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Dell Alienware AW3423DW Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Reviewed Jun 03, 2022 at 09:59 am
Dell Alienware AW3423DW Picture
8.7
Mixed Usage
8.1
Office
8.7
Gaming
9.3
Media Consumption
9.0
Media Creation
9.3
HDR
Size
34"
Resolution
3440x1440
Max Refresh Rate
175Hz
Pixel Type
QD-OLED
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
HDR10
Yes

The Dell Alienware AW3423DW is the first QD-OLED monitor. QD-OLED is a new technology that aims to combine the strengths of OLED and quantum dot displays to produce perfect black levels with a wider range of colors that get brighter compared to standard OLED displays. It's the same technology that the Samsung S95B OLED TV uses. It's an ultrawide gaming monitor with native G-SYNC variable refresh rate (VRR) support, and FreeSync also works. Although OLEDs risk permanent burn-in when exposed to the same static elements over time, the monitor has a few settings to reduce the issue, and Dell also offers a three-year replacement warranty against burn-in.

Our Verdict

8.7 Mixed Usage

The Dell AW3423DW is excellent overall. It's excellent for gaming because it has a high refresh rate with variable refresh rate support, a near-instantaneous response time, and low input lag. It's also fantastic for dark room gaming or for watching movies in the dark, thanks to the near-infinite contrast ratio and perfect black uniformity. It's good for office use and fantastic for content creators thanks to the large screen, but it has some issues with its text clarity, and it doesn't perform as well in bright rooms because reflections raise the black levels.

Pros
  • 34 inch screen with 21:9 aspect ratio.
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Incredible motion handling.
  • Perfect black levels in dark rooms.
Cons
  • Color fringing around windows.
  • Light sources lower the picture quality and contrast.
8.1 Office

The Dell AW3423DW is good for office use. The large 34 inch screen is big enough to open multiple windows side-by-side, and the curved screen helps bring the edges within your field of vision. It has decent text clarity, but there are some issues with its unique subpixel structure as there's color fringing on the edges of windows and with some larger text elements, but it's not very noticeable. Sadly, using it in bright rooms worsens the picture quality because the black levels are raised, which makes the contrast look worse.

Pros
  • 34 inch screen with 21:9 aspect ratio.
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Swivel, tilt, and height adjustments.
Cons
  • Color fringing around windows.
  • Light sources lower the picture quality and contrast.
8.7 Gaming

The Dell AW3423DW is excellent for gaming. It has a high 175Hz refresh rate with native G-SYNC support, and FreeSync also works. Motion looks smooth thanks to the near-instantaneous response time, and it has low input lag with high-frame-rate signals, but it increases a bit with lower-frame-rate signals. It's also fantastic for dark room gaming because it has a near-infinite contrast ratio that makes blacks look deep and inky in dark rooms, but the black levels are raised in bright rooms, worsening the contrast.

Pros
  • 34 inch screen with 21:9 aspect ratio.
  • 175Hz refresh rate with native G-SYNC support.
  • Incredible motion handling.
  • Perfect black levels in dark rooms.
  • Low input lag with high-frame-rate games.
Cons
  • Light sources lower the picture quality and contrast.
  • Input lag increases with 60 fps signals.
  • Limited compatibility with consoles.
9.3 Media Consumption

The Dell AW3423DW is incredible for media consumption in dark rooms. It displays deep and inky blacks in dark rooms, providing a fantastic movie-watching experience. It also has wide viewing angles if you want to share your screen with a friend sitting next to you. However, it performs worse in bright rooms because the black levels raise when there are a few lights on it.

Pros
  • 34 inch screen with 21:9 aspect ratio.
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Perfect black levels in dark rooms.
  • Remarkable out-of-the-box accuracy.
Cons
  • Light sources lower the picture quality and contrast.
  • Can't downscale a 4k image.
9.0 Media Creation

The Dell AW3423DW is fantastic for content creators. It comes factory-calibrated with remarkable out-of-the-box accuracy, and it displays a wide range of colors in SDR and HDR. It also has a big 34 inch screen with a 21:9 aspect ratio that makes it easier to view more of your workspace at once. Although the text clarity is decent, there's color fringing with some text that can get distracting. Also, it displays near-perfect black levels in dark rooms, but blacks look pink in bright rooms due to the reflection handling.

