Alienware AW3423DWF QD-OLED gaming monitor review

A minor update to an already great gaming monitor

Alienware 34 AW3423DWF
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Alienware AW3423DWF QD-OLED gaming monitor is lighter and thinner than its predecessor. Though it's a minor update, the inclusion of HDMI 2.1 support is appreciated — especially for console players. This is still a rock-solid gaming monitor.

Pros

  • +

    Excellent image quality

  • +

    Cheaper than original model

  • +

    Thinner, lighter design

  • +

    Fast refresh rate and low latency

Cons

  • -

    A minor update at best

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Alienware AW3423DWF QD-OLED gaming monitor specs

Screen Size: 34 inches
Resolution: 3440 x 1440
Refresh Rate: 165Hz (DisplayPort), 120Hz (HDMI)
Inputs: 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 4 USB-A, audio line-out, headphone
Dimensions: 16.36 / 20.69 x 32.10 x 12.04 inches (with stand)

The new Alienware AW3423DWF QD-OLED gaming monitor ($1,099) is an updated version of the Alienware 34 Curved QD-OLED released earlier in 2022. That original monitor was one of my favorite products to review because of how immersive it made games feel. Aside from its high price point and lack of HDMI 2.1 support, I had little to complain about.

This new model is virtually identical to the one released in April — only it’s cheaper, lighter and supports HDMI 2.1. These alterations make an already awesome monitor even better. It’s not worth an upgrade if you already own the previous version, but if you’re looking for one of the best gaming monitors and best curved monitors, you need the new Alienware AW3423DWF QD-OLED in your life.

Alienware AW3423DWF QD-OLED review: Price and release date 

  • Priced at $1,099
  • $200 cheaper than previous model

The Alienware AW3423DWF gaming monitor is currently available for $1,099/£1,099/AU$1,898 on Dell’s website (opens in new tab). This updated model is $200 cheaper than the AW3423DW, which is also still available on the manufacturer’s website.

Given how this model is cheaper, lighter and supports 120Hz on consoles, choosing it over its predecessor is a no-brainer.

Alienware AW3423DWF QD-OLED review: Design 

  • 1800R curved display
  • All-black chassis

The Alienware AW3423DWF is a gaming monitor through and through. It has a sleek 1800R curved display that nicely wraps around your field of view. Save for a “34” and Alienware’s signature alien logo on the back, the chassis is entirely black. This gives the monitor a slightly more menacing appearance than the previous model. The Legend 2 AlienFX lighting on the back adds some flair, even if you don’t see said lights when using the monitor.

At 16.36 / 20.69 (compressed/extended height) x 32.10 x 12.04 inches and a weight of 21 pounds with the stand, the AW3423DWF is decidedly on the large and heavy side. The stand’s V-shaped legs also take up considerable space on a desk. With that said, this monitor is lighter and thinner than the previous model (without the stand). Even if it’s only a pound lighter, mounting the new Alienware monitor to your wall via the VESA mounts on the back should be easier.

The new Alienware AW3423DWF has an all-black chassis. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

As before, you can raise or lower the screen across a span of 4.3 inches along the stand’s shaft. You can also tilt it backward -5 degrees or forward up to 21 degrees. The screen also swivels 20 degrees both left and right. The screen tilts and swivels smoothly and it’s effortless to get your preferred viewing angle.

The AW3423DWF has plenty of connectivity options. This includes an HDMI 2.1 port, a pair of DisplayPorts, four USB-A ports (two downstream, two upstream), a headphone jack and a line-out port. Beneath the monitor, you’ll find an OSD (on-screen display) joystick used for entering the menu to configure display settings.

The Alienware AW3423DWF has plenty of ports, including HDMI 2.1. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Ports are largely similar to the previous model with two notable differences. You now get two DisplayPorts instead of one. Thanks to the HDMI 2.1 port, PS5 or Xbox Series X players can experience games like Destiny 2 at 120Hz. Granted, titles that can run at 120Hz on modern consoles aren’t exactly plentiful, but it’s good to have an HDMI 2.1 port for the few games that feature the option.

Alienware AW3423DWF QD-OLED review: Display 

  • 3,440 x 1,440 Quantum Dot OLED display
  • Different picture modes optimized for gaming

The curved 3,440 x 1,440 Quantum Dot OLED display, with its 165Hz refresh rate and 21:9 aspect ratio, is as impressive now as it was in the previous model. I’m still in awe of how incredible everything looks on this monitor.

As before, this monitor features six preset picture modes that are optimized for different gaming genres.

In Standard mode, the AW3423DWF covered 180% of the sRGB color gamut and 127% of the wider DCI-P3 gamut (the closer to 100% the better), with a Delta-E value of 0.24 (closer to 0 is better). These values are slightly below the previous model’s 183% and 129%, respectively, though the Delta-E result remains the same. 

The QD-OLED display makes everything look incredible. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

In contrast, the Predator XB323QK’s default picture mode achieved 138% of the sRGB color gamut and 97.7% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, with a Delta-E value of 0.29. 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 a narrower 124.6% of sRGB and 88.3% of DCI-P3.

There are different brightness levels depending on the picture mode and whether or not HDR is enabled. In Standard mode, the Alienware AW3423DWF averaged 236 nits of brightness. HDR 400 averaged 366 nits of brightness at 40% while HDR 1000 averaged 359 nits at the same percentage. The other modes had slightly higher or lower averages than Standard but remained within the 360 range.

