Dell S2340T review
A 23in, Full HD touchscreen to bring out the best of Windows 8, but it’s seriously flawed
Review Date: 27 Dec 2012
Reviewed By: Sasha Muller
Price when reviewed: £420 (£504 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
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.
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.
Author: Sasha Muller
perhaps I'm just a luddite, but what about fingerprints.
I hate fingerprints on my screen as it is.. (id10ts pointing at things)
By Brettrowley1 on 27 Dec 2012
I want a monitor...
Not a TV! Why are nearly all monitors these days more poorly specified than monitors from 5 or 6 years ago?
My old monitor is a 24" 1920x1200, yet nearly all modern monitors are only 1920x1080. Some of us want to work on the screen, not just watch videos! Grrr!
I'm using the Logitech Touchpad, which is very good, although it takes a little getting used to.
I played with a 20" Sony touchscreen all-in-one and it works very well, but as Brett says, a desktop display isn't very usable, when it is plastered with fingerprints!
Wiping a smartphone against your shirt, before using it is easy, doing the same with a 23"/24" display is a different proposition! :-P
By big_D on 27 Dec 2012
If you don't want fingerprints on your screen THEN DON'T BUY IT! At times I think that people complain about anything and everything. "Oh no it'll get fingerprints!" - Really? I didn't know that a touchscreen would get fingerprints imagine that.
"Alas, not all gestures work as well. In particular, we found support for Windows 8’s edge-swipe gestures was patchy," - You can ever so slightly re-calibrate the screen and press the left indicators just to the right of where you're supposed to which should slightly help with the swipe action.
P.s. It's televisions that have become computer monitors and just because it's 1920x1080 doesn't make it a television. Marketing.
By rhythm on 28 Dec 2012
The point is, no comment was made in the review about how well/poorly the display copes with the inevitable fingerprints.
And the 1080p problem is that monitors manufacturers have pretty much abandoned the computer USER and have migrated their computer monitors to the 1080p television format, which is great for people who use their monitors for video playback, but for those that actually work at the monitor, it is a step backwards.
By big_D on 28 Dec 2012
And that...in a nutshell is the problem with Windows 8 touch screen access on a working PC....Fingerprints.
Windows 8 is probably fine as a tablet or phone OS...not as a working PC OS.
Imagine using Photoshop in Touch on a working PC
adjust the image...
wipe the screen....
tweak the image....
wipe the screen....
By Jaberwocky on 28 Dec 2012
Agree with most of you
I agree with big_D about the resolution. We are being given poorer monitors because of cost of producing more than one resolution.
I agree with rhythm that people are far too quick to complain about stuff they would never buy.
I would love a monitor that moved like this so that on occasion I could use it as a touch screen flat and maybe play games and other things with my nephews etc...
But come on Jaberwocky, no one is suggesting this replaces the mouse and keyboard entirely. Obviously you would never use Photoshop or Illustrator etc... with a touchscreen and to suggest that's what it's for is being a bit silly! ;)
By Grunthos on 31 Dec 2012
Fingerprints and Bezel
For fingerprints there are oliophobic coatings (I think I got that right) which repel finger oil. Many high end phones and tablets have this. It's not perfect, but you really notice when a device hasn't got it.
As to the bezel... why on earth would a manufacturer have a raised bezel when the operating system demands edge swipe gestures? We ditched the raised bezel with resistive touchscreens on mobiles. The front should be all glass, with the touchscreen laminated to the LCD to reduce the washed out look.
By GregWoods on 3 Jan 2013
Photoshop on a touchscreen would be awesome
...that is if large parts of the UI were changed, and we change the way we use the monitor. I think we forget that artists are generally used to putting pen to paper. The computer way of doing it with mouse or wacom takes a lot more practice. See http://gregwoods.co.uk/2012/02/the-future-of-your-
By GregWoods on 3 Jan 2013
Victim of Circumstance
Ha ha yes I used to find a particular type of Office worker would come across to my PC and insist of jabbing sticky fingers at the screens or prod them with a Bic Biro, it always did annoy me!
If you do choose to go down the touc route, and it can be glorious in some curcumstances, then I would simply recommend you arm yourself with a microfibre cleaning cloth and a little bottle of screen cleaner.
In terms of screen format then the move onto the widescreen format is a pain. I've stuck with some much older Dell 2007FP screens purely to maintain the 1600 x 1200 format.
I checked the resale price of them on ebay and found they had DOUBLED in price since I bought them used a few years back. -Surprising as almost any other bit of IT equipment I've ever owned has dropped in price quicker than a Ford Mondeo.
By Gindylow on 3 Jan 2013
Wall Mounted Screen
No need to worry about the price of touch screens. I cannot reach the screen anyway, so I cannot see how I will ever want such a screen.
- Oh I've just spotted a mouse and keyboard. I can reach them.
I wonder if I can continue to use them with Windows 7? Oh goody, yes I can, and Win 7 works with my network devices, unlike Windows-Out-Of- Touch 8 which blue screened and re-booted. Windows 7 a save-save solution to a problem that I do not need.
By Jonesr18 on 6 Jan 2013
Why an internet port on a monitor?
Why is there an internet port on a monitor? Also, why is there both an HDMI and USB connection? The manual says to use USB only. What is the purpose of the HDMI, DP, and RJ45 internet if the manual doesn't discuss them.
Also, why does the monitor kill my internet connection when I turn the monitor off?
By hnaparst on 26 Jan 2013
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