Dell Alienware AW2723DF Review: 1440p 280Hz 1ms FreeSync IPS Gaming Monitor

The Dell Alienware AW2723DF is a 27" 1440p 240Hz (280Hz OC) 1ms IPS gaming monitor with DisplayHDR 600, 95% DCI-P3 color gamut and VRR support.

Bottom Line

The Dell Alienware AW2723DF offers excellent image quality, smooth performance, plenty of features and a robust design, but there are better options in this price range.

Design:
(5.0)
Display:
(4.9)
Performance:
(4.6)
Price/Value:
(3.0)
4.4

The Dell Alienware AW2723DF is yet another 27″ 1440p 240Hz gaming monitor to join the club – here’s how it compares to its alternatives.

Image Quality

The 1440p resolution provides you with a high pixel density of 108.79 PPI (pixels per inch) on 27″ sized displays, meaning that you get plenty of screen space with sharp details and text without having to use any scaling.

While text and some details aren’t quite as sharp as that of 27″ 4K models with 163 PPI, this difference is not that noticeable in games and videos yet 1440p is significantly less taxing on your CPU/GPU, allowing you to maintain higher frame rates.

This is why most gamers still stick with 1440p; of course, if you have a high-end PC system, it might be worth going the high refresh rate 4K route instead.

Moving on, the Dell Alienware AW2723DF uses an IPS panel with a wide 95% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage (~127% sRGB gamut size) for vibrant colors.

It also has a Creator mode that can clamp the gamut down to ~100% sRGB in case you want to avoid over-saturation when watching SDR content.

The Creator mode also provides you with gamma adjustments (from 1.8 to 2.6) and you can enable the Uniformity Compensation feature in the SDR mode to improve brightness uniformity at a cost of image brightness and contrast.

In addition, thanks to its IPS panel with 178° wide viewing angles, the Dell AW2723DF monitor is suited for color-critical work, though you will need a colorimeter to get the best results.

As expected from an IPS display, there’s some IPS glow and the contrast ratio is only mediocre at 1,000:1, so you won’t get as deep blacks as that of VA panel gaming monitors, which usually have a contrast ratio of around 3,000:1 but suffer from other drawbacks.

Next, the Dell Alienware AW2723DF has a strong SDR peak brightness of 450-nits, while HDR content gets a boost up to 700-nits for punchier highlights.

The monitor has VESA’s DisplayHDR 600 certification and 16 dimming zones, but since it’s edge-lit, the HDR viewing experience is inferior to that of OLED or FALD (full-array local dimming) displays.

Edge lit Dimming vs Full array Dimming

Some scenes with bright and dark objects far apart can look a lot better than SDR, but in demanding scenes, 16 local dimming zones can often add more distractions than improvement.

Note that in order to use the dimming zones, you must set the Smart HDR option in the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu to ‘DisplayHDR 600’ – other HDR modes (Desktop, Movie and Game) do not use local dimming.

Performance

freesync and gsync

The Dell Alienware AW2723DF has a maximum refresh rate of 240Hz, but once you enable the overclock option in the OSD menu, you can bump it up to 280Hz.

It has both AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible certifications for excellent variable refresh rate (VRR) performance and tear-free gameplay up to 280FPS. Sadly, Motion Blur Reduction is not supported.

The monitor also has VESA’s new AdaptiveSync certification.

There are three response time overdrive modes: Fast, Super Fast and Extreme.

If you’re using VRR and your frame rate is around 280FPS, the Extreme mode offers the best performance. If VRR is disabled, the overdrive behaves differently and you should use the Fast mode instead.

For gaming at lower refresh rates, with or without VRR, you should also just stick with the Fast mode. Overall, there’s no prominent ghosting or overshoot even if you’re using the Fast mode all the time, but the Extreme mode at high frame rates (VRR enabled) provides the best results.

Input lag amounts to around 2ms, which makes for imperceptible delay between your actions and the result on the screen.

The backlight of the monitor is flicker-free and there’s a hardware low-blue light filter that prevents harmful low-blue lights at all times without affecting image accuracy.

Features

Dell Alienware AW2723DF AlienVision

Beneath the bottom bezel of the screen, there’s a 5-way directional joystick for quick and easy navigation through the OSD menu.

Noteworthy features include Dark Stabilizer (improves visibility in dark scenes by altering the gamma curvature), on-screen timers, a refresh rate tracker, Picture in Picture and Picture by Picture support.

There’s also a gaming feature called AlienVision, which places a rectangle (size is adjustable in the Dell Alienware Command Center desktop application) on the center of the screen and applies one of the four filters: Night (better visibility in dark scenes), Clear (increased sharpness), Chroma (heatmap) and Crosshair.

Apart from the stand image adjustments (brightness, contrast, color temperature), the Dell Alienware AW2723DF also supports aspect ratio control (16:9, 4:3 or auto-resize), sharpness, hue/saturation and automatic input selection.

For the best image quality, make sure that Color Format is set to RGB (default).

Design & Connectivity

Dell AW2723DF Review

The stand of the monitor is robust and versatile with up to 110mm height adjustment, +/- 20° swivel, -5°/20° tilt, 90° pivot and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Next, there are three customizable AlienFX RGB lighting elements: the number ’27’ and alien logo at the back, and the LED power indicator. You’ll also find a headset hanger.

The screen has a light matte anti-glare coating that eliminates reflections without making the image too grainy.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC for 1440p 280Hz 10-bit color, two HDMI 2.0 ports (limited to 144Hz, FreeSync supported), a headphone jack, an audio line-out port and a quad-USB 3.0 hub (1 upstream + 4 downstream).

The Dell Alienware AW2723DF also supports 1440p 120Hz on the PS5 and 1440p 120Hz with FreeSync on the Xbox.

Once you enable the Console Mode in the OSD menu, you can also use upscaled 4K 60Hz HDR with FreeSync on the Xbox and 4K 60Hz HDR on the PS5.

Price & Similar Monitors

The Dell AW2723DF price ranges from $600 to $650.

We recommend getting the Gigabyte M27Q-X instead. It’s a 27″ 1440p 240Hz IPS display that can be found for as low as $370.

It doesn’t have as good HDR image quality, but HDR isn’t a selling point of the AW2723DF either. The difference between 240Hz and 280Hz is also barely perceptible.

Further, while the M27Q-X doesn’t have quite as good design, it supports MBR and has a built-in KVM switch, and generally offers much better value for money.

For HDR, we recommend the Cooler Master Tempest GP27Q. This 27″ 1440p 165Hz IPS gaming monitor goes for $500 and offers exceptional HDR image quality thanks to its wide Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 color gamut and 576-zone mini LED FALD backlight with up to 1200-nits peak brightness.

To learn more about monitors and ensure you’re getting the model most suited for your personal preference, visit our comprehensive and always up-to-date best gaming monitor buyer’s guide.

Conclusion

All in all, the Dell Alienware AW2723DF is an excellent gaming monitor with vibrant image quality and smooth performance, but there are better displays in this price range.

Specifications

Screen Size27-inch
Resolution2560×1440 (QHD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate240Hz (280Hz OC)
Response Time1ms (GtG)
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync Premium Pro (48-280Hz)
G-SYNC Compatible (48-280Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack, Audio-out,
4x USB 3.0
Brightness450 cd/m²
Brightness (HDR)600 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
95% DCI-P3
HDRDisplayHDR 600
Local Dimming16-zone Edge-lit
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • High pixel density, wide color gamut, consistent colors, sRGB mode
  • Plenty of gaming features including VRR up to 280Hz
  • Fully ergonomic stand, rich connectivity options

The Cons:

  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)
  • No MBR

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Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.