Pros
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Swivel, tilt, and height adjustments.
  • Remarkable out-of-the-box accuracy.
  • Displays a wide range of colors in SDR and HDR.
Cons
  • Color fringing around windows.
  • Light sources lower the picture quality and contrast.
9.3 HDR

The Dell AW3423DW is fantastic for HDR. It has a near-infinite contrast ratio that displays perfect blacks with no blooming in dark rooms. HDR games also look amazing, thanks to the high HDR peak brightness that makes small highlights pop, and it displays a wide color gamut. However, larger areas of bright colors are noticeably dimmer, which is distracting if you leave HDR enabled in the desktop. Also, HDR content looks best in dark rooms because blacks are deep and inky, while in bright rooms, the black levels are raised.

Pros
  • Perfect black levels in dark rooms.
  • Displays a wide range of colors in SDR and HDR.
  • No blooming around bright objects.
Cons
  • Light sources lower the picture quality and contrast.
  • Aggressive ABL makes larger areas dim in HDR.
  • 8.7 Mixed Usage
  • 8.1 Office
  • 8.7 Gaming
  • 9.3 Media Consumption
  • 9.0 Media Creation
  • 9.3 HDR
  1. Updated Jun 10, 2022: Expanded on details for the workaround to improve text clarity.
  2. Updated Jun 06, 2022: We adjusted our Text Clarity text based on our latest findings. The subpixel arrangement isn't very noticeable with the correct settings, and there are workarounds available.
  3. Updated Jun 03, 2022: Review published.
  4. Updated May 31, 2022: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Curved
Yes
Curve Radius
1800R

The Dell AW3423DW has a very gamer-oriented design with a white and black body, and the slight curve helps bring the edges of the screen more within your field of view. It also has zone lighting on the back with lights around the stand attachment and on the Alienware logo.

8.5
Design
Build Quality

The Dell AW3423DW has excellent build quality. It's well-built, and the plastic body feels solid. The stand is heavy and keeps the screen stable, even when you adjust it. Although there's a bit of flex along the top bezel and near the inputs in the back, neither are of major concern. However, the main downside is that the cooling fan is loud enough that you can hear it in a quiet environment, but if you have music playing or your headphones on while gaming, you won't hear it. If it bothers you, you sadly can't turn the fan off.

6.9
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
4.3" (11.0 cm)
Tilt Range
-21° to 5°
Rotate Portrait/Landscape
No
Swivel Range
-20° to 20°
Wall Mount
VESA 100x100

The Dell AW3423DW has decent ergonomics. It offers all the ergonomic adjustments you would expect from an ultrawide monitor, so it's easy to adjust. There's also a quick release button if you want to remove the display and mount it, and it comes with a bracket to make it easy to attach a wall-mount. Luckily, you can route your cables through the stand for cable management.

Design
Stand
Base Width
16.9" (43.0 cm)
Base Depth
12.2" (30.9 cm)
Thickness (With Display)
11.2" (28.5 cm)
Weight (With Display)
21.8 lbs (9.9 kg)

The stand supports the monitor well, and there's minimal wobble. However, the stand is big, so you need a deep table to place it on.

Design
Display
Housing Width
32.1" (81.5 cm)
Housing Height
14.3" (36.2 cm)
Thickness (Without Stand)
5.3" (13.4 cm)
Weight (Without Stand)
15.4 lbs (7.0 kg)
Borders Size (Bezels)
0.4" (0.9 cm)

The bezels on the Dell AW3423DW aren't always even throughout, and they shift due to the pixel shift feature.

Design
Controls

There's a joystick underneath the center of the screen to control the on-screen menu. Unlike past Alienware monitors, there aren't any physical shortcut buttons; instead, a virtual shortcut menu pops up when you press the center of the joystick, and you can assign those shortcuts to your preference. There's also a power button on the right side.

