Alienware certainly like their angles. From their gaming PCs down to their mice, they each have that telltale Alienware look, and their latest line of monitors are no different. Having spent my time with the Alienware AW2518H I can safely say that the Alienware style comes first followed by practicality.
Let me just begin with this, the Alienware AW2518H is a BIG monitor, and I don’t mean a big screen, I mean the monitor itself is cumbersome. My desk isn’t exactly small at 200x60cm, there’s plenty of room for everything I need. In comes the AW2518H and my desk all of a sudden becomes inadequate. The reason for this is because the actual monitor sits on a fairly huge stand which takes up a fair bit of real estate.
It makes sense that the monitor has such a large stand, first for security; no accidental knocks are going to make this monitor topple. The second is how customisable the monitor is in terms of viewing angle, height, and rotation. This monitor can be swivelled, rotated, tilted, and raised, all by simply pushing the screen where you’d like it to be. There are no fiddly dials which need to be loosened which is actually really impressive.
Because of this though, the monitor itself actually sat right bang in the centre of my desk meaning I was no more than a foot away from the screen when I was comfortably using my PC. I didn’t hate being so close to the screen, but at the same time, it just didn’t feel right. Considering Alienware are marketing this particular monitor as a great dual-screen, I possibly couldn’t imagine two or even three of these bad boys on my desk.
Aside from being a pretty hefty bit of kit, the Alienware AW2518H comes with several bells and whistles. First there’s the sheer amount of ports available. From DisplayPort and HDMI to a total of four USB ports – yes, four. Three of these ports are USB 3.0, the other is a USB downstream port with Power Charging. There’s also a USB upstream port so you can plug the monitor into your PC to make use of all of these ports.
The only issue? All of these USB ports are located underneath and behind the actual monitor, which means to plug something in, you’ll have to move the monitor in order to access them – frustrating if you’ve managed to get the perfect set up.
The USB connection is also used to players can customise their AlienFX experience. That’s right, the monitor itself has RGB lighting located in the back to create a dynamic, colour show on your wall. Unfortunately I couldn’t judge this particular feature as my desk faces a window, but I can imagine it’d make for a killer battle station picture.
Now, design aside let’s get down to business, the actual picture. Well you’ll be slightly disappointed to hear that this monitor is 1080p. Yep, it’s a “new” monitor, but it doesn’t support 4K which is a little baffling, especially as players are expected to cough up almost £500 for one of these bad boys.
That being said, visually the Alienware AW2518H is kick ass. With a 240Hz refresh rate, incredibly low response times of 1ms, and support for either NVIDIA G-Sync or AMD Free-Sync (our model was the G-Sync variant) the monitor totally flawed by fairly modest Acer G246HL. Blacks are pretty… well… black, and whites are crisp thanks to its contrast rates of 1000:1. Overall, paired with my NVIDIA GTX 970 the two bounced off of each other like soul mates.
It is worth noting that you’ll definitely need a DisplayPort compatible graphics card to make the most of this monitor.
The Alienware AW2518H is a premium monitor, and it shows. The design might not be tailored to my tastes particularly, but it’s incredibly high quality nonetheless. The bezels on the screen are practically non-existent too, which is really, really nice. My only concern is the price tag. At £500, chances are gamers are going to be spending that sort of cash on a decent 4K monitor, hell, even 2K at this rate.
If you’re a fan of Alienware, this monitor is a no-brainer. If you’re also after a monitor which performs incredibly well, in both gaming and standard use, I’d also recommend it. If however you’re after something a little more affordable and compact, I’d advise looking elsewhere.