You wait all that time, and two high refresh rate OLED monitor options come along at once! Towards the end of last year we were pleasantly surprised by the announcement of two desktop monitor sized OLED panels from LG.Display being developed. One in a typical 27″ 16:9 format, and the other in a large 45″ ultrawide 21:9 format. These new panels are using LG.Display’s existing WOLED technology that’s been around in the TV market for many years, but this time in a couple of sensible monitor sizes. Best of all, the new panels also offer for the first time in this space, a high refresh rate at 240Hz! We found out more recently as well that these new OLED monitor were using the latest generation of META / MLA technology, giving us even more cause to be excited about their arrival.
We had chance only last week to test and review the first 27″ model to market with the new OLED panel, in the form of the LG 27GR95QE. We now have with us one of the first of the 45″ offerings, Corsair’s Xeneon Flex 45WQHD240. This model has an ultrawide format, 21:9 aspect ratio and offers a 3440 x 1440 resolution along with the 240Hz refresh rate. Being OLED it offers all the usual benefits like near-instant response times (0.03ms G2G is quoted!) along with per-pixel dimming, true blacks and near-infinite contrast ratio for excellent HDR performance.
While LG and others also have their own monitors using this panel (LG UltraGear 45GR95QE and Acer Predator X45), uniquely the Corsair screen offers a bendable screen as well! This allows you to switch between flat format, or curved, anywhere up to 800R if you want. This provides a great deal of flexibility for working, videos and gaming and sets this version apart from the competition so far (which are otherwise fixed curved models).
A lot has already been made about these new OLED screens in pre-release discussion and early adopter feedback, so we plan to tackle all the key questions throughout this review – is the resolution high enough for the screen size? what is the text clarity like? How is the matte screen coating? Does the bendable format work well? Is the screen bright enough for SDR? What about HDR performance? Is it as fast as 360Hz LCD’s? Read on to find out and much more!
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Corsair have a nice short video available below which gives a good overview of the product and specs:
- 45″ (44.75″ exact) ultrawide panel with 21:9 aspect ratio
- OLED panel technology (LG.Display WOLED – LW450CWQ-ARG1)
- Bendable format from flat to 800R maximum curvature
- 3440 x 1440 resolution
- 240Hz refresh rate
- Adaptive-sync VRR including NVIDIA ‘G-sync Compatible’ and AMD ‘FreeSync Premium’ certifications
- 0.03ms G2G response time spec
- 1.5 million:1 contrast ratio
- Wide colour gamut with 98.5% DCI-P3 coverage
- 450 cd/m2 brightness (SDR – 25% APL) and 1000 cd/m2 peak brightness (HDR – 3% APL)
- Per pixel dimming for excellent HDR capabilities
- Matte anti-glare screen coating
- 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.1 and 1x USB type-C (with DP Alt mode and 30W power delivery) connections
- Tilt-only stand adjustment
Design and Features
The 45WQHD240 comes in an all black finish with a 4 side “borderless” design with thin plastic edges, but an additional black panel border around all sides. The total border is ~10.5mm along the sides and top, and ~12mm along the bottom edge. The stand is built in to the screen with only the foot needing attachment when you unpack everything and set it up.
You can see a black metal handle on the bottom edge of the screen here too which is used to help change the tilt adjustment. Tilt offers a good range of adjustment but is very stiff to operate. There’s no height or swivel adjustments available here due to the screen size and bendable format, but we miss those a bit.
The chunky stand section has all the connections built in to it so cannot be removed, and so VESA mounting is not supported on this screen. You can see some etched patterns on the back of the stand and then all the connections are stacked vertically, but face outwards for easy connection. You can also see here the support arms and mechanism for the bending feature, with retractable handles on either side of the screen. More on that in a moment.
With the fairly chunky stand, built in bending mechanism and deep screen foot, the panel doesn’t look any thinner than typical large LCD screens really, so you don’t have that same “look how thin this OLED panel is” aesthetics like you get on some displays. The stand is quite deep at the base so make sure you have a deep enough desk to accommodate it.
There is a very good range of modern connectivity options built in to the stand. On the front are a couple of USB data ports and an audio output. There is also an input selection button, power on/off button and a square-shaped OSD controller stick. Being tucked back on the bottom of the stand it was sometimes a little tricky to find and use, but worked pretty well. The back of the screen has all the video connections shown above and some more USB data ports too.
The OSD is controlled through the square single joystick button on the front of the stand. This is pretty quick and intuitive to use and the menu offers a reasonable range of options too. No real issues here, other than perhaps the software looks a bit limited and basic in design for a modern gaming screen.
The handles on the sides of the screen that allow you to use the bending mechanism push in and out easily, with a release button on each so they stay locked in place when not needed and out of the way.
