ArticulatedStand.jpg

First Look: Dell S2340T Monitor

I’ve been in the market for a new desktop monitor. I’ve been looking at touch-enabled monitors since I figured Windows 8 was an inevitable upgrade for me. I finally decided on the Dell S2340T 23” multi-touch monitor. I based my choice on these reasons:

  • I have a bias toward Dell monitors. I’ve always considered them a good value with a good picture.
  • 10-point multi-touch
  • IPS Panel
  • LED Backlight
  • HDMI port which my existing video card can use.

It has several other features, but they weren’t a deciding factor for me. These include a webcam and speakers along with audio and USB ports. The monitor also support DisplayLink for connecting laptops but I haven’t looked at that at all and have no interest in it.

The resolution is 1920 X 1080 which has become quit common these days since it’s 1080P. I’d prefer a little more vertical height, say 1920 X 1200, but decided this was OK.

The monitor was backordered when I placed the order but arrived early last week, earlier than expected. I didn’t see the point of setting it up with Windows 7, so I waited until I could install Windows 8, which I did over the weekend. A fresh installation of Windows 8 was installed and running when I hooked up the monitor. I hadn’t installed any additional software yet since I wanted to make sure the hardware was solid before doing so.

The setup was slightly more complicated than a simple dumb monitor. The instructions sheet (yes, one sheet) was just a few unlabeled pictures. At the very least they should have labeled the picture that showed the package contents. The monitor includes 3 cables:

  • HDMI cable – this is what I’m using to connect my video card to the monitor.
  • USB 3 uplink cable – this connects the monitor a PC for all the non-video communication. Touch, USB ports, audio ports, etc…
  • A display port cable that I’m not using

The power cable includes a power brick, rather than just the electrical cable I’m used to. It’s one of those with the brick in the middle so it doesn’t take up extra plug space. There’s also a LAN port that I’m not using. There’s also a micro fiber cloth included for cleaning off those fingerprints.

The build quality of everything appears to be excellent and solidly built. I already had Windows 8 installed when I hooked it up and it worked right away. It just didn’t work perfectly although this proved to be an issue with my AMD video card and not the monitor itself.

Despite the resolution being set at 1920 X 1080 the picture didn’t fill the monitor screen. Worse, the touch points were off. First I went through the tablet calibration, which did fix the touch issue. Bit there was still this large unused border on the screen.

So for the screen issue I first made sure I had the latest monitor drivers. I also installed the Dell software to see if there were any possible settings there. There weren’t. Then I installed the Catalyst software for my AMD video card. I found this setting where the picture was being underscanned by default. So I set it to 0% so it would use the full screen.

AMD Catalyst Overscan Settings

Once I did that I had to reset the tablet calibration back to the default and everything worked fine.

I had considered the articulating stand as an added expense for something I wouldn’t use. I’m glad it wasn’t optional because I think it will be hugely beneficial. I’ve been using it at an angle on my desk.

Articulated Stand (Image from Dell.com)

I find it easy to use as a touch screen while still being easy to see. I’ve been doing a lot of configuration, installations and testing and this position is perfect for that. I may use it in the traditional vertical position when I’m writing or doing other work where the screen is fairly static. Windows 8 is touch friendly and mouse hostile (IMO) so I find it much quicker to use touch to get around. This is all new so my opinion may change over time after more use.

I bought my monitor from Dell but I just checked and Amazon now has the monitor and it costs less than it does from Dell. The one review from Amazon says they shipped the non-touch version of the monitor although that should be easy to resolve (but extremely annoying) as they are different model numbers. If buying from Dell be aware that Dell sells it through different segments, I found it to be cheaper through the “Home & Home Office” channel thanks to $50 instant savings which wasn’t available through the business channels. Like I said, I do like their monitors. But that’s about the only thing about Dell that isn’t frustrating.

I’ve only been using the monitor since Saturday afternoon, but so far I like it and consider it worth the price I paid.

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3 thoughts on “First Look: Dell S2340T Monitor

  1. Carl

    You know I hate finger smudges on my monitors! But seriously, what’s your take on this article in Scientific American I came across, specifically the “gorilla arm” ergonomics point? (Pasted link in the ‘Website’ field above)

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  2. Ray

    @Carl – Interesting article. I don’t think they’ll dominate anytime soon. But some issues can be addressed. My monitor is much easier to touch when it’s angled rather than the typical vertical placement and it remains comfortable to view and use. Touch doesn’t replace fine mouse movements or a digitizer but for navigation I find reaching for the screen easier than reaching for the mouse. And larger screen that need to be farther away for viewing would be a problem. The 23″ size seems a out as big as I’d want to go for a desktop touch monitor.

    I don’t like laptop fingerprints eithers and it was a concern, but they haven’t bothered me on this. Maybe it’s a coating. Maybe it’s because I got used to them on my iPad. (They still bother me on my laptop) This is also one of the best quality screen I’ve ever used so that may help. I do notice fingerprints when the screen is off but not when I’m using it. An of course, eating popcorn while browsing is out of the question.

    Ergonomically I find it better than the mouse since there’s little repetition. I still do use a mouse but a lot less. I always preferred keyboard shortcuts over the mouse and the same applies here. But I find reaching for the screen more natural than reaching for the mouse.

    I agree that touch points on the desktop side can be too small but that will hopefully be addressed in new apps and updates. I don’t particularly like the work arounds to get bigger touchpoints so it’s the desktop side where I use the mouse most.

    Thanks for stopping by,

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