The Dell P3221D is an attractive option if you need a high-quality display with a large screen for any type of use. It’s the first 32-inch QHD model in the P line, so it’s great for consumers who want modern features and a crisper and more defined display. Let’s take a closer look at the Dell P3221D to know if it’s a worthy investment for your daily computing needs.
Dell P3221D Specifications
- Screen Size: 32 Inches
- Resolution: 2560 x 1440 QHD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Panel Technology: In-Plane Switching (IPS)
- Refresh Rate: 60Hz
- Response Time: 4ms
- Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
- Brightness: 350 cd/m²
- Built-in Speakers: None
- Stand: Height – Yes
- Stand: Tilt – Yes
- Stand: Swivel – Yes
- Stand: Pivot – Yes
- VESA Compatibility: Yes 100 x 100
- Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2 x 1, HDMI 2.0 x 1, USB 3.2 x2, USB 2.0 x 2, 3.5mm x 1
- Dimensions With Stand(WxHxD): 28.09″ x 24.36″ x 9.06″
- Weight: 24.69 lbs
Design and Features
The Dell P3221D looks like most Dell business monitors, but that look is usually synonymous with excellent build quality. The monitor has a matte black and silver combination so it looks elegant next to premium workstation devices like MacBook Pro. It has a bezel-free design, although it still has a thin strip at the bottom like most modern monitors.
It’s a large display, so you have to make sure that you have enough space for it before pulling the trigger. The monitor needs a little over 28 inches of width so it might interfere with your larger desktop peripherals. It’s also quite heavy at 24.69 pounds so extra care will be necessary while unboxing it or moving it around.
Its build quality is just as good as the brand’s flagship models since it comes from the P line for professionals. The metallic stand is very steady and durable, so the large screen won’t’ sag or shake while it’s in use. The plastic parts are all smooth and molded perfectly so there are no uneven gaps or seams on the edges.
The Dell P3221D has a joystick for easy access to its OSD that has plenty of settings and features. You can also use Dell’s improved Display Manager app for easy access with your mouse and keyboard inside the PC’s OS. Frankly, this combination is already exceedingly good and easy to use so there is no need to add accessories that will raise the monitor’s price further.
The stand included with the package offers tilt, swivel, pivot, and height adjustment for your comfort and convenience. It is easy to get a good angle with the default setup, so you don’t have to spend more to make it usable. It’s still compatible with a VESA mount, but we only recommend getting that if your desk can’t accommodate the device or if you have a multi-display setup.
Its connectivity layout is one of its more interesting features since it makes up a large chunk of its flexibility. It has a slot each for DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 2.0, but it also has a 65-Watt USB-C port with DP Alt Mode. The latter allows you to connect laptops like the Surface Pro which then receives charging power while it’s transmitting a video signal.
The monitor also has two super-speed USB 3.2 slots at the bottom and two USB 2.0 slots for peripherals at the back. There is a 3.5mm jack, but you have to buy the proprietary speakers for it from Dell’s store separately. We like how it is designed, but we’re always against gatekeeping features that can be handy for the monitor’s intended audience.
Display and Performance
The Dell P3221D boasts a 32-inch IPS panel with a 2560 x 1440 resolution, a 60Hz refresh rate, and a 5ms Fast response time. The backlight has a 350 cd/m2 limit while the contrast is listed at 1000:1 like most IPS models. This model doesn’t advertise extra imaging features like HDR, but that’s okay since it’s a business model.
The 32-inch 1440p screen’s advantage over a typical 24-inch 1080p model in pixel density isn’t a lot at 94 PPI versus 91 PPI. However, the 1440p screen obviously has more room without looking pixelized, so it’s a great choice for productivity. Gaming visuals also get an upgrade, but this model is limited to 60Hz so it can’t do it all.
The Dell P3221D renders 100% sRGB and around 77% DCI-P3 so it isn’t as vibrant as the recent Dell monitors we’ve reviewed. However, it’s quite accurate since the deltaE average is only at 1.98 so most users won’t need to calibrate it before usage. The screen looks decently balanced and natural, so there is some merit to the limited gamut coverage.
Calibrating it reduced the deltaE average to 0.99 which is fantastic for a monitor in this category. Doing so makes it usable for professional use such as editing, but you will need a colorimeter to optimize it to this level. Buying one is impractical for most uses, so we only recommend it if you are using this monitor to make money.
Its backlight reached 343 cd/m2 so it can fight off glare and provide you with plenty of wiggle room for adjustment. Its contrast exceeded the specification since it reached 1141:1 at 60% brightness, but it’s still incapable of deep blacks like VA panels. It’s the main weakness of IPS technology, but that’s widely accepted by today’s standards.
The Dell P3221D’s panel uniformity had some issues due to backlight leaks on the top edges of the screen. it doesn’t look even when it is showing a dark image due to clouding, but it’s less noticeable when it’s in full color. Note that this varies wildly between every monitor made due to tolerances, so it is possible to get a better unit if you are lucky.
It’s not the most responsive monitor in the brand’s lineup, but that’s understandable as well since it is limited to 60Hz and intended for business use. Casual gamers can get by if they set the overdrive to its Fast level, but we don’t recommend setting it higher since doing so will avoid overshoot. It’s not the best for gaming, but we think it is still flexible enough if you manage your expectations.
The Dell P3221D doesn’t have Adaptive Sync like most of the brand’s business models. 1440p can be demanding for entry-level systems, but there are a lot of QHD-capable cards in the market which can handle 60 FPS smoothly. Input lag sits at 9ms at 60Hz, so there is no need to worry about delays or a sluggish feel while using it.
Thoughts on the Dell P3221D
The Dell P3221D is a suitable choice if you want a decent performer with excellent reliability and design for daily use. Its IPS panel isn’t the most vibrant, but it’s already accurate out of the box just like its prosumer counterparts. It is built to last and it has all the right features for a functional daily use display, although its USB-C could use a boost in charging power.
Our biggest issue with the Dell P3221D is its high price which is too steep for a 60Hz 1440p monitor. Add a few bucks more and you can get a 4K monitor like the ViewSonic VP3256-4K. It’s a great choice for office use and casual gaming, but we recommend getting it if it’s heavily discounted.
- Great Default Accuracy
- Excellent Build Quality
- 65-Watt USB-C
- Great Connectivity Options
- Expensive for 60Hz 1440p
- Needs 90-Watt USB-C
- Limited Contrast and Black Luminance
Paolo is a gaming veteran from the golden days of Doom and Warcraft. Since junior high, he has been building gaming systems for family, friends, and colleagues. High-performance monitors are one of his fixations; he believes that every citizen’s right to enjoy one. He has gone through several pieces of hardware in pursuit of every bit of performance gain, much to the dismay of his wallet. He has also spent half a decade researching, reviewing, and writing about these products and now has over 1400 articles about the best gaming tech under his belt.