Alienware is one of the oldest gaming brands around, but unlike some of the competition, it’s never really created much other than PCs. Now the company is branching out with a suite of new peripherals that actually seem pretty neat.
Most notable of these may be the three new monitors, all of which are boating some impressive specs along with the typical Alienware angular-metal-and-shiny-lights aesthetic. These are primarily aimed at competitive gamers, opting for the faster refresh rates instead of other fancy features like HDR or 4K+ resolutions.
The Alienware 25 is for those who need the absolute fastest speeds, with an insane 240hz panel and 1ms response time – which is about as fast as it gets in 2017. The screen is 1080p, so no 4K movies, and it comes in at 24.5 inche. It’s priced at $499 for FreeSync or $699 G-Sync – nice that you have the choice.
Then you have two 34-inch curved monitors. The Alienware 34 (A3418HW) boasts a 144hz, 2560 x 1080 display (slightly wider than the usual 16:9 1080p) with a 4ms response time. It uses Nvidia G-Sync and costs $1199.
The Alienware 34 (AW3418DW), despite having a very similar model number, has some significant advantages. The screen resolution is bumped up to 3440 x 1440, the screen can be “overclocked” to 200Hz, it features a stronger curvature, and uses an IPS panel for better viewing angles.
I got a brief look at dummy designs of the monitors a while back – it’s a more refined take than the usual gaudy gaming affair (while still being very much gamer-y). I can’t say how good the monitors are without having tried them in-game; I’m sure that 240hz panel will be an attractive option for many gamers, especially given Dell’s monitor pedigree, though I might prefer Samsung’s curved monitors come with HDR and seem more competitively priced if you don’t need G-Sync.
Moving on, Alienware has a pair of mechanical keyboards at $90 and $120. Both use Kailh/KaiHua brown switches, feature the usual gaming keyboard features like N-Key rollover, anti-ghosting, and macro commands. The more expensive model features RGB backlighting and comes in a silver finish instead of black plastic.. Would’ve been nice to see a tenkeyless option, but it’s a start.
Then there are two new gaming mice, the $50 AW558 and the $90 AW958. Both models have on the fly DPI switching and RGB lighting – essential features for every pro gamer (/s). In all seriousness, I liked the shapes of the mouse a lot in a brief hands-on, and the more expensive model comes with swappable side grips and and adjustable palm wrist, features I actually appreciate.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing I couldn’t get an answer on what sensors Dell is using, so it’s hard to say whether these are worth your time compared to established options from Logitech and Razer, most of which use the excellent PW366 sensor.
Lastly, Alienware is updating its Area 51 Desktop with new processors. Most notably, the Area-51 is the first OEM to use AMD’s new Threadripper Ryzen chips, and will be the only one in 2017 (though you can buy the chips separately). There’s also an option to use Intel’s new Core i9 X-Series processors. The Threadripper edition will be available on July 27, and the i9 model on August 22.