Alienware 34 QD-OLED review – the most impressive monitor I’ve ever seen

Specifications Alienware 34 Curved Quantum-Dot OLED

Screen size: 34 inches
Resolution: 3440×1440
Refresh rate: 175Hz (DisplayPort), 100Hz (HDMI)
Submissions: 2 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 4 USB 3.2, audio out, headphones
Dimensions: 16.36 / 20.69 x 32.10 x 12.04 inch (with stand)

The Alienware 34 Curved Quantum-Dot OLED gaming monitor is one of the most stunning displays we’ve ever seen. I know that sounds like hyperbole, but this thing is truly amazing in person. Its ultra-wide curved screen and crisp, vibrant image quality deliver a truly immersive gaming experience.

This quality comes at a cost, however, as the Alienware 34 will set you back $1,299. Another potential downside is the monitor’s large footprint. But if price isn’t an obstacle and you have enough room on your desk, the Alienware 34 is well worth the investment. This juggernaut easily ranks among the best gaming monitors on the market.

Alienware 34 QD-OLED: price and release date

The Alienware 34 (AW3423DW) is currently available from Dell for $1,299. Strangely, only people who are part of the company’s “premier” commercial program can buy the monitor. We have to assume this is an oversight. After all, the Alienware 34 is a gaming monitor, not a business monitor.

We will update this section of the review when the Alienware 34 is available to all customers.

Alienware 34 QD-OLED: Design

  • Eye-catching design
  • Many ports
  • No HDMI 2.1 connectivity

Like the Gigabyte Aorus FI32U, you won’t mistake the Alienware 34 for anything other than a gaming monitor. of the company, make it a premium product.

Alienware 34 curved QD-OLED gaming monitor showing rear

(Image credit: future)

Measuring 16.36 / 20.69 (compressed / extended height) x 32.10 x 12.04 inches and weighing a hair over 35 pounds with the stand attached, the monitor is both large and heavy. The stand’s V-shaped legs also take up considerable space. Luckily, the hole near the bottom of the tree for routing cables helps minimize clutter on and behind your desk. Although bulky, the monitor attaches easily to the stand. You can also use the VESA mounting holes to mount the Alienware 34 on your wall.

The stand lets you raise or lower the screen an expanse of 4.3 inches, tilt it back -5 degrees or forward up to 21 degrees, or rotate it 20 degrees left and right. That’s a lot of movement that allows you to get the perfect viewing angle.

There’s no shortage of connectivity options on the Alienware 34. You’ll get two HDMI 2.0 ports, a DisplayPort, four USB ports (two downstream, two upstream, all Type-A), a headphone jack, and a line-out port. line. There is also an OSD (On-Screen Display) joystick under the monitor to enter the menu to configure display settings.

Alienware 34 Curved QD-OLED Gaming Monitor showing rear with port cover removed

(Image credit: future)

However, there are no HDMI 2.1 ports. Alienware states that DisplayPort connectivity is recommended for optimal monitor performance for PC gaming. The monitor can achieve a refresh rate of up to 175Hz when using DisplayPort, but only reaches 100Hz with an HDMI cable. The lack of HDMI 2.1 also means you can’t play PS5 or Xbox Series X games at 120fps or take advantage of the monitor’s ultra-wide presentation.

Alienware 34 Curved QD-OLED Gaming Monitor on a desk showing ports

(Image credit: future)

I don’t see this last point as a negative since I always plug DisplayPort cables into my monitors. I also don’t play consoles on a PC screen. But the lack of HDMI 2.1 ports might be a downside for some, especially when gaming monitors like the Gigabyte M32U and Gigabyte Aorus FI32U have them.

Alienware 34 QD-OLED: Display

  • Large ultra-wide curved QD-OLED display
  • Various picture modes optimized for games
  • Bright and vibrant images

The curved 3,440 x 1,440 Quantum Dot OLED display, with its 175Hz refresh rate and 21:9 aspect ratio is a sight to behold.

Alienware 34 Curved QD-OLED Gaming Monitor Showing Gameplay

(Image credit: future)

But what East Quantum Dot technology? It’s not OLED, but it’s close; Launched by Samsung, it combines the pixel-perfect illumination and contrast of OLED with the increased brightness and expanded color that quantum dot technology can deliver. The result is (ideally) a best-of-both-worlds display that delivers the pristine quality of OLED without sacrificing the brightness and color that QLED panels provide. For more information, don’t miss our explanation of what QD-OLED is.

The Alienware offers six preset picture modes optimized for different game genres.

