With a 32-inch kind issue, the Dell S3221QS offers a large amount of display screen actual property that any multi-tasker, graphics skilled or gamer might admire. Promoting for $349 at retail (as of this writing), it qualifies as a candidate for our Best Budget 4K Monitors record.
And there are a variety of nice options right here. From the trendy model to its high-quality construct and inclusion of AMD FreeSync for informal gaming or fast-paced scenes in motion pictures, the S3221QS guarantees to be an incredible addition to anybody’s house or workspace. However creatives or colour purists could also be left disenchanted by its lack of colour accuracy.
Dell S3221QS Specs
|Panel Kind / Backlight||VA / W-LED|
|Display Measurement, Facet Ratio & Curve||31.5 inches / 16:9|
|Curve radius: 1800mm|
|Max Decision & Refresh Fee||3840 x 2160 @ 60 Hz|
|AMD FreeSync (vary not specified)|
|Native Shade Depth & Gamut||sRGB, DCI-P3|
|Response Time (GTG)||Excessive: 4ms; Quick: 5ms; Regular: 8ms|
|Max Brightness||300 nits|
|Audio system||2x 5W stereo|
|Connectivity||2x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 2x USB 3.0 Kind-A, 1x 3.5mm|
|Dimensions (WxHxD w/base)||27.9 in x 8.1 in x 20.4 inches|
|Guarantee||1 12 months|
Meeting and Equipment
Establishing the Dell S3221QS was very simple and simple, with solely 3 items to place collectively and no instruments required.
You first connect the stand to the bottom by turning the screw deal with that’s already on the backside of the bottom clockwise. Then, join the stand to the primary show by sliding the tabs on the prime into the allotted slots behind the monitor. Push the deal with down till you hear a satisfying click on. Which means the stand is locked in place, and also you’re executed.
Alternatively, a VESA-compatible mount equipment and wall mount directions can be found if you wish to go that route. However know that since it is a curved monitor, the show will take up extra space and gained’t be utterly flushed towards the wall.
Regardless of its extra budget-friendly value, the S3221QS has nice construct high quality and elegance. The very first thing I seen except for its ample 1800mm curvature was its distinctive design options, beginning with the white textured shell behind the monitor and large, matte-silver base and stand. Having a number of colours may not be to everybody’s style, however I discovered it to be a pleasant departure from the all-black, flat displays that I‘ve turn out to be so accustomed to. The S3221QS positively appears prefer it was designed to match a extra fashionable house or workplace aesthetic. That stated, having the black cables operating behind the monitor ruins that fashionable look. Dell ought to take into account transport these shows with white or grey cables for a cleaner workspace look.
The monitor’s VA panel show is surrounded by three ultra-thin bezels, with the highest and each side having just a little over 8mm thickness. The underside strip is sort of 1 inch thick, sufficient to sport a small Dell emblem within the center. There’s a larger Dell emblem in metallic silver behind the monitor too. The large base of the S3221QS has a slight curve on the again that properly follows the 1800R curvature of the monitor and likewise has a slanted design on either side –it makes for an incredible mix of favor and function.
You’ll be able to simply modify your view of the 32221QS with -5 levels and 21 levels tilt provisions and a 2.8-inch top adjustment. It wasn’t arduous to maneuver the 32-incher up and down or tilt ahead and again to swimsuit my viewing desire. The monitor remained agency and steady all through the changes. Nonetheless, slant actions are so restricted — between -4 and +4 levels — that if feels a bit pointless. There may be additionally no pivot or swivel performance accessible. This implies no portrait viewing, which might be for the most effective, contemplating how thick the curved chassis is.
The 32221QS’ stand feels utterly steady, because of its flat large base (8 x 13 x 10 inches). The underside is large sufficient to maintain the display screen regular as may be, even within the presence of heavy-handed typists.
For connectivity, the 32221QS comes with two HDMI 2.0 ports and a DisplayPort 1.2. However sadly, there’s no DisplayPort cable. You do get one HDMI cable although. When you get the required cables, this may very well be a great monitor for connecting a number of PCs. That is made even simpler by the monitor’s Image-by-Image (PBP) and Image-in-Image (PIP) performance, which you activate by way of the on-screen show (OSD) menu. Sadly, there isn’t any USB-C port accessible for this show. (Shouldn’t all displays have USB-C connectivity by now?).
