Is this where it all begins? Is the new Alienware 34 AW3423DW QD-OLED the gaming monitor that sparks an OLED revolution on the PC? The one we’ve been waiting years for? Please, please, let it be so.

As you’ll see, this monitor isn’t perfect. But it is dramatically better than any LCD-based monitor by several gaming-critical metrics. And it’s a genuine thrill to use. Of course, that’s getting ahead of ourselves. First, we need to cover the basics.

By many measures, this isn’t really a radical display. The 34-inch 21:9 proportions, the gentle 1800R curve, and the 3,440 by 1,440 native resolution are all relatively routine in the current gaming monitor market. Ditto the 175Hz refresh rate. It’s no slouch, this new OLED panel, but there are LCD screens with much higher refresh rates available for far less cash.

Ah yes, the sordid matter of money. The AW3423DW weighs in at $1,299 in the US (UK pricing hasn’t landed yet). Depending on how you slice it, that’s either a tonne of cash for a gaming monitor or surprisingly reasonable for something at the vanguard of new technology. After all, this is the first true PC gaming panel based on OLED technology.

Price and release date

The Alienware 34 (AW3423DW) is currently available from Dell for $1,299. Presently, you can get a 10 percent discount if you’re subscribed to Dell’s email updates. As The Verge reports, Dell will send you a unique code for 10% off Dell PCs, monitors, and accessories. You can then take use that code to slash the Alienware 34’s price to $1,165.94.

The monitor is currently sold out at Dell’s site, but the unique coupon code is valid until March 27.

Alienware 34 QD-OLED: Design 

  • Attention-grabbing design
  • Plenty of ports
  • No HDMI 2.1 connectivity

Like the Gigabyte Aorus FI32U, you won’t mistake the Alienware 34 for anything other than a gaming monitor. The sleek 1800R curve of the display, along with a black and white chassis accented with the company’s Legend 2 AlienFX lighting, make this feel like a premium product.

Measuring 16.36 / 20.69 (compressed /extended height) x 32.10 x 12.04 inches and weighing a hair over 35 pounds with the stand attached, the monitor is both large and heavy. The stand’s V-shaped legs also take up considerable space. Thankfully, the hole near the bottom of the shaft for routing cables helps minimize clutter on and behind your desk. Though bulky, the monitor easily attaches to the stand. You can also use the VESA mounting holes to mount the Alienware 34 to your wall.

The stand lets you raise or lower the screen across a span of 4.3 inches, tilt it backward -5 degrees or forward up to 21 degrees, or swivel it 20 degrees both left and right. That’s a good deal of movement that allows you to get the perfect viewing angle.

Screen 

  • Large ultra-widescreen QD-OLED curved display
  • Different picture modes optimized for gaming
  • Bright and vibrant images

The curved 3,440 x 1,440 Quantum Dot OLED display, with its 175Hz refresh rate and 21:9 aspect ratio is a sight to behold.

But what is Quantum Dot technology? It’s not OLED, but it’s close; pioneered by Samsung, it pairs the pixel-perfect lighting and contrast of OLED with the boosted brightness and expanded color that quantum-dot technology can deliver. The result is (ideally) a best-of-both-worlds display that offers the impeccable quality of OLED without sacrificing the brightness and color that QLED panels offer. For more insight, don’t miss our what is QD-OLED explainer.

Brightness levels differ depending on picture modes and if HDR is enabled. Standard mode averaged 230 nits of brightness. HDR 400 averaged 274 nits while HDR 1000 averaged 270 nits. Sports mode shared similar numbers to Standard, but FPS (190), MOBA/RTS (199), RPG (200) had lower averages. With the exception of MOBA/RTS, which achieved 329 nits in HDR 400 and 295 nits in HDR 1000, the other modes’ respective HDR brightness levels weren’t far off Standard mode’s numbers.

Performance

  • 175Hz refresh rate w/ G-sync helps ensure smooth gameplay
  • Widescreen videos look great

Ultra-widescreen monitors take some getting used to if you’re accustomed to standard screens. But once I did, I never wanted to go back – especially after experiencing the Alienware 34. In my experience, everything looks and runs beautifully on this 34-inch 2K display.

I tested Far Cry 6 and Red Dead Redemption 2 and both games looked absolutely stunning no matter what mode I played them in. FPS mode was visibly the brightest, revealing all the lush detail in Far Cry 6’s dense Caribbean jungles and rundown villages. Though each mode delivered crisp visuals, I found Standard mode had the best balance between color saturation, contrast, and brightness.

Interface 

  • Easy to use on-screen display interface
  • Six gaming presets
  • Highly customizable settings

The Alienware 34’s system interface matches the monitor’s aesthetics, containing a black and grey background along with blue and white lettering. The various menus are easy to navigate thanks to the responsive OSD joystick. These menus include the aforementioned six-game options, along with options to adjust the brightness/contrast, configure the AlienFX Lighting, and more.

The presets are there if you’re averse to tinkering with options. This is for users like myself who just want to jump into a game as quickly as possible. But if you want to configure settings to your specific liking, you’re free to do that as well. For example, you can set shortcut keys for preset modes, dark stabilizer, brightness/contrast, input source, and volume.

Verdict

Photos and reviews can’t do the Alienware 34 QD-OLED gaming monitor justice. It’s a display that has to be seen in person to be appreciated. Nevertheless, I hope I was able to convey why it’s such a great display. Yes, it’s pricy and takes up a lot of desk space, but if you’re as passionate about gaming as I am, you’re going to want this spectacular monitor in your home. I can’t stress enough how incredible games look on the Alienware 34.

Read More: https://www.tomsguide.com/reviews/alienware-34-qd-oled-gaming-monitor-review

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