As measured with our Klein K10-A colorimeter, the Standard, FPS, and Sports modes of the Alienware 34 recorded a Delta-E value of 0.24 (the difference between the color sent from the source and the color displayed, with lower numbers always better). Creator and MOBA/RTS each registered a value of 0.27, while RPG mode registered a value of 0.28. The standard covered 183.2% of the sRGB color gamut and 129.8% of the wider DCI-P3 gamut.

@tomsguide ♬ original sound – tomsguide

By comparison, the Gigabyte Aorus FI32U’s default picture mode covered 127.9% of the sRGB color gamut and 90.6% of the wider DCI-P3 gamut. The Gigabyte M32U achieves 124.6% sRGB and 88.3% DCI-P3.

Brightness levels differ between picture modes and whether HDR is enabled. Standard mode averaged 230 nits of brightness. HDR 400 averaged 274 nits while HDR 1000 averaged 270 nits. Sports mode shared similar numbers to Standard, but FPS (190), MOBA/RTS (199), RPG (200) had lower averages. With the exception of MOBA/RTS, which hit 329 nits at HDR 400 and 295 nits at HDR 1000, the other modes’ respective HDR brightness levels weren’t far off the Standard mode numbers.

Alienware 34 QD-OLED: performance

  • 175Hz refresh rate with G-sync helps ensure smooth gameplay
  • Widescreen videos look great

Ultra-widescreen monitors take some getting used to if you’re used to standard screens. But once I did, I never wanted to go back, especially after experiencing the Alienware 34. In my experience, everything looks and works great on this 34-inch 2K display.

I tested Far Cry 6 and Red Dead Redemption 2 and both games were absolutely stunning no matter what mode I played them in. FPS mode was visibly the brightest, revealing all the lush detail of Far Cry 6’s jungles and rundown Caribbean villages. While each mode provided crisp visuals, I found Standard mode to offer the best balance between color saturation, contrast and brightness.

Alienware 34 Curved QD-OLED Gaming Monitor seen from above

(Image credit: future)

I may be biased since Red Dead Redemption 2 is my favorite game released in the last ten years, but I thought it really came to life on the Alienware 34. The game’s intro takes place on a towering mountain snowy area that is sometimes beset by nasty blizzards. The soft snow and glistening ice felt real enough to touch; the figures and animals also had a high level of detail.

The 175Hz refresh rate, along with Nvidia G-Sync Ultimate and 1ms response time, helped both games run smoothly. Your mileage may vary depending on whether or not your PC is capable of running games at high frame rates, but on the Corsair One PC I played on, the refresh rate and frame rates were in perfect harmony.

Watching content on YouTube or streaming services was fine. However, unless said content was shot widescreen, the 21:9 aspect ratio means you’ll see blank space (or black bars) on the sides of videos shot in 16:9.

When it comes to sound quality, the Alienware 34 has none, as it doesn’t have any speakers to speak of. It’s not a big deal if you’re using headphones, but I wanted to note it before you drive yourself crazy wondering why the monitor isn’t producing sound. If you need your desktop computer to make some noise, consider investing in some of the best computer speakers.

Alienware 34 QD-OLED: interface

  • Easy-to-use on-screen display interface
  • Six game presets
  • Highly customizable settings

The Alienware 34’s system interface matches the monitor’s aesthetic, containing a black and gray background along with blue and white lettering. The various menus are easy to navigate thanks to the responsive OSD joystick. These menus include the aforementioned six gaming options, as well as options to adjust brightness/contrast, configure AlienFX lighting and more.

Alienware 34 Curved QD-OLED gaming monitor on a desk showing the desktop

(Image credit: future)

The presets are there if you’re averse to tinkering with options. This is for users like me who just want to get into a game as quickly as possible. But if you want to configure the settings to your liking, you are also free to do so. For example, you can set hotkeys for preset modes, dark stabilizer, brightness/contrast, input source, and volume.

Alienware 34 QD-OLED: Verdict

Photos and reviews can’t do the Alienware 34 QD-OLED gaming monitor justice. It’s a display that has to be seen in person to be appreciated. Nonetheless, I hope I was able to explain why this is such a good display. Yes, it’s expensive and takes up a lot of desk space, but if you’re as avid gamer as I am, you’ll want this spectacular monitor in your home. I can’t stress enough how amazing games look on the Alienware 34.

But if $1,299 is too much for you, then the $799 Gigabyte M32U gaming monitor or the $999 Gigabyte Aorus FI32U might be easier on your bank account. Although not as impressive as the Alienware 34, they are still excellent gaming monitors.

The Alienware 34 QD-OLED gaming monitor goes on sale March 29 in North America.