The monitor additionally contains two USB Kind-A ports and comes with a USB 3.0 cable, plus an audio port to plug in your best gaming headset or exterior speaker. There are additionally two built-in audio system on the backside of every aspect of the body, which you’ll simply modify utilizing the amount controls of the OSD (extra on the audio system within the Fingers-on part).
Dell’s S3221QS additionally comes with an influence cable.
Like with most OSD menus, you may entry the S3221QS’s picture and different settings on the bottom-right aspect of the monitor by way of 4 buttons residing alongside a bigger energy button. I don’t discover this to be a handy solution to modify picture settings although. I’d choose the comfort of a helpful distant management to control and customise the show, however you’d be hard-pressed to seek out that characteristic in a 4K monitor at this value. I do like the truth that the settings are routinely saved as you navigate from one menu or sub-menu to a different. Picture settings embrace the common menu objects, akin to Distinction/Brightness, Enter Supply, Shade and Preset Modes.
It was fascinating to mess around with the Sensible HDR characteristic, which works with each SDR and HDR content material. You’ll be able to decide between Desktop, Film, Recreation or, after all, flip Sensible HDR Off. Based mostly on my expertise, this characteristic labored finest for Recreation HDR mode. I might clearly observe an enchancment with having the characteristic on versus off. The photographs turned from boring to crisp and clear. Film HDR, in the meantime, wasn’t noticeable. Apparently, the Desktop HDR didn’t supply any enchancment and, as a substitute, damage the picture. I discovered the display screen to be too blue and most well-liked to have the Sensible HDR off when doing productiveness work. For basic SDR testing, we left Sensible HDR off, however you’ll discover our benchmarks for the totally different HDR modes within the HDR Efficiency part.
As an added bonus for energy customers and multitaskers, you may obtain the Dell Display Manager, which is a good instrument that will help you set up your desktop and likewise offers a neater solution to modify your brightness and distinction settings in your show. There are a number of layouts to select from, and you’ve got as many as six apps displayed on the similar time. It’s also possible to customise your preset modes for every utility or configure shortcut keys simply. This characteristic is out there in different Dell displays, just like the 27-inch price range 4K Dell S2721QS, and is a pleasant further characteristic that helps these screens stand out a bit.
At 75%, the default brightness setting was simply excellent for me as a result of I are inclined to develop a headache with actually vibrant screens, however you may bump it as much as the brightest settings if that’s what you like with out the show trying washed out. The colours are vibrant, and the textual content is obvious and straightforward on the eyes. Maybe that is additionally as a result of slight curvature that this 4K monitor offers. The 1800R curve was an adjustment at first as a result of I’m used to observing a giant flat-screen panel, however I seen that I might work for much longer with none eye pressure utilizing this 1800R show.
The S3221QS’ 1800R curvature is definitely noticeable however not too pronounced. It gently enhanced the enjoyable when gaming, however fast-paced aggressive players would in all probability choose one thing extra dramatic, just like the 1000R Samsung Odyssey G7, for a really immersive expertise. However, that additionally means this curve isn’t intrusive both. I didn’t discover any distortion due to the curve of S3221QS and truly discovered it nice for working with a number of paperwork or functions.
With a 60 Hz refresh fee and 4ms, 5ms or 8ms (GTG) response time, relying on the setting, the S3221QS is much from being specced to compete with the best 4K gaming monitors. However Dell nonetheless markets the display screen towards leisure and console gaming and equips it with FreeSync, which fights display screen tearing when paired with an AMD graphics card. So I loaded up Riot Video games’ Valorant, a first-person shooter developed with HDR photographs, and performed with the monitor’s default settings and HDR off. As an informal gamer, I used to be in a position to get by and didn’t discover any seen tearing or stuttering. However the photographs have been boring and washed out, particularly in comparison with what I anticipated from gaming on a 4K display screen.
Right here, I noticed how useful the monitor’s Sensible HDR modes may be with SDR content material. After I turned Recreation HDR mode on, the colours immediately turned brighter and the pictures appeared sharper. I used to be higher in a position to admire the clearness of various battlegrounds as I carried out my mission. I positively most well-liked gaming with Recreation HDR mode on versus off.
