Dell UltraSharp U3818DW MonitorSource: Daniel Bader / Android Central

Best Dell Monitor Android Central 2020

To decide which of the best Dell monitors to add to your PC or laptop, we focused our choices on the displays that our readers should reasonably expect to pay for an accessory. Dell technically sells $4000+ "monitors" that are larger than your TV and beneath those a variety of giant curved models and other premium devices that only a handful of professionals will need for color accuracy. What truly matters is that Dell sells several reasonably priced monitors that will appeal to any student, artist, or gamer in need of more desktop space, such as the excellent 27" P2720DC USB-C Monitor.

Best Overall: Dell 27" USB-C Monitor (P2720DC)

Dell P2720DC MonitorSource: Dell

With its QHD resolution, the P2720DC strikes the right balance between gaming-centric or budget 1080p monitors that just don't look amazing and the more expensive 4K monitors that cost as much as a laptop themselves. At 2560x1440 resolution with a high PPI density and 350 nits of brightness, you get a level of aesthetic quality that will fit the vast majority of shoppers' needs without breaking the bank.

The Dell 27-inch Monitor supports the option to create custom desktop personalizations that squeeze as many applications as possible into each window partition. But you can also simply plug in your laptop via USB-C and not bother with any configuration, and leave your laptop charging via the monitor's 65W power supply without needing to rely on your power brick.

The monitor itself is fairly compact in-depth, so you should have no trouble fitting it on your desk. And it can also swivel, pivot, and tilt in various directions for the perfect viewing angle, though the IPS panel design lets you see the screen clearly even at a 178-degree angle — potentially useful in a workplace setting. It has the same 5ms response time, and 60Hz refresh rate as the other non-gaming Dell monitors, which won't win any gaming prizes but is good enough for non-competitive fun.

Pros:

  • Good price for QHD resolution
  • Plug-and-play
  • Laptop charges and connects to display via one cord
  • Flexible monitor screen movement
  • Easy Arrange saved window configurations
  • Same gaming, contrast, brightness specs as more expensive models

Cons:

  • Somewhat limited color range

Best Overall

Dell 27" USB-C Monitor (P2720DC)

Hits the resolution sweet spot

This 27" USB-C monitor delivers middle-of-the-road specs, high-quality features, and a somewhat bargain price.

Best Bargain-Priced Monitor: Dell 24" Monitor (P2419H)

Dell P2419h Monitor HeroSource: Dell

Monitor shopping for most shoppers is about compromise. Anything past certain spec benchmarks — 1080p resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, a certain level of brightness — is going to cost more than many customers are willing to pay. Because of this, these customers should choose a monitor like the Dell P2419H, which will extend your screen space for a low price even if it doesn't offer flashy improvements like 4K.

Compared to other 1080p monitors, the P2419H stands out thanks to its adjustable stand. You can slightly raise or lower the monitor, tilt the screen upwards, swivel it left or right without moving the base, and even pivot it a full 90 degrees to make it 24" tall, should that prove useful for whatever reason. In its normal state, you'll find the narrow bezel along the top and sides, maximizing screen space.

Otherwise, its specs are fairly standard but have no weak points. We like that it has an IPS panel, which means you get a clear view of the screen at nearly any angle. A 1000:1 contrast ratio with 250 nits is a fairly regular baseline for value monitors that will look normal but lack the vibrancy and brightness of a more expensive unit. Its response time varies from 8 to 5ms, which, combined with a 60Hz refresh rate, proves this isn't built for gaming but will work well in normal contexts.

If you do pick this model, try investing in a monitor light bar and help its brightness climb to more visually pleasing levels.

Pros:

  • Highly adjustable stand
  • Ultra-thin bezel
  • 8 various ports
  • Affordably priced
  • IPS panel

Cons:

  • Average brightness and contrast
  • Only 1080p

Best Bargain-Priced Monitor

Dell 24" Monitor (P2419H)

Save money on a versatile screen

Don't spend money on specs you don't need, and buy this solid 24-inch, 1080p monitor for work or school at a reasonable price.

Best 4K Monitor for Creative Work: Dell UltraSharp 27" 4K USB-C Monitor (U2720Q)

Dell UltraSharp 24 InchSource: Dell

Buying a 4K monitor with a reliable color gamut is necessary for many industries; artists, photographers, engineers, web designers, and other jobs require you to know exactly what color is on the screen, so you're certain what your audience will see on their own PC monitors. The 27-inch U2720Q may be the best Dell monitor for that role, as well as the best in its size category.

Featuring 3840 x 2160 resolution, 350 nits, a 1300/1 contrast ratio, and an IPS panel attached to a swivel-ready base, the Dell U2720Q display gives you a higher ppi (163), better streaming quality, and a more pronounced difference between lights and darks than any of the other monitors on this list by far. Out of the box, the colors are factory calibrated at 99% sRGB for a nearly full array of colors. Still, you can then adjust the settings to support 95% DCI-P3 for an even wider range, up to 1.07 billion colors in total displayed in all their 4K glory.

Another important perk of the Dell U2720Q is its USB-C DisplayPort, which can emit up to 90W of power to your laptop while also hosting the laptop through the same port. And, if the monitor turns out to have a defective pixel within the first three years of owning it, you can get it replaced for free. In fact, the main deficit of this model is true of any 4K monitor: it will seldom go past 60Hz because refreshing all the extra 4K pixels quickly is a fool's errand.

