Dell S2340T review

27 Dec 2012

A 23in, Full HD touchscreen to bring out the best of Windows 8, but it’s seriously flawed

Dell S2340T
Price when reviewed: 
504(£504 inc VAT)
3

You don’t have to buy a fancy all-in-one or hybrid to benefit from Windows 8’s touch features – you can add a touchscreen such as Dell’s S2340T to your existing PC instead. This 23in Full HD display combines multitouch capacitive technology with a highly adjustable stand, and an array of handy docking station features.

Getting the S2340T up and running is simple. Video connection is via HDMI or DisplayPort, and to enable the touchscreen a USB 3 connection is also required. With everything plugged into our Windows 8 host PC, the S2340T was ready to go in seconds, with no extra drivers or downloads needed.

The touchscreen layer beneath the monitor’s glass panel supports ten-finger input, and it responded instantly to flicks and pinches. We soon found ourselves reaching out to tap links and swipe web pages up and down – it all feels surprisingly natural.

Alas, not all gestures work as well. In particular, we found support for Windows 8’s edge-swipe gestures was patchy, and we frequently found we had to forcefully drag a finger onto the screen from the bezel to activate them.

Dell S2340T

That’s a shame, since the S2340T has an array of features that would seem to make it the ideal Windows 8 monitor. It has a double-jointed stand, which not only tilts back and forth, but also rises up and down and folds back flat to leave the touchscreen pointing skywards. The display can be craned forward, too, and pulled down flush with the surface of the desk to make touchscreen operation more comfortable. Two cleverly positioned rubber bumpers on the monitor’s lower edge ensure it doesn’t move or clatter around when prodded.

It’s well connected, too. Around the base are four USB 3 ports and a Gigabit Ethernet connection, plus 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks. An integrated 1080p webcam is positioned in the upper bezel alongside a microphone array, and a pair of stereo speakers is hidden away in the base.

The webcam provides detailed – but noisy – images, and while the pair of speakers in the base are better than those that come with most monitors, their small size limits their potential. Music is reproduced crisply enough to remain listenable, but there’s little bass and the maximum volume is modest.

Image quality is mixed. The monitor’s IPS panel delivers colours that remain true whichever position the S2340T is viewed from, and the accuracy of those hues is admirable. Unfortunately, the touchscreen layer plays havoc with the monitor’s reproduction of darker tones, with black appearing as a dark grey. We measured the maximum brightness at 221cd/m2, which in normal circumstances would be ample, but here it isn’t enough to overcome the poor black level, giving a disappointing contrast ratio of only 267:1. Photos and video consequently lack fizz, and darker scenes in movies and games look washed out and lacking in detail. It all looks rather lifeless next to the best monitors we’ve tested.

At £540, this multitalented monitor commands a considerable premium, but with so many shortcomings it simply isn’t worth paying the extra cash for. You’re better off sticking to a non-touchscreen monitor – such as Dell’s excellent 23in UltraSharp U2312HM – which provides far superior image quality at a fraction of the price.

Details

Price ex VAT £420
Price inc VAT £504
Overall rating 3
Image quality 3
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 2

Main specifications

Screen size 23.0in
Aspect ratio 16:9
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Screen brightness 221cd/m2
Pixel response time 8ms
Contrast ratio 167:1
Pixel pitch 0.270mm
Horizontal viewing angle 178 degrees
Vertical viewing angle 178 degrees

Connections

HDMI inputs 1
DisplayPort inputs 1
Upstream USB ports 4
3.5mm audio input jacks 2
Headphone output yes

Accessories supplied

Other cables supplied HDMI, DisplayPort
Internal power supply no

Power consumption

Peak power consumption 28W
Idle power consumption 19W

Dimensions

Dimensions 563 x 218 x 415mm (WDH)
Weight 10.500kg