While gaming displays had the speed, low latency, and variable refresh rates to be competitive, gamers who wanted great HDR had to either settle for a little extra brightness and color or pay a lot of money for a mediocre local dimming experience. This 34-inch curved ultra-wide gaming monitor, on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired.
For the price, the Alienware AW3423DW features a good balance of specs. It aims for the greater resolutions of 4K monitors (which still command a hefty price) while also delivering a quicker 175Hz refresh rate. When you combine that with G-Sync Ultimate’s wide variable refresh rate and strong HDR capabilities, it’s simple to understand how the $1,299 pricing fits in with the competition.
The monitor doesn’t do much beyond its visual delivery, though. There are no onboard speakers and the power it needs to provide such high performance can speed up the fans inside. We’re not used to hearing fan noises from gaming monitors, but it’s something that high-end monitors with G-Sync sometimes need to keep their components cool.
The Alienware AW3423DW is putting its new visual technology on full display. In our testing, it provides some of the most impressive scores we’ve seen from a gaming monitor.
Color is another feather in this monitor’s cap. It completely saturates the sRGB color space with exceptional color accuracy, making it a viable option for web creators who need an accurate display. But it goes even further with 95% coverage of the AdobeRGB color space and 99% of the cinematic DCI-P3 space. HDR video and games are stunning, putting all the display’s capabilities together for rich color, dazzling brightness, and tons of depth.
It’s not an overly bright monitor, sitting around 240 nits, but it can sear when displaying HDR highlights, which we measured close to 1000 nits. Thanks to its nature as an OLED display, its lack of backlighting means it can display those 1000-nit pixels at the same time as pitch-black pixels elsewhere on the screen, providing a contrast ratio that blows all the competition from VA and LCD panels out of the water. This lets the monitor be as luscious in dark scenes as it is fiery in bright ones—and that’s just the lighting
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