Today at Gamescom, Dell has officially launched its new flagship OLED gaming monitor, the Alienware 55. First demonstrated back at Computex, the display uses a 4K OLED panel featuring a 120 Hz refresh rate, making it among the fastest 4K monitors available. The Alienware 55 supports AMD’s FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, which is what sets the monitor apart from OLED UHDTVs, yet not in its HDR implementation.

The Alienware 55 is based on a 55-inch OLED panel featuring a 3840x2160 resolution, 400 nits peak brightness, a 130,000:1 contrast ration, a 0.5 ms gray to gray response time, as well as a 120 Hz maximum refresh rate. The screen can reproduce 98.5% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, which is comparable to accuracy of professional LCD displays. The monitor also has an anti-reflective coating with 2H hardness for additional clarity when used in bright days.

The key feature set of the Alienware 55 is a combination of its technologies as well as its size. OLED computer displays are rare in general, and this one is the industry’s first OLED monitors for gamers. The product is not without caveats though: despite the use of OLED technoloy, this is not an HDR monitor. In fact, Dell says nothing about Alienware’s 55-incher supporting HDR10 or Dolby Vision transports; so regardless of what the panel can do, it would appear that the monitor itself doesn't support any HDR input formats.

Alienware 55 (AW5520QF) Display Specifications
Panel 55-inch OLED
Resolution 3840 × 2160
Refresh Rate 120 Hz
Response Time 0.5 ms gray-to-gray
Brightness Peal: 400 cd/m²
Contrast 130,000:1
Viewing Angles 120°/120° horizontal/vertical
Color Saturation 98.5% DCI-P3
Display Colors 1.07 billion
3D-LUT ? bits
Pixel Pitch 0.3108 mm²
Pixel Density 81 PPI
Anti-Glare Coating 2H
Inputs 1 × DP 1.4
4 × HDMI 2.0
USB Hub Quad-port USB 3.1 Gen 1 hub
Audio 2 × 14 W speakers
3.5-mm mini jack
Mechanical Design Chassis Colors: black, metallic,
AlienFX RGB lighting
Power Consumption Idle 0.3 W
Active 100 W ~ 390 W

The Alienware 55 comes with three HDMI 2.0 inputs as well as one DisplayPort 1.4 connector, with the latter being the second oddity in today's announcement. With full 4:4:4/RGB color, DisplayPort 1.2 is limited to 60Hz; you need DisplayPort 1.4 for 4K@120Hz with 8bpc color. So for what Dell is doing, there's an error in the specifications or compromise somewhere. Either DisplayPort 1.2 is right and they're doing something akin to 4:2:2 choma subsampling to make 120Hz work, or this is not a true 120Hz monitor at all – and instead it's a 60Hz monitor with black frame insertion, a common tactic for TVs. At this point we're not sure which it is, and we've reached out to Dell for clarification.

Update: Dell has gotten back to us, confirming that their original spec sheet was wrong, and that the monitor comes with DisplayPort 1.4 rather than 1.2. So the display does in fact have enough bandwidth for 4K@120Hz with 8bpc color.

Moving on, the display has a quad-port USB 3.1 Gen 1 hub, a headphone output, and an S/PDIF line out. When it comes to audio, the display has two 14 W speakers that were co-designed with Wave Maxx Audio.

Just like other large displays, the Alienware 55 comes with a remote control to adjust brightness, regulate audio and perform other operations.

Dell will start sales of the Alienware 55 display starting September 30 at $3,999.99.

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Source: Dell

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  • lilkwarrior - Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - link

    I have a 65inch LG OLED TV. I stream to it occasionally for living room PC gaming. I put it on my desk once before wall-mounting it in my living room; I think 65 inch is too big but not 55inch.

    This is also accounting that this monitor & my OLED TV are waaaaaaay thinner than my 34" Asus 1440p G-Sync Ultrawide monitor.

    I just think they made a spectacularly bad decision not having Dolby Vision HDR & HDMI 2.1 in a product that won't shake off being compared to LG C9 that has Dolby Vision & HDMI 2.1.

    I honestly would've been okay with them charging $5000 like the original BFGD that came out this year if it meant keeping those things intact,but they didn't and the monitor is effectively DOA for most who were looking forward to this monitor.
  • RSAUser - Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - link

    Sitting just over an arm's length away from a 40" display, seems fine to me. Depends on your workload, I don't like bezels and it allows me to arrange windows however I want.

    For gaming or something, I'd say it's more iffy, but won't diss it until I've tried it.
  • Aegrum - Monday, August 19, 2019 - link

    Man this ticks a lot of boxes, but only 400 Nits peak brightness? I don't get it. These are (probably) LG panels, why not match LG's 650-800 nits? 400 barely qualifies for HDR.
  • lilkwarrior - Monday, August 19, 2019 - link

    Hi, Aegrum: Nits != HDR for OLEDs; note a Dolby Vision HDR OLED > a HDR 1000 LCD everytim w/ only a few special exceptions in the $30,000+ reference monitor market (TBD Apple's FALD Pro Display).

    Note that VESA has a specific rating system for OLEDs unrelated to DisplayHDR 1000 & etc. It's called TrueBlack. It's on the homepage of now.

    Dell/Alienware should have at least conformed w/ the requirements of TrueBlack 400 (& Dolby Vision TBH). If they didn't… I think this monitor is DOA for most savvy enthusiasts this would've been for. They will get a C9 + a Displayport 1.4 to HDMI 2.1 adapter that was literally revealed (including this site) last month.
  • r3loaded - Monday, August 19, 2019 - link

    At 55 inches, this thing is more of a TV than a PC monitor that would sit on a reasonable desk. And at $4k, this is going to be DOA up against the LG OLED55C9 which is half the price, has HDMI 2.1, supports HDR10+Dolby Vision, and has the neat benefit of being a TV that's sleek and elegant than some l33t g4m3r alien crap. In fact, chances are they're using the exact same panel as the LG.
  • Lolimaster - Monday, August 19, 2019 - link

    Too big for a monitor, 27 1440p and 32-36 4k should be the target.
  • tokyojerry - Monday, August 19, 2019 - link

    I agree. I would be much more comfortable with something like this if in the 32"-36" range. In the past I had a 43" LG on my desktop and sold it because of size.
  • lilkwarrior - Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - link

    LG probably doesn't have OLED monitors at such sizes; they are only doing ~42" next year.

    That said, this monitor is fine at 55 inches for enthusiasts to take advantage of economies of scale at play. They just made spectacularly terrible jobs making most of the panel removing HDR & HDMI 2.1.

    The size is particularly not an issue w/ a VESA mount set-up that it supports.
  • Frenetic Pony - Monday, August 19, 2019 - link

    Brightness of 400 nits max, and no Freesync 2... then bloody use it ya wanks?

    $4k for this is just robbery, hoping people will look at the Alienware logo and no further as they open their wallet. As other have pointed out, the LG C9 is a far, faaaar better buy than this junk.
  • JDG1980 - Monday, August 19, 2019 - link

    I was sold until I saw the price tag. It's definitely better to have a monitor designed as a monitor than to repurpose a 4K TV, but not *that* much better.

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