; but with such a long and flat footstand, you'd really have to knock hard to topple it, even with the panel height extended to its fullest. The panel can pivot to the left 90 degrees, which is useful if you prefer portrait mode. It also swivels left and right about 45 degrees and tilts back about 25 degrees.
Dell includes DVI, VGA, and DisplayPort connection options. Accessing the connections proved difficult, as they mostly rest behind the stand; however, pivoting the display makes access a lot easier. Strangely, there is no HDMI connection, which is a mainstay on most monitors. We consider Dell's choice of DisplayPort over HDMi a misstep, since there are few devices that use DisplayPort, and most game consoles, DVRs, and DVD/Blu-ray players have HDMI connections. On the left side of the panel sit two USB downstream ports, and on the back next to the VGA port sit one upstream and two additional USB downstream ports.
The OSD follows Dell's stellar, label-free design last seen on the Dell SX2210. Four buttons line the lower right-hand corner of the bezel. Pressing any of the buttons brings up the OSD, which pops up parallel to the button array, and each option corresponds to one of the four buttons. Once a new menu comes up, the function of the buttons changes dynamically, as the top two buttons become the up-and-down arrow buttons used to navigate through the newly seen menu. Since any button labels for the OSD are actually on the screen (and which would be on the bezel of other displays), calibrating the display in a dark room proved painless.
OSD options include the standard brightness, contrast, and various color options. The presets are separated into two categories: Graphics and Video. There are six Graphics presets to choose from: Standard, Multimedia, Game, Warm, Cool, and, of course, Custom. The Video presets are: Movie, Game, Sports, and Nature. The presets do not change anything other than the Red, Green, and Blue color balance, and therefore how well each setting works will be subjective. There are options to adjust the hue and color saturation and additional options for setting the OSD to stay onscreen up to a minute (useful for anyone who will spend a good amount of time calibrating), etc.
The Dell P2210's 16:10 aspect ratio has a 1,680x1,050-pixel native resolution. The 16:9 monitor trend currently sweeping the market has given many smaller monitors higher resolutions than they were capable of at 16:10. A 22-incher (or 21.5) with a 16:9 aspect ratio has a potential native resolution of 1,920x1,080 pixels. It's disappointing that Dell did not include it here, because high-definition content--in particular 1080p movies--can fit onto a 1,920x1,080-pixel screen without distorting the image.
|Pixel-response rate: 5ms|
|Contrast ratio: 1000:1|
|Connectivity: DVI, VGA, DisplayPort|
|HDCP compliant? Yes|
|Included video cables? DVI, VGA|
|Backlight type: CCFL|
|Panel type: TN|
|Aspect Ratio: 16:10|
We tested the Dell P2210 with its DVI connection. The display posted a composite score of 87 on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based performance tests. We compared it with the 22-inch NEC Multisync EA221WM, which scored a 91. The P2210 had a difficult time producing dark gray in our extreme grayscale bars test, indicating that it would have trouble displaying dark details in movies and photographs. In our color-ramping tests, which check for color banding, the P2210 performed slightly worse than the EA221WM, suggesting that the Dell could have color banding issues in certain apps.
The Dell P2210 achieved a brightness score of 259 candelas per square meter (cd/M2)--lower than the claimed 300 cd/M2 max. The EA221WM fared a little worse, with a brightness of 241 cd/M2. On our dark screen test, both monitors exhibited significant backlight bleed through on the top and bottom edges of the displays.
Our "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" DVD ghosting test yielded minimal ghosting on both the Dell and NEC. We played the movie in each monitor's respective "Movie" preset. The NEC's movie preset proved too bright, and we preferred using the standard mode for that monitor. While the Dell's movie mode displayed the movie well, the colors were not as full and the black level wasn't as low as the NEC's in standard mode.
Unreal Tournament 3 looked great running at 1,680x1,050. The Dell p2210 wasn't able to display the game as vibrantly and colorfully as the Acer G24 did, but I think we have been spoiled by that monitor's game performance.
The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually directly in front of it, 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 made to be viewed only at that angle. Depending on its panel type, picture quality at nonoptimal angles varies. Like most monitors, the Dell P2210 uses a , which gets overly bright or overly dark when viewed from nonoptimal angles. When we viewed the P2210 from the sides or from below, the screen appeared to darken only a couple inches off from the optimal angle. From the sides, text is still readable until viewing from about 80 degrees. When viewing from the bottom, the text becomes illegible at about 60 degrees, but never got too dark. Of course, when viewed from the optimal angle, we had no problems.
In the power consumption tests, the Dell P2210 drew only 20.14-watts in its Default/On mode, which is less even than Dell's green monitor, the G2210, which drew 20.56.The NEC had a sizeable carbon footprint, drawing 39.61 watts. Based on our formula, the P2210 would cost $6.38 per year to run. Compare this with the G2210's $6.46 per year and the NEC EA221WM's $24.57 and you start to see significant savings.
|Dell P2210||Average watts per hour|
|On (Default Luminance)||20.14|
|On (Max Luminance)||22.71|
|On (Min Luminance)||10.24|
|Calibrated (200 cd/m2)||19.8|
|Annual energy cost||$6.38|
Find out more about how we test LCD monitors
Service and support
Dell backs the P2210 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, 24-7 Web chat, and fast 24- to 48-hour e-mail turnaround--a better package than most monitor vendors, which don't offer weekend support. Navigating Dell's Web site and finding the drivers, product manuals, and quick guides was simple and easy.