The Dell S2421HGF is a reasonably-priced gaming monitor that focuses on speed and great design more than anything else to satisfy competitive gamers. This model goes with TN technology despite its known disadvantages, unlike the brand’s competitors which opted for IPS instead. The Dell S2421HGF is in a precarious spot at $250 if you check out what it is going up against, but let’s check if it is one of the top performers in that segment.
Dell S2421HGF Specifications
- Screen Size: 24Inches
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080Full HD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Panel Technology: Twisted Nematic(TN)
- Refresh Rate: 144Hz
- Response Time: 1ms
- Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 (Static)
- Brightness: 350 cd/m²
- Built-in Speakers: No
- Stand: Height -No
- Stand: Tilt – Yes
- Stand: Swivel – No
- Stand: Pivot– No
- VESA Compatibility: Yes(100 x 100)
- Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2 x 1, HDMI 1.4 x 2, 3.5mm Audio Jack x 1
- Dimensions with Stand(WxHxD): 21.17″ x 13.84″ x 7.46″
- Weight: 7.5 lbs
Design and Features
The Dell S2421HGF succeeds the very modest S2419HGF, but it sports a redesign that is, in ways, both good and bad. The monitor has the same matte black and gunmetal combination which we think is timeless and easy to integrate into themed builds. The display is bezel-free on three sides which makes the screen look bigger than its actual size, but you will still see minimal panel borders when its in use.
What’s immediately noticeable on the Dell S2421HGF is its reduced footprint brought about by the smaller base it uses. The pillar is planted close to the rear, so it would be easy to push the monitor against the wall if your desk space is restricted. However, the irregular hexagonal shape might get in the way of your other peripherals, although its flat surface is a good spot for small gadgets like stream decks.
Build quality is excellent for the Dell S2421HGF since it feels reasonably durable for a monitor in its price range. The plastics are smooth and sturdy, and there are no cosmetic defects on any of the seams and edges. Dell is quite reliable when it comes to these things, and we’re glad their latest line keeps up with the tradition.
The Dell S2421HGF uses a revamped OSD control layout which now includes a joystick for easy access and navigation. The menus are a bit clunky and condensed, but at least you have a uni-directional toggle that makes it easier to get a specific item in there. Do take note that the joystick is a bit more sensitive than what we are used to, so it is easy to mistakingly exit or click the wrong item if you are not used to it.
What we like about the Dell S2421HGF’s looks is the horizontal slats at the rear which renews the brand’s gaming monitor aesthetics while venting out heat from its innards. It looks sophisticated and adds a premium appeal even if you don’t see it, but it is refreshing compared to the sea of identical Dell monitors we’ve reviewed. Higher models get RGB lighting on this part, but it’s not present here since this is the entry-level offering.
The stand included with the Dell S2421HGF only offers tilt, so some users might be forced to use the VESA mount for their setups. Its good that it doesn’t wobble, but most would expect fully-adjustable mechanisms at this price point. The Dell S2421HGF is more ergonomic, but it was cheaper when it launched last year.
Connectivity on the Dell S2421HGF is limited to a DisplayPort 1.2 slot and two HDMI 1.4 ports for video inputs. There are no USB slots or extras other than the 3.5mm jack, but the layout is more than sufficient for the device’s primary purpose. You can connect a gaming PC and up to two consoles so the monitor is flexible despite these limitations.
The Dell S2421HGF doesn’t have speakers, but that isn’t even a fault since most gamers will opt for headsets to help them focus on the action. Although built-in speakers have become essential due to the rise of work from home setups, so we wish Dell included them to maximize the value of the product.
Display and Performance
The Dell S2421HGF sports a 24-inch TN panel with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, and 1ms response time. The backlight is rated at 350 cd/m2, while the contrast ratio sits at 1000:1 like most TN and IPS variants. The monitor doesn’t mention any special capabilities such as HDR which isn’t possible anyway due to its limitations and the panel’s characteristics.
You won’t have trouble with the Dell S2421HGF’s pixel density which is just like any common monitor you will find at work. Full HD fits like a glove in a 24-inch screen, although some pixelation can become noticeable if you look close enough. There isn’t a lot of space for workflows or widened FOVs, but you won’t have to use scaling and your GPU will not struggle in maxing out the refresh rate.
The Dell S2421HGF renders 99% of the sRGB color space and around 81% DCI-P3, so it is slightly better than older models we’ve tested. Color accuracy is great for a display like this since the deltaE average was only 1.96 at default. The color temperature is slightly skewed from the 6500K white point, but it won’t be disturbing for the product’s primary purpose.
The Dell S2421HGF’s gamma only slightly deviates from the 2.2 standard, but what needs improvement is the monitor’s contrast. The screen only reached 810:1 at 50% brightness while its backlight is limited to 290 cd/m2. This resulted in some washed-out shades and greyish blacks which is worse than what we’ve seen on the newer IPS models like the AOC 24G2.
Panel uniformity could also be better since the top of the screen is brighter than the bottom. This flaw becomes noticeable in dark scenes and white backgrounds, and it can at times affect the color uniformity of the panel. However, this aspect varies between every unit, so there are better ones for retail out there.
What’s fantastic about the Dell S2421HGF is its pixel response time which doesn’t produce blurs or trails by default. The overdrive setting can be used to boost it a bit if you notice a bit of persistence, but we don’t think most will need it during gaming sessions. It is also wise not to overdo the latter since it can induce noticeable overshoot during transitions.
The Dell S2421HGF is a FreeSync gaming monitor, but it also tested to work flawlessly with Nvidia’s G-Sync Compatible Mode. This presents great value for gamers since you don’t need to change the monitor if in case you switch GPU brands during an upgrade. Input lag sits at 4ms at 144Hz, so there is no need to worry about delays while blasting away at your foes.
Thoughts on the Dell S2421HGF
The Dell S2421HGF is a superbly designed gaming monitor that is suitable for E-Sports titles like CSGO or Valorant where speed is of the utmost importance. The monitor is practically lag-free and has excellent motion handling so every gaming session will be smooth and blur-free. Its FreeSync and G-Sync compatibility is a crucial feature in today’s market since it will come in handy if you want to change GPU brands in the future.
The Dell S2421HGF is also capable of excellent color fidelity for a TN gaming monitor, but it drops the ball when it comes to contrast and brightness. Many will dislike the limited vibrancy and inconsistency of some hues in visually-heavy titles, but we know the purists won’t mind. Its also quite expensive at $250 when compared to IPS alternatives, although it regularly goes on sale and drops down to $200 which is a much better price point.
- Great Color Coverage and Default Accuracy
- Attractive Design
- Excellent Motion Handling and Low Input Lag
- FreeSync/G-Sync Compatible
- Pricey for 144Hz TN Monitor
- Tilt Only Stand
- Poor Contrast and Uniformity
About the Author:
Paolo is a gaming veteran since the golden days of Doom and Warcraft and has been building gaming systems for family, friends, and colleagues since his junior high years. High-performance monitors are one of his fixations and he believes that it’s every citizen’s right to enjoy one. He has gone through several pieces of hardware in pursuit of every bit of performance gain, much to the dismay of his wallet. He now works with Monitornerds to scrutinize the latest gear to create reviews that accentuate the seldom explained aspects of a PC monitor.