The Dell Alienware AW2720HF is a good monitor with impressive gaming performance and a sleek, modern design. It features a 240Hz IPS panel to provide smooth gameplay, and it has native FreeSync support to reduce screen tearing. Unfortunately, its sub-par contrast ratio and awful black uniformity aren't ideal for dark rooms, and the lack of HDR support is disappointing. Overall, it's a good monitor for gamers who prioritize motion handling over a detailed, high-resolution image.
The Alienware AW2720HF is a good monitor for most uses. Its 27 inch screen is great for gaming, media consumption, and productivity; however, its 1080p resolution may be too low for some. Response time and input lag are superb, and its 240Hz refresh rate delivers images with fluid motion. Sadly, it doesn't perform well in dark rooms and it doesn't support any HDR format.
The Alienware AW2720HF is a good office monitor. Its ergonomics and viewing angles are great, and it's well-suited for bright rooms due to its impressive peak brightness and reflection handling. There's plenty of screen real estate for efficient multitasking, but text doesn't look as sharp with its 1080p resolution.
The Alienware AW2720HF is a great gaming monitor. It has a low input lag, a fast response time, and a high refresh rate to provide a smooth and responsive gaming experience. Its FreeSync support helps to minimize screen tearing and the 27 inch screen is great for immersion, but dark room performance is disappointing due to the monitor's sub-par contrast ratio and bad black uniformity.
The Alienware AW2720HF is a decent monitor for media consumption. Although the 27 inch screen is great, the picture won't look as sharp or detailed due to the lower 1080p resolution. The monitor handles reflections well and its wide viewing angles are great for sharing content, but its sub-par contrast ratio makes blacks look like gray when viewed in the dark.
The Alienware AW2720HF is a decent monitor for media creation. It has a large 27 inch screen that lets you have multiple windows opened at the same time, but its 1080p resolution may be a bit too low for some. With its wide viewing angles, you can easily share your work with colleagues, and the monitor's great ergonomics lets you adjust the monitor to your optimal viewing position effortlessly.
The Alienware AW2720HF doesn't support HDR.
We tested the Dell Alienware AW2720HF and it's only available in this size and resolution. The Dell Alienware AW3420DW has a similar design, but it's an ultrawide monitor with a 1440p resolution, a 120Hz refresh rate, and native support for G-SYNC instead of FreeSync.
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Alienware AW2720HF doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we'll update the review. Note that some tests, such as the gray uniformity, may vary between individual units.
Our unit of the Alienware AW2720HF was manufactured in December 2019, and you can see the label here.
The Dell Alienware AW2720HF is one of the few 240Hz monitors with an IPS panel on the market, as most of them have had TN panels so far. Its build quality and ergonomics stand out, but it lacks HDR support and doesn't perform as well as the Acer Nitro XV273X, which is also a 240Hz IPS monitor.
The Dell Alienware AW2720HF and the Dell Alienware AW2523HF are both great gaming monitors with a few differences. The AW2523HF has a higher 360Hz refresh rate compared to 240Hz on the AW2720HF, allowing you to play higher frame rate games. The AW2523HF also supports HDR, which the AW2720HF doesn't, but it doesn't make much of a difference as it doesn't deliver an impactful HDR experience.
When comparing the Dell Alienware AW2521HF with its bigger sibling, the Dell Alienware AW2720HF, these two monitors are nearly identical except for screen size and a different color on the back of the monitor. In terms of performance, the AW2521HF is a bit better, as it has a slightly higher contrast ratio, it gets brighter, and it has much better black uniformity, although the latter may be due to panel variance. Out-of-the-box color accuracy, viewing angles, and response time at 60Hz are also better on the AW2521HF; however, the AW2720HF exhibits less color bleed and its bigger screen is better for productivity tasks.
The Dell Alienware AW2720HF and the Samsung Odyssey G4/G40B S27BG40 are both 240Hz monitors with a 1080p resolution, but the Dell is better overall. The main difference is that the Dell has a faster response time with high-frame-rate signals, so motion looks smoother. The Dell also has a USB hub, which is great if you want to connect your peripherals. On the other hand, the Samsung is better for well-lit rooms as it gets a bit brighter and has slightly better reflection handling.
The ViewSonic Elite XG270 is better than the Dell Alienware AW2720HF for most uses, although they have a lot in common. They both have a 1080p resolution and a 240Hz refresh rate, but the ViewSonic has a higher peak brightness and better contrast ratio. The ViewSonic has a black frame insertion feature and HDR support, while the Dell has a much better build quality and ergonomics.
The Acer Nitro XV273 Xbmiiprzx is a significantly better monitor than the Dell Alienware AW2720HF in most uses. While they both have an IPS with a 240Hz refresh rate, the Acer has better contrast ratio and black uniformity, as well as better viewing angles and color accuracy. The Acer also supports HDR; however, the Dell has a much better build quality and ergonomics.
The Dell Alienware AW2720HF is much better than the ASUS TUF VG27VQ for most uses. The Dell has a much higher refresh rate and faster response time, and ergonomics are also significantly better. Viewing angles and reflection handling are better on the Dell, but the ASUS has much better contrast ratio and black uniformity due to its VA panel.
The BenQ EX2780Q is marginally better than the Dell Alienware AW2720HF. The BenQ has a higher resolution, better contrast ratio, and significantly better black uniformity. Also, the BenQ supports HDR, but the Dell has a higher refresh rate, a faster response time, and its ergonomics are much better, as it can be adjusted however you like.
