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Dell P3421W review: An effective if uninspiring curved monitor

Our Rating :
£701.10 from
Price when reviewed : £529
inc VAT

This gently curved 34in monitor is boringly good rather than exceptional - and that's absolutely fine


  • Excellent colour accuracy
  • USB-C input
  • Three-year warranty


  • Stand lacks pivot support
  • Basic colour presets

Any 34in curved monitor is a superb addition to a desk that can hold one. The 21:9 widescreen ratio is better suited to working on documents side by side than 16:9 displays, and the flatter ratio also means you aren’t faced with the “wall of screen” effect that happens when you sit in front of a 16:9 32in monitor.

Dell’s P3421W certainly has this going for it, as well as a suite of basic but effective features that make it a solid choice for most people. You won’t find anything particularly advanced here, so this won’t be the optimal monitor for gamers, but what you do get does its job well enough.

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Dell P3421W review: Design and features

Dell uses an IPS panel with a gentle 3800R curvature – so gentle that it’s barely noticeable. One advantage of IPS over the more bendable MVA technology is that, as a rule of thumb, whites have a purer finish. Gamers should stick with MVA screens, however, as they deliver greater contrast that is useful for peering into dark corners. There’s also the fact that this Dell, with its 60Hz refresh rate, doesn’t support adaptive sync.

Nor does the P3421W include any handy extras, such as an Ethernet port, built-in speakers or a webcam, but it does include that most crucial of things: a USB-C input. Capable of delivering up to 65W of power, which is enough for undemanding laptops, it can cut the clutter on your desk and give you access to the monitor’s four USB-A ports – all of which are tucked away at the rear next to the DisplayPort and HDMI inputs. There is also a built-in KVM, so when you switch to either of those inputs a connected mouse and keyboard can switch with you.

The IPS panel itself is high quality, with excellent colour accuracy in the default mode: an average Delta E of 0.29 and a maximum of 0.95 are effectively perfect. In that mode, it covers 100% of the sRGB gamut with a 124% volume and 88% of the DCI-P3 space. Brightness consistency is even across the screen too, although it inevitably drops off (by around 10%) at the far edges.

You don’t get fine control over the colour, with no support for hardware calibration and six basic presets: Standard, ComfortView (think sepia), Movie, Game, Warm, Cool plus one customised colour. But even that custom mode only offers simple tweaks for red, green and blue.

The stand is similarly basic, with no pivot support (which would have made accessing the USB ports easier), a limited 30° swivel in either direction and an unexceptional 150mm of height adjustment. In short, it covers all the bases but no further.

Dell P3421W review: Verdict

Whilst I doubt Dell is going to run with that last sentence as a marketing slogan for this monitor, it’s accurate – this is a well-priced curved monitor that sets out to meet the needs of 80% of people and does it well. It falls short of a recommendation in part because I’m unconvinced that a 3800R curvature adds anything meaningful over a flat screen. I typed this review in Google Docs with the screen on the left-hand side, and my neck soon started to get a crick from looking so far over.

Nevertheless, if the Dell P3421W ticks all your boxes then it’s a solid offering with crisp whites. Add a three-year warranty into the mix, and it’s a safe choice.

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