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Review: Dell 2209WA



Dell 2209WA is perhaps one of the most interesting PC monitors on the market right now. It is the first 22-inch monitor with a quality IPS panel. The 8-bit IPS panel promises better picture quality compared to the cheaper TN panel, which is used in virtually all 22-inch screens today, with only a few exceptions.

Dell 2209WA also comes at an attractive price point, offering a quality monitor for graphic artists, gaming or demanding users.

Response time:6 ms (g2g)
Contrast ratio:1000:1
Brightness:300 cd/m˛
Colours:16.7 millions
Colour gamut:72 % af NTSC
Signal processing: 8 bit for each colour
Viewing angles (H/V):178°/178° (contrast 10:1)
Dot pitch:0,282 mm
Panel (Type):IPS
Power consumption:52 W
Wall mounting:
Dimensions (HxWxD): 36.1cm x 51.2cm x 7.3cm (without stand)
Weight:9,9 kg

Built-in speakers:
Audio (type)
Other 4-port USB Hub
Pixel guarantee:-

Price and retailer:

US retailerUK retailer

The first impressions

Dell 2209WA has a matte finish and in the center of the frame you find the familiar Dell logo.

Dell 2209WA

On the right side of the screen a few buttons for navigating in screen menus are located.

Dell 2209WA

All inputs are connected on the back and facing downwards.

Dell 2209WA

Dell 2209WA has nice ergonomic functions, offering swivel, tilt, height and pivot adjustment. The monitor feels solid and the build quality is good.

Dell 2209WA

You can dismount the stand if you want to hang 2209WA on the wall.

Dell 2209WA

Dell 2209WA also has a 4-port USB Hub on the back.

The OSD (on screen display) has the following options: brightness, contrast, mode selction (graphics or video), profile, dynamic contrast, and RGB (red, green blue) settings.

Power Consumption

We have acquired measuring equipment to measure power consumption. The power consumption on the Dell 2209WA is measured in the table below. Soon we will release a comparison applet allowing you to compare power consumption on a huge amount of LCD and plasma TVs.

Measurements on Dell 2209WA below:

Out-of-BoxAfter calibration
Stand-by usage0,5 W0,5 W
PC61,5 W47,9 W

Also, please note that the flat panel TV uses less power after calibration. This is common on flat panel displays because many picture parameters are reduced during calibration.

Test tools

We use the DVI input for testing. The graphic card is Geforce 7900GTO.

The monitor has been measured and calibrated with a LaCie Blue Eye Pro. We also examine the monitor with the help of our monitorTest. And finally we test the monitor in games, movies etc.

Picture Quality

I have taken a preliminary measurement of the picture quality on Dell 2209WA below. I used the default profile without adjusted settings in the menu. Afterwards I’ll try to calibrate the monitor.

Dell 2209WA

The graph says this:

The number on the left is the delta value. Delta is a difference between two factors; here it’s the difference between the measured colour on the panel and the actual colour that is our target.

  • A delta value lower that 2 results in a visible deviation from the actual colour.
  • A delta value over 4 or 5 results in wrong colours.
  • A delta value between 1 and 2 results in precise but not perfect colours.
  • A delta value lower than one results in almost perfect colours. The target is 0.
  • Everything between 0 and 1 is barely visible to the human eye.

    Dell 2209WA has good “out-of-box” settings and the picture quality is very persuasive. Colours are not perfect but fairly accurate and the colour temperature is close to our target of 6500 Kelvin. Gamma is a bit too low, which means that the picture is slightly too bright. It is not critical, however.

    The standard brightness is too high at 211 cd/m2 – at least if you want to use the screen for office or internet purposes. I also prefer lower brightness for gaming and movies, though.

    I now tried to calibrate Dell 2209WA. I used the profile called graphics and made my adjustments with the RGB settings in order to check the potential of the screen. You can see the result of my calibration below:

    Dell 2209WA

    After calibration nearly all picture parameters are spot-on. Gamma is now accurate and brightness of 120 cd/m2 is suitable for both office and graphics use. For games and multimedia you might prefer a slightly higher brightness setting.

    Here are my settings after calibration (please note that we aslo used a colour profile):

    After calibration
    Dynamic Contrast:Off

    The picture on Dell 2209WA is very beautiful and nuanced. Colours are natural and adjoining colour shades are distinguished from each other. IPS panels are also preferred by many professionals because of the good colour properties.

    I examined color reproduction using our own testing-software monitorTest. in monitorTest we have incorporated colour gradients showing gradation from for example red to black. Dell 2209WA handles these gradients very good, substantiating its good colour reproduction abilities.

