OLED monitors have existed for a while now, but the popular 32” size with higher than 60 Hz refresh rates that many have been clamoring for still hasn’t been brought to market… until now. Finally, 2024 will see the introduction of not 1, but possibly 12 or more such monitors to attempt to steal away your hard earned money.
As we go over these upcoming models to see which one will be putting the hurt on your wallet, I’ll pay attention to 3 important characteristics that be make or break.
The 32 inch Size
The 32” size in the 16:9 aspect ratio is what many consider to be large enough to be immersive, but not too big like the 42 and 48 inch monitors and TVs. And it’s a great size for 3840×2160 resolution, as it’s getting toward the limit for 1440p to have decent pixel density. And actually, all these 32” monitors are actually 31.5” 3840×2160 screens, giving a PPI of 140.
Flat or Curved
The first make or break feature is whether the display is flat or curved. While curved screens are commonly found on ultra wide monitors, which does make sense, I feel that a 32” 16:9 display isn’t large or wide enough to need a curve. But of course, this is personal preference, so whether you like flat or curved is up to you.
Glossy vs Matte
The second characteristic you should keep in mind is whether the display has a matte or glossy finish. Ever since I started using this LG C1 48” OLED TV as a monitor, I’ve been hooked on the true blacks and deep colors that OLED can provide, so even though there are some annoying things about using this TV as a monitor, I can’t return to using a non-OLED monitor any more. And the glossy finish has a lot to do with that, because colors and the image quality is just so much better with a glossy screen.
So even though there have been 42” OLED monitors offered, such as the ASUS PG42UQ, that monitor has a semi-matte coating, resulting in dulled colors. Maybe you might prefer the less reflective surface, but in my opinion, you can easily control the light and environment where your monitor is set up to reduce glare, but you can’t control how good the image quality or how deep the colors are. So whether the monitor is glossy or matte is something to look out for.
The third important characteristic, surprisingly since we’re talking about monitors, is fan noise. Now unfortunately, I haven’t found a good, affordable OLED monitor that has swayed me away from my trusty TV just yet. And I actually did try out the Alienware 34” QD-OLED monitor, which some have given high ratings to, but after using it for a mere 15 minutes, I promptly packed it back into its box and returned it. The reason is because the monitor is LOUD… it has a fan, which supposedly keeps it cool to help avoid burn-in, which is probably why they can offer that 3-year warranty, but I simply can’t stand constant fan noise right up in your face, so I refuse to use any monitors with fans. I honestly don’t understand how anyone can put up with fans in monitors. So whether it has a fan or not is another key thing to watch for.
Besides these 3 key characteristics, I’ll also mention what, if any, features make a particular monitor unique, and call out some common ones too, like whether it has a KVM for using USB devices across multiple sources, and whether it has USB-C Power Delivery.
Alright, with that out of the way, let’s get to the 32” monitor lineup.
When it comes to these 32” 4K OLEDs, there are basically 2 types of display panels. The first, and more popular one, is the QD-OLED panel from Samsung, while the other type uses the W-OLED panel from LG. The latest generation of these panels have changed their sub-pixel layouts to improve text rendering for productivity and normal use outside of gaming, and they run at 4K resolution and 240Hz refresh rates.
The QD-OLED monitors have 0.03 ms pixel response times, and can reach 1000 nits of brightness with DisplayHDR True 400, while the W-OLED monitors have similar response times, but can reach 1300 nits of brightness, and have an interesting mode called DFR, that lets it switch between running at 4K 240Hz or 1080p 480Hz!
The QD-OLED panel happens to be glossy with a anti-reflective coating, which means it probably won’t pop as much as a full glossy OLED TV. But it still might be more colorful than the W-OLED panel, which has an anti-glare, matte surface. Since this is inherent to the panel and the same across all the monitors using it, I won’t mention the surface coating when going over the individual models.
Since the QD-OLED monitors are coming to market first, let’s cover them first before the W-OLED ones.