Bending the screen at first feels very counter-intuitive and you worry whether you’ve done everything right, or whether you might snap something! Actually the mechanism is pretty easy to use and you can’t really go wrong, but it is stiff to operate. You have to use a fair amount of pressure to bend it in to a curve, or push backwards to make it flat again. When doing so, the heavy base and stand does at least remain stable on your desk, you shouldn’t end up moving the whole thing around much. The tilt angle also stays pretty stable as that’s actually a very stiff adjustment from the stand, but that’s probably for the best when you want to bend the panel back and forth.
Corsair say that the OLED panel itself has an almost limitless bending life cycle, and the mechanical bending mechanism structure is targeted to between 10k – 15k life cycles. Even if you were a heavy user and decided you wanted to use that 5 times a day, every day of the year, this means it would last 5.5 years (10k cycles). In reality, it should last a very long time for any normal user.
We liked the flexibility (no pun intended) that this affords you during use, allowing you to switch quite easily between flat mode and curved mode. If you want flat mode to do office work or to avoid straight line distortion for instance you can use the screen like that. If you want a more wrap-around feel for something like racing sim gaming, you can bend it to the curve you like. It’s a really unique and innovative feature and on a screen this size and aspect ratio, we really liked it. No longer do you have to settle for either a fixed flat or fixed curve screen, you can have the best of both. Good work Corsair!
The Xeneon Flex comes with a couple of burn-in protection measures plus a 3 year warranty which includes cover for burn-in and dead pixels. To help mitigate image retention and burn-in, two features are provided on the screen.
The first is Corsair’s “Orbit” option, available in the OSD to turn on or off. This is like a screen shift option you will see on most OLED screens and while activated, the image shifts 1 pixel per minute, in a clockwise, circular pattern. Personally I find these screen shift functions a bit annoying in normal desktop use, although hard to spot during gaming or multimedia – where they are of less value anyway ironically. To be safe, it’s probably wise to leave this turned on, although a shift per minute, even if minor, could become pretty annoying.
There is also an ‘Image Retention Refresh’ cycle that you can trigger manually via the OSD, or will run automatically after 8 hours of use next time the screen is powered off.
Thankfully there doesn’t seem to be any ASBL (Automatic Static Brightness Limiter) at all on this screen, a feature on OLED TV’s which dims the screens content when it detects static images. This can be pretty aggressive and frequent on many OLED TV’s (like the popular 42″ LG 42C2), and one of the main problems when trying to use those for desktop and static use. Having the screen dim and brighten all the time can be really annoying, so it’s good to see that’s not featured here. This should not be confused with ABL (Auto Brightness Limiter) though which is related to how the OLED panel handles the screens brightness of different images. We will talk about that more in a moment. For more info on ASBL, ABL and all these other OLED dimming terms and names, see our article here.
|Panel Manufacturer||LG.Display||Backlighting Type||n/a (OLED panel)|
|Panel Technology||WOLED||Colour space||Wide gamut|
|Panel Part||LW450CWQ-ARG1||sRGB coverage||100% (99.8% measured)|
|Screen Coating||Anti-glare (AG) matte||DCI-P3||98.5% (98.0% measured)|
|Colour Palette||1.07b||Adobe RGB coverage||96.3% (96.7% measured)|
|Colour depth||10-bit||Flicker free verified|
Anti-glare screen coating
The 45WQHD240 features a more traditional monitor-like matte anti-glare coating, as opposed to a glossy panel coating like you’d find on popular OLED TV’s, like for instance the LG 42C2. This seems to be the panel coating of choice for OLED screens aimed at desktop use, and it makes sense when you think about the typical use cases for desktop monitors compared with TV’s, and the fact that this type of panel coating has been used for many years in the LCD market.
The coating here is the same as that used on the 27″ LG 27GR95QE, perhaps unsurprisingly given the two new OLED panels are both from LG.Display and produced in the same generation. We will repeat some of our observations from that review below, equally relevant to this screen. Forgive us for saying some of the same things here, if you read that review in depth.
This coating does a very good job of reducing reflections and handling external light sources like windows and lamps and we noticed much better reflection handling (no surprise) than glossy panels like the LG C2. Like normal matte coated monitors, there were very minimal reflections of lamps, windows and lights at all, and this made the screen very comfortable to use in office environments and in daytime usage. In our opinion this is far more suitable for a desktop monitor than a glossy panel coating. There aren’t any monitors with this new 45″ OLED panel announced yet with a glossy screen coating.
