New 3D HD Monitors: Acer Vs. Alienware

Alienware OptX AW2310

Alienware’s more expensive display has all the features Acer includes, but it manages to squeeze even more into the similarly-sized monitor. Like many of Dell’s higher-priced models, the OptX includes a four-pronged USB hub and an audio connector, both highly valued commodities for gamers. It’s especially useful to plug the IR emitter into the display, to keep your desk clutter and cable free.

Dell can pride itself on style and finesse, as the OptX is both elegant and functional. The frame is slim, which accentuates the screen and nothing else. Touch-sensitive buttons on the right side of the frame controls the menu system. One button actually glows when your finger comes within three inches of it, which is a pretty neat feature.

The OptX takes between five to seven seconds to fully power on, which is fairly slow for a gaming monitor, even for its size (larger monitors inherently power on more slowly than smaller ones). The buttons are extremely convenient to use, especially in comparison to the majority of computer monitor controls, which are often a nuisance.

The display’s swivel is a huge bonus feature that many current monitors lack. You can adjust the height, turn the screen left and right, and tilt the screen up and down by a total of six inches, 110 degrees, and 30 degrees respectively. And unlike Acer’s GD235HZ, the OptX is heavy, giving it the feel of durability and security, which is a necessary feature for an adjustable display.

However, while the OptX has enough bells and whistles for two monitors, it doesn’t make perfect use of them. The USB hub sits beside the video connectors, where they are hard to reach. It’s beyond uncomfortable to use regularly as a standard USB hub. These connectors are meant to simplify matters for users, yet their placement on the monitor tells a different story.

The OptX also includes a Dynamic Contrast on/off switch in the menus, which will automatically brighten and dim the screen depending on the content on-screen. When dark images are on the screen, it’ll dim, and when light images appear, the screen brightens. The feature lacks subtlety and requires some refinement, and for our testing, we turned it off because the changes in brightness were too drastic to properly record. The feature, however, has potential.

What really makes the OptX stand out is its wholesomeness. Unlike other displays, Alienware sets everything on the table for gamers to use, surrounding the finer hardware features with the display itself, tested on the following pages.