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Why Dell SP2309W worth its money


The Good All-round great performance; high resolution of 2,048×1,152 pixels; intuitive, customizable and unique on-screen display; integrated 2 megapixel webcam; 360 degree rotation; adjusting the height of the screen; multiple USB ports.

The Bad Backlight bleeding on the lower edge.

The Bottom Line With its low cost, great performance and many features, the Dell SP2309W is a solid purchase for a 23-inch monitor.

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8.0 Overall

  • Design
  • Features
  • Performance
  • Support

Editors’ note: The Features score of the Dell SP2309W was changed from 8.0 to 7.0. This brought its score down from an 8.2 to an 8.0. Still enough for 4 stars and still deserving of its Editors’ Choice award.

For $ 379, the Dell SP2309W (available only from Dell) performs well; VGA, DVI and HDMI connectivity; high resolution of 2,048×1,152 pixels; intuitive, reliable and unique on-screen display design; 360 degree screen rotation; and five USB ports. Compared to the 690-inch 24-inch Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP, the SP2309W is a bit lacking in overall performance and connectivity. And for $ 300, the Dell S2409W offers an inch more screen real estate, but less resolution, a few ergonomic options, and slightly worse performance. The Dell SP2309W is in the sweet spot.


Dell SP2309W

Dell UltraSharp U2412m

Dell UltraSharp U2713HM

HP x2301 Micro Thin LED monitor

Lenovo ThinkVision L2440p

Design 9 8 8 7 8
Features 7 8 9 8 7
Performance 8 8 9 7 8
Support 8 8 8 8 6
Overall 8.0 8.0 8.5 7.3 7.6
Price $396 Amazon $210 Walmart $636 Amazon

Design and features
The Dell SP2309W 23-inch bezel is a striking glossy black that reflects everything but also attracts many fingerprints. The length is 0.75 inches short on all sides, with a slightly raised silver Dell logo at the bottom of the bottom panel. At the top center of the panel is a built-in 2MP camera. The panel has a depth of almost 1 inch. (For comparison, most of the 24-inch models we tested have a panel depth of more than an inch). A thin strip of 1 centimeter winds around the outer edge of the panel, reaching panel widths of up to 22.1 inches, on average for a monitor this size of screen.

The 10.25-inch diameter round footrest does a good job of providing stability. We only saw minimal fluctuation when we hit the display on the sides.

At $ 29 more than the SP2309W costs compared to the Dell S2409W, the SP2309 includes several additional features. First, the display rotates the screen 360 degrees through a rotary mechanism on the footrest. In addition, the neck of the display is made with a hinge at its base and up. This allows the screen to tilt back completely so that it faces straight up – not a particularly useful feature since this monitor does not have a touch screen. With the touch screen facing up, you can interact with your computer without reaching the mouse control path. The screen height is adjustable by almost 4 inches, and the monitor includes five USB ports (four downstream and one upstream) – two from the bottom port on the left side of the monitor, with the rest to the right of the video connection options.

The Dell SP2309w connection options include trifectes for VGA, DVI, and HDMI video. Although easy to reach from VGA and HDMI ports, the DVI port sits directly at the edge of the display, making hand cramps possible when trying to connect a cable.

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The Dell SP2309W On-Screen Display has a unique design without shortcuts: the five small buttons align the bottom right corner of the panel. Pressing the blinking lower button opens an on-screen menu that pops up parallel to an array of buttons, each option corresponding to one of five buttons. For example, clicking the button next to an “input source” on the screen opens a menu to change the input source. As soon as a new menu appears, the button functions change dynamically as the top two buttons become the up and down arrow buttons used to navigate the recently displayed menu. Screen navigation takes a few minutes to get used to, but as soon as we did, we found it easier to use and more useful than the stunning screen version of the S2409W. Because the buttons light up when they are in operation, and any button labels are actually on the screen, calibrating the display in a dark room has proved painless. On-screen menu options include the basics: brightness, contrast, and different color options. There are six presets to choose from, including standard, multimedia, gaming, warm, cool, sRGB and, of course, custom. The presets change nothing but the balance of red, green and blue, and how well each parameter works will be subjective.

The popular Dell SP2309W 16: 9 aspect ratio supports native 2,048×1,152-pixel resolution and Full HD resolution of 1,920×1,080 pixels. This is an interesting marketing choice because while accurate, the 16:10 aspect ratio on a 23-inch monitor will have an even native native resolution of 1,920 x 1200 pixels, which seems more “complete”. However, Dell is not alone. More and more monitor manufacturers are moving to 16: 9 at 16:10, as high-definition content, including 1080p movies, can fit on a screen of 1 920×1,080 pixels without distorting the image.