Image clarity and graininess
The AG coating LG.Display have used here on their 45″ OLED panel is is more grainy than modern LCD panels, including LG.Display’s own IPS panels oddly. Comparing the Corsair 45WQHD240 (and 27″ option, LG 27GR95QE) side by side with the LG 38GL950G (LG.Display Nano-IPS panel) you can see that the LCD looks smoother and clearer, whereas the coating on the OLED displays looks more grainy and a bit dirty. We also compared it next to a modern AU Optronics IPS-type panel and found the same thing. It’s most noticeable on plain white backgrounds, which are of course common for office work and where you are most likely to spot it.
For some reason LG have opted to use a grainer than normal AG coating here. Perhaps this was a measure to further control reflections and diffuse ambient light, and it does do a slightly better job than those LCD panels in that area. But we think most people would have preferred the slightly more modest AG coating akin to modern IPS panels to be honest. This feels a bit of a step back in the world of AG coatings, like going back to the older gen IPS AG coating days. In practice you do quickly get used to it, and to be honest we didn’t see many issues with it day to day, it’s not horrible or anything and it’s not super-obvious unless you compare screens side by side. But if you’re sensitive to coating levels, or you’re coming from another modern panel, you may notice it, if only perhaps at first.
We will talk about text rendering and image clarity a bit more later on in the office and general use section of the review too, where we will talk about the sub-pixel structure.
Coating impact on contrast and black depth
A matte screen coating can have an impact when it comes to black depth, contrast ratio and HDR experience but this depends on your lighting and room conditions. In some ambient light conditions the blacks may not look as deep or inky visually to the user as they would on a glossy display. With this being an OLED panel, famous for its true blacks and amazing contrast ratio this could be considered a problem – are you “wasting” that by having an AG coating that reduces your perceived contrast?
In certain brighter room conditions blacks look a little more dark grey as the anti-reflective coating reflects some of the surrounding light back at you and it “dulls” the contrast a bit. You don’t get this same effect if the coating is fully glossy as there’s no AG layer, but what you do get instead is more reflections. Don’t forget this same thing applies to all AG coated desktop LCD monitors, you have the same impact on perceived black depth and contrast on IPS, TN Film and VA panels depending on your lighting conditions if there’s an AG coating used. You’re still getting better relative blacks and contrast on this OLED (not to mention other benefits) compared with LCD technologies. They are all impacted in the same way by their coatings. Likewise a glossy panel coating on an LCD desktop monitor can help blacks “pop” and look deeper, in the right lighting conditions.
We should say that the impact on the contrast and black depth on this screen was less pronounced than on the Dell Alienware AW3423DW (34″ ultrawide QD-OLED screen) which is often criticised for this problem, perhaps unfairly in some cases. On the Dell though in moderately to well-lit rooms you do experience an impact on contrast and black depth, with blacks starting to look more grey. You can see a side by side comparison courtesy of Monitors Unboxed above in a studio lit room where the black of the 27″ LG OLED monitor looks deeper and darker than the Dell QD-OLED. This gets more pronounced as the ambient lighting conditions get brighter. This reduction in brighter rooms may be down to the alternative semi-glossy AR coating Dell have used, or perhaps related more to the QD-OLED panel, but the key thing is that the impact is less noticeable here on the LG.
Anyway, back to the coating of this Corsair screen specifically. This impact to the black depth and contrast really varies depending on your ambient lighting. If you were using the screen in a darker room and were careful about the positioning of your light sources, then blacks look very good and as you would hope for from an OLED screen. Just because it’s got an AG coating doesn’t mean it can’t still offer those benefits, it certainly can. In a dark room like you may have for gaming or movies, blacks and contrast look excellent and comparable to a glossy OLED anyway – something we’ve tested extensively side by side. The only visual difference might then be caused by the graininess of the AG coating when using the screen up close which doesn’t look as sharp and crisp as a glossy coating. Black depth and contrast ratio though will look basically the same.
In daytime viewing or with light sources in certain places though the blacks do get impacted a bit and you lose some of that perceived contrast. Some people might assume that the screen is flawed or that this ruins the experience. But we should think about the full context here and the alternative for a moment…
Is matte or glossy better for OLED monitors?
OLED screens have never been ideal for brighter room conditions anyway, they excel in darker rooms and at night especially for HDR content. The alternative to using this AG coating featured on the 45WQHD240 would be to use a glossy coating. In theory this would help retain that true black appearance and avoid the dulling of the contrast caused by the AG element, but if we consider that this only really impacts the 45WQHD240 in lighter room conditions that means that had it been fully glossy, we would have instead had to contend with far more reflections. Reflections can equally impact black depth and contrast, something you will notice if you’ve ever tried to watch an OLED in a bright room or on a sunny day.
