Alienware 34 QD-OLED (AW3423DW) Review
We’ve had OLED TVs in our living rooms for a few years now, and we’ve been able to use all of the benefits they offer. But OLED has only recently made its way down the hall and into the game room, which is part of a growing number of panel options for gaming monitors. The Alienware 55 OLED and LG’s CX/CG/C1 line of OLED gaming monitor/TV hybrids were the first of their kind.
The new Alienware 34 QD-OLED, which costs $1,299.99 (QD stands for “Quantum Dot,” which we’ll talk more about later), follows in their footsteps with a curved, ultrawide design that can be both highly immersive and highly productive in the right hands.
The Alienware 34 is a great way to get started with OLED desktop monitors, whether you’re trying to keep track of multiple windows while on a Zoom call or unwind with a game of Elden Ring after a long day of work. This is true even though its brightness levels and sometimes poor picture quality reveal the magic trick behind its price. With some tweaking and time out of the box, the Alienware 34 QD-OLED became one of the best monitors we’ve tried this year. While QD-OLED may not be the “one monitor tech to rule them all” just yet, Alienware’s first attempt in the space earns its Editors’ Choice spot.
Alienware 34 QD-OLED (AW3423DW) Specs
|Panel Size (Corner-to-Corner)||34 inches|
|Native Resolution||3440 by 1440|
|Rated Screen Luminance||1000 cd/m^2|
|Rated Contrast Ratio||1,000,000:1|
|Pixel Refresh Rate||175 Hz|
|VESA DisplayHDR Level||DisplayHDR 1000|
|Dimensions (HWD)||38.5 by 26.5 by 3.9 inches|
- Beautiful and strong design
- Both SDR and HDR pictures look great.
- The price is right for the set of features
- The result is an excellent range and colour coverage.
- Performance in games that is quick and fast
- Input lag is much lower than on past OLED monitors.
- HDR mode has less peak light than was promised.
- Adding more picture settings could take away from the HDR experience.
One thing about Alienware has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years: the way it makes monitors. Instead, Alienware has standardized its unique colour scheme (mostly white panels with blue lights and accents) and its stand design. The Alienware 34 has a cabinet design that is right out of the company’s more recent playbook. It has a 34-inch, 1800R-rated curved panel with 3,440 by 1,440 pixels.
Think of an unidentified alien ship made almost entirely of white plastic, with a few black strips and programmable LED arrays on the bottom of the panel. It has the same design as other Editors’ Choice picks, like the Alienware 27 (AW2721D), but the edges are sewn together even more tightly.
Putting together parts
Alienware uses the eco-friendly packaging from parent company Dell, which is made of moulded cardboard instead of crumbly foam, to protect the items inside. The panel is cushioned with some soft foam, but almost all of the materials are recyclable. The panel, base, and stand can be put together without tools. There are two DisplayPort cords, one HDMI cable, and one USB cable in the bundle. Since the power source is built in, there is also an IEC cord in the box.
Adjustments for Calibration
Initial readings of the AW3423DW showed that it didn’t need to be calibrated. However, I found that using the Custom Colour mode and its RGB sliders made a small difference in the quality. This greatly decreased the grayscale mistake. Gamma tracks well enough, but the darker steps are a little too bright. This makes shade details clearer, but it makes the blacks less dark. Contrast is still endless, though, because there are no tools that can measure how dark black is.
In the Creator mode, you can use sRGB for SDR material if you’d rather. There, you can also change the gamma by 0.2 steps between 1.8 and 2.6. The gamma choices are what made me choose this mode as my favorite in the end. For Custom Colour mode, use the RGB numbers listed below. Or, use the Creator mode, pick the gamut you want, and set the gamma to 2.4 for the best picture. You can choose between 400 and 1000 nits of peak output when an HDR10 stream is input. In HDR mode, there is no other way to take a picture.
The screen is made with a new “Quantum Dot OLED” (QD-OLED) panel that has a base refresh rate of 144 Hz and can be overclocked to 175 Hz if you don’t mind changing the colours. It can work with both VESA Display HDR 1000 and HDR 400 True Black. (Go over here to figure out what all that means.) The monitor also supports Nvidia’s top level of adaptable sync technology, G-Sync Ultimate, which keeps the screen from tearing when used with a GPU that supports it.