    When Dell 2209WA was launched Dell listed the panel as an e-IPS. The E was assumed to stand for “economy” and users believed that the e-IPS panel was a cheaper variant of the high-quality S-IPS panel, which has been used for expensive monitors for some years now. On some foreign sites Dell has later removed the “e” from the specification list in order to disprove the belief that 2209WA uses a cheaper version of the IPS panel.

    But what we’re really interested in knowing is if the IPS panel in Dell 2209WA has the same positive picture characteristics as other IPS monitors – and it does!

    IPS panels are generally preferred by most graphic artists and even though Dell 2209WA is targeted at the discerning users rather than professional graphic designers, it is a nice companion for graphics and photo editing. The screen menu has nice settings as well and colours are beautiful and nuanced.

    The viewing angles on IPS panels support this fact as well. It may seem strange to talk about viewing angles in relation to colour reproduction and graphic purposes but actually it has bearing to colour reproduction and gradation; a discussion that is graphic artist sometimes bring up when comparing S-PVA to S-IPS panels.

    S-PVA has a drop in the dynamic range when you are sitting right in front of it because of the way the small areas in each pixel are arranged. When you move your head from the center line an increase in the dynamic range appears and suddenly you have more shades in the dark regions than you have when observing the panel from the front of the screen. This is the big Achilles heel of the S-PVA.

    IPS panels do not have this dynamic range drop why they are often preferred for colour-critical tasks. Conversely, IPS panels are not able the reproduce the same deep black level and shadow detailing of the S-PVA, and this leads me to my measurements of black level and contrast ratio.

    Below you find my measurements of the black level on Dell 2209WA:

    Out-of-BoxAfter calibration
    Black level0,3 cd/m20,21 cd/m2
    Brightness211 cd/m2120 cd/m2
    Contrast ratio703:1571:1
    Contrast ratio: +/- 50

    Black is measured at 0.21 cd/m2 after calibration. In comparison a typical S-PVA screen has a black level of 0.1-0.15 cd/m2 after calibration. The reproduction of black has always been weak with the IPS technology and the 2209WA does not change this fact. Black on 2209WA is somewhat better than on other IPS based monitors, though.

    Shadow detailing is incredibly good, however. I can distinguish almost any of the dark gray levels from each other and it also ensures that the screen is suitable for displaying dark scenes in movies.

    I've included an image of 2209WA from a completely dark room. I examine the light homogeneity of the panel to make sure that it does not suffer from clouding / backlight bleeding.

    Dell 2209WA

    My Dell 2209WA has some minor clouding at the top of the screen but it’s not critical.

    Response time and games

    Dell 2209WA has a nice response time but the hardcore gamers will probably still prefer the faster 6-bit TN panels that has the ability– due to the 6-bit panel – to make faster colour transitions.

    I tried comparing Dell 2209WA to Eizo S2442W with the S-PVA panel and I have no doubt that Dell 2209WA is the winner. It is faster and does not suffer from the same amount of Overdrive trailing. Overdrive trailing is the white halo effect that you might have experienced on some LCD monitors and LCD-TVs.

    Dell 2209WA also has low input lag making it a nice monitor for gaming purposes. It’s not the fastest LCD monitors out there, though.

    Movies and viewing angles

    Viewing angles on LCD panels have always been best with the IPS technology. Dell 2209WA also has bery good viewing angles and the user will only experience minor changes from the top, bottom or sides of the screen.

    Pictures below:

    Dell 2209WA

    Dell 2209WA


    Dell 2209WA proves to me that the IPS panel is still far better than the TN panels used in most monitors today. I’m impressed with the 2209WA just like I was when I reviewed the 27" S-PVA Dell 2709W. 2209WA is the first mainstream 22-inch screen with an IPS panel and it transfers all of the qualities of the IPS panel to the 22" segment, which is dominated by the inexpensive and inferior TN panels.

    This means accurate and nuanced colours, wide viewing angles and stunning picture quality. The response time is fair and input lag is low making Dell 2209WA ideal for most gaming and multimedia needs. Hardcore gamers will probably still prefer TN panels, though.
    So, Dell 2209WA offers far better picture quality than the usual 22-inch screen does.

    Dell 2209WA also provides good functionality, extensive ergonomics, and many image setting options. The only thing I miss, however, is a HDMI input, allowing you to connect devices such as gaming consoles and Blu-Ray players.

    All in all, Dell 2209WA is a super PC monitor and one of the best 20-24-inch monitors at the moment. It costs a little more than most 22" screens but it’s a wise choice for most users, in particularly the discerning users, as well as amateur photographers and graphic artists.

    Price and retailer:

    US retailerUK retailer

    ProsConsTarget group
    Picture qualityBlack level not as deep as on S-PVA panelsGraphic artists
    FunctionalityNo HDMIPhotographers
    Ergonomics and build quality Office/Allround
    ”Out-of-box” settingsMultimedia
    Viewing angles


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