Manufacturer Specifications:
Resolution: 2,048×1,152-pixels
Pixel Response Rate: 2ms
Contrast Ratio: 80,000: 1 (Dynamic Contrast Ratio; default number not specified)
Brightness: 300cd / m2
Connection: HDMI, DVI, VGA
HDCP compatible? So
Video cables included? DVI

We tested the Dell SP2309W with its DVI connection. The display shows a composite score of 90 on performance tests based on CNET lab displays. We compared it to the 24-inch Dell Ultrasharp 2408WFP, which also scored 90, and the Dell S2409W 87. The SP2309W has some problems with screen uniformity, indicating that the display may have some difficulty in even illumination – search is supported by the Dark Screen test , in which Dell found a lot of backlight bleeding on the bottom. We also noticed a slight color tracking error in the intensity and grayscale test. A color-tracking error occurs when the intensity of red, green, and blue is not regulated equally with changes in signal level, resulting in slight shades of color (usually red), where only gray is visible. Otherwise, the Dell SP2309W plays well, especially with the low saturation and color tests of the 64-256 Intenity Color Ramp, which look for noticeable compression or extension at the dark and light ends of the scale. The SP2309W showed one of the smoothest color frames.

According to our test, the Dell SP2309W posted a brightness rating of 297 candelas per square meter (cd / m2) – right near the maximum 300 cd / m2 claimed by Dell. This exceeds the brightness of the Dell S2409W 243cd / m2, but the Dell Ultrasharp 2408WFP breaks that number with a brightness rating of 452 cd / m2. Our test contrast ratio was lower than we expected it to come in 648: 1 compared to 891: 1 2409WFP and S1409W 1.001: 1. Although its brightness and contrast ratio tested relatively low, it did not result in poor image quality.

Dell SP2309W’s “World of Warcraft” looked crisp, colorful and just as perfect as we ever saw running at 2,048×1,152 pixels. “WoW” looks great on almost every monitor we check. Unfortunately, viewing the game from below the optimum viewing angle made the screen darker so that we couldn’t see the graphic details of the game – typical of most TN panels and have nothing to do with game performance.

Dell SP2309W’s Kill Bill Vol. 1 DVD performance came close to the quality of the stellar Apple LED Cinema Display we tested in December. The colors were bright and the blacks were dark; however, Apple’s colors and blacks are fuller and deeper, respectively. We didn’t notice any stripes or ghosts, and the screen remained sharp for DVD.

The Blu-ray version of 1080p House of Flying Daggers looked great for the same reasons; however, we didn’t notice any advantage as a 16: 9 aspect ratio.

However, we have determined that the best option for watching games and movies on the Dell SP2308W is the default 59-contrast mode, and brightness based on high eye settings. We settled on 94.

The optimum viewing angle for the monitor is usually directly in front, about a quarter of the screen down from the top. From this angle, you view the colors and gamut by destination. Most monitors are not considered in any other angle. The image quality at sub-optimal angle depends on the type of panel. Most monitors use TN panels that are too bright or too dark on parts of the screen when viewed from sub-optimal angles. The Dell SP2309W uses a TN panel, and when viewed from the outside, the screen angle seemed to go a little darker. When viewed from below, the screen immediately darkens. Of course, when viewed from the optimum angle, we had no problems.

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Juice box
Dell SP2309W Average watts per hour
On (Default Luminance) 40.38
On (Max Luminance) 48.27
On (Min Luminance) 19.24
Sleep 1.35
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 41.83
Score Poor
Annual energy cost (@$0.1135/kWh) $12.98

Brightness (cd / m2)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Dell Ultrasharp 2408WFP
452 Widescreen true color HP w2408h
434 Dell SP2309W
297 BenQ E2400HD
246 Dell S2409W
242 Samsung SyncMaster T240HD

Contrast ratio
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Dell S2409W
1,001:1 BenQ E2400HD
892:1 Dell Ultrasharp 2408WFP
891:1 Widescreen true color HP w2408h
858:1 Samsung SyncMaster T240HD
815:1 Dell SP2309W

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Dell Ultrasharp 2408WFP
90 Dell SP2309W
90 Dell S2409W
87 Samsung SyncMaster T240HD
87 BenQ E2400HD
85 Widescreen true color HP w2408h

Learn more about how we test LCD monitors.

Service and support
Dell supports the SP2309W with a solid warranty, including a three-year spare parts and payroll warranty that covers the backlight. It also offers 24-7 toll-free support, 24-7 web chat, and 24- to 48-hour fast email – a better package than most monitor providers that don’t support weekends. Navigating the Dell Web site and finding drivers, guides, and a quick start guide was easy and easy.

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