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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We tested the Dell AW3423DW, which is a new monitor in Dell's lineup. It replaces the Dell Alienware AW3420DW, but it's a completely different monitor, so it's not a true successor. There's a variant of this monitor known as the Dell Alienware AW3423DWF; it uses the same panel but supports FreeSync Premium Pro variable refresh rate technology instead of G-SYNC Ultimate, has a different selection of inputs, and runs at a lower native refresh rate.
|Model||Size||Panel Type||Resolution||Refresh Rate||VRR||HDMI Inputs||DisplayPort Inputs|
|AW3423DW||34"||QD-OLED||3440 x 1440||175Hz||G-SYNC Ultimate||2||1|
|AW3423DWF||34"||QD-OLED||3440 x 1440||165Hz||FreeSync Premium Pro||1||2|
Our unit of the Dell Alienware AW3423DW monitor was manufactured in February 2022, and you can see the label here.
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.
The Dell Alienware AW3423DW and the Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 S32BG85 are both excellent gaming monitors with different types of displays. If you game in the dark, the Dell is the better choice because it delivers perfect black levels without any blooming. However, the Samsung is better for bright room gaming as it gets brighter, and it's also the better choice for console gaming as it has a 4k resolution and HDMI 2.1 bandwidth.
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.
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.
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.
The Dell Alienware AW3423DW and the Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 S32BG75 are both excellent gaming monitors with different features. If you want something for ultrawide gaming, the Dell has an ultrawide screen, while the Samsung is the better choice for high-resolution gaming as it has a higher 4k resolution. They also use different technologies to improve the picture quality as the Dell has a QD-OLED panel with perfect blacks, which is great for dark room gaming, while the Samsung gets brighter in SDR if you want to use it in a bright room.
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.
The Dell Alienware AW3423DW and the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ are different types of OLED monitors. The Dell is an ultrawide display with a 3440x1440 resolution, while the ASUS is bigger with a 4k resolution and a standard 16:9 aspect ratio. The Dell uses a QD-OLED panel that makes colors look more vivid, even if the ASUS gets brighter with some highlights.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Dell Alienware AW3423DW is better than the Sony 42 A90K OLED. The Dell offers much better gaming performance, with significantly lower input lag and support for both G-SYNC and FreeSync variable refresh rates. The Dell also has a much more versatile stand and better reflection handling. On the other hand, the Sony has a full-featured smart interface built-in, so if you like to watch streaming movies and shows, you can do it on the Sony without even powering up your PC.
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.
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.
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.
The stand supports the Dell Alieware AW3423DW well, and there's minimal wobble. However, the stand is big, so you need a deep table to place it on.
The bezels on the Dell AW3423DW aren't always even throughout, and they shift due to the pixel shift feature.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
As the Dell AW3423DW has an OLED panel, there's no blooming around bright objects, and it has perfect black uniformity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 W-OLED monitors or TVs. The QD-OLED Samsung S95B gets much brighter with most colors than regular OLEDs like the LG G2. This results in much better color volume on the Dell Alienware AW3423DW than on comparable W-OLED displays, like the LG 42 C2 OLED, Sony 42 A90K OLED, or the LG 48GQ900-B.
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 Dell Alienware 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 Dell 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.
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.
The Dell AW3423DW has incredible gradient handling, and you won't see any banding.
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.
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.
|Overdrive Setting||Response Time Chart||Response Time Tables||Motion Blur 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The power input is on the back left side of the Dell Alienware AW3423DW, next to the service port.
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.
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.
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 Alienware Command Center software isn't available on macOS, so you can't access certain features like the color profiles.
The Dell AW3423DW has a few extra features, including: