The Dell Alienware AW2725DF is the best 27″ gaming monitor currently available.
The Dell Alienware AW2725DF is the first OLED gaming monitor with a 360Hz refresh rate!
The Dell AW2725DF is based on Samsung’s QD-OLED panel, which offers superior color performance to LG’s W-OLED panels.
You get a wider 99.3% color space coverage and a higher color volume, resulting in more saturated and brighter colors.
Additionally, the monitor boasts true 10-bit color depth support for smooth gradients, professional-grade Delta E < 2 factory calibration for both sRGB and DCI-P3 color modes, and 178° wide viewing angles, which ensure that the image will remain flawless regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen.
Another advantage QD-OLED panels have over W-OLED technology is better text clarity. The AW2725DF uses Samsung’s third-gen QD-OLED panel with an improved subpixel layout, so fringing on small text and fine details is minimized.
You can still notice minor fringing from up close, but most users will find it negligible or tolerable. The 2560×1440 screen resolution on the 26.7″ viewable screen of the Dell AW2725DF results in a high pixel density of 110 PPI (pixels per inch), so you get plenty of screen real estate with crisp details and no scaling necessary.
Moving on, the Dell Alienware AW2725DF monitor has a strong brightness performance with up to 250-nits for a 100% white window for SDR / HDR, and up to 500-nits for a 10% white window and up to 1000-nits for < 3% white windows, providing you with punchy HDR highlights.
Unlike Dell’s 32″ Alienware AW3225QF model, the AW2725DF doesn’t support Dolby Vision. The standard HDR10 format is supported and there are several HDR options to choose from under the Smart HDR option in monitor settings – we recommend using the HDR Peak 1000 mode.
Of course, there are mini LED gaming monitors that can achieve much higher SDR brightness levels, though we find that 250-nits is sufficient under normal lighting conditions. They can also reach higher HDR brightness levels, but suffer from blooming artifacts, whereas OLED panels have per-pixel dimming for an infinite contrast ratio without any backlight bleeding, haloing or glowing visual artifacts.
The main downside of OLED panels is the risk of permanent image burn-in when displaying an image with bright static elements for too long. However, if you’re using the monitor sensibly and playing diverse content every now and then, it shouldn’t be an issue. Dell even offers a 3-year warranty that covers burn-in.
The Dell Alienware AW2725DF depicts Panel Health once you open the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu, and it will automatically run Panel Refresh and Pixel Refresh after a certain number of hours of usage.
The Dell AW2725DF has a high 360Hz refresh rate. While the difference between 240Hz and 360Hz isn’t massive, you can still notice it as motion is clearer.
You also get lower input lag (~2ms), so if you can achieve over 240FPS, 360Hz is definitely the way to go.
Further, you get buttery-smooth variable refresh rate performance for tear-free gameplay up to 360FPS. Supported VRR formats include AMD FreeSync Premium, NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible and HDMI 2.1 VRR.
One of the main strengths of OLED displays is the instantaneous pixel response time speed, which results in zero ghosting behind fast-moving objects, making the Dell Alienware AW2725DF ideal for competitive FPS games.
The monitor is flicker-free and there’s a low-blue light filter (hardware solution), allowing for long gaming sessions without eye strain.
Beneath the bottom bezel of the screen, there’s a directional joystick for quick and easy navigation through the OSD menu. There’s also a dedicated power button.
You can use Dell’s Alienware Command Center desktop application to make the adjustments using your keyboard/mouse too.
Apart from the basic image adjustment options (brightness, contrast, color and temperature), the Dell Alienware AW2725DF also features several advanced tools, such as sharpness, hue, saturation, aspect ratio (16:9, 4:3 and Auto Resize) and automatic input detection.
Useful gaming features include Dark Stabilizer (improves visibility in dark scenes by lowering the gamma), on-screen timers, a refresh rate tracker, crosshair overlays and Alienvision (puts a resizable rectangle on the screen that applies heatmap, zoom, increased sharpness or lower gamma effect).
Next, the monitor supports Picture in Picture and Picture by Picture, as well as AlienFX RGB lighting that allows you to customize the LED color and pattern of the power button, Alienware logo and number 27 on the rear of the monitor.
There’s also a dedicated Console Mode with gamma, color and Source Tone Mapping (allows HDR tone mapping to be done by the console) options.
Design & Connectivity
The stand of the monitor is robust and offers full ergonomic support with up to 110mm height adjustment, +/- 90° pivot, +/- 20° swivel, -5°/21° tilt and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.
The screen has a semi-glossy finish, which provides you with a more vivid image quality than that of matte anti-glare coatings that add graininess to the image.
However, this also means that the Dell Alienware AW2725DF has a more reflective screen and since the panel lacks a polarizer, it will have raised blacks when hit with direct lighting.
So, for optimal image quality, you will need to place the screen so that the lights are behind it or use it with the lights off and blinds/drapes shut.
Connectivity options include two DisplayPort 1.4 inputs with DSC, one HDMI port, a USB-B, three USB-A ports with 5 Gbps and a USB-C with 5 Gbps and 15W Power Delivery.
The HDMI port is labeled as HDMI 2.1 but it’s limited to 144Hz (HDMI 2.0 bandwidth). It does support HDMI 2.1 VRR though, allowing you to gain variable refresh rate at 1440p 120Hz with the PS5.
Price & Similar Monitors
The Dell Alienware AW2725DF goes for $900, which is an excellent price considering its specifications.
Our previous 27″ 1440p high refresh rate OLED recommendation was the ASUS PG27AQDM with a W-OLED panel, which can also be found for $900 yet the AW2725DF offers a higher refresh rate, a wider color gamut, sharper text and a 3-year burn-in warranty.
Other 1440p 240Hz OLED models can be found for as low as $600 but they offer inferior performance. Still, if your PC rig can’t output more than 240FPS, they’re worth considering if you want to save $300.
Additionally, MSI, Samsung, Gigabyte and ASRock are also planning to release their models based on the same QD-OLED panel with different features (USB-C / KVM, matte coating, WiFi antenna, etc.). These will be released in Q1 2024, but the exact release date and pricing are currently unknown.
On top of that, LG and ASUS plan to release 27″ 1440p 480Hz gaming monitors based on LG’s W-OLED panel with improved brightness and subpixel layout – though it remains to be seen how LG’s new RGWB layout compares to Samsung’s third-gen RGB triangular layout. However, these models are expected in Q3 2024.
Finally, if you want a 4K high refresh rate OLED gaming monitor, consider the Dell Alienware AW3225QF with 240Hz.
27″ 4K high refresh rate OLED models aren’t expected before late 2025.
For more options and information, check out our dedicated best gaming monitor buyer’s guide.
All in all, the Dell Alienware AW272DF is currently the best 27″ gaming monitor available thanks to its QD-OLED panel with infinite contrast, instantaneous response time, wide color gamut and VRR up to 360Hz support.
|FreeSync Premium (48-240Hz)
|2x DisplayPort 1.4,
HDMI 2.0 (with HDMI 2.1 VRR)
|USB-B, USB-C (15W), 3x USB-A (5 Gbps)
|Brightness (1 – 3% White Window)
|Brightness (10% White Window)
|Brightness (100% White Window)
|1.07 billion (true 10-bit)
|VESA DisplayHDR 400 True Black
- Infinite contrast ratio, decent peak brightness, wide color gamut
- Instant response time
- Plenty of features, including VRR up to 360Hz
- Fully ergonomic design and rich connectivity options
- Risk of burn-in (though covered by 3-year warranty)