Dell's industrial design has definitely been on the up recent years, culminating in the funky little Studio XPS mini-PC and the yet-to-be-released but super-slim and seriously sexy Adamo notebook. Indeed, it was arguably the '07WFP range of monitors circa 2006 that marked the beginning of Dell's design revolution. They're still very stylish displays.
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The S2209W is part of a new family of low cost, consumer orientated screens. In terms of sheer quality and features, therefore, it falls short of Dell's pricier displays. Along with the cheapo TN LCD panel, the stand is a fairly rudimentary tilt-only affair and there's little to be seen on the enclosure barring black plastic.
However, Dell has still managed to lift it above most of the direct competition. The bezel is nicely proportioned, hewn from glossy black plastic and also sports rounded corners. The latter feature may not sound like a revolutionary styling maneuver, but it gives the S2209W a surprisingly novel overall vibe. Add in a nicely executed and power button with a subtle glow in the lower right hand corner and you have a quality look that belies the budget pricing. As a static object, it's pretty desirable.
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As for video inputs, the S2209W is restricted to a VGA port and a single DVI socket. Superficially, the lack of HDMI might seem like an unfortunate omission. However, the DVI interface does support HDCP content encryption, so support for the likes of Blu-ray boxes and high end gaming consoles is the matter of a £5 adapter block.
Overall, then, this is a no frills monitor and probably all the better for it. We certainly don't mourn the fact that the S2209W lacks gimmicks like dynamic contrast or features that can do more harm than good, such as hyper-aggressive pixel overdrive. That said, a USB header and a couple of ports wouldn't go amiss for those who like to tuck their PC chassis out of sight.