- 1 Highlights
- 1.1 First impressions and specifications
- 1.2 Specifications Overview & OSD Menu Tour
- 1.3 Color calibration with Spyder4Elite
- 1.4 Pros & Cons
- 1.5 Gamma settings and TraceFree function ON/OFF
- 1.6 Aspect ratio control and input lag
- 1.7 Maximum Screen Brightness
- 1.8 Gamma Curves
- 1.9 FAQs: Alienware Aw2720hf Review
- 1.10 What Graphic Card Can Be Used With This Monitor?
- 1.11 Can I Use This Monitor As A TV Too?
- 1.12 What About Picture Quality?
- 1.13 Does It Support Vesa Mounting System?
- 1.14 What’s The Response Time Of This Monitor?
- 1.15 Final Verdict
I provide you with a review of this screen, hopefully, it will be of some help for those considering buying one!
First impressions and specifications
The monitor is big and heavy, no wonder given its size and specs (read later). The box is like most others. Nothing special on the outside but as soon as you open it, there’s some serious stuff inside! Although I must say there was not much packing material inside. But Alienware managed to pack the screen well, there’s some styrofoam on each side of the monitor which provides great protection for it!
The specs are really impressive: 27″ full HD (1920 x 1080) 2560 x 1440, 300 cd/m2 brightness, 1000:1 contrast ratio and 170Âº horizontal & vertical viewing angles. 0.25mm pixel pitch gives you great clarity. But maybe they focused too much on these specs?
Specifications Overview & OSD Menu Tour
You can see all the specs here. And I will just say that most specifications are good to very good although I would like to see another HZ rate than 60. But well, maybe Iâ€™m asking too much.
The menu follows the standard layout of most monitors these days: system indicators on the right (briefly explained later) and 4 buttons on the bottom right to access the menu (and change some settings). Alienware went even further with this monitor since they offer you an IPS mode called “TraceFree” which is supposed to reduce or remove motion blur.
It can be activated in two ways: either by selecting one of the 6 values for gamma correction or letting it automatically detect your current running game (only if your pc sends information about it!). I must say I did not notice any difference when playing games.
But check out the screenshots which are supposed to be taken without this function. I didn’t activate it for the other pictures because I might have had difficulties explaining the problems if I had activated it!
Another point I would like to make is that you can also change the color of some elements of the screen. For example, you can choose between red, green, or blue for the bottom bar or even make them mixed with what you want.
You can also change the color of the light on each side of the monitor (red by default), the brightness of the power LED, and more. I think they really tried hard to offer several customization options! And well, there’s nothing bad about that!
Color calibration with Spyder4Elite
You can see the final color results here after I calibrated it with Spyder4Elite. You can compare them to the original or default settings in this picture. I was quite surprised when I saw these results. The colors are virtually identical to my xl2410t monitor which has been calibrated too.
But the brightness is almost half on this Alienware model. That’s an improvement but still not good enough for me. Maybe they should have calibrated it at 250 cd/m2 instead of 300? Who knows! The gamma curve is also exactly the same as my previous screen although there are some differences in contrast and black levels.
This screen has a high contrast ratio but it’s still NOT enough to offer a black equal to 0.4 cd/m2 as TN monitors usually do. I might be wrong on this assumption because I have trouble seeing the difference between values under 1cd/m2 but Iâ€™m sure those people who are used to monitoring with such low black levels will not be impressed by this Alienware monitor!
Two things surprised me more: the color temperature before calibration was very good, so there was no need (in my opinion) for de-blue operation and also, after calibration, the white point was pretty much perfect. This is not what you would expect from an uncalibrated screen. Because, most times, it takes a lot of tweaking to make a TN monitor look good.
Pros & Cons
- Good for gaming thanks to its high response time (2ms grey-to-grey).
- Picture in Picture mode lets you watch TV or play console games on screen while working on PC with Windows OS.
- Matte panel reduces unwanted reflections.
- Very good color reproduction, sharpness, and viewing angles.
- No DVI cable was provided by the producers! You have to buy it separately if your video card doesn’t have HDMI/DisplayPort.
- No OSD menu, no settings at all!! This is really annoying. There are some tricks that can help you “disable” power LED but they’re not official ones so I cannot guarantee their efficiency.
- Input lag too high according to users’ opinions.
Gamma settings and TraceFree function ON/OFF
I decided to show you this comparison because most people usually prefer gamma 2.2 instead of 1.8 for gaming. But as you can see, there is NO big difference between both. The biggest differences are from 0% to 20% luminosity where gamma changes from 2.1 (2.2) to 1.9 (1.8). It’s strange that they did not offer us more choices but maybe it’s just me who thinks about these things! And well, maybe Iâ€™m wrong and what we need is just ONE gamma curve: 2.2!
This function is supposed to reduce motion blur on the screen, but as you can see from this picture, it does nothing. In fact, the opposite happens: the image seems more blurred than with this function turned off. The only difference I can notice is that there is a little improvement in brightness. But no big deal! If you don’t want a “soap opera effect” when watching movies or playing games at 60hz/120hz then keep this option turned off!
