Dell Crystal

Dell Crystal
  • Dell Crystal
  • Dell Crystal
  • Dell Crystal
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Stylish design, built-in webcam speakers and microphone, good contrast

Cons

  • Glossy reflective screen can be extremely problematic, touch-sensitive controls can be fiddly, viewing angles not perfect

Bottom Line

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.

Would you buy this?

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.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?