Dell S2419HM and S2719DM Ultrathins with HDR
Update: Our review of the 27″ model is now online. News piece below initially published 4th February 2018.
Dell have now released a number of models which are ‘HDR (High Dynamic Range) capable’. That doesn’t necessarily mean they fully support the technology and get the best out of HDR content, however. The Dell S2419HM and S2719DM support HDR, in some form, but they are also quite head-turning in their design. By using some clever internals for the backlight (‘Corning Iris Glass Light-Guide Plate’), the company has been able to shave off quite a bit of depth from the screen. They’re a mere 5.5mm (0.2”) thick at thinnest point, lumping out to a maximum of 29mm (1.1”). The bezels are also very slim, with the now common ‘dual-stage’ design that comprises a thin panel border and very slim hard outer component. The OSD (On Screen Display) is controlled by pressable buttons on the underside of the bottom bezel, towards the right side.
Minimalistic and svelte design
Both models use 60Hz IPS-type panels, with the S24 offering a 23.8” screen with 1920 x 1080 (FHD) resolution and the S27 offering a 27” screen with 2560 x 1440 (WQHD) resolution. AMD FreeSync is supported via Adaptive-Sync on the monitor, with a 48 – 75Hz variable refresh rate range. A typical static contrast ratio of 1000:1 is specified alongside 178° horizontal and vertical viewing angles. A matte anti-glare screen surface is used alongside a flicker-free WLED backlight, with ‘EDGELIGHT’ mentioned and no specific mention of any local dimming capability. Both models support 8-bit colour and sport a 99% sRGB (85% DCI-P3) colour gamut. All of this means that the monitors lack ‘true HDR capability’. They do at least offer some extension beyond sRGB and offer a 400 cd/m² typical maximum luminance with pulses up to 600 cd/m² for HDR10 content. The 27” model is specifically listed as ‘DisplayHDR 400’ ready as specified by VESA. The 23.8” model seems to offer the same capabilities, although it isn’t specifically listed in the same way. It’s worth noting that ‘DisplayHDR 400’ requires 10-bit colour processing per channel and Dell only list 8-bit (16.7 million colours) for both models. As we understand it, the smaller model uses 6-bit + FRC and the larger model is ‘true 8-bit’ but the colour signal for the GPU is 10-bit+ when in HDR mode. So it’s all a bit of ‘clever processing’ (or should we say ‘clever marketing’).
The monitors have specified response times of 5ms grey to grey, although 8ms is specified for the ‘Normal’ setting. This is typically the much better setting to use and it’s generally the case that Dell are simply far more realistic and less misleading with their response time measurements than most other manufacturers. You should never read too much into these figures. A ‘ComfortView’ Low Blue Light (LBL) setting also features for relaxing viewing, for example in the hours leading up to bed where blue light exposure should be minimised. The rear of the monitors is minimalistic, white broken up by the silver of the stand. The included stand offers tilt as the only ergonomic flexibility. And given the thin nature of the screens, provision for VESA mounting is not supported – the screws would have to eat into the screen. The ports are arranged vertically behind the stand neck and are quite minimal; [number 1 on image] 3.5mm audio output, [2+3] 2 HDMI 2.0 ports and a  DC power connector (external ‘power brick’, naturally).
Numbers not included
Further information on the 23.8” and 27” models can be found on the manufacturer’s website. The S24 was initially listed for ~$300 and the S27 for ~$500 on the manufacturer’s website in the US. The monitors are now available from other retailers globally.