Player 2 was recently sent a complete Alienware home gaming system to test and review (you can see the unboxing video here:) and now that Matt has had a good few weeks with the gear he is ready to take on the task of telling you all about it. But this is a full gaming rig, from monitor to keyboard, so it is going to take more than one article. With that in mind, welcome to Player 2 vs Alienware.
Player 2 vs Alienware Round 3: The Ultrawide Body Blow
Look I know I am supposed to at least try and keep the fighting motif going for these articles, but how can I do that when I am in love? I am guilty of doubt, doubting that curved screens and ultrawide resolutions could significantly impact gaming. I mean I am sure it would look nice, but was it really that important? Honestly, I was wrong. It is important. It is beautiful and it is the way every single god in entire pantheon wants you to play video games. To go down the full cheesy path, it is a game-changer and the Alienware 34″ curved gaming monitor is just about the perfect way to experience it.
Honestly, it is hard to explain. The extra screen space is a gift and quite often in surprising ways. The first thing I did was fire up the graphically intensive titles that I knew would make good use of it. Things like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Forza Horizon 4 and boy oh boy was I impressed. The Alienware monitor made it all look disturbingly real (obviously with a powerful pc to back it up.) I now know how many imperfections there are on Arthur Morgan’s face, that’s how clear it is. But the real surprise for me was how amazing this extra screen real estate was for strategy games. Games like Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition and Civilization VI reap such huge benefits from more screen space. It is so much easier to take in more of the action and plan with less scrolling. I would, without hesitation, strongly recommend that any RTS/Turn-based/business sim strategy player seriously consider the 3440 X 1440 resolution when next purchasing a monitor.
The Alienware 34″ is a wonderfully built monitor that conforms with what seems to be a purposeful move by Alienware to move away from the over flashy trend of current gaming gear and instead, going with an almost retro-sci/fi aesthetic. It is a personal taste thing for sure, but I like it. The setup was super simple and the built-in cable management system a blessing for those with cable OCD. The monitor’s buttons are all on the back of the monitor, yet easy to reach so you don’t have anything ruining the view but can still make those brightness and contrast adjustments as needed. Speaking of, the monitor’s UI is simple and easy to use, much more streamlined than the last Alienware monitor I reviewed. I had no trouble getting the settings to just where I liked them.
As for all the technical mumbo jumbo, well there are a whole bunch of impressive numbers and words used in the marketing material for the monitor. A 120Hz refresh rate with NVIDIA G-Sync, exceeds the sRGB colour spectrum, 2ms response time, washes and folds your socks while you sleep. All of this stuff means that this is a seriously good bit of tech. But as is the case, seriously good tech comes at a price and that price is high. $2299 is the standard price for this bad boy and let’s be honest, you could probably get a pretty good gaming PC, including a monitor for that price, so that is a justification you have to make to yourself if you decide that the Alienware 34″ Ultrawide is for you.
If you are looking at this monitor as your monitor of choice and you can look past the (huge) price, this really is a wonderful bit of gear. I have never played video games in a better way, it really is something beautiful and almost like a brand new generation of gaming. This all assumes that you have a PC that can run the games at this level and that you have the cash to splash, but if you are looking for the Rolls Royce of PC gaming monitors, well you’ve found it.
Alienware 34″ AW3420DW Curved Gaming Monitor – Tech Specs
Device Type: LED-backlit LCD monitor – 34.1″
Curved Screen: Yes
Adaptive-Sync Technology: NVIDIA G-SYNC
Features: USB 3.0 hub
Panel Type: IPS
Aspect Ratio: 21:9
Native Resolution: WQHD 3440 x 1440 at 120 Hz
Pixel Pitch: 0.2325 mm
Brightness: 350 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
Response Time: 2 ms (gray-to-gray)
Colour Support: 16.8 million colours
Input Connectors: HDMI, DisplayPort
Display Position Adjustments: Height, swivel, tilt
Screen Coating: Anti-glare, 3H Hard Coating
Dimensions (WxDxH) – with stand: 81.371 cm x 27.359 cm x 56.145 cm
Weight: 15.67 kg
Compliant Standards: EMC
Bundled Services: 3-Year Advanced Exchange Service and Premium Panel Exchange
Dad, Gamer, Writer, Husband all rolled into one big ball of random matter.
Editor of Player 2, Matt spends his time yelling at strangers as they walk past, imploring them to visit Player 2. Sadly this tactic hasn’t yielded any significant results but he keeps on trying regardless.