Slowly but surely, OLED monitors are becoming a thing. But so far they’re either designed for super-premium creators or essentially repurposed TV-sized screens that can fit on a desk (maybe, if it’s reinforced). At CES 2022, Alienware is the first company to apply OLED screen tech to a more conventional screen size for PC gaming. Meet the Alienware 34 QD-OLED, the monitor I’ll be trying my best not to buy this year because I still have to pay rent.
The prefix in “QD-OLED” stands for Quantum Dot. Dell’s supplier, Samsung, is combining the two panel technologies to make an OLED panel with more brightness and 99.3% DCI-P3 color coverage. The monitor’s peak brightness output is an impressive 1000 nits despite the “perfect” blacks of OLED. Naturally, with a display this premium, you get Nvidia’s G-Sync Ultimate hardware, .1ms response time, and an impressive 175Hz native refresh rate. The curve of the panel is 1800R, fairly typical for a 34-inch ultrawide with a 3440×1440 resolution, but not as dramatic as some screens on the market.
In terms of connection, you get on DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0, and a few USB-A ports. Notably missing is USB-C or Thunderbolt support, at least according to the spec sheet, but you do get audio in/out and an ambient light sensor. The monitor also includes a downward-facing desk light and RGB lighting on the rear loop and logo, and though it comes with a hefty stand and built-in cable routing, you can use a standard VESA mount as well.
The monitor is equipped with an anti-glare coating, the better to be used for gaming and basic office tasks. And, lest you be worried about OLED burn-in for more conventional work, Dell’s including a 3-year premium warranty that specifically covers panel burn-in.
How much will the Alienware QD-OLED 34 cost? It’s hard to guess. “Extremely expensive” is a safe bet but, for something a little more useful, consider that the current top-of-the-line Dell ultrawide gaming monitor has a retail price of just under $2K and Alienware’s “don’t call it a TV” 55 OLED Gaming Monitor costs $4000. I’d say $3000 is a pretty good estimate. Dell is planning a retail release sometime in the first half of this year.
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Michael is a former graphic designer who's been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.
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