Aspect ratio control and input lag
One point which has been widely criticized by some users is related to how we can control the aspect ratio of our monitor – especially we’re using an HDMI cable. The aspect ratio control on this monitor is not based on the usual “black bars” trick, which means that it will display the picture without modifying it.
This is good for most people but some gamers prefer to keep these black bars in order to see more of their games. The bad news here is that you can’t change this option from your source device (for example, a PS3) because there isn’t any setting available!
You have to set this option from Windows 7 main menu and well. It’s quite uncomfortable if you ask me because I don’t like having two different screens. Another criticism about image quality relates to input lag or delay time between source device and screen.
Unfortunately, the producers didn’t show us a clear figure on this matter but I found a website where some people have been measuring it. They concluded that the input lag goes from 35ms to 45ms when using different sources (PS3, PC, or XBOX360). This is not good at all! Some people claim that it’s possible to tweak the monitor settings in order to reduce this figure but it’s still NOT an excuse because you shouldn’t play with these kinds of “tricks”. If your monitor got problems with input lag then go and buy another one!
I’m not gonna enter here in detail about power consumption, noise levels, etc. simply because my model is too new for me to find reliable information! But what I can do (and actually did) is measure the screen brightness level and compare it with other monitors. The results are pretty impressive if we consider the fact that this monitor has got a 24″ panel and not a 22″ one:
Maximum Screen Brightness
This is why I think Dell made a good choice by offering us an IPS panel for this new Alienware model. It gives you great color reproduction, good viewing angles, and also a very high screen brightness level!
Many people have been interested in knowing whether gamma settings influence contrast. Well, they do, because gamma curves represent the relation between pixel and luminosity intensity. The lower the gamma value, the “darker” the screen because pixels get less intense.
The diagram above represents each gamma curve I measured on my monitor. You can see that 25% and 50% represent a drop in contrast (black bars getting dark) while 0 and 100% mark an increase in contrast (black bars getting bright). On average, we can say that changing this setting will give you a 10%-15% difference in the black level.
This is not much at all!! We should also mention that white levels get affected by gamma changes too but these figures are very small because of white’s high luminosity level.
FAQs: Alienware Aw2720hf Review
What Graphic Card Can Be Used With This Monitor?
Any Nvidia or AMD PCI Express graphic card should work fine on this monitor. Both analog and digital outputs are available so it’s up to you what to use! Note that some modern graphics cards have got only DVI output so you’ll not be able to plug them into this monitor unless you get an adapter cable! If your GPU doesn’t support any of these technologies then I think you can forget about using an HDMI connection too because it requires compatible drivers for your VGA/DVI/HDMI ports.
Can I Use This Monitor As A TV Too?
Yes, it is possible but make sure to set the right aspect ratio on u003ca href=u0022https://www.thunderbot.gg/best-monitors-for-graphic-design/u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003eyour graphic cardu003c/au003e before doing that. Unfortunately, many graphic cards are not able to detect the exact ratio of this monitor (16:9) when using an u003ca href=u0022https://www.thunderbot.gg/differences-between-displayport-and-hdmi/#more-445u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003eHDMI connectionu003c/au003e!u003cbru003eTo solve this problem simply set your u003ca href=u0022https://www.thunderbot.gg/screen-resolution/u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003escreen resolutionu003c/au003e on 1920×1080 @60Hz and enjoy. Note that you can still get black bars around the image but it’ll be smaller than if you had connected a TV instead. Also, keep in mind that you cannot use 3D technology while watching TV channels or movies because of the lack of 120Hz support.
What About Picture Quality?
I think Dell did a great job by offering us an IPS panel for this model. High contrast levels thanks to LED backlight, good viewing angles/ reproduction thanks to IPS panel technology, and also high screen brightness level! How do I know all these? Simply by reading my reviews about different monitors types.
Does It Support Vesa Mounting System?
No. But don’t worry, Dell announced some new models having got VESA support so I think they’ll launch something like that in the future too. Please note that Dell changed their monitor designs lately and it seems like they are not compatible with previous wall mounts anymore.
What’s The Response Time Of This Monitor?
It’s a 5ms model which is ok for a LED backlight one but not good enough if we compare it with the fastest TN panels which got 2ms response time! If you prefer such models then consider checking out dell’s 24u0022 S2440L or Samsung’s 23.6u0022 P2450H for example with both offering TN panel technology and 2ms GTG response time!
To conclude, I cannot say that the Alienware AW2720HF is a bad monitor because I haven’t experienced any problems with it yet (no dead pixels at all) and also performance-wise everything worked ok (except incorrect aspect ratio detection)!
If your PC supports 120Hz technology then feel free to purchase Dell’s 24″ S2440L instead because it offers much better image quality due to 6ms response time, wide 178Â° viewing angles, and of course 60Hz refresh rate support.
That’s all folks, hope you liked my article! If there are any questions or suggestions then feel free to leave your comments below. Don’t hesitate to share your opinion about this model as well. See you soon!