To help you decide which 4K monitor will be the best for you, this Dell P2721Q review will look at everything about this 27-inch option - from price and design to its setup and performance.
Yet another superb entry from Dell into T3’s guide to the best 4K monitors, the Dell P2721Q costs less than $500/£500 and definitely looks the part, it has clutter-free cable management and a modern design that is sure to win you over. It performs well for productivity tasks too. It won't be the best option for gamers, so check out T3’s guide to the best gaming monitors if that’s more the type of display you’re looking for.
Read on to find out more about how I got on when I tested out the Dell P2721Q.
Dell P2721Q review: price and features
Available from the Dell website now, the Dell P2721Q 4K monitor costs $494.99 in the US, £432 in the UK and AU$628.56 in Australia. For up-to-date pricing and other retailers where you are, take a look at the widgets on this page.
A 27" 4K display with more than 8 million pixels, a fully adjustable stand, a professional silver design, and display customisation using the Dell Display Manager software - the Dell P2721Q monitor is a productivity powerhouse.
Dell P2721Q review: design and setup
Sleek and simple in design, the Dell P2721Q 27-inch 4K monitor won’t look out of place in any home office. It looks modern, professional and it feels sturdy. For most, it’ll be a perfect amount of screen for working on. There are slim bezels around three of the sides and a thicker black chin bezel on the bottom edge. Holding it all up is a silver, slim stand with a metal finish, giving it a classy edge and an angular matching base that won’t take up too much desk space. If you prefer, it’s VESA wall mount compatible too. As well as giving you plenty of height adjustment, the stand lets you tilt, swivel and rotate the display. For productivity, having complete control over the placement of the screen is fantastic, especially if you need to be able to use the screen both horizontally and vertically.
A tiny LED light is placed on the right-hand side to let you know when it’s switched on, and on the back tucked out view there’s a power button and joystick to control the on-screen display settings. Admittedly, the joystick was pretty stiff. It took me a few goes to adjust it to what I wanted, and I kept selecting the wrong arrow too so instead, I would recommend using the Dell Display Manager desktop software which lets you adjust the settings far more quickly and easily. Using that software, you can tile multiple applications across one or more screens using the preset layouts as well.
Setting it up was quick, the Dell P2721Q weighs 5.1kg so is easily a one-person job. Attaching the stand was just a case of sliding it in, clipping on the base and turning the handle on the bottom screw to secure it. Then, to connect your devices to it, there are a number of ports located in a nook on the back including an HDMI, a DisplayPort, USB-C upstream, two USB 2.0 downstream and USB 3.2 downstream. In the box, Dell has included a DisplayPort cable, USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-A cable, very handy and meant you could be up and running in a matter of minutes.
For cable management, the stand has a hole to thread them through, and the USB-C connectivity will power up to 65W, limiting the number of cables you need to be plugged into your laptop. It all looked neat and tidy on my desk. It’s worth noting that there’s no built-in speaker, you’ll need to hook it up with a separate audio device if you need it.
Dell P2721Q review: performance
The Dell P2721Q is an LED-backlit monitor with an IPS panel and a resolution of 4K (3840 x 2160). It supports 1.07 billion colours, has 163 pixels per inch and a 1000:1 contrast ratio. To test it out, I was mostly working on it, I did watch a bit of video and play a few games as well. Words look super sharp and clear, I had no issues to note opening up documents or browsing the web. Although the colours weren’t quite as vibrant as on more expensive displays, I did think they looked bright and accurate enough for the types of tasks I was using the screen for. Admittedly, blacks could look a little on the grey side at times, it would have been good to have had more depth in that area. I thought the 178-degree viewing angle did a good job at giving the same experience, no matter where I was in relation to the display.
You can get monitors with more supported colours, a higher PPI and more contrast ratio, but you’d be looking at a much higher price tag. Because of that creators like graphic designers and video editors may want to steer clear, however, anyone who needs it for productivity tasks like word processing, spreadsheet management or browsing the web will get on well with the quality of the display. If you intend to switch between work and play, the 5ms response time and 60Hz refresh rate mean it won’t be a good choice for fast-paced gaming, although you could get away with using it for less demanding games.
There are different preset viewing modes according to what you are using it for, they include Standard, Movie, Game, Warm and Cool, as well as a custom colour mode. I tended to stick to Standard as it gave the most balanced view of documents and web pages. The display has a matte anti-glare coating, which does a good job at stopping reflection, even in a bright room and makes it comfortable to read on for long periods. You can also choose to put the display into ComfortView mode which filters out blue light, reducing eye strain and preventing headaches.
Dell P2721Q review: verdict
If you need a 4K display that will look minimalist and modern in your home office, and will help you boost productivity, the Dell P2721Q 27-inch is a fantastic choice. The cables won’t look messy, it’s simple to set up and the quality of the display will give you an ultra-clear, high-resolution view of your work. Gamers and creators may not be won over by it because of its low refresh rate, limited colours and pixel density, yet anyone else is sure to love it. For everyday use, you can’t get much better at this price.
Dell P2721Q review: also consider
Looking for a 4K monitor for productivity on an even tighter budget? Take a look at the LG 27UL850, it placed high in T3’s guide to the best 4K monitors and offers a 27-inch display with USB-C connectivity for an even lower price than the Dell P2721Q.
If you’d like a slightly bigger display, the BenQ EW3280U has a 32-inch display and won’t set you back by much more than the Dell P2721Q. It’s a well-rounded monitor that has something for everyone, including creatives.
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