We had a first look at the new Dell / Alienware 55-inch OLED Gaming Monitor, and we came away impressed with this world’s first.
As you may know, several OEMs have made a push for large Gaming Monitors, including HP / Omen and NVIDIA, but Alienware is taking things up a notch by using an OLED Panel that has perfect black levels and supports an extensive color gamut (98.5% DCI-P3).
The monitor comes with prominent gaming features such as the integrated FPS counter, RGB LED strip, which is compatible with Dell’s Alienware Command Center, which we covered in the past, and a headphone jack (not always present on TVs).
The Display Port connectivity is also typically “PC,” unlike the three HDMI 2.0 ports (+Optical audio out, 2x USB) which are the baseline for televisions. There’s also a remote, which is not typical for PC monitors, but this makes sense as many users might place the monitor relatively far away from where they sit.
120Hz is the maximum refresh rate of this monitor, and the 0.5ms of response time looks impressive for such a large monitor. This monitor is compatible with AMD FreeSync, and that’s why it can have an embedded FPS counter which appears in the upper-left corner as an overlay. FreeSync controls the monitor’s refresh rate to exactly match the game’s current rendering speed for a stutter-free experience.
We mentioned that the color and response times were excellent, but with about ~400 NITs of brightness, the overall performance picture is not quite perfect. 400 NITs of brightness is what many $800+ laptops can achieve, and it’s much less than the 700 NITs that similarly sized TVs can get.
High brightness is needed in bright light situations, but the Alienware 55 OLED Gaming Monitor may have been designed under the assumption that gamers tend to play in dim lighting to avoid reflections and other things that may perturb gaming.
With a $4000 price tag, the obvious question is whether you should get a 55-inch OLED TV instead. The reality is that you would be hard-pressed to find TVs with a 0.5ms refresh rate (4.0ms is common). Also, many TVs have a pixel sub-structure that make small fonts less legible than PC monitors. That’s because most TVs are designed to display movies, and not computer content such as text and games.
Last, but not least, this monitor is covered by Dell’s Premium Panel Exchange that lets you exchange the monitor if there’s even one bright pixel during the warranty period.