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Dell ST2220L - Stealing Every Other Monitor's Thunder
The Dell ST2220L looks pretty OK, but it performs like a pro. It’s a full HD LED monitor, and it looks like they’ve put in a lot of work into it. Read more to find out what you’re putting your money into.
Design and Features
The Dell ST2220L isn’t the slimmest monitor. It isn’t even that great to look at, in fact, it looks pretty ordinary. It took me just a couple of minutes to set up the screen, and I was ready to start looking at it closer. The adjustable stand is pretty solid and holds the screen up pretty well. Unfortunately, the stand only allows you to tilt the screen 4° forward and 21° backward, and not sideways. Tough break, but I can live with it.
The monitor has a jet-black border that’s a little over an inch thick around the sides and the top. However, at the bottom, it is a little thicker and it has an additional matte finish silver border. The touch sensitive menu controls are situated at the right and the features in the menu are pretty standard, but navigating through it can take a little getting used to. It looks really easy, but then you realise it’s not that simple when you press the wrong buttons at times. All I’m saying is that it takes a little getting used to.
Another thing that didn’t make me smile a lot was the layout for the inputs at the back, which are placed as if the manufacturer is trying to test your patience to see how badly you want to watch stuff on this monitor. All I’m saying is that they could’ve made it a little more accessible. Anyway, the inputs are pretty standard. It has HDMI (for the win!), DVI, VGA, and two 3.5 mm plugs for audio input and output.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot to add that they haven’t bothered to bundle an HDMI cable with the monitor. They have given a standard VGA cable with a DVI converter though. Little cheap if you ask me.
The performance of this monitor actually made me forget all about all the cr*p I said regarding the inputs and non-inclusion of HDMI cables, etc. It is the BOMB! And of course, I mean this in a good way. The reason for this monitor being not so slim definitely shows in the quality of picture coming from the screen. It has beautiful black levels, accurate skin tones, realistic shadows and great response time. However, the only problem I noticed was the screen is a little dark around the edges, which is probably due to the LED lighting.
I first tried it out with our test Blu-Ray disc, and thinking about the experience makes me want to cry tears of joy even an hour after switching it off. OK, enough of being emo, but is definitely one of the better monitors I’ve tested so far. I also played a 720p file off the PC I’d connected it to, and it played back flawlessly. Of course, I had to test the gaming capabilities, so the ST2220L had a long and exciting date with my two other friends, the PS3 and Batman Arkham Asylum, and all I can say is woo! Absolutely killed it, with nail on the head and all. Nice fluid game-play, great colours, and no sign of ghosting or streaking.
The DisplayMate test always worries the monitors and TVs I test, but the ST2220L seemed like it was up for the challenge, and I put it through all the tests. Surprise, surprise; it passed with flying colours. It did exceedingly well in areas such as Streaking & Ghosting, Colour Scales, Screen Regulation, Defocusing, Blooming & Halos, Pincushion/Barrel Distortion and Geometric Linearity. And this doesn’t mean it didn’t do the other tests well too. The ST2220L came out of the exam room with an overall score of 56.5 out of 70, putting it along side all the toppers. No moiré patterns, uniform colour, almost no judder at all, and beautiful blacks. Nuff said, me thinks.
This is definitely one of the better monitors I’ve tested. And it’s priced at approximately Rs. 8,500, which makes it an absolute bargain. It passed the most rigorous tests straight out of the box. People who don’t know too much about changing settings or can’t be bothered to change them can use this monitor without worrying too much. The only major thing that is wrong with this monitor is that the edges are a little dim. If you can deal with this and other little things such as thickness, and the ordinary design this one’s definitely a keeper.