Samsung has priced its new 34-inch OLED gaming monitor, yours for $1,499 (opens in new tab). That’s significantly more expensive than Alienware’s alternative 34-inch OLED gaming monitor, which is based on Samsung’s panel technology and starts at just $1,099.
In terms of specs, the new Samsung G8 G85SB OLED Ultra looks like a dead ringer for the Alienware AW3423DW (opens in new tab). We’re talking 3440 x 1440 pixels on a 34-inch, 21:9 panel. The maximum refresh rate is 175 Hz for both.
Both brands rate typical full-screen brightness at 250 nits, with Samsung also citing a minimum full-screen brightness of 200 nits, while Alienware also claims a peak of 1,000 nits in a small window.
Samsung’s new panel features AMD FreeSync Premium Pro adaptive refresh support, the same as the base $1,099 variant of the Alienware 34. For a bit more context, Alienware charges $1,299 for the Nvidia G-Sync Ultimate model.
Samsung claims 0.03ms for GTG pixel response, while Alienware pegs its OLED panels (again sourced from Samsung) at 0.1ms. I suspect the difference in specs is how the two companies measure response. Most likely, it’s the exact same Samsung QD-OLED panel on both displays.
Either way, you’ll get better pixel speed than any LCD-based gaming monitor, whichever you choose. By miles. What you won’t get is a good price. The new Samsung OLED doesn’t just look overpriced compared to its nearly identical Alienware alternative, it looks pretty silly next to a larger 4K OLED TV.
How a much smaller 1440p 34-inch screen can be priced the same—or even more expensive—than many larger 4K OLED TVs is hard to fully fathom. It certainly does a higher refresh rate of 175Hz, where TVs are usually limited to 120Hz. And you get a few extra inputs, like USB-C with 65W power delivery and DisplayPort.
Even so, the value proposition looks pretty lame. Plus, since Samsung sells OLED panels to Alienware, it doesn’t make sense for Samsung’s OLED screen to be more expensive, even though it’s made by a different arm of a sprawling tech empire.
Another disappointing factor is the rather abysmal quality control exhibited by many flagship Samsung monitors of late. The Neo G9 was a train wreck and you’d be pretty brave to roll the dice on this new OLED display before the first examples are out in the wild for beta testers, sorry ‘customers’, to mention performance and reliability.
Then there’s the wider issue of full-screen OLED panel brightness. Samsung seems to have the edge over LG, its only real competitor in the large consumer OLED panel market, when it comes to full-screen brightness. But 200 to 250 nits is still miles away from the 1000 nits plus full screen brightness that mini-LED backlit LCDs can achieve.
We’d like to be more positive, but it’s hard considering the awful pricing, along with Samsung’s abysmal recent track record for product quality. See also: Samsung 990 Pro’s Unusually Fast Drop (opens in new tab).
Despite the inherent advantages of OLED technology in terms of pixel response, lighting control and contrast, it’s hard to get excited about this release. Which is a shame.