Dell Alienware AW3225QF
First up is the Dell Alienware AW3225QF. The main contention with this monitor that may be a dealbreaker for some is the curved 1700R screen. But if you’re fan of curved monitors, then this is only option announced so far in the 32” 4K line-up. And I haven’t found confirmation on whether actually has a fan like Dell’s 34” offerings, but if it does then it would be dead in the water for me.
For connectivity, it’s got 1 DisplayPort 1.4 port, 2 HDMI 2.1 ports, as well as a USB hub with 3 USB-A and 1 USB-C ports. It also has the same 3 year burn-in warranty that other Dell OLED monitors have and the price is $1200. This is also the first 32” OLED display to hit the market as it’s already available, so if you really want a curved monitor or can’t wait any longer to get one, the Dell Alienware AW3225QF may be your best bet.
Next up is the ASUS PG32UCDM, which is slated for a Q1 2024 release. The display is flat, and just like their other OLED monitors, it has a custom heatsink to allow for passive cooling without a fan.
For connectivity, it also has HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 with Display Stream Compression (DSC), and it’s USB ports do feature a Smart KVM switch with picture-in-picture to view two input sources simultaneously. This was a great feature on the 49” ultrawide that lets you have 2 computers and move your mouse between them seamlessly, but a 32” 16:9 screen probably won’t see as much benefit.
Finally there is a USB-C port with Power Delivery, which can charge connected devices. Overall, the ASUS PG32UCDM seems like a solid offering that is superior to Dell’s, but if history is any indication, the price will likely be higher too.
MSI MAG 321UPX, MPG 321URX, and MEG 321URX
MSI is entering this market with a bang, announcing not 1, not 2, but THREE different monitors with the same QD-OLED panel, the MAG 321UPX, MPG 321URX, and MEG 321URX. Not confusing at all, right? Well, they’re really just small variations, as they all have a flat screen along with a custom heatsink that allows for fanless cooling, which is great.
All 3 models have DisplayPort 1.4 and 2 HDMI 2.1 ports.
The MAG has the fewest extra features of the bunch, with just a 15 watt USB-C Power Delivery port. The MPG upgrades that to 90 watts of USB-C Power Delivery, along with a KVM switch and a couple USB 2.0 ports. Finally, the MEG tops it off, having not only the 90 watt Power Delivery and KVM, but also AI SkySight, a tool that uses AI to automatically detect an enemy’s on-screen position, along with the Spectrum Bar, a strip of light on the bottom of the monitor that can be used to show your health, for example. These sorts of features could be useful, or they could be gimmicks; we’ll have to wait and see.
The mid-tier MPG 321URX will be the first one available in February 2024 at a price of $1200. The lowest tier MAG model should be cheaper, and the higher tier MEG model more expensive, but exact pricing and dates haven’t been announced for them, though they are said to launch in Spring or sometime in Q2.
Samsung Odyssey OLED G8 G80SD
Despite being the panel maker, Samsung’s own QD-OLED offering, the Odyssey OLED G8 G80SD, doesn’t yet have a release date or price. Like the other non-Dell models, the G8 is a flat panel, but no word if there will be a fan or not.
Also similar to other monitors, there will be a DisplayPort 1.4 and two HDMI 2.1 ports, along with a USB hub. A unique feature for Samsung is the integration with other Samsung devices with feature like Multi Control, which lets you transfer images or text and even switch your mouse and keyboard between your monitor and your Samsung laptop, tablet, or phone. It’s also got Samsung’s SmartThings Hub, which I guess means you bake a pie in your Samsung oven from your monitor so you have something to celebrate with after beating all the noobs in… whatever games people play these days. I dunno, I’m spending all my time reading spec sheets; ain’t got no time for games.
Besides Samsing and the ones already mentioned, there are still two QD-OLED displays that are a bit special compared to the others.
