ALIENWARE AW2523HF Review

It’s a few years since we first saw a 360Hz display, in the shape of the Asus PG259QN (see lssue212), but they’re still quite rare. As such, its a little surprising to see a 360Hz display from a premium brand such as Alienware available for under £ inc VAT. Read our ALIENWARE AW2523HF Review.

25IN GAMING MONITOR

TheAW2523HF has a pleasingly smart design as well. The stand and back have a simple metallic grey finish, with few overly brash ‘gamer’ additions. This means you miss out on any RGB lighting – a feature included with this display’s official G-Sync module-equipped sibling, the AW2521H -but it’s a small compromise considering the£ inc VAT price difference.

The stand measures just 30cm wide and 34cm deep, so it doesn’t needlessly intrude on your desk space. What’s more, it offers a full range of ergonomic adjustments, making it easy to set the height and angle of the screen, and to pivot the panel into a portrait orientation for easy access to the rear ports.

SPEC

Screen size24.5in
Resolution1,920×1,080
Panel technologyIPS
Maximum refresh rate360Hz
Stated response time1ms
Max brightness400cd/m2 SDR
Backlight zones1
Stated contrast ratio1,000:1
Adaptive syncFreeSync Premium, G-Sync compatible
Display inputs1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 2 x HDMI 2
Stand adjustmentHeight, pivot, rotation, tilt
Extras100 x 100mm VESA mount, DisplayPort cable, DisplayPort-to-mini-DisplayPort cable, USB 3 upstream cable, 4-port USB 3 hub

Connections consist of one DisplayPort and two HDMI video inputs, along with a 4-port USB 3 hub, headphone jack and even an extra audio line out, so you can route audio to a set of speakers and your headphones from the one screen. The headphone jack is located on the central underside of the bottom bezel, alongside two of the USB ports, for easy access.

Also housed on the bottom bezel is the single mini joystick that controls the on-screen menus. It’s a precise and easy to use control that works well with the speedy menus, which are intuitive, and contain all the gaming and image quality adjustments you should need.

However, while the image quality of the1080p IPS panel is very good in some ways, its less accomplished in others. Most obviously, the limited resolution looks blocky by today’s standards, with a pixel density of just 90ppi. You also miss out on an extended colour gamut, so HDR is off limits and colours are only as vibrant as the standard sRGB colour gamut allows. There’s also noticeable brightness drop in the last 0.5in of each side of the screen – not ideal on such a small panel.

Viewing angles are good, though, and contrast is on par for an IPS panel (1,030:1). Out-of-the-box colour temperature is also near perfect (6,466K), although the screen’s gamma setting is a little high (2.39). As for gaming performance, this panel’s 360Hz refresh rate delivers just the sort of blistering performance you’d expect. It’s every bit a very capable competitive gaming screen.

That said, with an average initial response time (the rate at which a pixel manages to transition from one colour to another) of 4.53ms at maximum overdrive, this panel is slower to respond than the likes of the 270Hz Acer XB323U, which managed a 4.11ms initial response time. Meanwhile, some 240Hz TN panels we’ve tested can register under 3ms response times, effectively providing a much snappier-looking image. TN panels have much worse image quality, though, so there’s a significant compromise in opting for such a panel.

Conclusion

The Alienware AW2523HF’s response time is a touch sluggish, so its effective gaming performance isn’t much better than 240Hz screens. However, its still a fantastic competitive gaming monitor that balances blistering 360Hz gaming performance with decent image quality and a competitive price.

EDWARD CHESTER

VERDICT

8.1 Total Score
Editor choice ALIENWARE AW2523HF Review

Few gamers truly need a 360Hz display over a 240Hz one, but the AW2523HF is a solid choice if you want fast gaming performance.

PROS
  • Fantastic gaming performance
  • Decent overall image quality
  • Useful feature set
  • Decent value
CONS
  • No HDR
  • Response time not that fast
  • Low resolution
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ALIENWARE AW2523HF: Price Comparison

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Alienware AW2523HF Gaming Monitor - 24.5-inch (1920x1080) 360Hz Display, AMD...
14 used from $233.11 11 new from $296.98
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Alienware AW2523HF 24.5 Inch Full HD (1920x1080) Gaming Monitor, 360Hz,...
1 used from £333.33 1 new from £359.99
in stock
& Free shipping
Amazon.co.uk
Last Amazon price update was: June 21, 2024 8:01 am
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
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