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Dell C3422WE in the test. All in one. A good choice for the home office?

2024-01-10
Dell C3422WE in the test. All in one. A good choice for the home office?

A good choice for the home office?

Today we are testing a device that combines many functions. The Dell C3422WE is a 34-inch monitor with an integrated webcam, microphone and speakers. In our test, we checked whether it is a good choice for working at home.

According to research by pewresearch.org, up to 71 percent of teleworkers in the USA work this way. This rapid change in the world of work has resulted in workers frantically searching for webcams, monitors, microphones, speakers and USB hubs that make working over the internet easier and sometimes possible in the first place.

It is a 34-inch widescreen monitor with an integrated webcam, microphone and speakers. It also has a USB-C hub with power supply function, which can be used to charge a compatible laptop. This means that the laptop connected to the monitor does not need to be plugged into a power socket separately.

This versatile screen lets you set up a clutter-free office at home, but it wasn't cheap when it was launched. Dell priced the C3422WE at $1,149.99 at the time, which puts it in the upper price range of extra-wide screen monitors, especially when compared to all-in-one computers with comparable displays. The price in the AMSO store is around 330 euros gross, which currently makes the monitor significantly more affordable.

Dell C3422WE - Simple but exclusive design

The Dell C3422WE has the sleek, professional look that is typical of all Dell monitors with the exception of the Gaming line. Its solid silver stand combines with the large surface of the simple but durable matte panel. The soundbar is an eye-catching element of the monitor. Gray fabric covers the lower part of the monitor and hides the built-in 5-watt speakers and noise-canceling microphone. It is a simple element that gives the Dell C3422WE screen an exclusive look.

The solid stand is ergonomically adjustable in a variety of ways: Height adjustment by 120 mm and rotation by 60 degrees. It works extremely well, keeps the monitor stable and eliminates annoying vibrations. The additional functions of the C3422WE add weight, but adjusting the monitor position does not require much effort.

Navigation

The monitor has two sets of buttons, which can be a little confusing. The first set, to the left of the soundbar, is touch-sensitive and controls the built-in speakers, microphone and launching Microsoft Teams applications. Yes, there is a Microsoft Teams button and yes, it actually launches that application (only if it's installed, of course).

On the right side of the monitor is the on/off switch and a joystick that controls the on-screen menu. The joystick can be used to adjust brightness and contrast, change the signal source and switch color modes. The C3422WE does not have the advanced features of Dell's UltraSharp monitor series, such as the Dell UltraSharp 34 U3421WE. However, the menu is simple and logical, which is sufficient for most users.

The Dell C3422WE doesn't have the Ultrasharp seal of approval, which is reserved for Dell's highest color accuracy monitors. Still, it's an impressive monitor and one of the best ultra-high-definition monitors on the market.

Picture test

Tests with measuring devices confirmed the monitor's high picture quality. The colors on the C3422WE are vivid and accurate at the same time, resulting in a realistic and appealing picture. Contrast is also decent for a monitor of this type, giving a sense of depth and improving the legibility of high contrast text.

The Dell C3422WE is a middle ground between an office monitor and a professional monitor. It covers 87% of the DCI-P3 color space, the color standard used by many film studios. For graphics applications, the result is even better with 99% coverage of the sRGB color space. The monitor will meet the needs of photographers and video editors who mainly work on content for YouTube and social media.

This monitor has a native resolution of 3,440 x 1,440 pixels. This corresponds to 109 pixels per inch, which looks very good at a typical viewing distance of approx. 90 cm. A 4K monitor looks even better.

The maximum brightness is not high, but sufficient for working at home. I operated the monitor at 60% of maximum brightness during the day and reduced it to 50% in the evening. The manufacturer states that the screen surface is matt and does not reflect light, but it appears to be semi-matt. It is therefore better to switch off bright lights in the room behind you.

Is the C3422WE suitable for gamers?

A small warning for gamers: the C3422WE has a standard refresh rate of 60 Hz. Technologies such as AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync are not supported. This means that games will not be displayed as smoothly as on a monitor specifically designed for gaming. A true Gaming monitor offers a better gaming experience and is often available at a lower price.

The excellent picture quality is definitely a plus, but Dell has priced the C3422WE at a similar level to the Ultrasharp U3421WE. The C3422WE forgoes the color advantage and advanced personalization in favor of an integrated webcam, microphone and speaker.

Camera and speaker test

First observation: The integrated webcam is average, but the good news first. The camera captures images in 1080p quality at 30 frames per second, which is technically comparable to many highly rated webcams. It can also be hidden in the monitor for added privacy. It is even compatible with Windows Hello facial recognition, which is rarely supported by standalone webcams and cameras built into laptops.

Unfortunately, the image quality of the camera falls short of expectations. It is better than most laptops, but cannot keep up with a high-quality standalone webcam such as the Logitech C920 HD Pro. Even in well-lit home offices, image noise is visible. Adding a "ring light" helped a little, but the quality was still worse than a dedicated webcam.

The noise-canceling microphone works well, reducing echoes and background noise, and the speaker is good for video conferencing. The people who took my calls said the sound was clear and crisp. Dell tuned the 5-watt speakers specifically for video conferencing, and you can see (and hear) it. The lack of bass makes music sound hollow, but voices are easy to understand.

The C3422WE is certified to work with Microsoft Teams and has a Teams button. However, this seems to be more of a marketing gimmick than a useful function. The Teams application runs in the background and is always available with a click on the Windows taskbar.

Accessories

This monitor has a USB-C hub that delivers up to 90 watts of power and supports DisplayPort 1.4. Why is this important? This allows the monitor to be connected to a laptop with just one USB-C cable. The same USB-C cable is used to charge the laptop and transfer the image to the monitor. The monitor then acts as a USB hub to which other USB devices can be connected. It even has an Ethernet port so you can use a wired Ethernet connection. This is important if you work daily with thin laptops that do not have an Ethernet connection.

A monitor that combines a webcam, microphone, speakers and USB-C hub can be attractive. Combining these functions in one monitor can significantly reduce cable clutter on the desk. This is also a good option for owners of laptops with a limited number of ports.

The Dell C3422WE monitor belongs to a family of monitors. Its siblings are the 24-inch C2422HE monitor and the 27-inch C2722DE monitor. I haven't tested the smaller monitors, but all three offer the same specifications for webcam, microphone and speakers and are probably similarly powerful. So the choice depends on what screen size you need.

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