- Stylish design, built-in webcam speakers and microphone, good contrast
- Glossy reflective screen can be extremely problematic, touch-sensitive controls can be fiddly, viewing angles not perfect
While Dell's stylish 22in Crystal monitor will appeal to fashion-conscious users and those after a display with multimedia capabilities, the extremely reflective glass coating makes it irritating to use under normal lighting conditions.
Price$ 1,599.00 (AUD)
Encased in glass and featuring four built-in speakers, Dell's latest 22in monitor is in sharp contrast to the plain Dell units of the past. It also packs in a webcam and microphone, making it a useful tool for multimedia conferencing. The image quality is fairly good, but there are a few design flaws that detract from the user experience.
By far the worst of these is the glossy finish. As the panel is entirely shrouded in glass, it is extremely reflective—to the point of being extremely annoying. With any remotely dark screen, even the light grey background of Microsoft Word for example, you can quite clearly see yourself and everything going on around you. We found this made testing difficult. The reflection routinely obscured certain areas of the screen and it made film sequences particularly difficult to watch. Dell really should have considered this and made the glass simply the bezel. It is a big problem in regular lighting conditions.
Aside from that issue, the Crystal was a very pleasant monitor to use. Its image quality is in line with previous Dell units; that is to say, it's impressive. While the contrast ratio is only quoted at 2000:1 dynamic, it performed well in our DisplayMate Video Edition tests. There was great definition between the blocks in the contrast intensity ramps. There was a little detail lost towards the dark end of the scale, but it was fairly minimal.
Colour balance was quite good, with a slightly softer look. Reds and blues were quite strongly saturated, but other shades were a little more laid back. We found white looked a little dull. However, this was using the default settings, which can be tweaked using the calibration options.
Blacks were fairly deep, although not as dark as we've seen on some other units; there were minor hints of backlight bleeding at times. Text and edges, however, were sharp and crisp. There was some minor ghosting in our software tests—perhaps a little more than we'd expect from the 2ms response time. Most gamers will still be happy with the performance. Unfortunately, the 160-degree viewing angles are a little disappointing, and we noticed some yellow colour shift at odd angles.
However, this unit isn't just about the panel itself. As mentioned it also packs in a host of multimedia options. First up, we tested the four speakers, which performed as expected. They aren't going to satisfy any music lover or serious gamer, as their sound is treble heavy and quite tinny thanks to a complete lack of bass. They are adequate for voice conferencing or general computer use.
The webcam operated very well. Its image was clear and crisp, and it captured motion very well. The microphone picked up our voice clearly from several meters away. Overall, we were satisfied with the media functionality for web conferencing or basic browsing and desktop functions, but you'll still want a good set of speakers or headphones for proper media and games use.
Aesthetically, the Crystal is impressive. While some may not like the slightly gaudy design, it definitely has a stylish, modern look that will appeal to fashion-conscious users. The touch-sensitive buttons are very cool. While most of them were responsive, we struggled a little with the menu key, which often required three or four taps to find the sweet spot.
The usual array of connectivity options is available, including DVI and D-Sub. However, users should note they run off a break-out cable rather than using traditional connections on the monitor itself.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 2 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 3 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 5 Microsoft Lumia 640 review: Honouring Nokia's legacy
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Foxconn to pay over $US6bn for a majority stake in Sharp
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Kogan forced to pay $32,400 penalty by ACCC
- LG's ultra-thin touchscreen panels will enable lighter, thinner notebooks
- Curved displays from TVs see uptake in PCs, monitors
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCSenior ICT Project OfficerACT
- CCUser Experience ExpertVIC
- FTDatabase Administrator / ArchitectNSW
- FTDesktop SupportNSW
- FTProject Manager | Permanent role in Canberra | NV1/2 clearedACT
- CCSales Development Executive - Flexible Working HoursNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst - master data managementACT
- CCOnline Shop Operations Consultant (eCommerce)VIC
- CCSolutions Architect - Network and InfrastructureNSW
- FTAGILE Training Manager/CoachNSW
- CCJava Developer- 12 month contractNSW
- CCContract Snr IT Assistant (IT Operation/UNIX) 160504/SITA/982Asia
- CCMarketing Communications Specialist - Global IT CompanyNSW
- FTMs Dynamics Nav Support Analyst- Level 1/2WA
- CCServiceNow / SACM ConsultantNSW
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web Application DeveloperNSW
- CCHyperion ConsultantNSW
- CCLead Administrator - Network and SecurityNSW
- CCJava Developer / DevOps | FINEOS Application | Long Term ContractNSW
- FTProduct Owner - MarketingNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/Oracle/Unix) 160509/AP/395Asia
- CCSolution ArchitectQLD
- CCSolution ArchitectVIC
- CCData Management & Reporting Development OfficerSA
- CCHi-Portfolio ConsultantNSW