Alienware are a well-known gaming company but have not really hit the ball out of the park with their monitors– until now. Their new Quantum Dot OLED gaming monitor promises to deliver not just amazing, punchy colours but also a fast, responsive gaming experience – and boy does it deliver.
Let’s face it though, at $2,299, the Alienware AW3423DW is priced towards the top of the price range when it comes to gaming monitors and thus it should be delivering amazing experiences all around.
Design and features
The 34-inch curved AW3423DW brings Alienware’s gaming-style to their monitor with the rear featuring black and white colours with great lighting options. The RGB colours in the four locations can of course be changed using the on-screen display – the logo, the ring around the stand, downlights and the power button.
The stand that attaches to the rear provides not just a tunnel for the cables for a neater desktop but for multi-directional rotation– left, right, up and down – to go with the raising and lowering of the display. The stand is a decent size so make sure you have a decent-sized desk if you are going to be using it – it will mount on a 100 x 100 VESA mount if you want to go that way.
No matter where you are sitting with respect to your monitor you should be able to get it so that it is facing you and you can get the full curved experience. I’ve used monitors which didn’t offer this option and Alienware’s solution is far better.
The front of the display is nearly all screen with only the bottom bezel more than a centimetre – and even then only just.
The ports on the rear are all the usual ones you’d see in a gaming monitor with a single DisplayPort 1.4, 2 x HDMI 2.0. The HDMI ports are limited to 120Hz so if you want the full 175Hz refresh rate you’ll need to use the DisplayPort. There is also a single USB upstream port and two USB 3.2 Gen 1 downstream ports. There are no USB-C or Thunderbolt ports which is unfortunate, but we don’t see these much in gaming monitors anyway but if you really want Thunderbolt for your creative and productivity purposes, look elsewhere.
The ports included are:
- 2 x HDMI
- DisplayPort 1.4
- 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 downstream with Battery Charging 1.2 (Type A)
- 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 downstream (Type A)
- USB 3.2 Gen 1 upstream
- Audio line-out
The Alienware AW3423DW, as you’d expect from the name of it, is a 34-inch display – with an 1800R curve – featuring a stunning 2K resolution (3440×1440). You’d think at this resolution and size it may suffer in other areas, but Alienware has not overlooked anything it seems with this monitor.
The AW3423DW will run at 144Hz with 10-bit colour, and it can even go up to 165Hz with a lower 8-bit colour. Speaking of colour, the OLED display features black blacks, as OLED displays do, with the Quantum Dot technology providing for even better colours.
The colours are incredibly accurate with the AW3423DW offering 99.3% DCI-P3, 149% sRGB to make even the fussiest user happy with the colour reproduction.
Alienware states that the monitor will go up to 1000 cd/m² brightness which is easily bright enough – you would have to be in a super bright room to require this level of brightness. I very nearly burned my retinas with the brightness on full.
GtG response times are meant to be 0.1ms but that may be a stretch given that the most expensive professional e-sports gaming monitors sit around this. Although I was unable to measure this myself, others have measured it at a bit above this but it is still far better than the other comparable options on the market.
The curve of the display is where it’s at for me. It prevents a lot of reflections on the edges of the display is a well-lit room along with helping you focus and making the whole experience more immersive. If I was buying a monitor for anything right now, it would be a curved monitor.
OSD and Software
You control the AW3423DW settings using the joystick underneath and the OSD. It is fairly easy to use and fairly basic. It is here that you change the colours of the RGB lighting too. Changing the lighting is super simple using the Alienware OSD with you being able to choose many different colours and options of how the lights show themselves off.
The OSD of course is also used to change the brightness and contrast, HDR mode, input options, along with setting shortcut key options. In the end the OSD does what you would expect it to do — basically the same as every other monitor.
Gaming with the Alienware AW3423DW, for me, is fantastic. I may not, well, am definitely not, a high-class gamer and I did not notice any issues with latency, refresh rates etc. If you are a competitive gamer you may run into some latency issues given the nature of OLED displays but for most of us casual gamers you won’t have any issues.
The colours in the games are just crazy good – I love OLED displays, now if only they weren’t so expensive. Gaming with an OLED display is different to what I am used to, but I enjoyed it and my brain certainly does not function faster than the latency limits of the OLED display.
Should you buy it?
If you have the money, then this is a monitor taking the gaming world by storm. An OLED monitor that behaves like an IPS monitor with respect to gaming chops is simply unheard of. The colours on the Alienware AW3423DW gaming monitor are amazing with deep blacks and vibrant colours that pop.
Ad din the Alienware lighting and its control along with a very attractive design and you have a great gaming monitor. Being an OLED, it can be used for other things as well producing amazing colours, with the curve of the display not too much that it makes normal productivity work difficult. there is no Thunderbolt connectivity but if HDMI or DisplayPort are good enough for you then you could easily use this monitor for basically anything you wanted to.
The Alienware 34 AW3423DW curved QD-OLED gaming monitor is available at Dell and their retail channels for RRP$2,299 and is not cheap but is on a par with comparable gaming monitors. It is a great monitor that you would not be disappointed with if you were to purchase it — now, to convince Dell to sell me this one.