Alienware AW3423DWF QD-OLED review: Performance 

  • Smooth 165Hz refresh rate
  • Fast 0.1ms response time

Crisp and vibrant images are important, but you need games to run as smoothly and responsively as possible. Thankfully, the AW3423DWF’s performance is as impressive as its bold design.

The monitor’s 165Hz refresh rate, AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and 0.1ms response time are what enable such great performance. However, you may not get the best results if your PC is incapable of running games at high frame rates. I had the AW3423DWF connected to the decently powerful Dell XPS 8950 and the refresh rate and frame rates were always in sync.

Cyberpunk 2077 looked and ran brilliantly. The monitor’s curve made me feel as if I was actually walking around the grimy, neon-lit streets of Cyberpunk 2077’s Night City. Ray-traced reflections from glass-covered skyscrapers were a sight to behold. The monitor captured every detail, even when I raced at dangerous speeds across the elevated highways.

Alienware 34 AW3423DWF

Games run smoothly thanks to the monitor's 165Hz refresh rate, 0.1ms response time and features like Nvidia G-Sync Ultimate. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Doom Eternal is a fast-paced first-person shooter that’s tailor-made for a monitor like the AW3423DWF. There’s a lot of stuff happening on screen and the monitor never failed to show me every beautifully gory detail. Since the monitor’s curve allowed me to see more of the environment, I was able to easily survive encounters that were more difficult on a standard monitor.

Watching YouTube videos or other streaming content can be hit or miss due to the monitor’s 21:9 aspect ratio. If you’re watching something filmed at 16:9, you’re going to see empty space (black bars) on the sides. But if you’re watching content shot at 21:9, you'll have the same immersive experience as when playing games running at the same aspect ratio. Be aware that neither the PS5 nor the Xbox Series X has games that display in 21:9, which means you’ll always see empty space on the sides of the screen.

Alienware AW3423DWF QD-OLED review: Interface 

  • Intuitive menu system
  • Customizable settings

The AW3423DWF has a clean interface that’s relatively painless to navigate. It features a black and grey background along with blue and white lettering. The OSD joystick used to sort through menus is fairly responsive. The menus in question include the six game modes, along with options for adjusting the brightness/contrast, configuring the AlienFX Lighting and more.

Alienware 34 AW3423DWF

The Alienware AW3423DWF QD-OLED has an easy-to-use interface. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

There are several presets if you don’t want to spend time toying with options. However, if you’d like to adjust settings to your exact liking, you can do that as well. The various shortcut keys for preset modes like brightness/contrast, input source, dark stabilizer and volume are appreciated.

Alienware AW3423DWF QD-OLED review: Verdict

The Alienware AW3423DWF QD-OLED addresses some of the issues I had with the original model. The lower price is solid, as is the inclusion of HDMI 2.1 support. Even if it’s only an overall minor upgrade, the improvements objectively make it a stronger product.

With that said, it’s difficult to recommend this monitor to those who already bought the original version. HDMI 2.1 support is nice, but it’s not worth upgrading — especially if you primarily play PC games. And as I said, few console games even support 120Hz. If you own the AW3423DW then you’re not missing out on much.

But given how the AW3423DWF costs $1,099, it’s now an easier device to recommend to newcomers. However, if that price is still too steep, the $799 Gigabyte M32U gaming monitor or the $999 Gigabyte Aorus FI32U make for solid alternatives. The $899 Sony Inzone M9 is another strong choice if you want to save a few hundred bucks.

Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.


  • roarWolfy
    I continue to fail to see why the conversation about how Alienware handicapped the colour bit depth on the DWF is not being discussed. The DW can do 10bit colour@144Hz without HDMI 2.1. However, the DWF can only natively do 10 bit colour @100Hz, or 120Hz if forced via custom resolution. Alienware also confirms the DWF is only HDMI 2.0 not 2.1 I wonder if the DWF panels did not quite make the cut for G-Sync Ultimate but still functions ALMOST as well.
    Reply
  • Jackswastedlife
    roarWolfy said:
    I continue to fail to see why the conversation about how Alienware handicapped the colour bit depth on the DWF is not being discussed. The DW can do 10bit colour@144Hz without HDMI 2.1. However, the DWF can only natively do 10 bit colour @100Hz, or 120Hz if forced via custom resolution. Alienware also confirms the DWF is only HDMI 2.0 not 2.1 I wonder if the DWF panels did not quite make the cut for G-Sync Ultimate but still functions ALMOST as well.

    Not true. You can do 157Hz at 10 bit via DisplayPort using custom resolution and CVT timing.
    Reply
  • roarWolfy
    I had specified 100Hz natively. Setting custom resolutions can also be dangerous to your monitor if you do not know what you are doing and can void warranties if you set settings the monitor can not do including polarities. If the panel can not natively match the DW that needs to be discussed.
    Reply
  • s1aver
    This is a HDMI 2.0 not 2.1 it's & freesync premium not G-sync ultimate. Can some compare the DW's HDR dynamic tone mapping to the DWF in HDR 1000 and source tone mapping. The DW's/Nvidia's dynamic tone mapping was spot on, interested in seeing how the DWF compares in this respect.
    Reply