Design
In The Box
Power Supply
Internal

  • DisplayPort cable
  • Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable
  • HDMI cable
  • USB-B to USB-A cable
  • VESA adapter
  • VESA screws
  • Cardboard card holder:
    • Safety info
    • Alienware card
  • Calibration report
  • User guides

Picture Quality
10
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
Inf : 1
Contrast With Local Dimming
N/A

The Dell AW3423DW has a near-infinite contrast ratio thanks to its OLED panel. This means that blacks are deep and inky in a black room. However, in a bright room, the contrast doesn't appear as good because the panel lacks a polarizing layer, raising the black levels and causing a pink tint on black images. See the Reflections section to learn more about it.

10
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
No Backlight

The Dell AW3423DW doesn't have a backlight, so it doesn't require a local dimming feature. However, with a near-infinite contrast ratio, there isn't any blooming around bright objects, and it's the equivalent of a perfect local dimming feature. We still film these videos on the monitor so you can see how the screen performs and compare it with a monitor that has local dimming.

6.7
Picture Quality
SDR Brightness
Real Scene
236 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
248 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
245 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
245 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
246 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
246 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
247 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
242 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
242 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
244 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
243 cd/m²
ABL
0.001
Minimum Brightness
22 cd/m²

The Dell AW3423DW has alright SDR peak brightness. It doesn't get bright enough to fight a ton of glare, but it isn't an issue if you have some lights around, either. Luckily, it maintains the brightness consistent across different scenes, which is uncommon for an OLED to do as OLEDs usually get dimmer with larger areas. These results are from the 'Custom Color' Preset Mode with the Brightness at its max after calibration.

7.1
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness
VESA DisplayHDR Certification
DisplayHDR TRUE BLACK 400
Real Scene
484 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
1,047 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
474 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
371 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
312 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
261 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
1,040 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
468 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
369 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
308 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
259 cd/m²
ABL
0.079

The Dell AW3423DW has decent HDR brightness. It gets bright enough to make really small highlights pop, but the brightness doesn't remain consistent with larger-sized highlights due to the Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL). The brightness visibly changes when minimizing and maximizing windows on the desktop, and it's so obvious that it looks like the screen is adjusting its brightness setting. However, this issue is only distracting in the desktop, and it's not a problem with videos or games.

Although the real scene brightness is closer to the 10% brightness, small highlights still get bright in real content. It also displays most highlights at their correct brightness until the sharp roll-off at the peak brightness, resulting in a loss of fine details with really bright highlights. However, the EOTF changes depending on the window size, as it's a slower roll-off with smaller highlights. The test is with an 18% window, and you can see the different EOTFs for various window sizes below:

The results are from the 'HDR Peak 1000' HDR Mode, but if the strong ABL bothers you, use the 'HDR 400 True Black' mode, which has less variation in brightness and a smoother roll-off at the max brightness, but small highlights aren't as bright:

  • Peak 2% Window: 471 cd/m²
  • Peak 10% Window: 467 cd/m²
  • Peak 25% Window:404 cd/m²
  • Peak 50% Window: 345 cd/m²
  • Peak 100% Window: 292 cd/m²
  • Sustained 2% Window: 466 cd/m²
  • Sustained 10% Window: 463 cd/m²
  • Sustained 25% Window: 401 cd/m²
  • Sustained 50% Window: 340 cd/m²
  • Sustained 100% Window: 289 cd/m²
  • EOTF

10
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
70°
Color Washout From Right
70°
Color Shift From Left
70°
Color Shift From Right
70°
Brightness Loss From Left
70°
Brightness Loss From Right
70°
Black Level Raise From Left
70°
Black Level Raise From Right
70°
Gamma Shift From Left
70°
Gamma Shift From Right
70°

The Dell Alienware AW3423DW has a remarkable horizontal viewing angle. Although it's technically not perfect, you won't notice any inaccuracies when viewing from the sides.

9.9
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
70°
Color Washout From Above
70°
Color Shift From Below
70°
Color Shift From Above
70°
Brightness Loss From Below
70°
Brightness Loss From Above
70°
Black Level Raise From Below
61°
Black Level Raise From Above
61°
Gamma Shift From Below
70°
Gamma Shift From Above
70°

The Dell AW3423DW has an outstanding vertical viewing angle. The image looks the same if you're standing up and looking down at the screen.

8.5
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
1.794%
50% DSE
0.132%

The Dell AW3423DW has excellent overall gray uniformity. There's hardly any dirty screen effect in the center, and large areas of uniform colors in games or full-screen webpages look great. Like any OLED, it has thin vertical lines in near-dark scenes, as well as some Venetian Blind Effect with darker grays, but both issues aren't that noticeable with most content. You can also see the uniformity with darker shades of gray below:

10
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.111%
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

As the Dell AW3423DW has an OLED panel, there's no blooming around bright objects, and it has perfect black uniformity.

9.3
Picture Quality
Color Accuracy (Pre-Calibration)
Picture Mode
Creator (sRGB)
sRGB Gamut Area xy
102.7%
White Balance dE (Avg.)
1.21
Color Temperature (Avg.)
6,636 K
Gamma (Avg.)
2.25
Color dE (Avg.)
0.90
Contrast Setting
75
RGB Settings
Default
Gamma Setting
2.2
Brightness Setting
15
Measured Brightness
48 cd/m²
Brightness Locked
No

The Dell AW3423DW comes factory calibrated and has remarkable out-of-the-box accuracy. The 'sRGB' Preset Mode results in extremely accurate colors and white balance, and the color temperature is close to the 6500K target. However, gamma doesn't follow the target curve very well as most scenes are too dark. The 'sRGB' mode only locks you out of the RGB controls, and other modes are less accurate.

9.6
Picture Quality
Color Accuracy (Post-Calibration)
Picture Mode
Custom Color
sRGB Gamut Area xy
101.1%
White Balance dE (Avg.)
0.62
Color Temperature (Avg.)
6,463 K
Gamma (Avg.)
2.18
Color dE (Avg.)
0.67
Contrast Setting
75
RGB Settings
100-99-100
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Brightness Setting
38
Measured Brightness
100 cd/m²
ICC Profile
Download

The Dell AW3423DW has incredible accuracy after calibration, though calibrating it doesn't do much. The white balance and color temperature both improved, and while gamma is better, it's still not perfect.

9.8
Picture Quality
SDR Color Gamut
sRGB Coverage xy
100.0%
sRGB Picture Mode
Custom Color
Adobe RGB Coverage xy
94.8%
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Custom Color

The Dell AW3423DW has a fantastic SDR color gamut. It has perfect coverage of the sRGB color space, and while it has incredible coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, red and greens are inaccurate in this color space, but not in the common sRGB color space. This isn't ideal if you're a photo editor and need to use those colors.

10
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB In ICtCp
100.0%
sRGB Picture Mode
Custom Color
Adobe RGB In ICtCp
98.7%
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Custom Color

The Dell AW3423DW has remarkable SDR color volume. It displays colors as bright as pure white, and thanks to the near-infinite contrast, it displays colors as dark as pure black.

9.6
Picture Quality
HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI-P3 Coverage xy
99.4%
DCI-P3 Picture Mode
HDR Peak 1000
Rec. 2020 Coverage xy
78.9%
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
HDR Peak 1000

Thanks to the quantum dot layer, the Dell AW3423DW has a remarkable HDR color gamut. It has near-perfect coverage of the commonly-used DCI-P3 color space with good tone mapping, and it has good Rec. 2020 coverage. This makes it future-proof as more content will start to use that color space.

9.4
Picture Quality
HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 In ICtCp
95.7%
DCI-P3 Picture Mode
HDR Peak 1000
Rec. 2020 In ICtCp
78.7%
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
HDR Peak 1000

The Dell AW3423DW has outstanding HDR color volume. It displays colors at a wide range of luminance levels, making them look vivid and pop.

One of the main goals of QD-OLED displays is to display brighter colors compared to WOLEDs. The QD-OLED Samsung S95B gets much brighter with most colors than regular OLEDs like the LG G2, meaning it has a better color volume, and the AW3423DW performs the same way.

9.4
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Glossy
Total Reflections
1.4%
Indirect Reflections
0.9%
Calculated Direct Reflections
0.5%

In theory, the Dell AW3423DW has incredible reflection handling. It handles dim light sources well, and unlike other glossy screens, there aren't any distracting reflections from strong light sources. However, bright light sources distort the reflections, as you can see in the bottom photo, and bright light sources affect the monitor's performance. The OLED panel doesn't have a polarizing layer, resulting in blacks having a pink tint when you have the display in a bright room. It also raises the black levels, effectively removing the near-infinite contrast OLEDs have, and if that bothers you, check out the LG 42 C2 OLED.