We’d argue that reflections on glossy panel are likely to be far more problematic to most people than a small impact to the contrast ratio from an AG coating for what is at the end of the day specifically designed to be a desktop monitor. Remember, this isn’t designed to be a TV, it’s not designed to be used in a dark lounge with carefully controlled lighting for relaxing night time viewing. It’s designed to be used as your desktop monitor, throughout the day, in a normal lighting setup where you have windows, overhead lighting and lamps around.
There are bound to be some users who still prefer a glossy panel all the time, and perhaps you can control your lighting environment in other ways to reduce the impact and annoyance of reflections on a glossy screen. But we think for the majority of people who are looking for a desktop monitor, they will gain more from the screen having an AG coating than they would lose. You’re still getting better black and contrast performance than LCD panel technologies, and if you are really wanting to maximise the appearance of those you can always play games or watch movies in a darker room which then improves the contrast ratio again, and generally makes OLED better anyway. If you think about typical desktop monitor usage, office work and SDR content you’re not really going to notice any problems with the black depth or contrast ratio in daytime usage anyway.
We didn’t feel this was an issue to be honest when you consider likely usage scenarios and what the alternative would have been. I know some people will feel differently, and everyone has their preferences and taste, but having used several OLED screens with both matte and glossy panels over the last year or so, on balance for a desktop monitor we prefer the AG coating and we think this was the appropriate choice for the majority of users. Most importantly we think this helps drastically reduce reflections that would be problematic to many people on a screen designed for desktop usage. If you want to make the most of HDR content, viewing in a darker room is advised and preferable, but that’s the same for any OLED really. And if you are using it in a dark room, you get just the same contrast and black depth anyway as a glossy coated screen.
Further comparisons, commentary and information about the screen coating debate in our 42″ OLED shoot-out video time-stamped here
Brightness and Contrast
This section tests the full range of luminance (the brightness of the screen) possible, while changing the monitor’s brightness setting in the OSD menu. This allows us to measure the maximum and minimum adjustment ranges, as well as identify the recommended setting to reach a target of 120 cd/m2 for comfortable day to day use in normal lighting conditions. Some users have specific requirements for a very bright display, while others like a much darker display for night time viewing or in low ambient light conditions. At each brightness level we also measure the contrast ratio produced by the screen when comparing a small white sample vs. a black sample (not unrealistic full screen white vs. full screen black tests). The contrast ratio should remain stable across the adjustment range so we also check that.
Tests were made using an X-rite i1 Display Pro Plus colorimeter paired with the Calman Ultimate software for very high levels of accuracy. Measurements were taken on a 10% APL patch in the centre of the screen, and after ensuring that a ~6500K white point was achieved. This avoids measuring luminance for modes which may be artificially cool in order to increase brightness for instance.
The 45WQHD240 features a ‘Brightness Stabilizer’ mode which we will test in a moment. For now we left that turned OFF
In SDR mode the luminance range of the screen was very good, being able to reach up to ~394 cd/m2 although that was quite a bit lower than the specified 450 cd/m2 from the manufacturer. The brightness adjustment controls a linear relationship for luminance output, and at the lowest setting we reached a reasonably dark ~84 cd/m2. The only drawback with this mode is that the OLED ABL (Automatic Brightness Limiter) is active and noticeable, which we will measure in a moment.
Obviously one of the key benefits of this OLED panel is the fact it can generate true blacks. Each pixel can be fully turned off individually, resulting in basically an infinite contrast ratio. There’s no need for backlight local dimming here like there is on LCD’s and the black depth and contrast ratio surpass all LCD panel technologies including VA panels by a long way. Blacks look inky and deep, and you get local contrast between different areas of an image. Your ambient lighting may have some impact on perceived contrast ratio, as applies to all panel technologies and coating types which we will discuss more later later.
‘Brightness Stabilizer’ mode was now turned on
There is also a ‘Brightness Stabilizer’ mode offered on this screen which is designed to offer a consistent screen brightness and avoid the activity of the OLED ABL feature. We will explain that more in a moment and measure this setting’s impact on ABL.
For now, with the ‘Brightness Stabilizer’ enabled we can see that the screens brightness range is far more limited. At the top end it can only reach a max brightness of ~139 cd/m2, although now at the lowest setting it can reach down to a darker ~34 cd/m2. The user manual suggests that this should reach 150 cd/m2, but we found it to be a little lower in our measurements. We will talk about this a bit more when we examine ABL behaviour below.
Auto Brightness Limiter (ABL)
This term has become a little mixed up in the OLED market and sometimes associated with two different things. The correct usage for this term is related to how OLED panels operate from a technical and physics point of view, the other incorrect usage is where it has become associated with the ASBL (Auto Static Brightness Limiter) image protection feature common on OLED screens. We’ve talked about what an “ASBL” function on an OLED display would do above, which dims the brightness of the screen when it detects static images. ASBL isn’t featured on this screen anyway, but this is often what people think ABL means, but it’s not.
