After downsizing my work desk, the next thing I needed was to downsize my monitor too. For the last couple of years, I’ve been using a large display. A huge 27″ Samsung TV served as my monitor. It was spare set, so why not attach it to my computer? The size is nice, although larger than necessary.
The problem I had with the nice 27″ Samsung TV was its’ resolution. It was really sad at just 1024×768. Everything on the screen was just too large. Imagine how awkward it was when paired with my MacBook Pro as a secondary display. The size difference of text and other display elements were too jarring when my eyes moved from the MacBook Pro’s display to the Samsung TV. I needed a new monitor, a smaller one is alright, but definitely a much higher resolution is needed.
My monitor search focused on 23″ display sizes with 1920×1080 resolution. I eventually settled on the Dell S2340L monitor. This monitor features an IPS panel with 1920×1080 resolution, offers VGA and HDMI input, and a tilt stand. It’s also quite affordably priced, considering it has an IPS panel.
The Dell S2340L monitor looks pretty good. Its front is almost completely covered by a glossy glass surface which reaches all the way to the top and side edges, leaving just the tiniest of bezel visible. The actual display area doesn’t, however, extend as far as the glass reaches. The bottom edge has a more averaged sized bezel. It has the Dell logo is emblazoned in the centre with brushed metal, and a power LED light is visible on the right bottom.
In some ways, you could say the monitor looks plain and average looking. This could be a good thing, and that’s the way I like it. I want the content to be the focus, and not be distracted by the monitor itself.
Dell has placed all the S2340L’s buttons on the right side. There’s one dedicated power button and four buttons for navigating the monitor’s controls. Pressing any of those four buttons will call up the on-screen menu. I did find it a little difficult matching up the four button positions with the on-screen menu indications.
I wished monitor manufacturers will make it easier to switch inputs when you connect multiple computers. The typical Dell menu requires something like 7 button presses to switch inputs. You can simplify that by configuring personal shortcuts. But that still requires at least 3 button presses.
The actual display of the S2340L is brilliant. I didn’t set out my search with IPS being a mandatory requirement, but it was certainly something strongly preferred. IPS panels are noted for the superior colour gamut and wider viewing angles. I do lots of photo post processing, so a monitor with relatively accurate colours will certainly be greatly desired.
Dell claims it’s Image Enhance feature boots colours, sharpens images, and improves contrast. How much of that is just mere marketing speak is hard to say, but I’m pretty happy with the S2340L’s display. Of course, it’s still an eyesore next to a Retina screen because of the resolution.
The Dell S2340L uses an external power brick. This seems to be the trend to keep monitors ultra slim. The packaging also includes a VGA cable and HDMI cable (HDMI cable not pictured above).
The stand requires a very simply self-assembly, no tools required. The stand is not height-adjustable, but you can tilt it slightly, u to 4° forward and 21° backward.
Overall the Dell S2340L is a great value 23″ IPS monitor.
- Display is brilliant
- Nice glossy glass extends to edges (top and sides)
- Relatively featureless front, minimum distraction
- Inconvenient to switch inputs
Dell’s official price for the S2340L monitor is S$239. You may be able to buy for lesser at resellers. At previous IT shows here, the S2340L had been discounted to S$209. You could wait for the next one, to see what bargain you can fetch.