Alienware AW2518HF 25″ Gaming Monitor – Review
Reviewing a monitor is a tough proposition. Most of the differences between a standard monitor and a great monitor are little and only when they are all added together do users see the advantage of the higher-end model. So it is with the Alienware Aw2518HF, a monitor that initially did little to separate itself from the pack, but as time wore on I came to recognise the value it added to my computer use.
For starters, the Alienware monitor was a little confusing to set up. Not the physical side of things of course but getting the settings just right for my viewing situation. There are a lot of options for adjusting the picture to suit personal needs. So many options that it gets downright confusing. This isn’t helped by a somewhat clunky UI that led to much swearing as I was trying to navigate its menus to get my picture just right. But being cranky about having too many options seems a little crazy and to be fair this setup process is only a one-off event so there is really no reason to be too down on the monitor because of it.
Once I had the monitor set to my preferences I began to see what it was truly capable of. This is a sleek unit, that fit on my desk with ease thanks to its rather small footprint. The monitor was also supremely adjustable with the ability to swivel, raise and rotate the monitor to find the perfect viewing position. The monitor can even be turned 180 degrees and be used in portrait mode so it is the perfect (if expensive) second monitor for spreadsheet lovers everywhere. This is a seriously adjustable screen that will be able to adjust to just about any circumstance or viewing position it finds itself in.
But honestly no one is buying this monitor for work, this is a gaming monitor and frankly, it is a very good one. Crisp, clear images are the order of the day and with a 1ms response time, everything is displayed in just about the best possible way. I have never used a monitor with such a low response time before and I have to admit it does provide a noticeable improvement, especially in fast motion games. I really noticed the benefits in titles like Forza Horizon 3 and Gears of War 4, basically high-end games that move at a fast pace. This low response time coupled with the excellent refresh rate (240hz) lead to something I never even considered and that is a more comfortable experience for my terrible eyes. I found I could use this monitor for much longer periods without getting eyestrain and being forced to put my glasses on. Obviously, results here will vary person to person but it is something to consider if, like me, you spend long times in front of a computer.
I think where this monitor will really shine is in two or three screen setups. The almost borderless design means that setting up multiple monitors for cockpit racing or flying is wonderful and there is little to obstruct immersion in the game. This borderless design did lead to one unexpected problem however and that is with webcams. My camera had nowhere to rest on the monitor without obscuring some of the screen. Sure there are solutions (like tripods and the like) but it is something to keep in your mind if you are looking at buying one of these babies and you do a lot of streaming or recording.
The Alienware AW2518HF 25″ Gaming Monitor is, without doubt, a great gaming monitor. It is well built, has some great features and looks smashing on a desk. There are some little niggles with the monitor’s built-in UI but really that is nitpicking. I have a feeling the biggest sticking point for most people will be the price, retailing at around the 5-600 dollar mark makes it an expensive addition to a gaming setup. Adding 2 of these beauties (which would be amazing might I add) would cost more than I paid for my first car. But if money is no object and you need (read: want) something that is at the top of the pack than this monitor is a great place to start.
Diagonally Viewable Size:
Preset Display Area(H X V)
Area 164545.63 mm2 (255.05 inch2 )
Maximum Preset Resolution
1920 x 1080
DP1.2, HDMI1.4 4x USB3.0 Audio Out
HAS, Tilt, Pivot, Swivel
72% / 82% (CIE 1931/1976)