When it comes to desktop monitors, it has become a general view that a monitor is one of the costliest PC peripheral that one has to buy. But there are good monitors out there that provide amazing value for the money that you spend buying them. The Dell D3218HN is one of these monitors and it brings a size of 32-inch of screen real estate with an IPS panel to the consumers at an amazing price.
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The Dell D3218HN is a 1080p monitor with an IPS LCD panel. The monitor also has a response time of 8ms which makes it a great choice for people who want a large monitor basically for content creation purposes. The presence of the IPS display panel also helps the cause. Let us dive deeper and take a better look at the Dell D3218HN monitor and see what this amazing piece of tech has to offer.
Dell D3218HN Review – 32inch UltraWide IPS Monitor
Inside the box of Dell D3218HN
The Dell 3218HN comes with a very basic unboxing experience and the stuff you get inside the box isn’t very exciting. But that would be me nitpicking about the contents because just look at the price this thing comes at. Anyway, the monitor’s retail box has the following contents.
- VGA Cable
- Power Cable
- Driver Disk
- Monitor stand/base
- Monitor Unit
As you can see, the monitor comes with a very basic set of things but the main thing to notice here is the stand which is definitely one of the heaviest and strongest bases for any monitor out there. More on the base later in the review. The monitor has an HDMI port but it only comes with a VGA cable so you need to buy a new HDMI cable in case you’re looking forward to connecting this using HDMI.
The Dell 3218HN has an IPS panel for the display with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. The refresh rate is factory clocked at 60Hz which can be overclocked a bit up to 75Hz while the response time is 8ms. The monitor has an aspect ratio of 16:9. The monitor is a buyer’s favorite when it comes to ultra-wide monitors due to the low price but technically, the display’s aspect ratio makes it a wide monitor since it is 16:9 while ultra-wide monitors out there have an aspect ratio of 21:9.
It has a pixel density of 69.93ppi which translates into a dot pitch of 0.363mm. The monitor is bright enough and has a typical brightness of 300 cd/m² or 300 nits. It can show a color depth of 16.7 million colors with a typical contrast ratio of 1200:1. The dynamic contrast ratio is clocked at 4000000:1 which is great for such a large monitor in the price point.
You might think that Dell has made trade-offs to keep the prices low, but I think this monitor is a great value for money. The IPS panel is great and can display colors quite accurately. It does have lighter blacks which show white patches when the display is showing black elements but that is something that all IPS panels have to deal with. The viewing angles are 178° horizontally and the same 178° vertically.
Let’s talk about the panel in detail. The IPS panel on this monitor is great but keep in mind that it is still a 1080p monitor at a 31.5-inch size and this is why the pixel density is low. The display panel has a glossy finish that might be something that people care about but personally, I am fine with the glossy panel since I don’t use the monitor in a room in which the lights aren’t mounted to the ceiling. I think the glossy finish does help you take full advantage of the monitor’s colors since matte displays do have to compromise a bit when it comes to showing colors.
The monitor uses a white LED backlight which means that like any other IPS monitor, it suffers from light bleeding. This isn’t a major issue and can only be seen when the display is showing pitch-black color and the bleeding happens on the edges so don’t worry about the bleeding spoiling your monitor user experience. Compared to other panels like TN or VA, IPS is a great choice and I’m glad Dell is able to present a monitor with IPS panel of such size at such a low price point.
Design, Build, Stand & Mount
The monitor has a white frame and body and even the cables provided with the monitor are white so people who like white computer accessories will fall in love with the monitor for sure. Coming to the design, the monitor has a modern and slim design all around with the area just above the stand containing the controllers, ports, and power inlet that stands out from the slim design.
The bezels are quite thin and while the body is white in color, the bezel has a band of black strip around the display on the bezel. Turning the monitor will reveal controller bulge that is designed well to keep the monitor profile slim and all the ports are on the controller bulge itself. The build is quite solid and even though the monitor uses glossy white plastic for the body, Dell has made sure that the monitor doesn’t seem flimsy and weak.
Coming the stand, the monitor’s stand is amazing. It is a heavy metal stand polished in silver color with a matte finish and as soon as you pick it up, you will be surprised about the weight that it carries. Installing the stand on the monitor requires a screwdriver and two screws and after you have inserted the stand in the slot built for it, you will have to solidify the stand using the screws. The monitor balances well and doesn’t feel like it’ll fall off.
