When it comes to HDR, OLED is king. LCD screens can barely mop the floors in the throne room by comparison. The AW3423DW doesn’t need dynamic contrast or other trickery to achieve phenomenal images. With the ability to address each pixel’s luminance, the picture has tremendous depth and dimension.
HDR Brightness and Contrast
To hit the claimed 1,000 nits, I had to measure a 1% window pattern. That’s just a tiny box in the center of the screen. The AW3423DW uses brightness modulation to avoid overdriving the panel which ultimately shortens its lifespan. A 25% window measured 557 nits peak and a full white field measured 459 nits. What this means is that specular highlights like stars in space or reflections from metal will be very bright while larger white areas like an ice rink or clouds will be bright but not harsh. You won’t see any change in brightness when viewing actual content, which is the important thing. As in SDR mode, black levels cannot be measured, so HDR contrast is also theoretically infinite.
Grayscale, EOTF and Color
The AW3423DW’s HDR grayscale tracking is visually flawless. I could not see any errors at any point. The EOTF also tracks to near perfection. The darkest steps are a bit too dark but not enough to obscure detail. This is the luminance tracking I wish I could see in SDR mode. But it makes HDR content look that much better in comparison.
The HDR gamut test delivers similarly accurate results with just slight over-saturation in all colors. Hue values are pretty much spot-on, and all points track linearly. This means HDR content will have the same natural and smooth look as SDR, just with greater contrast and more saturated color. Of all the HDR monitors I’ve tested, the AW3423DW is one of the very best.