Dell couldn’t decide what to do with the Alienware brand for a while, dithering over whether to continue with its own XPS Gaming range or put all its gaming weight behind Alienware, the company it bought to gain a firmer hold in the gaming market. After a couple of years, Dell has decided that it should use Alienware as its gaming division and leave XPS to ‘lifestyle’ PCs.
The result is a redesigned chassis for its new range of Alienware PCs, the TactX Mouse and TactX Keyboard, a new headset (reviews to come) and this Alienware-branded monitor. You can buy all these Alienware products without having to buy an Alienware PC; we wanted to find out whether or not you should.
The OptX screen uses a 21.5in 1,920 x 1,080 panel, and design-wise, fits in well with the new Alienware PC and peripherals – it’s black and aggressive but manages to be neither silly nor garish. The angular cuts in the foot, and the OSD buttons (which are slashes of light rather than mundane circles or numbers), fall on the side of interesting rather than looking gimmicky and brash.
Neither too brash nor too boring - Goldilocks would be pleased. Click to enlarge
The stand isn’t purely for show either, as it offers 100mm of height adjustment, plus smooth swivelling and a wide angle of tilt. On the back of the monitor, we found a wealth of connections – two HDMI inputs join the DVI, and there are four downstream USB 2 ports, plus a 3.5mm mini-jack input and output. Alienware even bundles USB and HDMI cables, which is more than you find with most monitors.
Closer inspection of the stand reveals many similarities with older Dell UltraSharp monitors – the hinge between the stalk and screen, for example – but that’s no bad thing, as UltraSharp stands have always been excellent. Furthermore, it shows that Alienware has access to Dell's technology and manufacturing, which can’t be a bad thing for the long-term prospects of the extra-terrestrial manufacturer and its many fans.
Height adjustment and tilt is available via the excellent stand. Click to enlarge
Display Type TN TFT Dimensions (mm) 516 x 194 x 361-461 (W x D x H) Colour Black Connections Dual-link DVI (with HDCP), 2 x HDMI, 4 x USB Viewable Screen Size 21.5in Maximum Resolution 1,920 x 1,080 (HD, 16:9) Contrast ratio 1,000:1 Brightness 300cd/m2 Response time 2ms (grey-to-grey) Warranty Two-year return to base