Even in regular content, you can see the pink tint on the screen in bright rooms, which is distracting. Because the screen is big, you can see other reflection photos that aren't cropped, but the screen is slightly tilted to show the reflections better:

You can see what it looks like next to the LG 48 C1 OLED (left) and the ViewSonic XG2431 (right) here and you can tell that the AW3423DW has a purple screen even when it's off. Below are photos of the AW3423DW (left) and the XG2431 (right) displaying black images in bright and dark rooms:

For comparison, we also measured the black level in a bright room on the AW3423DW as 2.83 nits. The black level on the IPS panel of the Dell S2721QS is 2.31 nits, which means that the black level is actually look worse on the AW3423DW than on other IPS monitors in bright rooms. Both of these monitors were measured in the same bright room with the screen on. All in all, the monitor performs best in dark rooms and the picture quality is worse in bright rooms.

7.0
Picture Quality
Text Clarity
Subpixel Layout
Triangular RGB

Overall, the Dell AW3423DW has decent text clarity. It uses a unique triangular RGB subpixel structure different from most displays with the three subpixels in a line. Because of this, text clarity isn't as good as on other ultrawide displays. Windows ClearType (top photo) doesn't improve the text clarity much. You can see two other examples with the camera zoomed out with ClearType on and ClearType off. While this subpixel structure isn't ideal, it's not a serious issue, either, and text is clear and easy to read for the most part. The free utility Better ClearType Tuner improves text clarity significantly, and the subpixel structure isn't noticeable with Font Antialiasing set to 'RGB' and Contrast set between 1800-2200, as shown here, but make sure you have access to run the program as an administrator for it to work.

However, due to the subpixel structure, there's slight color fringing on the edge of windows. If you have multiple windows open, you can see a thin green line at the top of every window and a thin red line at the bottom, but it's not very noticeable. Below you can see pixel photos from different configurations:

The color fringing is also visible with larger text elements, like on the Google home page logo, as you can see here, which is pretty distracting.

9.8
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit

The Dell AW3423DW has incredible gradient handling, and you won't see any banding.

Motion
8.6
Motion
Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
175 Hz
Max Refresh Rate
175 Hz
Max Refresh Rate Over DP
175 Hz
Max Refresh Rate Over HDMI
100 Hz
Max Refresh Rate Over DP @ 10-bit
144 Hz
Max Refresh Rate Over HDMI @ 10-Bit
60 Hz

The Dell AW3423DW has a high max refresh rate, but due to bandwidth limitations, you can only achieve that refresh rate with a DisplayPort connection and an 8-bit signal. You can achieve a 10-bit signal over DisplayPort or HDMI, but it lowers the refresh rate.

Motion
Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)
FreeSync
Compatible (Tested)
G-SYNC
Yes (Native)
VRR Maximum
175 Hz
VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors
DisplayPort, HDMI

The Dell AW3423DW natively supports G-SYNC VRR, and even if AMD doesn't certify it, FreeSync works over its entire refresh rate range over a DisplayPort connection. Over HDMI, the max refresh rate is 100Hz, and both G-SYNC and FreeSync work.

9.8
Motion
Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
Recommended Overdrive Setting
No Overdrive
Rise / Fall Time
0.4 ms
Total Response Time
1.4 ms
Overshoot Error
1.2%
Worst 3 Rise / Fall Time
0.4 ms
Worst 3 Total Response Time
5.7 ms
Worst 3 Overshoot Error
10.0%

Overdrive Setting Response Time Chart Response Time Tables Motion Blur Photo
No Overdrive Chart Table Photo

The Dell AW3423DW has a near-instantaneous response time that results in almost no motion blur at its max refresh rate. There's a bit of overshoot when going from pure black to any shade, but other than that, motion looks exceptional. Unlike LED-backlit monitors, there's no option to adjust the pixel overdrive.

