- 55-inch, OLED 4K display
- 120Hz refresh rate
- Can be used with console and PC
During CES 2019 Dell revealed a new gaming monitor, one that’s unlikely to sit on your desk. The Alienware 55-inch 4K OLED monitor is instead designed for gaming on your PC or console in the living room.
At 55 inches, you might be wondering why this Alienware offering is still regarded as a monitor rather than a television. It basically boils down to the fact that it’s designed purely for gaming, with its 120Hz refresh rate ensuring that games will look super-smooth on the display. This is absolutely critical for competitive shooters, minimising delay between the gamer’s input and what’s seen on-screen.
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There’s no confirmation yet as to whether this monitor will feature Nvidia’s G-Sync technology. The model on display certainly didn’t have the feature; fingers-crossed that Alienware will be able to strike a deal with Nvidia before release. If you’re not aware, G-Sync technology helps to align the monitor’s refresh rate to the frame rates rendered by a graphics card to prevent screen tearing.
Of course, you’ll need a powerful gaming computer to make the most out of such a high refresh rate, especially if you fancy playing in 4K. That’s right, this beauty supports glorious Ultra HD. It also boasts an OLED panel, so you’ll benefit from excellent contrast too. Dell has confirmed that the Alienware 55-inch 4K OLED monitor will support HDR.
Does this Alienware monitor live up to the spec sheet in reality, though? I certainly think so. During a product showcase at CES 2019, I was able to see the monitor in action, and it looked absolutely gorgeous.
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I wasn’t able to have a play with the settings or even choose the content, but a series of demos illustrated how fantastic this display can look. In-game footage of upcoming game Cyberpunk 2077 displayed how well this monitor can cope with frantic action. A first-person view of a bullet-frenzied car chase through neon-lit streets showed no sign of motion blur.
An in-game demo of Shadow of the Tomb Raider, meanwhile, emphasised the depth of dark scenes as a result of the OLED technology. The shadows streaking from the massive rainforest trees looked far darker than they would on an LCD monitor.
The sun-soaked rainforest looked stunning. This 4K screen really did do justice to the colour-popping scenery on display; in fact, Dell claims this monitor has a very impressive 98% DCI-P3 colour gamut coverage. Once I get a review unit, I’ll be able to tell you how accurate that figure is.
It isn’t only video games that will benefit from the 4K OLED panel here. A second video demo showed off this monitor’s credentials for non-gaming content, too, with red and blue smoke hammering across the point that this monitor can display extremely lucid colours for live-action video.
Will this monitor be worthy of replacing your living room TV, though? Well, it depends on what you’re going to use it for. It’s likely to cost far more than a typical 55-inch 4K OLED TV, simply because the refresh rate is so high. This means that if you’re not getting the very most of the 120Hz refresh rate, then you’re not getting good value.
Plus, since this is a monitor rather than a TV, you’ll need an external device to watch TV shows and the like. The likes of Freeview and Netflix won’t be built in, but this isn’t anything a computer, console or streaming device can’t fix. There’s also no smart functionality here – but again, most gamers will be happy to sacrifice this in favour of a high refresh rate.
You’ll need an external speaker or soundbar, too. Sine this is a monitor, there isn’t a sound system built in – which could be easy to forget if this is replacing your old TV.
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I’m a big fan of the monitor’s design. The bezel is so thin that it almost looks like an edge-to-edge display. The black stand below rocks a stylish minimalist design, ensuring it doesn’t distract you while you game.
It doesn’t look too shabby from the rear, either. A pulsating LED light bar runs across its centre, cycling through various colours – so you know damn well that this monitor has a gaming pedigree. The iconic Alienware logo sits below, and lights up in sync with the light bar.
A clip-on back panel hides away all the cables and ports, keeping everything neat and tidy. It’s a small feature, sure, but I really appreciate this when my gaming setup at home is entangled in an ugly mess of wires.
How much will the Alienware 55-inch 4K OLED monitor cost? There’s no set price yet, but a spokesperson from Dell told me it will be “expensive”. That’s no surprise, since this monitor offers a premium experience for gaming. For reference, the HP Omen X Emperium 65 costs a wallet-destroying $4999, and that doesn’t even have an OLED panel.
There’s also no mention of a release date, but I fully expect it to arrive sometime this year. Fingers crossed, anyway – I can’t wait to pillage my holiday savings and make this Alienware monitor the new king of my living room.
For anyone who wants a monitor with a high refresh rate at blockbuster size, this Alienware looks the real deal. And thanks to that winning 4K and OLED combination, it’s tough to see a rival monitor of this size offering a superior picture. I’m just hoping G-Sync joins the party, which would then complete a very promising package.