Dell has made a name for itself in the mainstream LCD display. Unlike most of the other products where there’s always scope for big improvements in either performance or features, LCD monitors haven’t got a lot of headroom to improve on.

Dell new LED-backlit ST2420L

Dell new LED-backlit ST2420L

LED seems to be the big keyword and the backlighting technology is being used by brands across the board. It’s not always been as impressive as the marketing material claims it to be, but things are getting better. Dell has decided to join in on the LED backlighting craze and launched the ST2420L, a 24-inch LCD display.

Features
The Dell ST2420L supports a resolution of 1920×1080 and uses a TN panel. The usual set of D-Sub and DVI connectors are present, along with a HDMI port which should prove handy for connecting consoles or media players to it. Audio in and out ports are available but there are no internal speakers.

Easy-to-use controls on the ST2420L

Easy-to-use controls on the ST2420L

The monitor controls can be accessed using touch sensitive controls marked by simple white dots and no icons. The icons are displayed on the OSD (on-screen display) which conveniently lines up adjoining the markings on the body. This setup works well and the OSD is one of the easiest ones to use. The touch sensitive buttons work well too. The interface is quick.

There are some nifty features worth mentioning. The controls can also be customized so that two of the buttons can be dedicated for specific controls. A LCD conditioning feature is present should an image or pattern stay fixated on the screen, not that you’re likely to see such problems in this day and age.

Design and Build Quality
The ST2420L is a looker, at least for the most part. We’re not terribly fond of the design of the circular stand. The screen wobbles when you move it or push against it, but this isn’t a major issue. The screen itself looks great with a grey band running below the screen and a power indicator at the centre, which has a nice glow to it.

Good looking display but with a very simple stand

Good looking display but with a very simple stand

The build quality of the screen itself isn’t too great – there’s plenty of squeaking sounds when you pick up the display or put any sort of pressure on any of the panels. There are small gaps that are visible when you put some pressure as well. Dell could have done a better job with the materials for sure.

Performance
The Dell ST2420L has plenty of color profiles to choose from, but, we always stick to the Standard mode while testing the display. Even before starting the DisplayMate line of tests, it’s clear that the display has good sideways viewing angles. Vertically, there are problems where more than half of the display isn’t visible, but there are fewer scenarios where you’ll be looking down at the screen.

Color rendition is generally good for a TN panel, but anomalies are visible. For example, on a plain light grey background, a very fine hint of red is visible. The test pattern which includes different degrees of black rendered well – each of the grey blocks was distinguishable right up to the last block. There were no fluctuations or flickering noticed either.

Not the most stable of stands

Not the most stable of stands

The backlighting on the ST2420L isn’t the best but we’ve seen far worse on expensive TVs priced at several times its price. Black levels aren’t the best but, the backlight bleeding is only visible along the left edge of the screen. Color gradients were rendered beautifully as well, except where for the colors blue and red, where the last one or two bands almost blended together. In the finer gradients, some patchiness was visible, but that’s almost unavoidable with displays using TN panels. Still, this is better than what we’ve seen in the past.

Movie playback showed no signs of blurring and colors looked pretty natural. If you like your movies to look more vibrant, users can switch to the Video profile which turns up the color saturation to a fair extent, but not to a point where it’s almost revolting.

Verdict
Great on design and performance, the ST2420L is a good 24-inch display to buy. Priced at just Rs. 11,100 excluding the taxes, it’s a very good buy. Our only real complaint is its shoddy build quality. Still, at this price, it’s as affordable as and even cheaper than some of other 24-inch LED-backlit displays in the market. It has all you need for a desktop – good performance, an intuitive design, all the connectivity options you’ll ever need and a wallet-friendly price tag.

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