Dell S2716DG G-SYNC Gaming Monitor Review

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Author: AkG / Eber
Date: December 5, 2015
Product Name: S2716DG
Part Number: S2716DG
Warranty: 3 Years

 

NVIDIA’s G-SYNC is about two years old and in most respects, it has aged gracefully. The technology has undergone a number of different evolutions, gamers have –for the most part- bought into its benefits and the number of monitors it is integrated into has expanded at a relatively rapid pace. Granted, there has been some rising competition from AMD’s FreeSync and the price associated with many G-SYNC equipped displays can be staggering for gamers on a budget but for the most part, NVIDIA has delivered on all their promises. Now with Dell’s new S2716DG, G-SYNC has yet another major backer in its quest for broader appeal.

When it comes to their monitors and the technology behind them, Dell has historically taken a conservative approach. Despite being, by volume at least, among the top five monitor suppliers in the world they were among the last to implement key advances such as DisplayPort and IPS panels into their highly regarded lineups. In addition, being a company that has typically targeted the volume-focused business and home use markets, certain niches have gone without a Dell monitor to address their needs. One of those is the gaming segment (though many UltraSharps were highly regarded among gamers) but that is about to change with the S2716DG.

At face value, there really isn’t anything to distinguish the S2716DG from other G-SYNC equipped monitors that have been around for a while now. It has a refresh rate 144Hz, a TN panel and a diagonal size of 27”. That TN panel may prove to be a limitation in some people’s eyes since companies like Acer have proven even high quality IPS panels can successfully hit 144Hz without costing an absolute fortune. Indeed, the S2716DG somewhat staggering price of $799USD may prove to be its largest drawback given some of those IPS alternatives are over $100 less.

So beyond the potential legitimacy it bestows upon NVIDIA’s G-SYNC why is the S2716DG such a talked-about product? First and foremost Dell’s “standard” price is rarely in effect and this monitor can typically be found for anywhere between $625 and $675. At that cost it is an awesome contender for gamers’ hearts, minds and investment. In addition, while it may not have Dell’s Premium Panel Guarantee, the S2716DG is still covered for three years by what many feel is one of the best customer support teams around. That in itself has a certain amount of value attached to it.

Past the obvious benefits when it comes to sale prices and service, Dell has worked hard to make their first real gaming-grade display as adaptable as possible. This means its design is meant to look beyond just a one-track “we’ll be awesome for gamers and not much else” approach by giving users enough tertiary features that utilization beyond gaming becomes a very real possibility.

One of the best additions is an excellent anti-glare coating which effectively cuts glare without making images overly ‘fuzzy’. This is one area Dell has a lot of experience in, making the S2716DG every bit as good in the glare department as the 10-bit IPS UltraSharps that we use on a daily basis.

Beyond the anti-glare coating, Dell has given their first G-SYNC monitor a great looking yet understated exterior design which boasts an extremely thin bezel or what Dell calls ‘edge-to-edge’ panel. In addition, when viewed edge- on this thing almost disappears.

Those elements in conjunction with a stand that is as useable as it is pretty makes for one rather good looking monitor. However, unlike some ‘good looking’ monitors we have recently looked at, Dell has not hobbled the stand’s capabilities. It offers 26 degrees of tilt (-5 to +21), swivel, and even landscape to portrait modes. Add in 130mm of height adjustment and adding multiple S2716DG’s in portrait mode for the ultimate surround gaming setup is certainly a possibility.

The only area that anyone can accuse Dell of skimping on is in the input department. However, this is not necessarily their fault since the G-SYNC module effectively eliminates the possibility of DVI or daisy-chaining multiple monitors together. There does however need to be some kudos doled out since there’s also a HDMI input here; one which can be used as a separate input for a secondary device. This puts the S2716DG well ahead of many other G-SYNC monitors and it could be a serious selling feature for anyone who wants to run a pair of systems off one panel.

Other than the display options, Dell has also added a four-port (two ports behind and two along the edge of the monitor) USB 3.0 hub. This is another great feature but we have to wonder how long it will be until we start seeing some forward-thinking USB 3.1 hubs on these displays.

Dell has also included multiple physical buttons for command and control of the On Screen Display. This will make adjusting this monitor much easier than on others we have seen which used a capacitive design.

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