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Alienware AW3225QF 4K QD-OLED Monitor Review – PC Perspective

Alienware AW3225QF 4K QD-OLED Monitor Review – PC Perspective

Before we dive in, a brief history of modern OLED monitors will help for context:

Two years ago, Samsung released its first-generation QD-OLED (Quantum Dot OLED) technology in the highly sought-after 3440×1440 ultrawide capable of up to 175hz refresh rate. Gamers snapped up these monitors, hungry for a true desktop OLED experience. Unfortunately, both LG Display's first-gen QD-OLED and competing W-OLED panels used a red-blue-green subpixel orientation. This did not mesh well with Windows, which was designed to work with a red-green-blue layout. While this doesn't have a noticeable effect on gaming and video content, text and high-contrast areas can show green/blue tints that many find annoying. The same applications that had the most obvious text clarity problems also tended to work in interfaces that were more prone to burn-in and image retention. My own PC is used not only for gaming and video consumption, but also for large amounts of productivity with applications like Word and Excel. Because of this, I decided to hold off on OLED panels until the technology improves.

At CES in January 2024, both LG Display and Samsung Display introduced the world to a slew of new panels. LG showed off several displays that will arrive during the first quarter, which will feature their second-generation W-OLED. Unfortunately, LG didn't change the sub-pixel layout in the second generation panels. LG also announced third-generation panels that will feature a smaller pixel structure (allowing for higher pixel density) as well as a more accurate RGB subpixel layout. These third-generation panels won't be available until the end of the year.
Samsung Display jumped ahead of the game with the announcement that their third-gen QD-OLED desktop panels will ship to some models immediately. Samsung already made some changes to its sub-pixel layout on its 49-inch, ultrawide QD-OLED panels in 2023 (which my colleague Josh Walrath should be able to comment on soon). This design change previously helped General Panel users with text clarity issues.

These new third-generation QD-OLEDs feature a new process for creating sub-pixels that has allowed for a huge improvement in pixel density (up to 140 pixels per inch) and a maximum refresh rate of 240hz at 4k resolution.

While the previous introduction was a bit long, I felt it might be worthwhile to explain some of the reasons why OLED monitors have not taken over the market, despite the technology being available for many years. What this introduction leads us to is switching from my long-used 34-inch ultrawide IPS LG panel to Alienware's new third-gen QD-OLED version in a 31.5-inch, 4K, HDR panel. Decided to upgrade. Share my experience with this monitor in the last month.

And now, the review…

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