I additionally used the S3221QS to look at a 4K HDR copy of Disney’s Raya and the Final Dragon. This time round, the impact of the corresponding Sensible HDR mode wasn’t as useful. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a placing distinction between when the Film HDR mode was on versus off. Even in probably the most colourful scenes, akin to when Raya meets the dragon Sisu or when Raya fights with Namaari to stop her from stealing the Dragon Orb, the colours have been acceptably vibrant in each modes. Moreover, there wasn’t any seen blurriness, and I might see element in shadowy areas. There was additionally no glare on the display screen, even with the blinds have been open.
The 5W stereo audio system positioned on the backside of the show have been a little bit of a disappointment. They weren’t loud sufficient even on the most setting. I might suggest plugging exterior audio system for extra passable gaming or film watching.
Brightness and Distinction
Our testing contains use of a Portrait Shows SpectraCal C6 colorimeter. To examine our monitor checks in-depth, try Display Testing Explained: How We Test PC Monitors. We cowl brightness and distinction testing on page two.
To see how the S3221QS measures up towards different price range 32-inch 4K screens, we in contrast it towards two different VA shows, the AOC CU32V3, one other curved monitor, and the LG 32UN500-W, a flat panel. All three displays max out at a 60 Hz refresh fee.
Hitting 318.6 nits with the monitor set to max brightness, the S3221QS simply barely beats its specs sheet’s declare of 300 max nits. But it surely nonetheless falls in need of the rival displays within the comparability group. It’s not a giant distinction, however in the event you work close to a really sunny window and need the brightest of the three, the LG 32UN500-W can pump out 56.8 extra nits than our assessment focus.
When it got here to its black ranges, our assessment focus bested all different comparability displays with a 0.13 nit worth, however the variance between the three may be very slim. Total, these outcomes come as no shock as it is not uncommon for VA panels to supply robust black ranges in comparison with IPS and TN panels, in addition to offering glorious distinction. That is borne out within the subsequent set of benchmark outcomes the place the S3221QS tops the record as soon as once more. That stated, at max brightness, the monitor fails to hit Dell’s max distinction ratio declare of three,000:1. However that is nonetheless excellent efficiency, particularly for a price range monitor with 4K decision.
Grayscale and Gamma Monitoring
Trying on the S3221QS’ grayscale monitoring at default settings, we will see spot oversaturation of inexperienced and, particularly, purple with the monitor set to 40-89% brightness, which is a standard vary of brightness to be used, significantly for the reason that monitor’s set to 75% brightness by default. With a grayscale Delta E (dE) of over 3 (3.49), these will likely be seen to eager eyes. You’ll must calibrate in the event you hope for extra accuracy.
Gamma might additionally use some work. At default settings, we see robust deviations from the two.2 very best at 10% brightness and from 80% to about 95% brightness. That is normal efficiency for a price range display screen, nevertheless. Whereas utilizing the monitor at 10% brightness might be much less widespread, low gamma on the default settings explains a few of the washed-out imagery we noticed when taking part in Valorant, in addition to some tougher to see brighter highlights.
The S3221QS default grayscale error of three.49 dE tops the record of comparability displays. Neither the LG nor the AOC ought to exhibit visibly grayscale errors as a result of their errors are underneath 3dE. However each the CU32V3 and 32UN500-W fared higher than the S3221QS right here.
The gamma worth vary chart reveals every monitor’s vary of gamma values throughout 0-100% brightness steps. Smaller gamma worth ranges are higher as a result of which means the monitor’s sticking near the two.2 very best throughout all brightness ranges. All three displays are comparable on this regard. Nonetheless, extra premium displays can present gamma worth ranges underneath 1. Calibration might deliver this monitor’s gamma extra in line.
Shade Gamut Accuracy
For particulars on our colour gamut testing and quantity calculations, click here.
At its default settings, the S3221QS reveals seen errors in its native DCI-P3 colour gamut. Yellow appears correct, however there’s undersaturation within the 20-60% blue steps, serving to clarify the additional purple and inexperienced we noticed within the grayscale monitoring charts. The monitor additionally misses the outer inexperienced level, and magenta and cyan are a bit off.