OLED panels all have an inherent limitation with the panel itself. The power consumption of these panels is highly dependent upon the content displayed. With a pure white image, every pixel must be lit, while with a pure black image every pixel is off. As the display has a maximum power usage, this opens up the capability for OLED displays to allocate more power per pixel to create a higher maximum luminance when not displaying a full-white image. This is different to LCD panels where a separate backlight unit sits behind the panel and can produce the same max luminance level regardless of the screen content, and how much of it is white in this example. On the OLED screen the percentage of the display that is lit up compared with a full white display is known as the Average Picture level (APL). You will see then on OLED panels that with a low APL (like a small 1% window size of white) the maximum peak brightness is achievable. This peak brightness reduces normally as the window size increases, as this is where the Auto Brightness Limiter (ABL) feature comes in. This ABL dims the screen if the APL is too high and the brightness level can no longer be sustained. If you try and display a bright area over a certain window size you will find that the screen is dimmer than if that window size was smaller.
The point at which this ABL feature kicks in based on the size of the APL will vary on different OLED panels. We will measure that later on in the HDR section for the absolute max peak brightness levels, but it’s also important to understand if this will have an impact during normal desktop SDR usage as well even when you’re not pushing the highest brightness levels. What you’re really looking for here is the screen to be able to sustain your SDR brightness level at all APL, so that when you’re using the screen for SDR content, including desktop use, it never needs to dim because of the ABL. For SDR and desktop use this should be at least 120 nits (a common and comfortable desktop brightness level), but you may want it to be higher if you like to run at 150 nits or 200 nits perhaps.
We calibrated the screen to different common brightness levels of 120, 150 and 200 nits (with a 10% APL) and then measured how bright the screen was as the APL changes. This will show at what point the ABL kicks in and whether it’s a problem during SDR and desktop usage.
Brightness Stabilizer OFF
As you can see, the ABL does kick in at all brightness settings once the APL gets above 25%. The fact ABL is present is why the screen can still reach a nice and bright ~394 cd/m2 if you want, but what this does mean is that you will experience variations in panel brightness as the content on your screen changes, and as you resize windows and move things around. Even at a calibrated 120 cd/m2 level, the ABL is active for larger APL, which dims the screen a bit, probably unnecessarily in fact. You can see that at max brightness setting a 100% APL (full white screen) can reach 130 cd/m2. So if you’ve configured your setting to reach 120 cd/m2, why can’t that be sustained for all APL comfortably? This is a bit of a shame.
Brightness Stabilizer ON
With the ‘Brightness Stabilizer’ mode turned ON, you can see that the screen’s brightness remains consistent across all window sizes and APL’s, with very little fluctuation in the luminance. This was as expected from a feature like this, and it’s useful to help remove the presence of ABL for desktop and general uses. The problem with this mode though is that the brightness is severely limited and may be inadequate for many users. You can achieve a common 120 cd/m2 comfortably enough, which might be suitable for some. But that is only at a brightness setting of 80%. Even if you push the brightness setting up to a maximum 100%, the luminance only reaches 143 cd/m2 maximum which might be too low for a lot of people. We would have liked to have seen the display capable of sustaining 150 cd/m2 (it’s close to that to be fair) and 200 cd/m2 levels in ‘Brightness Stabilizer’ mode, which are common alternative brightness settings for many people. The recently reviewed LG 27GR95QE (a 27″ 240Hz OLED panel) could achieve that pretty much in desktop use without any ABL, but on the Corsair screen here it’s more limited. We expect the Brightness Stabilizer mode to be useful to many people to avoid annoying ABL fluctuations, but you’d have to live with a brightness of <144 cd/m2.
Like most OLED screens there is a minor fluctuation of the backlight, and in this case it operates in sync with the refresh rate, whatever you have that set at. Above it’s operating at 240Hz so there’s a small fluctuation every 4.17ms. You can see on the graph above that the 0V would be an “off” state, so the amplitude of this fluctuation is minor, and does not produce any visible flickering or anything like that in practice. It’s not the same as PWM on an LCD monitor where the backlight is rapidly switched fully off and on when trying to dim the brightness level. Obviously being an OLED panel there is no backlight here anyway, and this minor fluctuation didn’t cause us any problems in real use and would be considered flicker free.
The screen comes out of the box in the ‘Standard’ preset mode and at a 75% brightness level. The ‘Brightness Stabilizer’ feature is turned off by default, so we will test without that here.