The Dell Alienware AW2720HF is significantly better than the MSI Optix G27C4. The Dell has an IPS panel with wider viewing angles and better color accuracy, as well as a higher refresh rate and faster response time. However, the MSI has a VA panel with much better contrast ratio and black uniformity, though the latter is still poor.
The Dell Alienware AW2521H is better than the Dell Alienware AW2720HF. The AW2521H has a much higher 360Hz refresh rate, it gets brighter, supports HDR, has a quicker response time at 60Hz, and has slightly lower input lag. However, the AW2720HF has better ergonomics and better reflection handling.
The Dell Alienware AW2720HF has a gamer-oriented design that's identical to the Alienware AW3420DW, but in a smaller 16:9 form factor. The stand supports the monitor well and there's RGB lighting on the back and the stand.
The stand is made of plastic and supports the monitor well. There's very little wobble when nudged.
Ergonomics are great. It allows for all manner of adjustments and the monitor can rotate to portrait mode in both directions.
The back of the monitor is plastic and the Alienware logo at the top right corner lights up. There's a small cutout in the stand that serves as cable management, and the stand has a quick release feature if you want to VESA-mount it.
The monitor has an average thickness, though the stand takes up considerably more space.
The build quality is excellent and it's identical to the Alienware AW3420DW. It feels sturdy even though it's all plastic, and the stand supports the monitor well, with very little wobble.
The Alienware AW2720HF has a sub-par contrast ratio, though this is typical of IPS panels. This makes blacks look more like gray when viewed in the dark. If you want a VA panel monitor with a much better contrast ratio, check out the Samsung Odyssey G7.
The Alienware AW2720HF doesn't have a local dimming feature; the video above is provided for reference only.
SDR peak brightness is good. There's virtually no variation in brightness when displaying different content and it should be bright enough for most well-lit rooms. If you prefer something that gets brighter, look into the Dell Alienware AW2521H.
This monitor doesn't support HDR. For a monitor that supports HDR, check out the ViewSonic Elite XG270.
The Alienware AW2720HF has great horizontal viewing angles. Images should remain accurate even when viewed from the side, which is good for sharing content or co-op gaming.
Vertical viewing angles aren't bad. There's some black level rise and color shifting at moderate viewing angles, but it shouldn't be an issue unless you sit very close to the monitor.
The Alienware AW2720HF has excellent gray uniformity. The sides are slightly darker, but there's almost no dirty screen effect and uniformity is nearly perfect in dark scenes.
Black uniformity is terrible. There's clouding throughout the screen and flashlighting in the top left portion of the screen.
Before calibration, the Alienware AW2720HF has decent color accuracy. There are inaccuracies with most colors and shades of gray. The color temperature is warmer than our 6500k target and the gamma doesn't follow the curve at all, causing most scenes to appear darker than intended.
After calibration, color accuracy is outstanding. Any remaining inaccuracies shouldn't be noticeable.
You can download our ICC profile calibration here. This is provided for reference only and should not be used, as the calibration values vary per individual unit even for the same model due to manufacturing tolerances.
The Alienware AW2720HF has an excellent SDR color gamut. It has almost full coverage of the sRGB color space used in most content, and good coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, which is used by professional photo editors.
Color volume is excellent, but it can't display dark colors well due to the monitor's mediocre contrast ratio.
This monitor doesn't support HDR.
This monitor doesn't support HDR.
There are no signs of image retention on the Alienware AW2720HF.
Gradient performance is great, though there's some fine banding in almost all colors.
There's no visible color bleed on this monitor.
The Alienware AW2720HF has impressive reflection handling. It has a matte coating that diffuses light well, making it suitable for bright rooms.
Update 03/26/2020: Upon further comparisons, we found that the text clarity was more in line with other 1080p monitors of the same size. The scoring has been changed accordingly.
Decent text clarity. With ClearType enabled (top photo), diagonal lines look thicker and more fleshed out, such as on the R and N.
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The Alienware AW2720HF has an exceptional response time when playing at maximum refresh rate. The overdrive level can be adjusted on most monitors and we recommend the 'Fast' setting, which gives you the best performance. The 'Super Fast' and 'Extreme' settings caused a significant amount of overshoot, leading to the appearance of artifacts.
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Response time at 60Hz is good. It's slower than at maximum refresh rate, but it isn't noticeable. For the best performance with the least amount of overshoot, we recommend the 'Fast' overdrive setting.
The monitor's backlight is flicker-free, which can help reduce eye strain.
This monitor doesn't have a black frame insertion feature.
The Alienware AW2720HF has an outstanding refresh rate, and unlike the Alienware AW3420DW, this is a monitor with native FreeSync support that's certified as G-SYNC compatible. It works over HDMI as well as DisplayPort, and it has a wide VRR range. If you prefer something with a higher max refresh rate, then check out the Dell Alienware AW2523HF.
Input lag is exceptional. Although it's slightly higher when playing at 60Hz and when FreeSync is enabled, most people won't notice it.
The Alienware AW2720HF has a decent resolution and size. The 27 inch screen provides an immersive gaming experience and plenty of space for productivity, but the 1080p resolution is a bit low for this screen size. However, the lower resolution is less demanding on the graphics card, which helps to achieve higher frame rates.
If you find the 27 inch screen too big for your space or you prefer a monitor with a higher pixel density, then check out the Dell Alienware AW2521HF.
There are a good amount of inputs on this monitor. It includes a USB hub with four USB 3.0, one of which is powered, so you can use it to charge your devices even if the monitor is off.
The AW2720HF has a few extra features, including:
Like the Dell Alienware AW3420DW, the controls are located on the back of the monitor, at the bottom left corner. It includes a joystick and four additional buttons to navigate the on-screen menu.