Gigabyte Aorus FO32U2P
The first is the Gigabyte Aorus FO32U2P, and what’s special about it is that it has DisplayPort 2.1 with 80 Gbps bandwidth instead of just DisplayPort 1.4 like the other models. That means it’s much more future proof with next generation GPUs and will let you reach 240Hz at 4K resolution without Display Stream Compression. Other details about the monitor are still a bit scarce, like whether it has a fan.
Gigabyte’s trailer does indicate it includes a KVM switch, as well as a “tactical switch” that switches to a 24” size display with a single button press, useful for competitive FPS games. Unfortunately, no release date or pricing has been announced yet, but my guess is later in the year due to the DisplayPort 2.1 inclusion.
HP Omen Transcend 32
The second special QD-OLED monitor is the HP Omen Transcend 32, which also has DisplayPort 2.1 support, along with 2 HDMI 2.1 ports. There’s more details about this monitor that could make it better than the Gigabyte, including a KVM with independent port switching via software, USB-C 140 watt Power delivery, 2 more USB-C and 3 USB-A ports that can operate at 10 Gbps speeds, and audio tuned by HyperX (is that good?). And just like Dell, HP offers a 3 year burn-in warranty too. All of this combined could make the HP Omen Transcend 32 THE monitor to beat, if you’re willing to wait, that is, since pricing and availability have yet to be announced.
And unfortunately, there is a potential fatal flaw, and that is whether HP’s “Tempest” cooling system actually means it has a fan, and that name combined with the 3-year warranty, unfortunately, probably means it will. But here’s hoping I’m wrong!
Dough Spectrum Black ES07E3D & ES07E3F
The last QD OLED monitor I’ll just briefly mention is from Dough, formerly known as Eve. Since they are a bit controversial with ghosting customers after promises of refunds and ship dates, I won’t spend too much time on this nor recommend you buy from them, but thought it worth mentioning that they had previously announced two Spectrum Black monitors, the ES07E3D with a glossy, and perhaps even glass, screen and the ES07E3F with a matte screen. Given that, it’s likely the glossy version is the QD OLED panel, while the matte version could be the W-OLED panel. They don’t seem like they will be available until Q3 2024. Now, let’s move on to more reputable W-OLED options.
Asus ROG Swift OLED PG32UCDP
Despite it being LG’s panel, ASUS claims the first to market will be their PG32UCDP. Of course the headlining feature is the dual-mode display that can switch between 4K 240Hz or 1080p 480Hz. It’s also a flat display and not curved, which is great, but it does have an anti-glare surface, which means it’s matte and not glossy. Although it’s not explicitly stated, Asus usually includes a custom heatsink with it’s monitors, so it should be fanless too.
What’s interesting is that ASUS says it comes with “DisplayPort and HDMI 2.1”, which isn’t clear on whether that means it’s DisplayPort 2.1 or not, but it is possible given the release date in the second half of 2024. It’s also got 90 watts of USB-C Power Delivery, and a built-in KVM.
LG’s own offering with the dual-mode display panel is the LG 32GS95UE, and also claims to be the first to monitor with this tech. However, LG hasn’t announced a release date yet. It is a flat display, but I haven’t found mention of whether it has a fan or not.
The LG monitor’s unique point is a “Pixel Sound” speaker system that is actually hidden behind the screen, which saves space and seems kinda cool, but we’ll have to see how it performs.
QD-OLED vs W-OLED
So after looking at all these 32” 4K 240Hz OLED monitors, I think QD-OLED has a definite advantage in being first to market, and with a greater number of options. The dual-mode feature of W-OLED is cool, but probably only really useful for a small niche. Although all the QD-OLEDs have the anti-reflective glossy screen, so if you prefer matte, you’ll have to go W-OLED. On the other hand, if you prefer curved screens, then the Dell QD-OLED may be your only choice. Either way, it’s great that we finally have high refresh rate 32” 4K OLED monitors now.