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Dell SX2210 review: Dell SX2210

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In DisplayMate, the SX2210 and L215p tested virtually identically. Both achieved near-perfect scores in our color tests, but each had trouble with the Color Tracking test, which shows how accurately a monitor can replicate the gray scale. Both the SX2210 and L215p's representation of the gray scale had a slight greenish hue that kept them from being perfect. In our Dark Screen test, backlight bleedthrough was noticeable on the top and bottom edges of both screens, suggesting that the displays would not be able to display deep blacks when playing a movie (see below).

The SX2210 achieved a brightness score of 270 candelas per square meter (cd/M2)--lower than Dell's claimed 300 cd/M2 max. Its tested contrast ratio was above the 1,000:1 claimed by Dell and came in at 1,094:1.

We used the SX2210's Movie preset to check out "War of the Worlds" ("WotW") on DVD and "House of Flying Daggers" ("HoFD") on Blu-ray. In "WotW" we saw fuller color quality when compared with the L215p, where colors were slightly washed out in DVD movies. Although the SX2210's blacks--a critical attribute for good movie playback--were not as deep as the G2210's (backlight bleeding was apparent on the top and bottom edges of the display), they were darker than the L215p's. In "HoFD," we saw fairly accurate color, but those deep blacks we enjoyed on the Dell G2210 were still nowhere to be seen. Picture sharpness was as good as the G2210 since subtitles looked sharp and not blurry as on the L215p.

We looked at the game Crysis on the SX2210 in its Game preset and saw a clean picture with no signs of ghosting during fast movement.

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 varies at nonoptimal angles. Most monitors use TN panels, which get overly bright or overly dark in parts of the screen when viewed from nonoptimal angles. The Lenovo L215p uses a TN panel, and when it is viewed from the sides or bottom, we perceived the screen to darken and the gamma to shift about 6 inches off from center. Of course, when viewed from the optimal angle, we had no problems.

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

Contrast ratio
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Dell SX2210 21.5"
Dell G2210 22"

DisplayMate Tests
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.

Service and support
Dell backs the SX2210 with a solid warranty including three-year parts-and-labor 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 e-mail turnaround--a better package than most monitor vendors, whose support doesn't usually extend into the weekends. Navigating Dell's Web site and finding the drivers, product manuals, and quick guides was simple and easy.

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