With its edge-to-edge glass, slim profile, and crystal-clear 27-inch screen, the Dell S2740L offers an enticing blend of style and performance. This sleek-looking monitor uses IPS (in plane switching) panel technology to deliver excellent color depth that remains true from any angle, and its grayscale performance, while not stellar, is a good deal better than most TN (twisted nematic) monitors. It’s also one of the most energy-efficient IPS monitors to hit PC Labs. However, the high-gloss panel is very reflective, and some of the I/O ports are inconveniently located.
Design and Features
Taking a page from the Apple Thunderbolt Display playbook, the S2740L uses glossy edge-to-edge glass to protect its 1,920-by-1,080 panel. The look is aesthetically pleasing, and the shiny coating helps deliver a more vibrant picture than you’ll get with some matte coatings, but the screen tends to be very reflective when used in a brightly lit room. A Dell logo is embedded under the glass along the bottom border and there are five touch buttons and a power LED positioned along the right-hand border.
The curved matte black cabinet measures almost 1.5 inches at its thickest point but slims down to around 0.7 inch around the perimeter. There’s a silver Dell badge at the rear of the cabinet just above a recessed area that holds the I/O ports. Connections include DVI, VGA, and HDMI video inputs, two USB 2.0 downstream ports, a USB upstream port, and an audio line-out jack. All of the ports face downward, which is not really an issue for the video inputs as they probably won’t need to be accessed very often, but the downward USB port placement makes it difficult to plug in thumb drives and other peripherals.
The 11.6-pound cabinet sits atop a glossy black base and brushed silver mounting arm that keeps the panel steady and all of your cables neatly organized. It doesn’t support the height, swivel, and pivot adjustments that you get with the Dell UltraSharp U2713HM , but it does allow forward and backward tilt adjustability. The stand can be removed if you decide to hang the S2740L on a wall using the VESA mounting holes.
Dell’s implantation of the OSD (onscreen display) is among the best I’ve seen. Pressing any button brings up an on-screen sub-menu which includes choices for Presets modes, Brightness and Contrast settings, and the Main menu. Menu choices are positioned next to their corresponding buttons, making navigation foolproof. There are seven picture presets, including Standard, Multimedia, Movie, Game, Text, Warm, and Cool picture modes, and there’s one User mode that you can customize using Color Settings (RGB and YPbPr) and Image Enhance, which smooths out rough edges on non-HD images. You can adjust RGB values while in the User preset mode and tweak Hue and Saturation levels while in the Movie or Game modes. The Display settings menu offers Sharpness and Aspect Ratio settings when using a digital signal and Pixel Clock, Phase, and Position adjustments while using an analog signal.
The S2740L comes with a one year warranty, which is rather stingy when compared to the three year plan you get with other similarly priced 27-inch monitors such as the AOC i2757fh and Viewsonic VX2770Smh-LED . You get VGA and USB cables in the box but DVI and HDMI cables are not included.
Color performance was typical of an IPS panel; primary colors were nicely saturated and progressed evenly from dark to light on the DisplayMate Color Scales test. There were no noticeable tinting or color tracking issues and skin tones appeared balanced and natural while watching Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, on blu-ray disc. High definition image quality was sharp and noise-free as well.
The S2740L was able to reproduce every shade in the 64-Step Grayscale test, but as with the AOC i2757fh, the extreme dark and light shades were a bit weak. Viewing angle performance was outstanding as the picture remained bright and colorful from the top, sides, and bottom.
The panel’s 7-millisecond (gray-to-gray) pixel response rate did a reasonably good job of handling fast moving objects. I connected the S2740L to a PS3 console and played Midnight Run: Los Angeles, a graphics-intensive street racing game. There was no obvious lag or motion judder but I did observe minor blurring in some of the darker scenes. However, it was barely noticeable and most likely won’t be noticed unless you’re actively looking for it.
The S2740L used 21 watts of power during testing with Energy Smart disabled. That’s more energy efficient that the Viewsonic VX2770Smh-LED and the AOC i2757fh, both of which used 30 watts. What’s more, enabling the S2740L’s Energy Smart feature will further reduce power consumption depending on screen content. For these reasons the S2740L earns our Greentech stamp of approval.
If you’re looking to move up to a big screen monitor and have an eye for style, the Dell S2740L is a compelling choice. Its IPS panel technology delivers excellent color quality and bright, sharp HD imagery, and the picture looks great from any angle. Moreover, it won’t strain your budget and can actually help save money on your utility bill. Although the shiny edge to edge glass looks awesome, its reflective characteristics can be distracting, and the USB ports could be more conveniently located, say on the side of the monitor. If you want to save a few bucks and can live without USB connectivity, our current Editors’ Choice for big-screen mainstream monitors, the AOC i2757fh, also offers great IPS performance, and it too boasts an attractive, streamlined design.
Compare the Dell S2740Lwith several other monitors side by side.
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|Native Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Supported Video Formats||1080p24|
|PC Interfaces||Analog VGA, Digital (DVI-D), HDMI|
|Video Inputs||DVI, HDMI|
|Diagonal Screen Size||27 inches|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc