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Alienware 25 monitor ups its game to 240Hz IPS for CES 2020

Plus, Dell announced some modest refreshes for its UltraSharp 27 and 25 monitors, and migrated a 43-inch model over from its business side.

Alienware's esports monitor gets a design refresh to match the rest of its gear.

This story is part of CES, where CNET covers the latest news on the most incredible tech coming soon.

27-inch IPS gaming displays with 240Hz refresh rates began shipping earlier this year, including the Alienware 27 gaming monitor. Now you can expect to see a spate of 25-inch versions, beginning with the AW27's little brother, the 1080p Alienware 25 (AW2521HF), which is pretty much a complete overhaul of the existing AW25. It joins some basic updates to Dell's core UltraSharp line, including an UltraSharp consumer version of the company's commercial 43-inch display.

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The Alienware 27 sports an updated "Legend" design to match the rest of the company's gear, as well as a change from the 120Hz TN panel -- TN's only redeeming feature is its speed -- to the better-color IPS panel with 240Hz screen refresh. Alienware claims a "true" 1-millisecond gray-to-gray pixel response, but that's only attainable in Extreme Mode (pixel overdrive), which can introduce artifacts like ghosting that may be deal killers for the subset of people who really need the fastest response possible. It's a fuzzy spec, anyway.

As with most recent high-refresh rate monitors, a lot of manufacturers have opted to go the G-Sync Compatible route rather than the pricey Ultimate hardware implementation; that allows them to put both G-Sync and AMD FreeSync adaptive-sync support in the same product at the lower price.

The Alienware 25 AW2521HF will cost $500 when it ships in March.


The UltraSharp 43

Sarah Tew/CNET

Then we have the march of the UltraSharps, Dell's premium monitor line. New across all the 2020 models is USB-C, with support for DP Alternate Mode, upstream USB and 90-watt power delivery. The biggest of the lot is the flat 43-inch 4K UltraSharp 43 (U4320Q), which is mostly an update to the company's commercial P4317Q rebranded for consumers: It even uses the same financial services screenshot in its press materials and has the same multiple-input capability (to show screens from up to four different devices simultaneously). It's got a new stand as well, which allows height adjustment in addition to tilt.

The UltraSharp 43 is expected to ship in January for $1,050.

The 4K UltraSharp 27 (U2720Q) has virtually identical specs to the 2018 model, but with a slightly more compact stand and updated antiglare treatment, plus a DisplayHDR 400 certification logo slapped on its marketing materials. It may be using a different panel or be tweaked to tighter brightness and color tolerances in order to earn the logo, but it certainly doesn't seem like much of an upgrade. Same goes for the 2,560x1,440-pixel-resolution UltraSharp 25 (U2520D) model compared with its predecessor from 2018, the U2518D.

The new UltraSharp 27 and 25 are shipping in January for $710 and $480, respectively.