Modern workplaces come in a variety of shapes and sizes including the traditional cubicle, the open-plan office, and even the family home.
- 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 newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- 2 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 3 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 4 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 5 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- MSI teams up with Sony for the upcoming Venom movie
- IFA 2018: Samsung announce new Thunderbolt 3 curved QLED monitor
- Philips introduces Momentum 32-inch curved monitor
- Philips unveils new 43-inch display with HDR1000
- Sharp renews Huddle Board offering
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Panasonic FZ1000U OLED TV: Full, in-depth, review
- Oppo Find X: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies