The Dell S2522HG is an E-Sports grade IPS gaming monitor that offers the essentials without hurting your bank account. Affordable fast IPS monitors are dime a dozen, but what makes this particular model special is it’s cheaper than many options in the market. Let’s see what the Dell S2522HG is and if it should be in your shopping cart for your upcoming upgrade.
Dell S2522HG Specifications
- Screen Size: 25 Inches
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Full HD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Panel Technology: In-Plane Switching (IPS)
- Refresh Rate: 144Hz
- Response Time: 0.5ms MPRT
- Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 (Static)
- Brightness: 400 cd/m2
- Built-in Speakers: Yes (2 x 2 Watts)
- Stand: Height – Yes
- Stand: Tilt – Yes
- Stand: Swivel – Yes
- Stand: Pivot – Yes
- VESA Compatibility: Yes (100 x 100)
- Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2 x 1, HDMI 2.0 x 2, USB 3.2 x 5, 3.5mm Jack x 1
- Dimensions with Stand(WxHxD): 21.87 x 19.91” x 7.89”
- Weight: 8.20 lbs
Design and Features
The Dell S2522HG isn’t as flashy as its Alienware counterparts, but we know a lot prefer simplicity over aesthetic gaudiness. The device has a matte black finish that is easy to maintain and will not clash with your setup’s theme. The display is bezel-free on three sides, but you will still see flushed inner borders when it’s in use.
Dell has reduced the overall footprints of its monitors to make them more compact and more importantly, environmentally friendly. The device uses fewer plastics by doing this and it is also easier to fit it into a populated desk. It also only weighs a little over eight pounds so it’s easy to move around if you want to rearrange your setup.
Build quality for the Dell S2522HG is great so you don’t get a budget product that feels gutted and cheap. The plastics are durable so they won’t crack or flex, and there are no uneven gaps or seams on its parts. The stand included is firm and stable so the screen won’t droop on you or shake while you are in the heat of battle.
The monitor also has an LED light bar under the bottom bezel which casts an ambient glow on your desk. It’s touch-sensitive, so you can turn it on or off with a simple gesture near its center. However, it is not RGB-capable, so you can only choose between a blue light or nothing at all.
The Dell S2522HG has an OSD joystick that’s flanked with hotkeys for easy access to its features and settings. Some premium competitors offer remotes and software for this aspect, but a joystick is more than enough for gamers. You don’t have a line of sight to it, but it is easy to reach since the monitor isn’t too big or wide.
The stand included with the Dell S2522HG offers full ergonomics for your comfort and safety during extended hours of gameplay. You can tilt, swivel, pivot, and adjust the height of the display so it’s easy to get a convenient viewing angle by default. You can also use VESA mounts with it, but it is only necessary for multimonitor setups or if you have a small desk.
It’s worth noting that the Dell S2522HG has plenty of connectivity features for a budget model. The layout includes DisplayPort 1.2 and two HDMI 2.0 ports for video inputs, along with five high-speed USB 3.2 ports for accessories and data transfers. Two of the USB ports are at the bottom bezel along with a 3.5mm jack so you can easily get to them without overturning the screen.
The Dell S2522HG doesn’t have speakers and it doesn’t have the provisions for Dell’s mini soundbar. That’s okay since gamers prefer headsets anyway since they are better for focus and directional sound. It is also a fact that the monitor is cheap enough so it’s acceptable to lose a few extras to make way for a more powerful screen.
Display and Performance
The Dell S2522HG sports a 25-inch Fast IPS panel with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, a 240Hz refresh rate, and a 1ms response time. The backlight has a 400 cd/m2 maximum while the contrast ratio is listed at 1000:1 like most IPS panels. These specs are typical in today’s market, so what sets each competitor apart is their overall performance.
25-inch 1080p screens are still ideal for daily use since they work great for both productivity and games. It is easy to get high framerates with most GPUS and it’s legible and easy on your eyes for reading and browsing. Full HD screens are still in play in almost every environment with a PC because of these facts, and what’s great about it is we’re all accustomed to using it.
The Dell S2522HG renders 100% sRGB and around 88% DCI-P3 for vibrant visuals in games and movies. The default accuracy isn’t good since the deltaE average was all over the place at 3.67. gamers won’t mind, but its obvious that this model is not ideal as a dual-purpose monitor for users who are into color-critical work.
However, what’s great about the Dell S2522HG is when it’s calibrated since the deltaE average can be improved to 0.71 which is excellent. The bad news is that most will need to buy a colorimeter to tune it this way, and those don’t come cheap. We recommend sticking to manual tweaking until you find a sweet spot that you like if you are using this monitor as intended and designed.
The backlight on the Dell S2522HG only managed to reach 365 cd/m2 at 100%, but that’s acceptable and bright enough for daily use. Its contrast ratio got to 924:1 at 60% brightness, so it cannot produce deep blacks like VA panels. This is a natural weakness of IPS technology, and you’d need specialized features like FALD backlights to get around it.
Panel uniformity for the Dell S2522HG sample needs some improvement since there were some backlight leaks on the top edges. This resulted in clouding issues in dark scenes which can be disruptive if you are sensitive to them. Take note that this varies between every unit due to tolerances in manufacturing and the very nature of IPS technology.
The Dell S2522HG isn’t the best in its category when it comes to pixel response time since there is still some trailing in fast-paced or contrasting scenes. Setting the overdrive to its middle level helped with this issue, but it cannot completely clean up the persistence. Using maximum overdrive isn’t ideal since it will induce overshoot which is even worse than the minor issue before it.
The Dell S2522HG works with FreeSync and G-Sync, so you don’t have to worry about losing Adaptive Sync if you switch brands. Having this duality is essential in today’s market since the GPU supply, demand, and pricing are still crazy at this point. Input lag sits at 3ms at 240Hz, so there is no need to worry about delays while gaming.
Thoughts on the Dell S2522HG
The Dell S2522HG is an excellent competitive gaming monitor if you consider how affordable it is versus the competition. For $300 or less, you get a well-designed product that isn’t perfect, but capable of providing a smooth and enjoyable experience. We like that it didn’t skimp on USB slots and ergonomics despite having a lower price.
However, the Dell S2522HG lacks a bit of refinement when it comes to color quality and its pixel response time. However, it is easy to overlook that if you consider what you are getting for the money you have to put in. It’s a great pick that saves you money which can be put in the bank or used for other upgrades.
- Great Gamut Coverage
- Low Price
- Excellent Design and Quality
- Plenty of Connectivity Ports
- Weak Contrast
- Not as Fast as Other 240Hz Models
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 junior high. 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.