Dell S2209W review

Price when reviewed

Some screen sizes suit the move to 1080p more than others. We’re gradually coming round to the use of the 1,920 x 1,080 resolution in 22in TFTs, largely because it’s a step upwards from 1,680 x 1,050 – you’re not losing out on pixels in the same way you are by replacing a 24in 1,920 x 1,200 screen with a 1080p panel. The latest to try it at the 22in sweet spot is Dell, and its S2209W is a good example of the conversion done well.

Dell S2209W review

It shares the same gloss-black styling of the larger SP2309W, but with a few concessions to size. The stand isn’t height adjustable – merely tilting back and forward and swivelling on its base – and the range of connections is understandably more limited. In fact it consists of just VGA and DVI with no built-in speakers, so it’s not going to be an ideal companion for a console or consumer player.

But for PC users there’s plenty to like here. The control buttons at the base of the right-hand edge are large and well-labelled, and the on-screen display is sensibly laid out and comprehensive. It even docks automatically to the bottom corner, which we can’t understand not being the default for all TFT menus – that way you can actually see the majority of the screen as you adjust. Not that we really needed to though: the Dell comes set up to Standard mode out of the box and we liked it.

In our technical tests the greyscale ramps were neutral and even with no unwanted colour tinting, while the topmost shades of grey were just visible against a white background. Colours were vivid, with only the orangey red betraying the Dell’s affordable TN panel – it takes a PVA or IPS panel to get the blood-red you’d hope for, but that’ll cost you considerably more. In fact, the S2209W does a very good job of disguising its budget roots, with some crystal clear 1080p video output and the tremendous sharpness that comes from such a low pixel pitch.

Wall-E looked as stunning as we know it can, with the muted yellows of Earth giving way to the reds and greens of the spaceship interior. The only weakness that might put you off is the thin sliver of backlight bleed at both the top and bottom of the screen – contrary to many people’s belief, 1080p films do still have small black letterbox bars so this is noticeable.

But at £130 that’s a very minor drawback to an otherwise impressive home monitor. With no HDMI port or integrated speakers it’s not quite a match for the similarly priced A-Listed BenQ E2200HD, but it’s certainly a worthy contender.


Image quality 5

Main specifications

Screen size 21.5in
Aspect ratio 16:9
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Screen brightness 300cd/m2
Pixel response time 5ms
Contrast ratio 1,000:1
Speaker type N/A
Speaker power ouput N/A
TV tuner no
TV tuner type N/A


DVI inputs 1
VGA inputs 1
HDMI inputs 0
DisplayPort inputs 0
Scart inputs 0
HDCP support yes
Upstream USB ports 0
USB ports (downstream) 0
3.5mm audio input jacks 0
Headphone output no

Accessories supplied

Internal power supply yes


Height adjustment 0mm
Pivot (portrait) mode? no


Dimensions 523 x 223 x 381mm (WDH)
Weight 5.000kg

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