Whereas the online and SDR content material are made within the smaller sRGB house, we’re seeing extra colourful screens nowadays, providing extra shades and getting into the broader DCI-P3 colour house. With seen DCI-P3 colour errors, the S3221QS positioned final amongst our comparability group by way of DCI-P3 colour accuracy at default settings. The AOC and LG displays’ DCI-P3 colour errors are so low that you just should not have the ability to discover them with the bare eye.
All three displays cowl an identical proportion of the DCI-P3 colour house and make sRGB look further saturated. The monitor doesn’t have a devoted sRGB mode, so the oversaturation is one thing to bear in mind in the event you’re a colour purist. I, nevertheless, loved the additional vibrance when browsing the online or watching an SDR film.
To study our HDR testing, see our breakdown of how we test PC monitors.
The Dell S3221QS has three accessible HDR modes: Desktop, Recreation and Film. These modes can’t be tweaked in any means as soon as chosen, so there’s no means to enhance any inaccuracies or tweak to non-public desire. And with none VESA DisplayHDR certification or superior backlight expertise, akin to an edge-array backlight or the full-array native dimming (FALD) backlights discovered on costlier HDR screens, we wouldn’t anticipate this to be one of many best HDR monitors.
With the PC set to HDR and the monitor set to Desktop HDR Mode, the picture immediately appeared too blue, straining my eyes and making it tougher to do any productiveness work. As the primary chart above reveals, all purple steps are undersaturated on this mode, and inexperienced can also be just a little underneath, whereas blue is nearer to its targets, leading to a very blue picture. Yellow leans just a little towards inexperienced, and cyan and magenta are additionally off.
The chart for Film HDR mode appears much like the Desktop HDR mode, however magenta takes a dramatic shift towards purple, and yellow is nearer to the inexperienced aspect than orange. We didn’t see a significant distinction between the 2 modes when watching HDR content material.
Our DCI-P3 chart for Recreation HDR mode reveals magenta and blue being off the mark with the latter undersaturated too. Cyan leans towards inexperienced and yellow towards orange, however this wasn’t noticeable when taking part in video games.
The charts above present poor HDR picture accuracy in all three modes: Desktop, Video games and Film. And the shortage of calibration controls present no solution to make any picture changes.
The Desktop mode chart reveals excessive grayscale errors from 55-100% brightness, with seen errors at virtually each different brightness stage too. Basically, blue is extraordinarily dominant, with inexperienced and purple deeply missing and purple barely being seen on the 60-70% brightness vary. The Recreation and Film HDR modes’ grayscale monitoring look virtually equivalent. Reds are oversaturated, and blue is tremendously undersaturated if not barely there.
All three HDR modes confirmed related EOTF luminance monitoring. You’ll be able to spot the transitions to tone-mapping at round 50-80% as a substitute of squarely on the 65% mark, and it’s just a little too excessive at about 0-25% brightness. As beforehand talked about, S3221QS’s sub-standard HDR efficiency is anticipated of most price range displays available in the market immediately. Hopefully, this improves going ahead.
Dell’s S3221QS is an all-purpose monitor that delivers totally on worth. You need to use it for work, leisure and even informal gaming. It offers 31.5 inches of display screen actual property, so you may pull up a number of paperwork on the similar time and work extra effectively. It additionally has 4K decision, and AMD FreeSync additionally enables you to recreation comfortably at an appropriate 60 frames per second (fps). And it’s 1800R curvature proves pleasing, but not overbearing.
Admittedly, the three-tone (white shell, silver stand and black bezels) colour combo could also be a bit too jarring for some folks’s style. However I don’t thoughts it and to me this model and design may very well swimsuit many fashionable house workplace or work environments.
The Dell S3221QS outperformed rivals just like the LG 32UN500-W and AOC CU32V3 in brightness and distinction and is equally colourful, whereas trying further saturated in the event you’re used to an sRGB display screen. The S3221QS is also the one of the three with USB connectivity. To prime it off, from a purely aesthetic perspective, the S3221QS’s smooth skilled design is probably the most enticing of our comparability group.
In case you’re seeking to improve to a bigger 4K monitor that’s priced underneath $500, the Dell S3221QS (at the moment promoting at $349) is really price contemplating.