Dell 27 USB-C Ultrathin Monitor (S2719DC) review

Thin as an iPhone, this Dell monitor will make your friends stop and stare

The Dell 27 USB-C Ultrathin Monitor serves up style without compromising image quality.
The Dell 27 USB-C Ultrathin Monitor serves up style without compromising image quality.
The Dell 27 USB-C Ultrathin Monitor serves up style without compromising image quality.


  • Beautiful, bezel-less design
  • Thin and light cabinet
  • USB-C enables hub functionality
  • Bright, HDR-ready visuals
  • Wide color gamut


  • Limited adjustability
  • Gamma is slightly off

Monitors are too often boring. Usually made of plastic with large cabinets, thick bezels, and gaudy stands, they’re often meant to blend in. Not stand out.

Then there’s the Dell 27 USB-C Ultrathin.

Dressed in aluminum and sleek as hell, the Ultrathin is a new breed of Dell monitor. It’s not 4K or ultrawide, but instead focuses as much on the framing around the display as the panel itself. $420 (originally $550) is more than you might want to spend on a monitor, but if you want more than a basic work monitor, read on. The Dell Ultrathin 27 is something special.

Undoing design trends

While we demand our laptops, smartphones, and other gadgets look as good as they function, monitors often get a pass. The Dell 27 USB-C Ultrathin undoes that trend.

The back of the monitor resembles the Dell XPS laptops. It’s a clean, aluminum curvature, marked by a reflective, silver Dell logo. From there, the gentle curve of the stand extends down to the base. Again, it’s all aluminum here — no random strips of plastic or creaky panels. Dell stripped away the frills with this design, and it feels both modern and elegant. The small stand might look flimsy, but holds the weight of the screen well, which cuts down on the wobble. The hole in the stand won’t hide your cables completely, but it will at least keep them clean and managed.

Dan Baker/Digital Trends

Our only complaint with the stand is its lack of adjustability. You gain a healthy amount of up and down tilt adjustment, but that’s it. There’s no height, swivel, or pivot adjustment. You’ll have to look to the Dell UltraSharp or the HP Z-series monitors for those.

The design shines on two primary features of its namesake; ultrathin and USB-C. The “Ultrathin” aspect is its most striking. The cabinet measures 1.1 inches at its thickest and 0.2 inches at its thinnest. It may not be the thinnest monitor to ever exist, but it’s thinner than an iPhone X at its smallest. That’s impressive. While you’ll spend most of your time staring at the front of it, that won’t stop coworkers from stopping by your desk to compliment it.

The design adds an unexpected convenience. This monitor is light. We noticed the weight as soon as we pulled it out of the box. At a petite 11.4 pounds, you won’t strain a muscle trying to reposition it on your desk, or even carry it across a room.

And the Ultrathin design doesn’t stop with the cabinet. It also applies to the bezels, which take a cue from Dell’s XPS laptop design. They’re far from your average display borders and they help focus all the attention on what’s happening on the screen.

One transformative port

USB-C is a key feature of this monitor. It’s even in the name. The presence of a Thunderbolt 3/USB-C port means you can grab video from your laptop and charge it all at once. It might seem like a small matter, but it makes the monitor useful hub and adds a lot of value. Quality USB-C docks start at $50 and can soar above $200.

Dell 27 USB-C Ultrathin Monitor S2719DC
Dan Baker/Digital Trends

Other ports include two USB-A 3.0 downstream ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. This monitor isn’t targeting gamers, so we’re not surprised to see a mini-DisplayPort or second HDMI port to be left off. The back-firing position of these ports means wall-mounting the display might be more difficult but makes accessing the ports easier.

Dell also offers the less expensive S2719DM, which is the exact same display, minus the USB ports.

Easy on the eyes

This monitor’s menus feel as carefully laid-out as its design elements. It has four menu buttons along the bottom of the frame, followed by a lit-up power button that feels different for less accidental presses. You’re two clicks away from brightness control, which is crucial. You can also quickly hop into a few different preset modes like ComfortView, Movie, Game, Warm, and Custom. The Standard view looks the best, obviously, though ComfortView is nice for dark rooms, especially toward the end of a long work day.

The larger menus are easy to navigate through, and we found it simple to get familiar with quickly. There aren’t a ton of options to play with, but you can change contrast, sharpness, input color format, and even set up some shortcut keys.

This is exactly the kind of menu we like to see. Simple, customizable, and not horrendously ugly.

An HDR standout

If the Ultrathin retained its super-sleek design but lacked a quality panel, it wouldn’t mean a thing. Fortunately, the thin frame is just the icing on the cake. The screen itself is a 2,560 x 1,440 IPS LED edge-lit display with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Those are all standard specifications these days. The Ultrathin is also not a gaming monitor, meaning it has a standard 60Hz refresh rate (though it does include support for AMD FreeSync).

So, where does the Dell Ultrathin stand out? Well, where it counts. Image quality.

You won’t want to sit too close when its brightness is maxed out.

The first thing to mention is brightness. You won’t want to sit too close when it’s maxed out. We measured it at 418 nits at 100 percent brightness, which makes it one of the brightest desktop monitors we’ve ever tested. It’s ideal for brightly-lit office settings. The only brighter monitors are the panels included in high-end all-in-ones like the Surface Studio 2 or 5K iMac.

That extra brightness is also helpful for utilizing its HDR capabilities. The monitor meets the VESA DisplayHDR 600 standard, meaning you’ll see the high contrast and vibrant colors of HDR in movies and games. Admittedly, HDR content remains a bit slim for the PC, but movies and games that support it look fantastic on the Dell Ultrathin monitor.