Default setup was actually on the whole very good, even though this mode doesn’t specifically carry a factory calibration. That’s available for the sRGB mode which we will test in a moment. Gamma showed some deviation in the darkest grey shades, being too high. This results in compressing and crushing of dark grey shades, losing shadow detail. In fact running various shadow detail test patterns revealed poor shadow detail, even on this black level test, only box 6 started to become just visible against the black background. There aren’t any settings like “black stabilizer” that you’d find on some screens, so there’s no easy way to correct or improve this from the OSD menu unfortunately. We tried all the different preset modes (except sRGB mode), contrast, gamma and colour temp settings and we could not improve this shadow detail. You would need a calibration device to be able to correct the gamma fully, and improve shadow detail in the standard wide gamut mode, but after our calibration (below) we had much better performance in this area.
Colour temp across the greyscale was very good in the default ‘standard’ colour temp mode, at 6471K average (~0% deviance from our 6500K target), and the white point was only slightly too warm at 6321K (3% deviance). This resulted in a very good greyscale accuracy with dE 1.1 average measured. Brightness in this mode reached 316.8 cd/m2 and thanks to the OLED panel’s true blacks, we had a basically infinite contrast ratio.
From the CIE diagrams on the left hand side we can see that the screens native colour gamut extends quite a long way beyond the common sRGB reference space, with 127.4% relative coverage measured. There is over-saturation in red and green shades, and as normal with any wide gamut screen this leads to some moderate to high errors in sRGB colour accuracy. We measured a 3.6 dE average for sRGB colours.
In the bottom section you can see that there is good absolute coverage of DCI-P3 colours (98%) with only minor over-coverage (101.5% relative). The Adobe RGB colour space, often used in professional and photography uses, is well covered as well at 96.7%, although there is some fairly high over-coverage in red shades resulting in a 109.2% relative coverage. The accuracy of Adobe RGB colours was good though with dE 2.0 average. The red shade was the most problematic due to that over-coverage, with dE 7.6. The screen does not have any built in Adobe RGB emulation options to restrict the colour space or match it more closely, but if you have a calibration device and can profile the screen properly, you should be able to work with Adobe RGB content quite well if you needed to.
sRGB Emulation Mode (Factory Calibration)
The sRGB mode comes factory calibrated, and there’s a report provided in the box for your individual unit. Oddly (and incorrectly it seems) this report suggests that the screen has been calibrated to an 8500K colour temp, and then also lists an error margin of +/- 500K. That feels like a pretty broad error margin to us! And why 8500K as a target?! Colour accuracy and gamma have also been calibrated according to the report.
Measuring this mode revealed a fairly varied gamma curve, being a little too low in darker shades, but going too high in mid to light grey shades. This washes out some bright grey details, but in this sRGB mode the darker grey shades were now much better than the standard mode, now gamma was more accurate. We had better shadow detail and could make out all the black and grey shades in this black level test now in this preset mode. This was the only preset mode which seemed to fix this near black shadow detail.
Despite the calibration report suggesting that the screen had been calibrated to an 8471K colour temp, we didn’t measure that here at all! In fact the average greyscale temp was warmer than our target, not cooler, at 6183K, and white point was at 6103K. A little too warm but not too bad, and certainly preferable to an overly cool ~8500K white point! We believe this difference is because this sRGB mode defaults to the ‘custom’ colour temp mode (and is locked), but it is probably the ‘default’ colour temp mode that reaches near the reported 8500K target. That ‘default’ mode is available in other presets, just not the sRGB mode, and we measured 8258K while in another preset mode. It looks to us like a mix up between what’s on the calibration report, and what’s been set on the monitor. For what it’s worth, we are very pleased to see it set at the colour temp it is, instead of something too cool like ‘default’ mode. Ideally we’d like access to change the colour temp and RGB channels in this mode though anyway, but that’s locked.
We had a pretty good greyscale accuracy overall with dE 2.2 average, although lighter grey shades showed some higher errors up to 3.5 due to the high gamma and warmer colour temp.
Clamping of the smaller sRGB colour space was pretty good here and we measured a 96.1% absolute coverage, 97.1% relative. The clamping had gone slightly too far in blue shades, but not by anything that would cause any issue in real use. We still had access to the brightness control in this mode thankfully, which is something some manufacturers lock in these sRGB modes. So you can customise the screen brightness to your liking easily enough. All other settings were locked though, so there was no easy way to correct the white point any further without a calibration device. We had very good colour accuracy of sRGB colours though now in this mode, thanks to the clamping to the smaller colour space, reaching dE 1.6 average.
We calibrated the screen at a software level using Portrait Display’s Calman Ultimate software and our calibration tools.
