Dell S2718D HDR Monitor Review

Grayscale, Gamma & Color

Grayscale Tracking

Two of the S2718D’s image modes will make the color temp warmer or cooler. And the remaining presets use variations that aren’t quite D65. Standard is the default setting, so that’s where we’ll begin our tests.

Our grayscale and gamma tests are described in detail here.

In the first chart, you can see that blue is clipped enough for most brightness levels to have a red/green tint that becomes more visible as output increases. The Cool setting goes too far in the other direction, making everything look blue. Switching to Custom Color produces a similar result, so the only way to maximize the S2718D’s potential is to adjust the RGB sliders. Calibration produces excellent tracking with errors well below the visible threshold. If you dial in our recommended settings, you’ll be able to duplicate our chart closely.

Comparisons

The S2718D makes quite a gain from its default to calibrated state. 5.41dE is one of the higher out-of-box errors we’ve seen of late. But the final .63dE average error is quite low. So, while it’s a bit weak at first, the potential for greatness is there in the Custom Color mode. And as you’ll see on page five, HDR accuracy is very good.

Gamma Response

Luminance tracking is a key component to proper HDR rendering, so it’s good to see the S2718D excelling in that area for SDR content. Tracking is nearly perfect by default and after calibration. There are a few tiny dips in the Custom Color mode pre-adjustment but our changes cleaned that up nicely. Gamma is perhaps the most important thing to get right on any monitor, so we’re glad to see Dell’s attention to detail in this area.

Comparisons

With a tight .14 value range and a slight .45% deviation from the 2.2 standard, the S2718D takes the gamma comparison over its non-HDR competition. There are no gamma adjustments available, so that’s a very good thing.

Color Gamut & Luminance

For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, please click here.

Thanks to accurate gamma tracking, saturation and luminance targets are mostly met even in the S2718D’s default Standard mode. We can see slight under-saturation in blue and a hue error in cyan, but other colors are fine. This is important, since Ultra HD/HDR content is usually mastered in the wider DCI-P3 color gamut. Because we’re working with an sRGB monitor, it must track accurately to properly render detail when the content’s colorspace is larger than the panel’s. You’ll see what we mean on the next page where we’ll show you the extended gamut test results.

Comparisons

We weren’t thrilled with the S2718D’s default grayscale numbers, but without calibration, its color gamut error averages just 3.66dE. Afterwards, that value drops to a very-respectable 1.59dE. The adjustments are clearly worth making, even if you just dial in our recommended settings.

Gamut volume is an almost perfect 99.34% of the sRGB space. You can use this monitor for color-critical applications if it’s properly adjusted. The native gamut is pretty much right on target.

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  • vasras
    No FALD, no Quantum Dots, 330 cd/m2, 8-bit panel...
    And it is supposed to be HDR? Don't make me laugh, Dell :-D
    Wait for the REAL HDR 1000 displays to come out. This is a total joke. HDR in name only