We now have an idea of how much QD-OLED screens will make you work compared to the OLED panels we know today.
OLED is already an expensive, high-performance display technology, but Samsung’s QD-OLED puts a quantum-dot twist on the technology, promising image enhancement and improved color coverage. We’re still waiting to find out how much QD-OLED TVs will cost, but the first PC monitor with this technology, coming this spring, will cost $1,300.
Samsung Display last month announced QD-OLED or Quantum Dot-Organic Light Emitting Diode, with TVs and monitors expected this year. The new type of OLED panel should provide the same deep blacks and rich contrasts that make OLED popular with HDR users, gamers and anyone who wants a sharp image. The difference is that the new technology uses a blue OLED material that passes through a layer of quantum dots. This setup should provide vibrant colors regardless of the screen’s brightness setting, plus more detail in highlighted areas. (For an in-depth look, check out our story explaining what QD-OLED is.)
The Alienware AW3423DW is the first computer monitor to use a QD-OLED panel. The screen claims 99.3 percent of the DCI-P3 color space and at 250 nits it is expected to have a lower typical brightness than many modern LED monitors. It however, it can hit 1,000 nits in a smaller test area, which could help deliver more detailed highlights, as QD-OLED promises. The monitor is also certified for: VESA Display HDR 400 True Black, which requires a black level of 0.0005 nits, max. The AW3423DW brings a 3440×1440 ultra-wide OLED panel with an aspect ratio of 21:9 and a refresh rate of 175 Hz.
At $1,300, the AW3423DW will have a higher price tag than anything in Alienware’s current monitor lineup. The company’s current most expensive display, the AW3821DW, still has some advantages, the most obvious of which is its larger 37.5-inch size. The AW3821DW is also VESA Display HDR 600 certified, so it will hit at least 600 nits of brightness with HDR content. Alienware’s large monitor also has a higher resolution, 3840×1600, with a lower refresh rate of 144Hz. It currently stands at $1,200.
However, the AW3821DW is an IPS panel with an LED backlight and there are tons of other such options on the market. Color is the biggest touted benefit of QD-OLED, and Alienware’s non-OLED AW3821DW claims 3 percent less color coverage (95 percent DCI-P3) than the QD-OLED option.
The AW3423DWl is pricey, but offers an ultra-wide panel in a smaller size than most OLED monitors, which are generally limited to TV-like sizes. The rare desktop-sized options like the 32-inch LG UltraFine OLED Pro are aimed at professionals, with price tags to match: LG’s monitor retails for $4,000. Other 4K resolution OLED monitors have a refresh rate of 120 Hz.
That leaves us with larger OLED monitors. Gigabyte’s 48-inch FO48U OLED gaming monitor is currently available for $1,200 (or $1,000 at some retailers after a $200 discount). That’s a lot more screen for $100-$300 cheaper than Alienware’s new screen.
Samsung Display has said that QD-OLED should be as good or better than OLED at managing burn-in. Alienware’s QD-OLED monitor carries a three-year limited hardware warranty, and the company said in January owners would receive a replacement monitor “the next business day” if a unit suffered burn-in.
What about QD-OLED TVs?
QD-OLED will play a big part in the elite TV wars, and Alienware’s pricing for its QD-OLED monitor gives us a taste of what’s to come.
It’s unclear when QD-OLED TVs expected from Samsung and Sony will get fixed prices and release dates. In fact, a report from South Korean tech site The Elec this week claimed that Samsung Display (which makes the panel technology) and consumer-oriented Samsung Electronics have yet to agree on prices. Samsung has not confirmed this report.
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