Right now, big gaming monitors and OLED displays are in, so Alienware’s logic is: Why not put them both in one behemoth screen? The Alienware 55 OLED Gaming Monitor is exactly what its name says. This 55-inch monster bears an OLED panel, 4K resolution, and a 120Hz refresh rate. That’s a mouthwatering combination for any gamer, and a rare combination of high-end features. Of course, your next question is probably about how much it costs. Well, hold on to your hat: The Alienware 55 will be available on September 30 for $ 3,999.99. The features may be enticing, but that price tag is certainly eye-watering. That said, many folks use monitors as their main way to stream shows, movies, and play games, so it’s a worthwhile investment for some. We were able to try out the monitor in person at a preview event in New York, so read on for impressions and more details.
So Much Screen
I wouldn’t blame you for thinking 55 inches sounds too big for a computer monitor. You tend to sit much closer to a monitor at a desk than you do a TV from a couch or bed, so a 55-inch monitor is a much different proposition than a 55-inch TV. In my experience with the Alienware 55 (there I am pictured above, playing The Elder Scrolls Online as the demo game), those concerns are somewhat, but not fully, founded. I expected that screen size to simply be too large for that distance, and to some degree, it was.
I didn’t love having to, at times, flick my eyes or move my head to see the edges of the screen. Since health and other crucial HUD elements are often at the far edges of the screen, this could potentially be a problem while gaming. At the same time, for much of my time playing, the size does envelop you and stops short of feeling too big. You can see everything you need in most of your immediate line of sight, and characters and menus are big and crystal clear.
A Feast for the Eyes
That’s how it felt, but how does it look? In short, brilliant. OLED displays have yet to disappoint, and they look stellar in person. The colors are vibrant, seeming to pop out of the screen, and the blacks are almost impossibly dark and deep. The latter is one of the big promises of OLED, and it is in full effect here. The picture is super crisp, and playing on such a nice screen actively increases my enjoyment.
For a less subjective take, let’s focus on the specs. As mentioned, this is a 4K panel with a 120Hz refresh rate. This alone is a good combination, as 4K is often limited to the standard 60Hz. 4K resolution comes with both its positives and negatives. It looks fantastic, but you need high-end hardware to push consistently high frame rates in many games. Then again, if you can afford this monitor, you probably have a pretty nice desktop to go with it.
Another gaming-centric addition is the 0.5ms response time for lower latency from your input to your eyes. Alienware also promises 100 percent sRGB coverage and 98.5 percent DCI-P3, though we’ll have to test these claims ourselves. If you’re wondering what the desktop on the left is, that would be the also newly announced Alienware Aurora R9.
The display clearly looks great from the front, but it’s also incredibly thin. This comes with somewhat of a caveat, given the bumped-out lower section on the rear, which you’ll see more in the following images. The exact measurements of the display, including the stand, are 30.34 by 48.26 by 10.39 inches (HWD). There are built-in speakers included in this chassis as well, though it’s very possible you’ll want to use your own sound system or favorite headset when gaming.
Mind the Rear Housing
Here you can see the housing on the back, and how much width it adds to the panel. While it’s clearly much thicker than the actual screen, in reality it still only adds a few inches to the size, and is fairly essential for housing hardware and ports. It’s a common setup on super-thin modern OLED TVs, and Alienware is leaning into its presence with the color and lighting.
A New Consistent Alienware Design
The design of the rear housing matches the aesthetics of the newest Alienware laptops and desktops. It’s a sleek, modern, and futuristic-looking style. The ringed LED lighting is a hallmark, as is the etched model number. In a twist, the panel comes off to reveal routing for the ports…
Here, you can see how all the cabling is laid out. Taking the panel off is simple, and provides much easier access to the cables. Ideally you don’t need to do this very often, hence being able to cover it up and leave it. There are a few more ports on the left flank in a cutout under the panel covering, so you don’t always have to remove the rear panel to plug in an extra display or other peripherals. The square section in the center is where the stand connects, but can also be used for VESA mounting.
Rear Port Close-Up
A close-up on this rear port cutout shows what connectivity you’re working with. There are two USB 3.1 ports, a DisplayPort connection, two HDMI ports, a USB upstream port, and SPDIF audio out. The matching rear cutout holds only the power jack.
Check back for a full review of the Alienware 55 OLED Gaming Monitor when units become available.
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