CES 2022, just like any other year's giant tech event, has no shortage of gaming monitors. You've got the new Alienware AW3423DW, an OLED ultrawide display that simply looks stunning, and then there's something like the Samsung Odyssey Ark, an absolutely huge display that would encompass your entire field of vision.
Both of these monitors are exactly the type of display that I would have on my desk at home. However, unlike previous years, which have no doubt seen plenty of awesome displays, I'm actually going to be on the market for a new gaming monitor here in a couple of months - so I'm just happy that there are some really cool new ones this year.
All good things come to pass
I bought a refurbished AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition back in 2018, and it has definitely served me quite well. This monitor has been with me through a cross-country move and has been tossed in my closet more times than I can count, especially over the last couple of years - mostly to make room for monitors I was reviewing for TechRadar.
And it has handled all of that with style and grace. However, over the last few months, it has started showing some signs that it could be reaching the end of its lifespan. Sometimes the display will turn dark for a couple of seconds, before the color re-saturates. Not something that happens in-game, and it's not enough to make me throw it in the dumpster quite yet - but its time is coming.
To be clear, I'm not really looking forward to getting rid of this monitor. Even by today's standards, it's a pretty amazing display, with good color accuracy, a swift 120Hz refresh rate, and a convenient carrying handle on the back. The bezels are quite a bit thicker than a modern display, but that's never been something I've cared too much about, especially in a gaming monitor of this size.
But if I do have to eventually replace this screen, I'm happy that I'm doing so in a time when there are so many great displays about to hit the street.
I have my eyes on that Alienware OLED ultrawide
Needless to say, I have kind of a soft spot for ultrawide monitors. Not only are they good for work, but pretty much the only game I play anymore is Final Fantasy XIV, and the extra screen real estate an ultrawide display affords me is priceless in that game. So if I am going to be buying a new monitor this year, you can bet that I'll be replacing this ultrawide with, well, another ultrawide.
And the Alienware AW3423DW is arriving at basically the perfect time. It's the same size as the AOC monitor I've been using, but is using a much superior Samsung OLED panel, along with a higher 175Hz refresh rate. All of that while still having G-Sync. I only saw the display for a few minutes, so I don't know whether or not it's going to be the perfect display yet, but it's looking promising.
The only thing that gives me a bit of pause is that the display might be quite expensive. I don't know how much this new Alienware display is going to cost, but given that the last-generation AW3420DW is still going for $799 on Amazon, I'm sure that the AW3423DW is going to easily cross into the $1,000+ range, mostly due to that Samsung OLED panel being used.
But, it's definitely going to be a display that's going to look incredible for years to come, even if the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 I run in my PC is a bit overkill for that resolution.
A nice middle ground
While the Alienware AW3423DW is probably going to be expensive, it's at least going to be reasonably affordable for a high-end display, which is why it's at the top of my list right now.
If budget wasn't a concern, I would just be going for the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9. But while that Samsung monitor is without a doubt the best display I have ever used, it's ludicrously expensive. If I don't wait for a sale - and I'm impatient so I probably wouldn't - I'd be spending $2,499 on that screen. And while for a display that luxurious and future-proof, that price point makes sense, it's not something I could really justify.
However, even if the Alienware AW3423DW is half that price at $1,299, it would be worth it. The 21:9 aspect ratio would be more widely supported, and the 34-inch size would be much more manageable in my tiny New York City apartment.
Plus, I'd get Alienware's superior aesthetics with Samsung panel technology anyways, so I wouldn't really be missing anything. Either way, I'm luckily in a position where I'll likely be able to try the Alienware AW3420DW before I have to spend money on it.
But right now, it's probably the most excited I've been for a monitor that I would realistically actually buy. It's not the most innovative product CES 2022 has to offer, but at least for what I need right now in my life, it's what I'm most excited about for whatever that's worth.
- Check out all of TechRadar's CES 2022 coverage. We're bringing you all the breaking tech news and launches, everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops and smart home gadgets.