We’re kicking things off today with our first monitor review of 2021, we’re taking a look at the Alienware AW2721D, a hot item at the moment. This is the first monitor we’re reviewing using our updated test methodology for 2021. If you missed all that detail, it’s well worth a watch.
The Alienware AW2721D is a new high-end 27-inch 1440p monitor, giving us our first look at the combination of a 240Hz refresh rate and IPS technology at this resolution. Alienware are touting “true 1ms GTG response time” – we’ll see about that – but we do know the monitor uses a latest-generation LG IPS panel so we’re expecting performance that’s similar to other LG IPS products.
Another important point on the spec sheet is G-Sync Ultimate support, although it’s the new watered down G-Sync Ultimate, not the high standard the program once commanded.
G-Sync Ultimate used to be for the best HDR displays on the market, but that’s not the case in 2021, as the AW2721D has somehow qualified despite having just DisplayHDR 600 certification and only edge-lit local dimming. It is HDR compatible and features 98% DCI-P3 coverage, so we’ll see how it performs a bit later.
With its 1440p 240Hz capabilities, this new Alienware display is competing directly with the Samsung Odyssey G7, another 1440p 240Hz display we’ve looked at with a curved VA panel instead. The AW2721D offers something a bit different, and it’s also more expensive, currently $825 when bought directly from Dell or Amazon. The good news though, is it is actually available, which we can’t say about every new bit of hardware we test these days.
The AW2721D is a large monitor for something that only has a 27-inch panel, and I’m not talking about bezels but the overall monitor body. The stand is beefy and it attaches to a rather thick display housing; the whole thing is much heavier than I expected, although this allows it to be very sturdy.
And while the majority of the outer materials are plastic, I think it looks quite premium with its mixture of black and white soft finishes. I’m not a fan of the large 27 printed onto the rear but outside of that it’s a pretty clean body with some nice curves.
Who Is It For?
The Alienware AW2721D is a great high-end gaming monitor and one that shows the promise of IPS technology for 1440p 240Hz applications. Thanks to advancements made in the last few years, IPS is definitely fast enough for these sorts of refresh rates, and while this particular monitor doesn’t set any new performance records, it was consistently near the top of our response time charts which is what buyers forking out over $800 on a new monitor will be after.
I was quite impressed with this display’s versatility. With features like 96% P3 coverage, excellent factory greyscale calibration, and a nice flat panel with excellent viewing angles, the AW2721D is suitable for creative and general office work, too.
If you want a single monitor in your setup to tackle both high-end gaming and productivity, then something like the AW2721D is going to set you up perfectly now and for many years into the future. After all, hitting 1440p at 240 FPS in today’s games is quite a challenge.
The Alienware’s flat panel is also much better at this size, plus you’re getting better viewing angles, better uniformity, a wider color gamut and better factory calibration. All of these elements combined with response time numbers that aren’t too far off the Odyssey, means it’s a great balance of features.
At this price, there are a couple of other options, like going 4K 144Hz with a monitor like the LG 27GN950. But for today’s gaming, I’d swing more towards the AW2721D especially as the 27GN950 lacks HDMI 2.1. High-end ultrawides may also come into consideration although at that point we’re basically talking about a different monitor category.