Pros:

  • 4K display
  • 1300:1 contrast ratio
  • 95% DCI-P3 with built-in calibration
  • Most powerful 27" DisplayPort wattage
  • Robust warranty
  • Good price for 4K device

Cons:

  • No variable refresh rate, FreeSync, etc.

Best 4K Monitor for Creative Work

Dell UltraSharp 27" 4K USB-C Monitor (U2720Q)

All billion+ colors of the rainbow

If you want a 4K monitor that will keep your computer charged and fully support your creative efforts, the U2720Q should be your choice.

Best Gaming Monitor: Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor (AW2521HF)

Alienware 25 MonitorSource: Alienware

Want to feel like an eSports gamer? The Alienware 25 has some of the best specs for gaming that we've ever seen: a 240Hz refresh rate for ultrasmooth visuals, true 1ms response time for minimal lag, and new IPS tech that supports side viewing angles for fast-moving content. Add in AMD FreeSync Premium and NVIDIA G-SYNC for synced graphics with the monitor, and you'll have an excellent overall gaming experience.

Of course, for the sake of hitting 240Hz, the display is only 1080p; it has a narrower color gamut than most other Dell monitors (16.78 million vs 1.06 billion). Outside of fast-paced gaming, regular content like 4K video streaming or video editing software won't look as good as it would on another monitor. But if you can accept that, it's a fair sacrifice to make for great gaming performance.

For the sake of optimized performance, Alienware provided a display menu that lets you change the monitor settings based on the genre of the game you're playing. Design-wise, it has special cooling vents, so hardcore graphics don't overheat the monitor, and the VESA-compatible mount lets you tilt, swivel and pivot your Alienware monitor (though not quite as much as the Dell P2419H. The AW2521HF has all the ports you'd ever need as well: USB upstream, two USB-C ports, two USB 3.0 ports (one with power charging), two HDMI ports, one DisplayPort, and one Audio Line-Out.

Pros:

  • 240Hz
  • 1ms response time
  • FreeSync and G-SYNC
  • 400 nits
  • Affordable price
  • Display can be tilted

Cons:

  • Poor color gamut
  • Only 1080p

Best Gaming Monitor

Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor (AW2521HF)

The only choice for competitive gaming

The Alienware 25 gives you minimal lag and tearing on a bright screen for fast-paced online games for a reasonable price.

Best Ultrawide Monitor: Dell UltraSharp 38 Curved Monitor (U3818DW)

Dell UltraSharp U3818DW MonitorSource: Daniel Bader / Android Central

If you can afford it and have room on your desk, this monstrously large monitor offers all the desktop real estate you could ever need. The appeal of an expensive product like this is for consumers that would normally buy two monitors and are sick of passing content from one to the other with a real-world gap between them. With a 21:9 aspect ratio and 3840 x 1600 resolution, you can fit multiple rectangular windows on your desktop at once, which coders and creative types will find particularly useful.

The UltraSharp 38 won't fit on every desk: including the stand; it's 8.9 inches deep, so you'll need to measure your desk and ensure you have room for your keyboard or laptop in front. But if you can make things work, it is a beautiful monitor that curves to keep your content pointed at you even on the sides. Along with the high resolution, it supports 99% of the sRGB color gamut (about 1.07 billion colors) and 350 nits, which should help for color accuracy when working on creative projects — though the 1000:1 contrast ratio is only average.

With its USB-C power port, it can keep your laptop charged without the need of a docking station. And unlike many displays, it has strong 9W speakers that produce a decently loud and rich sound despite the lack of a subwoofer. Just don't rely on the UltraSharp 38 for gaming specs like a fast refresh rate or FreeSync.

Pros:

  • 38 inches wide
  • 21:9 aspect ratio
  • Stand has VESA support built-in
  • Over a billion colors supported
  • Good brightness

Cons:

  • Hard to fit on many desks
  • Average Hz, contrast ratio
  • Expensive

Best Ultrawide Monitor

Dell UltraSharp 38 Curved Monitor (U3818DW)

Tons of desktop space, little desk space

Never bother with multi-monitor setups again; just rely on this one massive, gorgeous curved monitor.

Bottom line

Choosing the best Dell monitor for you will truly come down to the type of device you plan on connecting to it. For instance, we included a couple of Dell monitors in our best external monitors for Chromebooks piece, but not the 4K, gaming, or photo editing models, as those features are less useful for a Chromebook.

Depending on the quality of your PC or laptop, you may want a display with a higher resolution or frame rate threshold than the average. In general, however, we feel that the 27" P2720DC USB-C Monitor is a solid baseline outside of any spec exceptions. Many Dell monitors charge your devices via USB-C, have a VESA-compatible base that can be reconfigured to make room, and have a wide range of ports. But this model gives you these options at a much lower price, at the 27" size that most consumers prefer to smaller or ultrawide monitors.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Michael Hicks got his tech start in 2016, covering emerging tech like VR and self-driving cars before expanding to all things tech. When he's not gaming or reading SFF novels, he writes freelance for Android Central and Windows Central.

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