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The best gaming monitors of CES 2023

CES 2023 is where we see the displays that will define the best gaming monitors for the next year, and this year was no different. Samsung, LG, Asus — everyone was out in full force with super high refresh rates, OLED, and more. Here are the best gaming monitors we’ve seen at CES 2023 so far.

Samsung Odyssey OLED 49

The Samsung Odyssey OLED 49 playing Fortnite.

Last year’s Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 is burned in the collective mind of the gaming community as the first and only 32:9 gaming monitor. Samsung took that design and ran with it. As a result, we have the Odyssey OLED 49. It’s basically the same as last years’ Odyssey Neo G9 — 32:9 aspect ratio, 49 inches, and with a 240Hz refresh rate. The critical change this time around is OLED.

It’s no secret that OLED provides the best image quality you can find on a monitor right now, but that’s not why the Odyssey OLED 49 is so impressive. The panel is remarkably thin, taking what used to be an unwieldly and cumbersome form factor and making it feel futuristic and manageable. It’s a showstopping gaming monitor, no question. But more importantly, it’s an excellent gaming monitor that you might actually be able to use on a day-to-day basis.

Asus ROG 27-inch OLED

The Asus ROG 27 OLED playing Warhammer Vermintide 2.

OLED was the name of the game for gaming monitors at CES 2023, but the Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM takes the crown. It’s a 1440p, 27-inch gaming monitor with OLED, and it tops out at 240Hz. Although cries for 4K and 32-inch options are rampant, the PG27AQDM really hits a sweet spot. The pixel density is perfect at 27 inches, the refresh rate is great for esports titles, and OLED completely changes the look of many games.

We played a bit of Warhammer: Vermintide 2 on the display, and it makes this five-year-old game look like it’s brand new. Similar to the Odyssey OLED 49, it’s a remarkably thin monitor, too. The bezels almost disappear while using it, and the thinness means it’s super easy to adjust. This is our initial foray into OLED monitor panels of traditional size, and it’s a great first step.

Alienware AW2524H 500Hz

Alienware AW2524H on desk.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is the Alienware AW2524H. It’s a 25-inch 1080p monitor, and honestly, it doesn’t look great. It looks like your bread-and-butter IPS panel that you’d find on any budget gaming monitor. This one stands out because of its 500Hz refresh rate, which is uncharted refresh rate territory for gaming monitors.

We’ve gotten close — the Alienware x17 R2 features a 480Hz display — but a dedicated 500Hz gaming monitor is a huge boost for competitive play. That’s because you’re getting a new image every 2 milliseconds, and that can make a difference for high levels of competitive gaming. Even the Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 with its 240Hz refresh rate tops out a little over 4ms each refresh.

This definitely isn’t the monitor for everyone, but it continues to push the refresh rate envelope forward. If you find yourself playing Overwatch 2, League of Legends, Rainbow Six Siege, Valorant, or any other highly competitive game, this is the monitor to buy if you want to compete at the highest level.

LG OLED Flex

Capping off the list is a monitor we’ve known about for a while: the LG OLED Flex. Is it a TV? Is it a monitor? Who cares? What’s important is that it’s a 45-inch OLED screen that has a motor built into the back. That allows you to curve the screen in with the touch of a button, all while experiencing the excellent picture quality OLED offers.

Our resident TV expert Caleb Denison has been talking about how great the OLED Flex is for months. Beyond the gimmick of being a flexible display, the OLED Flex has a lot of impressive tech. It packs in LG’s A9 picture processor, which you won’t find on a monitor, and it support variable refresh rate through Nvidia G-Sync and FreeSync. It’s a dream gaming monitor, but at $3,000, it’s a tough sell for a lot of folks.

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