9.8
Motion
Response Time @ 120Hz
Recommended Overdrive Setting
No Overdrive
Rise / Fall Time
0.4 ms
Total Response Time
1.9 ms
Overshoot Error
1.3%
Worst 3 Rise / Fall Time
0.5 ms
Worst 3 Total Response Time
8.4 ms
Worst 3 Overshoot Error
10.1%

Overdrive Setting Response Time Chart Response Time Tables Motion Blur Photo
No Overdrive Chart Table Photo

The Dell AW3423DW also has a near-instantaneous response time at 120Hz. However, due to the sample and hold method that OLEDs use, there's still some persistence blur.

9.6
Motion
Response Time @ 60Hz
Recommended Overdrive Setting
No Overdrive
Rise / Fall Time
0.4 ms
Total Response Time
3.3 ms
Overshoot Error
1.3%
Worst 3 Rise / Fall Time
0.5 ms
Worst 3 Total Response Time
16.7 ms
Worst 3 Overshoot Error
10.8%

Overdrive Setting Response Time Chart Response Time Tables Motion Blur Photo
No Overdrive Chart Table Photo

The Dell AW3423DW has an incredible response time at 60Hz. There's a bit more overshoot with darker transitions that at higher refresh rates, but motion still looks smooth.

Motion
Backlight Strobing (BFI)
Backlight Strobing (BFI)
No BFI
Maximum Frequency
N/A
Minimum Frequency
N/A
Longest Pulse Width Brightness
N/A
Shortest Pulse Width Brightness
N/A
Pulse Width Control
No BFI
Pulse Phase Control
No BFI
Pulse Amplitude Control
No BFI
VRR At The Same Time
No BFI

The Dell AW3423DW doesn't have a black frame insertion feature to reduce persistence blur. It can benefit from having a BFI feature because the sample-and-hold method of OLEDs causes persistence blur with fast-moving objects. However, motion looks smooth, especially at the max refresh rate, so you don't need a BFI feature.

10
Motion
Image Flicker
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz

The Dell AW3423DW isn't technically flicker-free because there's a small dip in brightness that corresponds with the 175Hz refresh rate. The dip represents when the screen refreshes itself, but it isn't noticeable because it's just an oscillation in brightness, and it isn't a full-screen on and off pattern like the flicker like on LED-backlit displays.

Inputs
8.2
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution @ Max Hz
7.9 ms
Native Resolution @ 120Hz
10.9 ms
Native Resolution @ 60Hz
18.4 ms
Backlight Strobing (BFI)
N/A

The Dell AW3423DW has low input lag with high-frame-rate signals, but it increases a bit with lower-frame-rate content. It's still low enough that you won't notice any delay, but it isn't ideal for competitive gaming.

8.4
Inputs
Resolution And Size
Native Resolution
3440 x 1440
Aspect Ratio
21:9
Megapixels
5.0 MP
Pixel Density
110 PPI
Measured Screen Diagonal
33.9"
Screen Area
410 in²
7.0
Inputs
PS5 Compatibility
4k @ 120Hz
No
4k @ 60Hz
No
1440p @ 120Hz
PS5 doesn't output 1440p
1440p @ 60Hz
PS5 doesn't output 1440p
1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
1080p @ 60Hz
Yes
HDR
Yes
VRR
Yes

The Dell AW3423DW has decent compatibility with the PS5. It works with 1080p games, but it doesn't downscale 4k content. HDR works with 1080p @ 60Hz signals but not with 120Hz signals. The PS5 doesn't support ultrawide signals; you'll see an image with black bars on the sides. The display automatically adjusts to the aspect ratio, and you don't need to change anything.

5.8
Inputs
Xbox Series X|S Compatibility
4k @ 120Hz
No
4k @ 60Hz
No
1440p @ 120Hz
Yes
1440p @ 60Hz
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
1080p @ 60Hz
Yes
HDR
No
VRR
Yes

The Dell AW3423DW has disappointing compatibility with the Xbox Series X. 1080p and 1440p signals work without issue, but HDR doesn't work at all on it. Like the PS5, the Xbox doesn't support ultrawide gaming, and you'll see black bars on the sides.

Inputs
Inputs Photos

The power input is on the back left side of the display, next to the service port.

