Alienware’s upcoming 34-inch gaming monitor is the first of its kind to come with Samsung’s new Quantum Dot OLED panel, and it will cost you a reasonable $1,299, according to a report from Ars Technica. The Dell-owned company debuted the monitor (AW3423DW) at CES this year and will start shipping it out this spring.
While the price isn’t exactly low, it’s still cheaper than some of the standard OLED monitors currently on the market. For example, LG’s 32-inch Ultrafine UHD OLED monitor, while not exactly ideal for gaming, will run you $3,999. Alienware’s 55-inch OLED gaming monitor currently sits at $2,719 on Amazon, and was first released in 2019 for $3,999 — size is obviously a factor here, but it’s still nice to see a monitor that wields new QD-OLED tech sitting well below the $2,000 mark.
What’s the difference between OLED and QD-OLED?
QD-OLED screens differ from the traditional OLED panels that’ve long been manufactured by LG Display in the way they produce an image. LG’s displays are considered WRGB OLED, because they use blue and yellow OLED compound to generate white-ish light pixels that are passed through color filters to produce red, green, and blue sub-pixels. More recent OLED TVs also have a fourth unfiltered / white sub-pixel meant to enhance brightness — especially for HDR content.
QD-OLED changes this up by emitting blue light through quantum dots to convert some of that blue into red and green without any need for the color filter. (Blue is used because it has the strongest light energy.) This leads to greater light energy efficiency; since you’re not losing any light to the color filters, QD-OLED TVs should offer brightness gains compared to past-generation OLEDs.
They should also be able to maintain accurate, vivid quantum dot color reproduction even at peak brightness levels, whereas WRGB OLED can sometimes exhibit some desaturation when pushed that far. The already-superb viewing angles of OLED are claimed to be even better on QD-OLED at extreme angles since there’s more diffusion happening without the color filter in the way.
The possibility of burn-in isn’t eliminated by QD-OLED, but the hope is that these panels could exhibit a longer overall life span than existing OLED TVs since the pixels aren’t working as hard. Samsung Display is using three layers of blue OLED material for each pixel, and that could help to preserve longevity.
Alienware’s QD-OLED monitor comes with all the advantages of an OLED monitor, including deep blacks and bold contrast. Throwing Quantum Dot technology in the mix makes for higher brightness levels with more vibrant colors — the monitor should claim 99.3 percent of the DCI-P3 color space. It also has a resolution of 3440 x 1440 resolution, a 175Hz refresh rate, as well as 250 nits brightness with a max of 1,000 nits. You can also expect a fast 0.1ms response rate, and support for Nvidia’s G-Sync Ultimate technology.
The $1,299 price tag on this Alienware monitor gives us a hint at the sort of pricing we can expect for other products using Samsung’s QD-OLED tech. Sony’s expected to release the first-ever QD-OLED 4K TV later this year, and it’ll be interesting to find out how much it costs.
Correction February 13th, 9:25pm ET: Alienware’s QD-OLED monitor has a resolution of 3440 x 1440, not 3440 x 1400. We regret the error.