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A touchscreen on your desktop: Three new displays

March 12, 2013 06:00 AM ET

Dell S2340T

Like a devotee of yoga, the 23-in. Dell S2340T can assume a wide variety of positions and angles. The 14.1 x 22.2 x 8.6-in (HWD) monitor is capable of a 1980 x 1080 resolution that runs at 8ms, slightly slower than the other two reviewed here.

Dell S2340T
Dell S2340T
Dell S2340T
Dell S2340T -- side view

Moving anywhere

The key to the Dell's success is its weighted base and Z-shaped arm that allows the screen to pivot at the base and the back of the display. Because of this, the display can go through a variety of positions: from being flat on the desk to fully vertical -- as well as any angle in between.

It can even angle 5 degrees toward the viewer, and can be thrust forward from the base and then and lowered to dip about an inch below the edge of the table.

Unlike the awkwardness I found in adjusting the Acer's angle, with the Dell the action was smooth. I just had to push or pull the screen down or up to set it to a comfortable angle. It does take a little effort to raise and lower the screen, but that can be accomplished with one hand.

Regardless of whether it is horizontal or vertical, the screen can be set up from 0.5 to 2.7 in. above the tabletop, leaving plenty of room for a notebook, keyboard or phone. Once it is set to a position, the display is secure and only wobbles a little when it is vigorously tapped.

The active area is flush with the bezel, and that bezel is narrower than the one on the Acer. It quickly became second nature for me to use the display's 10-point multitouch surface to swipe out a menu, highlight a sentence or move spreadsheet cells around. In the Cut the Rope game, the touch response was fast and precise.

Other features

The system is the best connected of the three, with an HDMI port, a DisplayPort, two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, an audio port and an Ethernet port on the base. The monitor also comes with a microphone, a webcam and speakers, which sounded quite good and were more than loud enough. The only thing I missed: It lacks traditional VGA and DVI ports for using older notebooks and desktops.

As is the case with the ViewSonic and the Acer, the Dell uses a USB cable to connect to a PC, but unlike the others, setup wasn't always automatic. In fact, the first time I used it with the Vaio T13, I had to manually load Dell's drivers.

At a Glance

Dell S2340T
Dell
Price: $699.99
Pros: Display can be vertical or horizontal, good number of ports, slim, beautiful design
Cons: High price, no VGA or DVI port, drivers don't automatically load, must use USB 3.0 to connect to computer

Plus, Dell's drivers are set up so you have to use the USB 3.0 port to connect to your system or touch commands won't be transferred to the computer.

The monitor has a variety of controls and adjustments, including brightness, contrast and color temperature. There are preset modes ranging from Standard, Movie and Gaming to Multimedia and Text.

Performance

The Dell's performance was a mixed bag. In my tests, it lagged behind the others on brightness with a rating of 161 cd/m², well below the vendor's stated rating of 270 cd/m².

Still, the Dell delivered bright white backgrounds and had excellent color balance. Its 91% uniformity rating and 23.5-watt power consumption were midway between the other two monitors.

Bottom line

If you're looking for a monitor that not only responds to your touch but strikes a nice balance between form and function, look no further than Dell's S2340T. At $699.99, it may be expensive, but it is worth it.



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