Inputs
Video And Audio Ports
DisplayPort
1 (DP 1.4)
Mini DisplayPort
No
HDMI
2 (HDMI 2.0)
HDMI 2.1 Rated Speed
No HDMI 2.1
DVI
No
VGA
No
Daisy Chaining
No
3.5mm Audio Out
2
3.5mm Audio In
No
3.5mm Microphone In
No

The Dell AW3423DW has two audio outputs. You can use the one on the left for your earphones as the one on the back is designed for speakers with their own volume control. You can still plug headphones into the back port, but you can't change the volume unless they have their own volume control.

Inputs
USB
USB-A Ports
4
USB-A Rated Speed
5Gbps (USB 3.2 Gen 1)
USB-B Upstream Port
Yes
USB-C Ports
0
USB-C Upstream
No USB-C Ports
USB-C Rated Speed
No USB-C Ports
USB-C Power Delivery
No USB-C Ports
USB-C DisplayPort Alt Mode
No USB-C Ports
Thunderbolt
No

You need to connect the USB-B to USB-A cable to your PC if you want to use the USB-A ports to plug in your peripherals like your mouse and keyboard.

Inputs
macOS Compatibility

The Dell AW3423DW works well with recent MacBooks. VRR works on the desktop and in games. Unfortunately, due to the aggressive ABL, HDR doesn't look good during desktop usage as large areas are noticeably dimmer, so it's better to stick with SDR on the desktop. However, HDR looks amazing in games.

The same text clarity issues are present as on Windows PCs due to the unique subpixel layout, and you can see two additional text clarity photos on macOS here and here.

The Alienware Command Center software isn't available on macOS, so you can't access certain features like the color profiles.

Features
Features
Additional Features
Speakers
No
RGB Illumination
Controllable
Multiple Input Display
No
KVM Switch
No

The Dell AW3423DW has a few extra features, including:

  • Alienware Command Center: Application to control the RGB backlighting and other basic functions like power consumption and color profiles. This software is only available on Windows, but you can still change the backlighting colors through the OSD if you have a macOS device.
  • Ambient Light Sensor: Adjusts the screen's brightness according to your room's lighting.
  • Dark Stabilizer Changes gamma in games so that you can see your opponents easier in darker areas.
  • Display Alignment Displays a virtual grid that makes it easier to line up your screen next to another display.
  • Eco Mode: Puts the monitor into standby mode when your PC is off.
  • FPS Counter: Shows the current FPS of your source.
  • OLED Panel Maintenance: Has features to reduce the risk of burn-in associated with OLEDs, which you can read about below. Dell also offers a 3-year burn-in warranty.
    • Pixel Refresh: The monitor runs a pixel shift cycle after every 4 hours of usage, or if you disable it, after 20 hours of usage. It takes about 7 minutes to complete.
    • Panel Refresh: This is a more complicated process that refreshes the whole panel and takes about an hour to do, but it only runs after 1500 hours of usage.
  • Timer: Displays a timer on the screen.

Features
On-Screen Display (OSD)

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Dell AW3423DW, which is an updated version of the Dell Alienware AW3420DW, and there aren't any other variants. 

If you come across the AW3423DW with a different panel type, or if it doesn't correspond to our review, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review. Some tests, like gray uniformity, may vary between individual units.

Our unit of the Dell Alienware AW3423DW monitor was manufactured in February 2022, and you can see the label here.

Compared To Other Monitors

The Dell AW3423DW is an excellent ultrawide gaming monitor that delivers better picture quality than LED-backlit monitors. It has incredible motion handling, and HDR games look fantastic thanks to the small highlights that pop. However, it's best to use it in a dark room to get those perfect black levels OLEDs are known for as the black levels rise in bright rooms. While it's better than most monitors for gaming, it also has some limitations for desktop use, like the problems with text clarity and the Automatic Brightness Limiter in HDR. If you want this only for gaming, it's an excellent choice, but don't use it as a primary display for general desktop use.

See our recommendations for the best gaming monitors, the best ultrawide monitors, and the best HDR gaming monitors.