Calibration and profiling can produce very good results if you have a suitable calibration device and software. This was profiled to 2.2 gamma, 6500k colour temp and to the sRGB colour space. The screen was left in its native wide gamut mode, but this profile will be used in colour-aware applications (e.g. Photoshop) to map back to sRGB in this instance. We had managed to correct the dark grey gamma here nicely, which improved shadow detail significantly in practice. This was a solid result overall. Note that there is no hardware calibration support on this monitor, which was something featured on the recently reviewed 27″ LG 27GR95QE OLED monitor.
You can see the recommended OSD settings above that go along with this profile. Our calibrated ICC profile for this display is available now for our Patreon supporters and will be added to our main database in the coming months.
Office and General Use
Size, curve and resolution
One major area of consideration for this screen is the large screen size and relatively low resolution the panel offers. The screen has a 44.75″ ultrawide format with a 21:9 aspect ratio, which in itself is a large format to consider for a desktop monitor. You definitely need a big desk and plenty of space to accommodate the large display and pretty chunky stand. When being used in its flat format, the large size is less comfortable than when you add a curve, but the ability to control the level of that curve through the bendable panel is really useful. We expect for many people you will want to have a curve when using this large screen, but how subtle or aggressive that curve is will be down to you. The option to also switch to a flat mode for spreadsheets and other work that may require straight lines is also very good.
Now the elephant in the room, the screen resolution. At 3440 x 1440 this is only the same resolution you would get from a typical ultrawide monitor that is only 34″ in size. So you’re stretching that same resolution here across a panel that is an extra 10.75″ diagonally. This results in a much larger text and font size, and a larger pixel pitch of 0.3048mm, or a pixel density of only 83.33 PPI. Putting this in to context, this is similar in text size to a 27″ 1080p display. So it’s a text size that’s certainly been seen before, but also one that is often criticised for being too large, and not sharp enough. We did find the resolution a bit too low for general and office work to be honest, but then we’re used to using many different screens, with 27″ 1440p / 34″ 1440p being a typical pixel density we’re used to. If you’re coming from a higher pixel density screen then you will notice the larger text size and less sharp and crisp image for sure. If you’re coming from a lower pixel density monitor like perhaps a 27″ 1080p screen then it will be less of a change, and you will probably just enjoy the bump in desktop space going from 1920 x 1080 to 3440 x 1440. To be honest, we found the resolution to be not ideal for these kind of uses though but it’s ok and comfortable when it comes to gaming and multimedia, especially when you sit a bit further away from the screen though.
From a desktop real estate point of view you still get a decent amount of space to work with for split screen working and large documents. But with the screen being so large, sometimes it feels like there should be much more space available, and it feels almost like you’ve accidentally set a lower resolution or something and are losing some space. Keep in mind we’ve also seen the other extreme recently which was a 40″ Dell U4021QW ultrawide panel (so 4.75″ smaller than this) with a 5120 x 2160 resolution which gives you a much larger screen area to work with, as well as a sharper and clearer image.
Brightness for office use
The contrast ratio is obviously a strong point of the OLED panel, offering a basically infinite contrast, true blacks, and easily surpassing all LCD technologies including modern VA panels and latest-generation IPS Black panels. The brightness adjustment range was decent and wide for most typical desktop/office uses, as long as you’re willing to live with some ABL dimming and brightness changes. In normal mode, with ‘Brightness Stabilizer’ turned off, we had an 84 – 394 cd/m2 range which was very good, but the dimming caused by ABL when you resize windows or change content could be annoying in these kind of uses.
Corsair do thankfully provide a useful ‘Brightness Stabilizer’ mode which removes the need for ABL to be used at all which is great, but does however limit your brightness quite substantially. We only achieved 34 – 139 cd/m2 in this mode. This could be ok for those who use a common 120 cd/m2 brightness or tend to have a darker room, but it’s limiting for those who want something brighter. Above 150 and around 200 cd/m2 are also common brightness levels, even for office work, and so the inability to reach these levels while at the same time removing ABL was a disappointment. When it comes to gaming and multimedia, you’d almost certainly want to turn Brightness Stabilizer off and that affords you a decent brightness range. In dynamic content like that, you’re far less likely to experience issues visually with the ABL or dimming too.
Text Clarity and Sub-pixel structure
One other likely common topic of conversation is the text clarity. In addition to the large font size which already doesn’t look as sharp and clear as higher pixel density panels, text doesn’t look at sharp as normal LCD desktop monitors (of a similar pixel density) and you can see some fringing in certain situations, with strange coloured text edges and generally just a less sharp appearance to the image.
