Alienware’s QD-OLED gaming monitor is an ultrawide marvel

Imagine everything you’d want in a gaming monitor – a bright and beautiful display, a fast refresh rate for silky smooth graphics, HDR to really make things shine – and chances are you’ll find it in Alienware’s 34 curved QD-OLED monitor. It’s one of the first displays to ship with Samsung’s Quantum Dot OLED panels, and it’s stacked with other features that will make your Infinite Halo more satisfying matches. Although it might seem a bit extravagant at $1,299, compared to Apple’s $1,599 Studio Display it’s practically a robbery. (Or maybe I’m just telling myself that to justify buying this thing.)

I admit it straight away: I am a suction cup for ultra-wide (21:9) monitors. Having a ton of horizontal space makes it easy to juggle multiple apps at once, and it’s much cleaner than setting up multiple displays. So when Alienware revealed it was finally launching an ultrawide OLED, I was sold. While OLED has solidified its place in high-end TVs, it’s taken a while to reach computer screens (we’ve only started to get OLED laptops regularly a few years ago). What makes this monitor even more intriguing is that it has all the benefits you’ve come to expect from OLED – deep black levels, excellent contrast and no backlighting thanks to individually illuminating pixels – but the adding quantum dots means you continue to see vibrant colors as the screen gets brighter.

Of course, this new technology means there’s another annoying display acronym to remember, but at least QD-OLED will offer other notable upgrades. According to Samsung, it will be able to achieve up to 1,000 nits of peak brightness (like this Alienware monitor), while the cream of the current OLED crop hits around 400 nits. More brightness isn’t everything, especially since OLED’s perfect black levels can produce stunning contrast, but it’s still a significant step forward as LCDs get even brighter with the Mini backlight. -LEDs.

The Alienware QD-OLED monitor, like many 34-inch ultrawide models, offers a 3440 by 1440 resolution. Think of it as an extra-long quad-HD display: it’s not as sharp as the 4K, but it’s still a huge leap from 1080p. And since it doesn’t have as many pixels as a 4K display, you’ll be able to play many games at its native resolution without borrowing an RTX 3080 Ti. There’s also support for G-SYNC Ultimate, NVIDIA’s adaptive refresh rate technology that helps reduce stuttering, as well as HDR 400 True Black. Alienware claims it reaches 99.3% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and is also factory calibrated, two important features if you’re doing production work.

Alienware 34 Curved QD-OLED Gaming Monitor

But enough specs, does this monitor really look good in action? Yes, oh yes. My eyes watered while playing Halo Infinite desert-based “Behemoth” map, it was almost like watching the sun reflect off the pristine sand in person. (It was also a sign that I needed to turn the brightness down a bit.) I kept noticing new details on my Spartan’s armor, thanks to the monitor’s color accuracy and perfect contrast. I also took a while to get used to playing Surveillance again, as my brain struggled to keep up with the fast 175Hz refresh rate of the QD-OLED. The game responded almost instantly, thanks to the 0.1ms response time of the QD-OLED monitor.

Compared to Dell’s 34-inch ultrawide gaming monitor, which I tested for several months last year, the Alienware QD-OLED was noticeably better no matter what I was looking at. Colors popped off the screen, even when I was browsing the web or watching movie trailers, and the deep curve always kept me in the center of the action. You’ll have to live with vertical black bars if you want to watch typical 16×9 videos at full screen, but I personally prefer having more room to play something in the corner or side of the screen. Let your TV handle movie night – ultrawide monitors are for multitasking.

Alienware 34 Curved QD-OLED Gaming Monitor

Alienware 34 Curved QD-OLED Gaming Monitor

A bigger issue is the lack of support for ultra-wide resolutions in some games. Ring of Elden, for example, can only be played in standard widescreen resolution. (You could risk a third-party patch, but it could get you banned if you play online.) I still enjoyed the dozens of hours I spent with the game on this QD-OLED monitor, but the bars black on the sides of the screen effectively transformed it into a 27-inch screen. You can run the game in a window and multitask, but Ring of Elden is the kind of experience to which I prefer to devote all my attention. If nothing else, the state of ultrawide gaming is much better now than it was a few years ago. It’s hard to find major titles that ignore 21:9 screens entirely, especially when it comes to shooters.

Although the design of the Alienware QD-OLED is not as beautiful as Apple’s metallic studio screen, it has the same sci-fi aesthetics of Alienware growing since 2019. The case is plastic, but at least it feels solid and smooth to the touch. There are none of the cheap bends you’ll find on budget monitors. There’s a tasteful oval of LED lighting on the back of the monitor, alongside a glowing Alienware logo, but it’s thankfully free of the garish bling you’d find on other gaming displays. warm air blows from the top of the monitor giving it a slight buzz that was easily drowned out by sounds from my gaming rig. The Alienware monitor also offers tilt and height adjustment , which you’ll have to pay an extra $400 to get the Studio Display.

Alienware 34 Curved QD-OLED Gaming Monitor

Alienware 34 Curved QD-OLED Gaming Monitor

As for connectivity, the Alienware 34 QD-OLED includes a DisplayPort 1.4 connection (up to 175 Hz), 2 HDMI 2.0 ports (up to 100 Hz) and four USB 3.2 Gen 1 connections distributed at the bottom and at the back of the screen. There’s also a headphone port on the bottom of the monitor and an audio out connection on the back. It would have been nice to see HDMI 2.1 ports, or at the very least HDMI 2.0 connections with 120Hz support for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Obviously Alienware is focused on PC gamers, but some competitors offer HDMI 2.1 to make life easier for console gamers.

At $1,299, you’ll pay a premium price for Alienware’s QD-OLED monitor, but it’s on par with other high-end ultrawide monitors. LG 34-inch UltraGear currently sells for $1,243, but it’s an LCD with a slower refresh rate. Or you can just fetch LG 42-inch C2 OLED TV for $1,399, which is one of the best displays you can buy right now. (but it’s probably a bit too big for office work). If you’re looking for a similar sized screen on a budget, Dell (admittedly much less impressive) 34 inch ultrawide gaming monitor went down to $500.

Alienware 34 Curved QD-OLED Gaming Monitor

Alienware 34 Curved QD-OLED Gaming Monitor

Here’s the thing: while the Alienware QD-OLED is a major investment, it’s arguably a wise investment that could last you for years. For the price of a high-end display last year (and less than Apple’s Studio Display!), you get next-gen OLED technology, an objectively beautiful display, and all the upgrades game you might ask. It’s the rare gadget that makes me smile like an absolute idiot while I’m using it, surely worth paying for.

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