Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Alienware's OptX AW2210 LCD Monitor

Alienware OptX AW2210Alienware has always been a strong competitor in the PC gaming market. They have a reputation for providing some of the most powerful gaming laptops and desktops on the market to date, but one branch of the gaming market they never really got into was gaming monitors, until now. The first monitor Alienware brings to the market is a 21.5-inch widescreen 1080p OptX AW2210. This monitor has a lot of features that are sure to please any gamer including solid image quality, accessible and comprehensive built-in menus and an exterior design that sets it apart from your traditional monitor.

The one downside to this device is the price: $300. That is a lot of money to pay for a 21.5-inch monitor, especially if you take into consideration that Dell offers LCD monitors that rival this one in quality and cost a lot less. The Dell SX2210 has an identical panel to the AW2210 as well as controls for a webcam, face recognition software and a retail price of $220.

When you break it down, it appears that the $80 more for Alienware's AW2210 went into the monitor's aesthetics. This monitor is black and bold and looks good all around. It features a slim profile as well as a large plastic base that sort of resembles a Batarang. The LCD also looks a lot heavier than it actually weighs which could either be viewed as a pro or a con. The light weight makes it easier to carry around but it also makes the stability of the monitor questionable.

The monitor is specifically designed to keep ports out of view, which is great if you are looking at it but a royal pain in the derrière when you are trying to connect cables. It does, however, come with a great deal of ports. The back of this monitor is home to four USB 2.0 ports, two HDMI ports, a DVI-D port and line-in and line-out audio jacks which are all aligned vertically. The only problem is that they are hard to access. The good news is that the tilt, swivel and height of the display are fairly easy to adjust.

The aesthetic appeal of this monitor encompasses everything, including the impressive built-in menu controls. Some people are not a fan of touch sensitive controls and find it difficult to find the right spot to touch. However, the controls on this monitor work well and are really cool looking. The main menu button is even smart enough to detect your hand's proximity and light up before you touch it.

Five preset configurations await you in the menus: Standard, Multimedia, Game, Warm and Cool. These allow you to adjust various display settings. There is an extra added spot for user-defined custom presets as well and even manual options if the presets just are not tickling your fancy.

There have yet to be any reported lag features while playing games whether on PC or a console as well as no ghosting or any other common problems associated with monitor-overdrive functions.

One thing that this monitor does have over the Dell mentioned above is a Premium Panel Guarantee. This guarantee is more stringent than your average 3-year warranty and if you find even a single stuck or bright pixel, you can return the monitor for a brand new one. Your default warranty lasts for 3 years but you do have the option of purchasing a 4-year warranty for $40 extra or even a 5-year warranty for $60.

While $300 for a 21.5-inch monitor may seem steep to many people, Alienware's OptX AW2210 display has plenty of features to justify it. Plus, the extra warranty coverage ensures that you can enjoy your investment to the max.
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