Tech

Best Gaming Monitors – Holidays 2022

There is good news to share in the HDR section because there are finally some solid HDR monitor options to recommend. They will cost more – if you want proper, true HDR performance, you’ll need to be prepared to part with at least $800 – but at the same time, true HDR monitors have never been more affordable, so we can finally recommend jumping into this ecosystem.

There are three good options at the moment: the Alienware AW3423DW, the 42-inch LG C2 OLED, and the Samsung Odyssey Neo G7. If we had to pick one of the best, we’d be torn between the Alienware and the LG C2, both of which have OLED displays. Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 with its VA LCD panel with 1196 zones would sit comfortably in 3rd place, motion clarity is not that good, HDR experience is good but not as good as OLED and although the brightness is better, it is disappointed due to Samsung’s weaker color accuracy, poor viewing angles, and less robust HDR optimization. However, it is also the most affordable of the three at $800, which is a very reasonable price.

The reason for keeping the Neo G7 recommendation is that it is the most standard desktop monitor. If you don’t need the dimensions of the LG C2 or the ultra-wide AW3423DW, then the Neo G7 is a great choice, as long as you can tolerate the 1000R curvature. It has the best text clarity and is arguably best suited for general desktop use. And while it may not be as good as OLED in some areas, it still delivers good performance in many areas for an LCD.

The 42-inch LG C2 is large and a completely different format compared to the 34-inch ultra-wide AW3423DW, if there is any doubt about ultra-wide or large displays, the choice is pretty clear anyway. But we think there’s plenty to be concerned about here, as the C2 is actually slightly wider than the “ultra-wide” AW3423DW and gives you a lot more height for a larger overall screen area.

Here are the dividing factors: The AW3423DW is a display with a higher refresh rate of 175Hz that is better suited for PC use thanks to its DisplayPort connector, higher sustained brightness, and better writing policy. It has similar HDR performance to the LG C2 and can get brighter at times, obviously keeping black levels the same. It has good factory calibration, excellent HDR accuracy, and decent stand ergonomics.

The LG C2 leads the way in feature set, a complete TV with smart features and a much wider range of calibration options, including support for Dolby Vision, which the AW3423DW does not. It’s bigger, has better display coverage, better sub-pixel spacing, and better console compatibility thanks to HDMI 2.1 support. It’s also a display with lower processing latency, and LG supports its products very well with software updates, unlike Alienware, which doesn’t even have user-upgradable firmware.

It’s hard to make a wrong choice when choosing any of these OLED displays, none of them are perfect and there is a lot of room for improvement, but the image quality they provide for gamers today is outstanding. It’s also important to note that there’s a new variant of the AW3423DW, called the AW3423DWF, at 165Hz and without the G-Sync module, saving you $200. We expect this to perform similarly to the model we’re testing, so this should be taken into account.


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