The Dell 27 S2716DG, long serial number I know, is entering into a difficult market as it tries to capture the hearts of one of the pickiest customers in the tech landscape, gamers. Equipped with a 144hz refresh rate, Nvidia G-Sync and a 27″ 1440 QHD display, this monitor definitely has everything gamers are seeking, but some cuts were made to hit its MSRP price tag of $699 USD.
Setting up the monitor was incredibly simple, consisting of three parts interconnected with metal locks and magnets to create a 10-pound display. The stand allows you to freely adjust the monitor into any position necessary to fit your desk space and the joints feel so tight that there should be no worry of this monitor sagging down or buckling from the weight of the panel when it’s fully extended. The panel opts out of touch-screen options to handle it’s multi-media functions and sticks to traditional button caps.
These buttons feel very squishy to press, but they require a decent amount of pressure to be applied to them before they actually activate their functions. This is great for people who sometimes hit their power button by mistake when they really just wanted to change the volume, but it felt like every cap needed a different amount of pressure to be activated, which became a mild annoyance itself.
The only part of the Dell 27 S2716DG aesthetics I didn’t like in this particular kit is that Dell decided to make the body of the panel a high gloss finish instead of a satin or matte finish to match the silver stand. Gloss finishes always lose their luster whenever they are touched and if there’s ever a chance it gets scratched or bumped, the monitor simply becomes an eyesore. While this is just a mild nitpick, I’m personally sick of taking care of Gloss bodied monitors because it feels like an unnecessary chore.
“The Dell 27 S2716DG is a quality monitor for gamers in any budget bracket to consider.”
The picture on the Dell 27 S2716DG won’t blow anyone away out of the box, but the Dell’s settings provide more then enough room for improvement in its colour and brightness options to keep users satisfied. The only setting that can’t be helped much however, is the low gamma, which unfortunately creates some muted colors and low contrast no matter what you try. This doesn’t exactly destroy the viewing experience, but the picture certainly loses some life it could have with higher end monitors. This feels like the largest trade off the monitor suffers from and will probably become the deciding factor for wiping it off your list of available choices because everything else about the picture quality feels properly executed.
I’ve never treated myself to an above 60hz experience until this review and I must say it’s changed the way I want to game. Every single title in my library that suffered from screen-tearing or lag became a near seamless experience for me to enjoy thanks to the Dell’s 144hz refresh rate. This is definitely the standard you should be looking for in your monitor of choice no matter if you’re playing low-end titles or the latest AAA’s. However, you might want to scratch G-sync off the list of necessities, especially if you’re considering spending most of your time on competitive titles like me.
G-Synch works with your Nvidia GPU to deliver an even smoother experience then the one I described, but with one bad catch, input-lag. While the input-lag on G-Sync monitors has gotten better with time, the lag in the Dell 27 S2716DG still feels noticeable. There is literally no downside to using this feature in single-player titles where you can go at your own pace, but when it comes down to an intense PVP match, it’s best to have it off to keep your edge. It should also be of note that the Dell 27 has a similar feature for ATI cards called Ultra Low Motion Blur, but your rig has to be able to hold a constant 85 frames or less for it to be effective.
The Dell 27 S2716DG is a quality monitor for gamers in any budget bracket to consider. It has a lot of the appeal that enthusiast users want and delivers it with proper execution at an affordable price. Outside of a nitpicked glossy finish and a weak gamma setting, this monitor provides more than enough quality in my eyes to justify it’s price to performance and leaves me craving for more game time with it now that I am back to a maxed out 60 frame experience.