You can find the 24-inch Dell G2410 for about £250 online -- a satisfying price -- and it may well prove your best option for a 24-inch display with stellar performance and low power consumption. The G2410 won't win any beauty contests with its plain design, and it lacks both ergonomic features and an HDMI connection, but it makes up for these shortcomings with great movie performance and by offering energy options that let you track and control your energy footprint.
Dell sells the similar 24-inch Dell S2409W for about £50 less, but, although the cheaper monitor looks sleeker and includes an HDMI connection, it can't match the G2410's performance and low power consumption. We also recommend the £210 23-inch Dell SP2309W with its high 2,048x1,152-pixel resolution. The SP2309W also has better performance than the S2409W.
The G2410 has a plain design, with angular features and a matte black finish. The bezel measures a short 19mm on all sides. The middle of the bottom bezel has a slightly raised silver Dell logo on it. The panel is nearly 25mm deep (most 24-inch models we've tested have a greater panel depth than that). The back of the display -- which houses the backlight, connection options and ventilation system -- extends another 38mm, bringing the full monitor depth to about 63mm. The panel measures 569mm wide -- average for a monitor of this screen size.
The rectangular footstand measures 273 by 13 by 155mm. We saw only minimal wobbling when we knocked the display from the sides. With such a long and flat footstand, you'd really have to knock the monitor hard before it toppled. The bottom of the bezel sits about 70mm from the desktop. Unfortunately, the screen height isn't adjustable, nor is there a screen rotation or pivot option -- useful if you prefer portrait mode. The capability to tilt the screen back 25° is the only ergonomic feature included.
To keep the price and energy footprint down, Dell only includes DVI and VGA as connection options. You're out of luck if you want to connect an external Blu-ray player, since there's no HDMI -- something that's a mainstay on most monitors of this size.
The G2410's on-screen display follows Dell's recent labelless design, last seen on the SP2309W and S2409W. This OSD, however, is even simpler and easier to use, with more features.
Four buttons line the lower right-hand corner of the bezel. Pressing any of the buttons brings up the OSD, which pops up parallel to the button array, each option corresponding to one of the four buttons. Once a new menu comes up, the function of the buttons changes dynamically, as two buttons become the up and down buttons used to navigate though the new menu. Since any button labels for the OSD are actually on the screen, calibrating the display in a dark room is painless.
Pressing the button next to 'energy modes' on the OSD brings up a menu for choosing three different modes that determine your monitor's energy footprint. Choosing 'standard' lets the user manually set the display's brightness. 'Energy smart' activates the ambient light sensor and caps the screen brightness at 66 per cent. The ambient light sensor will automatically adjust the brightness based on the level of light in the room. 'Energy smart plus' is identical to 'energy smart', but adds dynamic dimming, which automatically dims the backlight when the screen shows an image that is overly bright or all white.
As you change options that affect your energy footprint, you'll see an energy gauge in the OSD. The gauge dynamically changes based on how much power your monitor is consuming. Take your brightness to full and the gauge goes into the red. Bring the brightness back down and your gauge responds by turning green. Ultimately, the gauge isn't that useful, as it depends primarily on your monitor's current brightness level, but it's a welcome feature nonetheless, and we'd like to see Dell continue to develop it.