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Alienware AW5520QF 55-Inch OLED Gaming Monitor Review: Better Than a TV

The first OLED gaming monitor is here, and it has unprecedented image quality.

Alienware AW5520QF
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Alienware)

Viewing Angles

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The common belief about OLEDs is that they have perfect viewing angles with no light falloff or color shift to the sides. The AW5520QF doesn’t meet that expectation. While brightness is reduced only by a small amount, when viewing from the sides, there is a visible green shift. Why? Because it uses a grid polarizer. Its effect isn’t as significant as the one installed in an LCD, but it is there nonetheless. While these photos are far better than any LCD can boast, OLED is not perfect when it comes to off-axis viewing.

Screen Uniformity

To learn how we measure screen uniformity, click here.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Since the AW5520QF has an immeasurable black level, we had to use a 10% field pattern, which is very dark gray, not completely black, for this test. Obviously, there are no issues here. The AW5520QF is one of the best screens we’ve ever tested in this regard. There are no visible issues anywhere on the panel. And the gray patterns look perfect at every brightness level.

Pixel Response and Input Lag

Click here to read up on our pixel response and input lag testing procedures.

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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

If you’re paying $4,000 for a gaming monitor, it needs to perform at high speed. Though the AW5520QF’s refresh rate is just 120Hz, it has no trouble keeping up with the 144Hz competition. It should be noted that an 8ms screen draw doesn’t mean the X27 and PG27UQ have lower motion blur. Since OLEDs flash the image at a rate of around 2,000Hz, there is no part of the image that remains on the screen between refresh cycles. LCDs use the sample-and-hold method, meaning they’re never black unless a backlight strobe is used. The bottom line is you will never see motion blur on an OLED unless its specifically rendered by the content.

In our input lag test, the AW5520QF beat all the LCDs here with an impressive 32ms of total control latency. While a 240Hz screen will be quicker, 32ms is more than quick enough for all but the most competitive players.

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Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.