Should I buy the Dell P3221D USB-C monitor?

The Dell P3221D USB-C monitor could be the perfect pick for you

Dell P3221D
(Image credit: Dell)

Any shortlist for the best USB-C monitor is likely to have the Dell P3221D somewhere on it: it's a decent size, it's competitively priced, and it offers a fantastic level of quality in terms of the picture it produces – it's another quality bit of computer hardware from Dell.

However, is it the right purchase for you? Here we'll outline everything you need to know about this particular monitor, including the different connection types it accepts, the dimensions of the device, the features the screen supports, and plenty more besides.

You've certainly got a lot of different models to pick from if you're shopping for a monitor upgrade at the moment: you can get plenty of other ideas by checking out our curated lists of the best 4K monitors, the best ultrawide monitors, and the best gaming monitors.

Should I buy the Dell P3221D?

Dell P3221D

(Image credit: Dell)

There are certainly no major reasons why you shouldn't buy the Dell PS3221D as your next USB-C monitor, though of course everybody has different priorities and different demands for a piece of hardware like this. You need to weigh up the specific features you need in a monitor and the sort of ways you're going to be using it – whether that's for gaming, for creative work, or for whatever else.

You should also weigh up the design and the dimensions of the monitor as well: you're likely to be spending a significant number of hours staring at this screen, so you want to make sure that it's one that you appreciate the aesthetics of. Not only that, you need to make sure that it's able to fit on your desk comfortably, without pushing off everything else that's currently on there.

If, after taking everything on this page into consideration, you think that the Dell PS3221D is the monitor for you, then we'd say go for it. It's a quality bit of kit and it's not going to let you down in terms of the display quality it offers or how long it lasts. Choosing something with the Dell brand attached means you can be sure that it's well constructed and will be compatible with a broad range of other devices.

What are the specs of the Dell P3221D?

Dell P3221D

(Image credit: Dell)

When it comes to monitors, no spec matters as much as the actual size of the display, which in this case is 31.5 inches – that's fairly large as far as monitors go. The aspect ratio is a standard 16:9 widescreen one, so this screen is going to be good for movies as well as work, and the resolution is 2560 x 1440 pixels. In other words, you should be able to fit plenty of information on this panel.

Other key specs that you're going to want to know about are a contrast ratio of 1000:1, a grey-to-grey response time of 5 ms in fast mode, and a maximum brightness of 350 nits. There's also a standard refresh rate of 60Hz here. While you will find gaming monitors with faster response times and refresh rates, the Dell P3221D will still be able to cope with gaming perfectly well – it's just more of an all-rounder.

When it comes to ports, there's HDMI, DisplayPort and USB-C to choose from, as well as three USB-A sockets so you can connect (and charge up) other peripherals. In the box you get a DisplayPort cable, a USB-C cable, and a USB-C to USB-A cable (as well as a power cable of course), but you're going to have to bring along your own HDMI cable if that's a connection you're going to be using.

What are the best features of the Dell P3221D?

Dell P3221D

(Image credit: Dell)

If the design of a monitor can be counted as one of its features then we'd say this is absolutely one area where the Dell P3221D stands out. The monitor manages to look both stylish and professional, with an integrated cable management system, an easy-to-use on-screen display, and think bezels around the front – the bottom chin is slightly thicker but not by much.

We should also mention that the screen can tilt, swivel and rotate to an impressive degree, so you can actually use this screen in portrait mode as well as landscape mode if you need to (it's handy for programming and for reading long documents, for example). The Dell P3221D couldn't be much easier to set up either, and the wide, silver stand gives it a firm foundation on whatever surface you want to place it on.

Dell promises an energy efficient and flicker-free monitor experience with this model, and the viewing angles of 178 degrees both horizontally and vertically mean that you've got lots of flexibility when it comes to placing this screen. With impressive support for a total of 1.07 billion colours as well, and 99 percent of the sRGB colour gamut, it's a monitor that's well suited to all types of creative and office work.

What else do I need to know about the Dell P3221D?

Dell P3221D

(Image credit: Dell)

If you're measuring out space on your desk for the Dell P3221D then the dimensions (with the stand) are 713 mm x 469 mm x 230 mm or 28.1 inches x 18.5 inches x 9.1 inches. Dell only lists the weight of the monitor without the stand, which comes in at 6.4 kilograms or 14.1 pounds – that's fairly standard for a monitor with these dimensions, but bear in mind that it's not that easy to lug around.

You have the option of downloading the Dell Display Manager for Windows, which helps you in getting your open programs arranged on screen. You can very easily lay out three or four different applications so they're all visible, for example, and the utility can remember and restore custom layouts as well if you need it to. There are other software packages that do similar tricks, but it's a bonus to have one made by Dell as well.

Buy direct from Dell in the UK and the monitor comes with a three-year warranty for some extra peace of mind. It's also a device that's compatible with several other Dell accessories if you want to kit out your setup even further – notably the Dell MSA20 monitor arm and the Dell SB521A Slim Soundbar (the Dell P3221D doesn't come with speakers of its own, so you'll have to organise these separately if you need them).

What are the alternatives to the Dell P3221D?

LG 32UN88A-W

(Image credit: LG)

When it comes to the best alternatives to the Dell P3221D, it really depends on what kind of monitor you're in the market for. If USB-C connectivity is of paramount importance, for example, then you might want to consider the pros and cons of the 32-inch LG 32UN88A-W pictured above – it's a gem as far as productivity and creative work goes, and it comes with an unusual desk clamp instead of a stand.

If you need something that's a little bit more suited to serious gaming than the Dell PS3221D, check out our guide to the best gaming monitors on the market. Something like the MSI Oculux NXG253R offers super-fast refresh rates, plenty of pixels and a versatile stand, all for a very reasonable price. The screen measures 24.5 inches from corner to corner, so it's smaller than the Dell model we've looked at here.

For a screen that really stretches across your desk, take a peek at our list of the best ultrawide monitors as well. The Philips 346B1C is slightly bigger than the Dell P3221D at 34 inches, and yet it still comes in at an affordable price point. With an aspect ratio of 21:9, you can fit even more applications side by side if you need to, or stretch out games and movies as far as they'll go for a more immersive experience.

David Nield
David Nield

Dave has over 20 years' experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.