Review: Dell ST2421L 24in LED Monitor

A little background; I bought two Dell ST2421L monitors as a package from Tiger Direct to replace two rather poor AOC E2251Swdn monitors which suffered from poor colour reproduction, zero ability to produce black and terrible viewing angles. I do a lot of graphical work, website design so a monitor with faithful colour reproduction is a must! As always this is a user review, not professional!

Dell ST2421L

By today’s standards, the Dell ST2421L monitor is fairly chunky measuring approximately 2 1/2 inches thick, due to being back-lit LED and not edge-lit LED like many of it’s thinner counterparts and lacks any sort of VESA mounting options, but neither of these facts bother me in the slightest.

Connectivity is excellent offering VGA, DVI-D and HDMI so it has all the major bases covered; the only omission is display port; but it’s a $150 monitor so asking for a display port input is a little optimistic. Controls are good and easy to navigate from a point of usability but I’d like to have physical buttons rather than the capacitive style which give zero tactile feedback. The stand/base is reasonably solid with tilt control, but still has some “wobble” if the desk is knocked.

Given that I bought the ST2421L as a set of two, e.g. identical monitors to eliminate colour, temperature and tone differences across the two displays I find myself somewhat disappointed. The second display has a naturally warmer tone, which is fine as a standalone display, it still looks good, but it doesn’t blend well across both displays. Initially I thought that maybe the second monitor was setup differently out the box; but after doing a reset; it still had the colour balance difference.

Viewing angles are fine; but not great by any stretch of the imagination; certainly nowhere near the 160° horizontal claimed in the specification. I can see the colours starting to fade after about 25° – 30°. I know for better viewing angles, an IPS display would work better but I kept on reading about quite severe edge light bleed; which would drive me even crazier than I already am!

The colour balance differences came very close to being a deal breaker; maybe I am a perfectionist but I like displays to be uniform, especially when purchasing two monitors of the same brand/model; but I have decided to keep it as it’s significantly better than the AOC monitors it replaced.

Overall, the Dell ST2421L is a decent monitor with good clarity and colour balance. I would recommend it as a single display but when purchasing more than one, I would have to think twice as there seems to be calibration/manufacturing inconsistencies. As mentioned before, not an issue for me but the lack of VESA mounting options could be a deal breaker for some users.

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