Top positive review
7 November 2017
I've got very mixed feelings about this monitor. It's a very good quality IPS screen with vibrant colours and a wide viewing angle but if you enable the fast response time you will experience ghosting artefacts in fast action scenes. A lot of people may not realise the ghosting is occurring, but I can see it and it's easy to confirm with the various monitor diagnostics sites out there. It's nothing major (I have definitely seen worse ghosting on monitors in this price range!) but it's clearly best to leave the response time on 'normal'. What is 'normal' in terms of milliseconds though? I have no idea. None of the literature that came with the monitor explains.
You should also be aware that the HDR is 'Dell HDR'. Marketing speak for "not true HDR at all'. The monitor doesn't have the brightness to achieve proper HDR but it will take a HDR10 signal and produce a sort of compromise. The problem is that it's a non-standard compromise, not the same as the HDR visual that any media or game production company intended, and not the same as standard HD colour output either. Consequently, I don't think it's really worth using the "HDR" modes at all.
On the bright side, it will take a full RGB signal and the blacks, whites & greys are good. There is no black crush (not with the game or movie presets anyway). The deepest black (rgb 0,0,0) is absolutely jet black and there doesn't appear to be any back-light bleed. I am suspicious this might be down to clever implementation of 'dynamic contrast'... but whether it is or isn't, I find it acceptable.
Another plus point is the speaker: There are two (L+R) speakers in the base (you can just about see them through the grill) and they are surprisingly loud and clear. No rattle, buzz or other distortion at high volumes like you get with so many speakers out there. Let's be clear: It's never going to be of soundbar quality but it is still a very impressive speaker.
Unfortunately there is no headphones option. Only an audio line-out that you can connect to a headphones amplifier. I use a Stageline HPR-6 and it's a good match. For some reason it delivers more crisp audio from this monitor than it does from any TV in the house. If you intend to connect this monitor to a PC then I suppose you can just plug your headphones directly into the sound-card.
Connection options are also limited with 1 x HDMI socket and 1 x VGA socket. If you're like me you already have an HDMI switch so you can connect multiple devices.
Also I'm not sure if this is a build or quality control issue but the unit I received has marks at the edge of the bezel on the bottom and left side. I'm assuming it's because the anti-glare coating wasn't applied properly. I'm always reluctant to get monitors replaced in case I end up with a replacement unit that has dead pixels or backlight bleed (why are monitor and TV purchases such a lottery?) so I'll probably stick with this one.
I don't know what to think really. I'm sort of pleased but sort of not. The S2718H is a very mixed bag but the vibrancy of the 1080p picture and the quality of the speaker are big points in its favour.