The stand allows you to tilt the monitor in the ranges of (-5°~10°) which is Okay since a large monitor with bigger tilt angle means your desk will be too low or it will not be comfortable for users to use this thing. The monitor also supports VESA mounts so you can easily mount it on a wall or on a monitor arm of your choice making the stand obsolete.
As mentioned above, the monitor comes with a VGA cable but it does support HDMI as well and for that, you need to buy a third-party HDMI cable. Apart from these two ports, you have the power inlet which is used to power up the monitor. The power voltage rating for the monitor is between 100-240V on AC and it consumes 45W of power when its turned on and being used while in its sleep mode, the monitor uses less than 0.5W. Dell hasn’t added any extra USB or 3.5mm audio jack ports on the monitor.
OSD & Controls
When it comes to the OSD or On Screen Display menu on the monitor, it uses four physical buttons on the lower right side of the monitor as you can see in the image above. The first button on the right side is a power button along with an LED to notify you of the on and off status of the monitor. In the on state, the LED emits white color and in the off state, it emits orange/yellow light.
The two buttons in the middle of the four buttons beside the LED are used for up and down navigation while the other two on the edges are to enter and back into menus and another is for switching between HDMI and VGA on the go. When not in the OSD menu, the up and down buttons can be used for their own purposes. The up button can quickly enter the monitor into Color Vision Mode while the down button directly enters Contrast/Brightness setting in the OSD.
These buttons also work in key combinations:
- Up + Down: When pressed together, they will recall the Contrast/Brightness setting.
- First Button + Down: This will activate the Power Lock when they key combo is pressed for 10 seconds and once locked, you need to press the same combination for 10 seconds to disable the Power Lock.
- First Button + Down: When pressed for 10 seconds, it will activate OSD Lock. To disable, press the same combo again for 10 seconds.
Now, coming back to the OSD menu, the menu has been populated with some nice options. As you can see in the image below, there are a few custom Dell options also added.
The OSD menu lets you choose the input source where you can switch between HDMI and VGA and you also have general settings like AutoImageAdjust which will be auto-adjusting the display on your monitor. You can alternatively do this manually with ManualImageAdjust.
Other options include DCR and ECO modes. The DCR mode will detect the visual signal coming from the computer or source and automatically optimize the contrast on the display. ECO, on the other hand, is something that is used for energy saving. Both of these options disable manual brightness when they’re active.
You can also choose the color temperature on the monitor and change it to either Warm or Cold. By default, the monitor’s temperature is set to Normal which is a pre-loaded profile. The monitor lets you choose from an aspect ration option of 16:9 or 4:3 depending on what you need.
The ColorVisionMode lets you access options to set different display modes. You are provided with six presets.
- Standard: This is for normal computer usage and is set by default.
- ComfortView: To decrease the Blue Light emitted from the monitor.
Performance & Gaming
Let’s talk about the monitor’s performance when it comes to gaming. The monitor, as we have repeatedly mentioned, is huge with a 31.5-inch panel and it has an IPS panel. Playing games on this thing is amazing and due to the large size, you get a very nice immersion when you’re gaming. Things look bigger, enemies in the far-out range appear closer and bigger.
It has a refresh rate of 60Hz and a response time of 8ms. Now, the response time can be expected due to the panel being an IPS panel but we didn’t notice any sort of input lag while gaming. As for the refresh rate, we were able to overclock the refresh rate up to 75Hz but the color vibrancy did suffer due to that and the gamma emission increased.
As a monitor that you can buy for under $200, we cannot complain about the monitor not being supported by FreeSync or coming with a higher 144Hz refresh rate. This is a cheap monitor that was meant to provide a nice immersive experience to people who use it. Be it gaming or content creation, the monitor gives you a lot of real estates to do things your way. If you’re a streamer or a gamer that uploads their content on YouTube, this monitor is a blessing for you.
Not only do you get 31.5-inch of real estate goodness, but the monitor covers 85% of the RGB color gamut that is amazing for content creation. The IPS panel helps in displaying accurate colors and you can tweak the vibrance easily using the monitor’s OSD. Even for games, the monitor worked fine and we tested games like CS: GO, Fortnite, and PUBG on this monitor.
The Dell 3218HN isn’t technically a gaming monitor but it is a strong contender when it comes to considering gaming monitors under $200. It brings a lot of value to the customers with its size, the display panel and the whole immersion factor while gaming. If you are looking for a monitor for gaming under $200, then Dell 3218HN is something that you just should not ignore. It has so many things going right for itself like the stand that comes with it, HDMI support, full HD IPS panel, support for wall and monitor arm mount thanks to VESA.