For most if not all PC gamers, the most important component combination is the graphics card and the gaming monitor that we choose to play our games on. One of the great things about gaming monitors is that, unlike graphics cards where their lifespan is usually a few years, a good display can keep you going for the better part of a decade. With such a long lifespan, it pays to get something you’ll be happy with for years to come.
Or so we thought, as the year 2017 was when monitor manufactures clearly saw a window of opportunity to expand their product range to cater to new growing segment of e-sports. Unlike 'traditional' gaming monitors, where color production, display size and resolutions (e.g., 1440p or 4K) were the key considerations by gamers, e-sports-focused gaming monitors tend to come with TN panels, superior refresh, and response rates. They are also typically smaller at 25 inches, thus allowing for competitive gamers to transport them easily and to view the entire competitive scene at one glance without having to pan.
Make no mistakes. E-sports monitors are here to stay, especially with the burgeoning popularity of e-sports and competitive gaming. These monitors are born and bred purely for fast gaming, and while it does so spectacularly, it’s also no slouch when it comes to everyday tasks, even if in most cases, gamers use them as their secondary monitor purely for their competitive gaming matches.
This year's Tech Awards, all our e-sports gaming monitor finalists have similar specifications. They are all 25 inches in size and feature an ultra-fast 240Hz TN panel that have a resolution of 1080p.
The Alienware AW2518H is a specialized monitor with a singular purpose — to deliver the best and fastest competitive FPS experience to any e-sports gamer. Granted, monitors of this class won't give you the best Netflix or productivity experience where color accuracy and even resolutions take precedent over refresh and response rates. But the AW2518H still handled itself pretty well in those regards. In fact, we were impressed with its color performance for a TN panel-based monitor.
The biggest drawback to such a fine monitor, of course, is the price. At S$1,199 it's also one of the pricier 25-inch e-sports gaming monitors. Scrutinizing it further, we thought the overall built quality, blistering fast performance, as well as its better versatility, put it above the rest of the competition. Certainly, the rest of the monitors featured in this Awards category have their own merits. But it is our opinion that the Alienware AW2518H represents the pinnacle of e-sports gaming monitors, and quite possibly, the best you can buy right now.
For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed in the References section at the end.