When it comes to color, there’s even more to be excited about. The Dell Ultrathin has a surprisingly wide color gamut, hitting 100 percent of the sRGB color space and an impressive 84 percent of AdobeRGB. Those are some very high numbers, especially for a monitor that isn’t specifically designed for creative professions, like the HP DreamColor monitors. Well done, Dell.

Image quality isn’t perfect, however. The contrast ratio of 780:1 is good, but not excellent. It beats the Dell P2715Q, but you’ll find higher ratios on monitors like the BenQ EX3501R. Also, the gamma reading was slightly off at 2.4. We’ve seen worse, but it does mean images can appear ever so slightly darker than they should. Even so, we were able to follow the action well in dimly-lit movies like Solo: A Star Wars Story.


The Dell Ultrathin, for the most part, ships great out of the box. That’s just what we like to see. The couple of weakness it has, such as in gamma or color accuracy, can be corrected in calibration.

Using our Spyder5 tool, we managed to pull down the color accuracy from 2.49 to 1.49 and the gamma down to 2.3. The Ultrathin improves with calibration, so if you’re someone who relies on the precision and performance of your monitor professionally, we recommend calibrating this screen.

Our Take

Ultrawide and 4K monitors may have taken the limelight, but standard 27-inch monitors don’t get much more exciting than the Dell Ultrathin 27. It’s thin, light, and sleek — everything you want to match something like a Dell XPS laptop or MacBook. Better still, it’s equipped with a high 1440p pixel resolution and great image quality. It may not be as flashy as some other monitors, but Dell has nailed the basics.

Are there any alternatives?

The first alternative comes from within Dell’s own lineup: The UltraSharp 27 USB-C monitor. It’s not quite as sleek (and it’s a bit more expensive), but it comes with some extra adjustment options for those that need the flexibility.

Another option might be the $400 Samsung SH850, which is also 1440p, has thin bezels, and features a USB-C connection. It’s nowhere near as thin or sleek as the Dell, though.

Lastly, there are a number of great 4K or ultrawide monitors available as well, such as the 34-inch Samsung CF791, though it’s quite a bit more expensive at $750.

How long will it last?

The Dell 27 Ultrathin USB-C monitor should last you many, many years. That’s just what you want in a monitor. The USB-C port, 1440p resolution, and HDR support should keep you up to date for many years, regardless of changing technologies and formats.

Even better, the monitor comes with a three-year “Advanced Exchange Service” and limited hardware warranty. That’s standard for monitors, matching companies like HP or Asus, but it’s better than LG, which only offers a one-year warranty.

Should you buy it?

Yes. Not only is the Dell 27 Ultrathin USB-C monitor the best of its kind, it’s one of the best monitors you can buy, hands down.


Lack of regulation means wearables aren’t held accountable for health claims

As fitness trackers become more like health monitors, some physicians are concerned they can lead to over-diagnosis of non-existent problems. It’s already happening with wearable baby monitors.

Alphabet’s health watch monitors your heart health, is approved by the FDA

A health monitoring watch being developed by Alphabet, Google's parent company, has received clearance from the FDA as a medical device. This means that the device has been found to be safe and can legally be sold in the U.S.

Dell XPS 13 vs. Asus Zenbook 13: In battle of champions, who will be the victor?

The ZenBook 13 UX333 continues Asus's tradition of offering great budget-oriented 13-inch laptop offerings. Does this affordable machine offer enough value to compete with the excellent Dell XPS 13?
Smart Home

Military-grade baby monitor called Miku was a hit with parents at CES 2019

Who knew the world needed a smarter baby monitor? Apparently it's the startup Miku, which brought a new high-tech baby monitor to CES 2019 that uses A.I., machine learning, and high quality cameras to keep an eye on kids.

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.

The Asus ZenBook 13 offers more value and performance than Apple's MacBook Air

The Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 is the latest in that company's excellent "budget" laptop line, and it looks and feels better than ever. How does it compare to Apple's latest MacBook Air?

AMD Radeon VII will support DLSS-like upscaling developed by Microsoft

AMD's Radeon VII has shown promise with early tests of an open DLSS-like technology developed by Microsoft called DirectML. It would provide similar upscale features, but none of the locks on hardware choice.

You could be gaming on AMD’s Navi graphics card before the end of the summer

If you're waiting for a new graphics card from AMD that doesn't cost $700, you may have to wait for Navi. But that card may not be far away, with new rumors suggesting we could see a July launch.

Is AMD's Navi back on track for 2019? Here's everything you need to know

With a reported launch in 2019, AMD is focusing on the mid-range market with its next-generation Navi GPU. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles, like Sony's PlayStation 5.

Cortana wants to be friends with Alexa and Google Assistant

Microsoft no longer wants to compete against Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant in the digital assistant space. Instead, it wants to transform Cortana into a skill that can be integrated into other digital assistants.

Microsoft leans on A.I. to resume safe delivery of Windows 10 Update

Microsoft is leaning on artificial intelligence as it resumes the automatic rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. You should start seeing the update soon now that Microsoft has resolved problems with the initial software.

Stop dragging windows on your Mac. Here's how to use Split View to multitask

The latest iterations of MacOS offer a native Split View feature that can automatically divide screen space between two applications. Here's how to use Split View on a Mac, adjust it as needed, and how it can help out.

It's not all free money. Here's what to know before you try to mine Bitcoin

Mining Bitcoin today is harder than it used to be, but if you have enough time, money, and cheap electricity, you can still turn a profit. Here's how to get started mining Bitcoin at home and in the cloud.

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. This list of the best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.