Dell Aw2720hf

Bottom Line

The Dell AW2720 is a very good 240Hz monitor with an IPS panel and 1080p resolution. With FreeSync support, this is the ultimate gaming monitor for competitive gamers.

Design:
(5)
Display:
(4.5)
Performance:
(4.8)
Price/Value:
(4.5)
4.7

Introduction

The Dell Alienware AW2720HF is a 240Hz gaming monitor intended for competitive gaming yet it uses an IPS panel with a bit slower response time than that of the competing TN models.

However, its IPS panel also provides wider viewing angles and much better colors than any TN monitor.

You’re probably wondering:

How big is the difference in response time as opposed to the difference in image quality between these two options?

Continue reading to find out which trade-off is more suited for you.

Image Quality

The Dell AW2720HF is based on AU Optronics’ AHVA (IPS) panel with true 8-bit color depth (16.7 million colors), 178° wide viewing angles, a 350-nit peak brightness, and a 1,000:1 static contrast ratio.

It has the standard 99% sRGB color gamut which is currently the most widespread color space for video games and web content.

As expected from an IPS panel, the colors on the Dell AW2720HF are precise, consistent, and vivid making the image quality of competing TN models appear washed out in comparison.

Alas, the monitor’s 1080p resolution is fairly low for its 27″ sized screen as it results in a pixel per inch (PPI) ratio of 82. So, to some users, the picture may appear too pixelated.

To reduce this effect, you can simply place the monitor a bit further away from you as the pixels will be less distinguishable from one another at a further viewing distance.

Alternatively, you can apply anti-aliasing in video games which will make the pixely elements sharper.

An upside to this is that 1080p is not very demanding on your CPU/GPU allowing you to reach higher frame rates more easily.

Performance

Right off the bat, the Dell AW2720HF offers impressive performance with input lag of just ~2ms which is imperceptible at 240Hz.

Now, Dell specifies a response time speed of 1ms (GtG) for the AW2720HF. In order to get that measure, you need to use the ‘Extreme’ overdrive option.

You’re not actually expected to use this option as it introduces a lot of pixel overshoot.

In other words, this overdrive setting is too aggressive for real use, Dell created it in order to be able to advertise ‘1ms GtG’ – but this is what all monitor manufacturers do.

Luckily, the ‘Super Fast’ overdrive option works like a charm. There isn’t any overshoot while motion blur and trailing behind fast-moving objects is effectively removed as well.

Technically, the Dell AW2720HF is a bit slower than a super-fast TN model such as the Acer XF252Q, but that’s barely noticeable in real use.

Some black to white pixel transitions may not make it in time on the AW2720HF at 240Hz, so some ghosting will be noticeable in certain scenarios.

However, this occurs only in rare cases and it’s not something you’d likely notice unless you’re really looking for it.

There is one more overdrive option labeled as ‘Fast’ which should be used if you’re gaming at 60FPS.

Moving on, the Dell AW2720HF 240Hz IPS monitor supports AMD FreeSync with a 48-240Hz variable refresh rate (VRR) range over both HDMI and DisplayPort.

It’s also certified by NVIDIA as G-SYNC compatible allowing you to use FreeSync with compatible NVIDIA cards without any issues.

The official G-SYNC compatibility for the AW2720HF was added with the 441.08 drivers, so make sure you have at least that version (or newer) of the drivers installed for the optimal performance.

As it’s the case with all IPS monitors, some IPS glow is visible, but it’s manageable.

The backlight of the monitor is flicker-free and there’s a low-blue light filter, so you can game for hours without worrying about headaches or eye strain.

Features

Dell Alienware Aw2720hf Review

For the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu navigation, there is a joystick at the back of the monitor as well as four additional hotkeys for shortcuts while the power button is located beneath the bottom bezel.

Useful gaming features include pre-calibrated picture presets (FPS, RPG, Sports, MOBA/RTS, and three fully customizable profiles) and Dark Stabilizer which improves visibility of objects in shadows.

Game Enhanced Mode features an on-screen timer and FPS counter, but there are no crosshairs.

Other features include the standard picture adjustment tools such as contrast, brightness, RGB, sharpness, and hue/saturation, however, there aren’t any gamma presets available.

Lastly, the monitor boasts AlienFX RGB lighting technology; LEDs are placed at the back of the monitor’s stand and logo (shining in cyan in the image below).

Design & Connectivity

Dell Aw2720hf Back

The design of the monitor is quite sturdy with matte finish, matte anti-glare coating, ultra-thin bezels, and a fully ergonomic stand with up to 130mm height adjustment, -5°/21° tilt, +/- 20° swivel, +/- 90° pivot, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options are abundant and include DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a headphones jack, an audio line-out port for external speakers, and a quad-USB 3.0 hub.

Price & Similar Monitors

The Dell AW2720HF price ranges from $350 to $450.

We highly recommend checking out the MSI MAG251RX. It’s a 24.5″ 1080p 240Hz IPS display, so you’ll get a higher pixel density and the same performance. Plus, it supports MBR.

At the $450 price range, we recommend the ViewSonic XG270 instead.

It is based on the same panel, but offers additional useful features such as the PureXP motion blur reduction (MBR) technology, six gamma presets, custom crosshairs, and a shading hood!

Another popular 27″ 1080p 240Hz IPS model is the Acer Nitro XV273 X which also offers MBR, but goes for up to $500. Acer specifies 0.1ms GtG response time for this model, but that’s just a marketing gimmick.

Both the XG270 and the XV273X support HDR10 as well. However, without wide color gamut and local dimming, their HDR support is essentially useless.

Lastly, if you want a 240Hz gaming monitor with zero compromises when it comes to pixel response time, we still recommend the TN-panel Acer XF252Q as the best and fastest 240Hz model.

Conclusion

All in all, the Dell Alienware AW2720HF is a solid gaming monitor for the price ($350), but there are better models available that offer additional features.

We were pleasantly surprised by its pixel response time speed and while it’s not exactly as fast as the fastest TN models, the difference in image quality is definitely more noticeable and obvious than the difference in response time which is what most (except the most hardcore) gamers will prefer.

Dell AW2720HF Specifications

Screen Size27-inch
Resolution1920×1080 (Full HD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate240Hz
Response Time1ms (GtG)
Adaptive SyncFreeSync (48Hz-240Hz)
G-SYNC Compatible
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other Ports4x USB 3.0, Headphone Jack, Line-Out
Brightness350 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors16.7 million (true 8-bit)
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • Vibrant and accurate colors
  • Wide viewing angles
  • Low input lag and quick response time
  • Plenty of features including FreeSync up to 240Hz
  • Ergonomic design and rich connectivity options

The Cons:

  • No gamma presets
  • No Motion Blur Reduction
  • No customizable crosshairs
  • Low pixel density

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