Samsung Odyssey G9

The Dell Alienware AW3423DW is better all-around than the Samsung Odyssey G9. The Dell delivers better picture quality because it uses a QD-OLED panel with deeper blacks, so if you want something for dark room gaming, you can't go wrong with it. The Samsung is a better choice if you want to play high-frame-rate games because it has a higher refresh rate, and the larger screen offers a more immersive experience.

Samsung Odyssey Neo G9

If you tend to game in dark rooms, the Dell Alienware AW3423DW is a better choice because it delivers deeper blacks than the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9. The Dell also has a quicker response time, which is great if you care about fantastic motion handling. However, the Samsung is better in well-lit rooms because it gets much brighter, and it's better for an immersive gaming experience thanks to the larger screen.

Samsung Odyssey G7 LC32G75T

The Samsung Odyssey G7 LC32G75T and the Dell Alienware AW3423DW are different types of monitors, so choosing one or the other depends on what you prefer. If you want a 16:9 display with a fast refresh rate, go for the Samsung, but if you prefer ultrawide gaming, the Dell is a fantastic choice. The Dell is also much better in dark rooms as it has a near-infinite contrast ratio, and the overall picture quality is better.

LG 48 C1 OLED

The LG 48 C1 OLED and the Dell Alienware AW3423DW are different types of OLED displays. The LG is a small TV with a traditional OLED panel, while the Dell is an ultrawide gaming monitor that uses the new QD-OLED technology. While they each display perfect blacks in dark rooms, the LG is better in bright rooms because it has a polarizing layer that makes blacks look deep and inky even when there's bright light on it, while the black levels are raised on the Dell. However, thanks to the quantum dot layer, the Dell displays a wider range of colors, and small highlights get brighter, resulting in a higher color volume.

LG 42 C2 OLED

The LG 42 C2 OLED and the Dell Alienware AW3423DW are different types of OLED displays. The LG is a better choice if you want to maintain the 16:9 aspect ratio and you want something for console gaming because it supports HDMI 2.1 bandwidth. However, if you're a PC gamer and want a high refresh rate and don't mind the ultrawide screen, the Dell is the better choice. The Dell also looks better in HDR because it displays more colors and gets brighter, but it's only better in dark rooms as it raises the black levels in bright rooms, something that the LG doesn't do.

Dell Alienware AW3821DW

The Dell Alienware AW3423DW is better than the Dell Alienware AW3821DW overall, and if you want something for gaming, it's a better choice. The AW3423DW has better picture quality, a faster refresh rate, and better motion handling, making it a better choice for most uses. However, the AW3821DW does have native G-SYNC support, meaning you can use your NVIDIA graphics card to its full potential with this monitor.

LG 34GP950G-B

The LG 34GP950G-B and the Dell Alienware AW3423DW are both ultrawide gaming monitors with different displays. The LG is an LED-backlit monitor that gets brighter than the Dell, which has a QD-OLED display with perfect black levels. Motion handling is also better on the Dell thanks to the near-instantaneous response time, and it displays a wider range of colors with better accuracy. However, the LG has better text clarity because it uses a standard RGB layout, while the Dell has a triangular subpixel layout.

LG 34GN850-B

If you want the best gaming performance, the Dell Alienware AW3423DW is a better choice than the LG 34GN850-B. The Dell looks better in dark rooms, delivers a better HDR experience, and has better motion handling. The LG does have better text clarity, so if that's important to you, consider this monitor instead.

Dell Alienware AW3420DW

The Dell Alienware AW3423DW replaces the Dell Alienware AW3420DW and improves it in many ways. The AW3423DW has a QD-OLED panel with much better dark room performance than the previous version, and it supports HDR, which the AW3420DW doesn't. The AW3423DW also has a higher refresh rate with better motion handling but has slightly higher input lag. The main advantage the AW3420DW has is that it has a different subpixel structure, resulting in better text clarity.

Gigabyte AORUS FO48U OLED

Although the Dell Alienware AW3423DW and the Gigabyte AORUS F048U OLED both have OLED panels, they perform a bit differently. The Dell is a QD-OLED that displays a wider range of colors and makes small highlights get brighter, so if you want the best picture quality in dark rooms, get this one. However, if you also use your monitor in a room with a few lights around, the Gigabyte is better because blacks are still perfect in dark rooms, while ambient lighting on the Dell causes the black levels to raise.

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