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Alienware AW2518H 240Hz G-Sync Monitor Review

Conclusion

When we reviewed the Asus PG258Q a few months ago, we weren’t surprised to see its like from a brand like Republic of Gamers. It tends to go for the price-is-no-object crowd with most products. When the same panel part showed up from every other manufacturer, that got our attention. Obviously, there is a demand for 25” TN panels with FHD resolution that cost north of $500. It seems like a high premium but when performance is this good, cost becomes a secondary consideration.

It’s easy to compare displays like this to a high-end sports car. When you buy a Ferrari or Lamborghini, you accept certain compromises in the name of speed. It won’t be as comfortable as a Lexus, nor will it carry three of your friends and their luggage in luxury. But when you put the hammer down, nothing else, not even the price, matters a jot. The AW2518H and its siblings are like that exotic automobile. One might wonder why anybody would buy TN and FHD when there are so many good monitors with greater resolution and higher-quality IPS or VA panels. But once you’ve played games on one, the answer becomes clear.

The AW2518H easily matches gaming performance with its competition. It can run at 240Hz all day long without a hiccup and deliver premium motion quality too, with G-Sync and a truly usable ULMB feature. By running the backlight strobe at 144Hz, it’s possible to reap its benefit without giving up significant output or contrast. Previous G-Sync screens were reduced to merely average monitors in ULMB mode. Thanks to peak output over 400cd/m2, these panels can do justice to it. And that’s a serious advantage to gamers who prefer it over adaptive-refresh. Though we can find no evidence that it causes any lag, some believe it does. For those users, this monitor is ideal.

Alienware sets itself apart with a different take on gamma tracking. Rather than matching the 2.2 power function like virtually every other computer display in existence, it references BT.1886, which is becoming the dominant standard in video production and gaming. Our only complaint is a lack of options. There are no gamma presets and therefore no way to dial in a lighter presentation. Despite that, we believe the AW2518H has a slight edge in picture quality over the other 25” 240Hz monitors in the category. The only way it can get any better will be when VA panels can run this fast.

If nothing but the absolute fastest monitor will do for your gaming system, the AH2518H is a great choice. It offers the same premium experience as similarly priced screens from Asus ROG, Acer, and AOC while sporting high-end build quality and slick, understated styling. You’ll know it’s meant for gaming, but it doesn’t scream at you. For these reasons, we’re giving it our Tom’s Hardware Editor Recommended Award.

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  • dark_lord69
    hummm...
    a 60" 4K tv or a 25" monitor for the same price...

    WOW...
    I just don't understand monitor pricing anymore.
    To me... That is such a ripoff, I feel sorry for the people that waist their money.

    It's slightly better than the one that's $400 less.
    Slightly better isn't worth that much more.
    Reply
  • cknobman
    G-Sync or not over $500 for a 1080p monitor this size is just overpriced.
    Reply
  • ezrapetruik
    Ugly, overpriced , 1080 and that stand!! OMG what is this thing and would someone please kill it!!
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    i usually say that if you don't like it, it's probably not for you

    but serious gamers have better options and casual gamers have better options. who is this for?
    Reply
  • onemarcioferraz
    It's incredible.. a monitor that intends to be on par with the competition (still) coming with HDMI 1.4 ?
    Reply
  • BulkZerker
    "who is this for?"
    "Casual gamers" or "console peasants" making the pilgrimage to being a member of the "PC gamer master race". Or nVidia/Intel fanboys who will pay any price for MLG level gaming.

    It's products like this that perpetuated the stereotype that PC gaming is expensive.

    Also nVidia, the way it's meant to be milked.
    Reply
  • toddybody
    Monitor prices (respective to technical advancement) are ridiculous. Predator x34 is a great example of something that started and stayed expensive. Shows that not enough innovation or competition exists in the space. The 3820x1400 UltraWides should be around 600.00 by now, with the new 4K 144hz HDR Panels hitting around 1200.00. Unfortunately not the case.
    Reply
  • gjbaker003
    Gamers looking for a 1080p panel are not looking in the $400-$500 price range. This product literally is for no one when there are 1080p 144hz panels for $200 or less. The specs make zero sense.
    Reply
  • truerock
    I built my PC in 2012 to run 1080p at 60Hz on a 27 inch monitor.

    I am ready to upgrade to something like 4k at 240Hz on a 42" monitor. But, obviously I'm going to be waiting for a while. I never thought I would have to wait 8 to 10 years before I could get any kind of significant upgrade to my 2012 PC.
    Reply
  • truerock
    I think perhaps one thing that is slowing monitor advancement is that most people prefer to watch video movies at 24Hz because they think 30Hz or 60Hz is "too realistic".
    Reply