The reason for this is that the screen has an atypical sub-pixel structure from its OLED panel, which the Windows operating system struggles with a little. We should note that this isn’t an issue for Mac users, which is capable of handling “weird” sub-pixel structures much better. This screen is using an LG.Display WOLED panel, often and widely referred to (incorrectly we might add) as having a “WRGB” or sometimes “RGBW” sub-pixel layout. Rather than a normal RGB sub-pixel layout like Windows expects to see from an LCD monitor, there is an additional White (hence the “W”) sub-pixel added. This is used to help control and improve brightness on LG.Display’s OLED panels but the theory goes that it’s this additional white sub-pixel which messes up the text rendering a bit. Actually it’s a little worse than that, as even if we removed the white sub-pixel from the equation, the sub-pixel structure being used here is not in the expected RGB order.
We’ve seen the pixel layout referred to as so many different things online, so to set the record straight, the correct layout of the sub-pixels is RWBG (red-white-blue-green). You can see this in the macro photo we took with a digital microscope above, taking an image of a 1 pixel wide red, green, blue and white dot stacked on top of each other, used to reveal the sub-pixel order (since it’s not possible for all four to be lit up at once). So it’s not only the added white pixel that’s causing the text clarity issues, it’s the odd layout! We also picked out a somewhat unusual issue with rendering green shades, where rather than just the green sub-pixel being lit, the red and white sub-pixels also seems to come on a bit. But how bad is the text because of this weird layout?
This structure has been used for many years on all LG’s OLED TV’s, and in fact on nearly all the OLED TV’s on the market since LG supply the panels to other manufacturers like Sony, Philips and so on. With the pixel density and text size being very similar to the 42″ OLED panels (at 4K) already available for several years and used as desktop monitors by many, the text clarity is basically the same as that. It’s no worse than those OLED panels and many people have been very happy with those for a long time. There is a bit of fringing to the text, and sometimes you get some odd edges in spreadsheets and with borders. Sometimes it even looks like things are slightly mis-aligned between different colours icons or graphics because of the odd layout. But to be honest, we didn’t find it too bad most of the time. You can notice the difference when switching between an LCD and this screen, but you get used to it fairly quickly.
It does mean the screen isn’t as well suited to productivity or high-detail design work, and some people may of course be more sensitive to the sharpness drop than others. But day to day it’s still adequate and generally fine in our opinion for moderate office and internet use when you need to, alongside the main target use cases of gaming and multimedia. This text fringing is certainly not terrible, and we should also keep in mind that the screen is primarily aimed at gaming and multimedia, where you shouldn’t notice issues related to this sub-pixel layout there hardly at all. But the combination of a low pixel density and resolution, the AG coating, and the atypical sub-pixel structure does mean the screen doesn’t feel particularly sharp or crisp for office or productivity work.
Anti-glare coating for office use
The matte anti-glare (AG) coating that LG.Display have opted for is going to be controversial for sure, as the topic it was when we reviewed the Asus PG42UQ and other matte coated OLED screens. Whether or not it’s a good thing might also depend on your other uses somewhat. For this ‘office and general use’ section of the review we definitely preferred this AG coating over a glossy coating like that found on something like the LG 42C2. It does a really good job of eliminating reflections that you’d get from glossy coatings and diffuses light sources nicely. It looks and feels a lot more like a normal desktop monitor to use, and we think this is a good thing for the majority of people for office and general uses. These kind of environments are unlikely to be light controlled and you wouldn’t want to be working in a dark room for office work. You’ll have various lights and windows to worry about and we felt that the AG coating was a good thing for these uses.
We will repeat some of what we said earlier for those who might have skipped to this section. The only issue really with the AG coating LG have used here is that it is more grainy than modern LCD panels, including LG.Display’s own IPS panels. We talked about it earlier in the review too, but when comparing the 45WQHD240 side by side with the LG 38GL950G (LG.Display Nano-IPS panel) you can see that the LCD looks smoother and clearer, whereas the coating on the OLED looks more grainy and a bit dirty. We also compared it next to a modern AU Optronics IPS-type panel and found the same thing. It’s most noticeable on plain white backgrounds, which are of course common for office work. For some reason LG have opted to use a grainer than normal AG coating here.
Perhaps this was a measure to further control reflections and diffuse ambient light, and it does do a slightly better job than those LCD panels in that area. But we think most people would have preferred the slightly more modest AG coating akin to modern IPS panels to be honest. This feels a bit of a step back in the world of AG coatings, like going back to older gen IPS AG coating days. In practice you do quickly get used to it, and to be honest we didn’t see many issues with it day to day, it’s not horrible or anything and it’s not super-obvious unless you compare screens side by side. But if you’re sensitive to coating levels, or you’re coming from another modern panel, you may notice it at least at first.
Spectral Output and Blue Light
The spectral distribution at a calibrated 6500K is shown above, with the blue peak measured at 456 nm wavelength. This means that although not currently listed on their website as a specific display, it should be considered part of the Eyesafe certified range of products. This is because it has a blue peak that is outside of the supposed harmful range according to Eyesafe which is 415 – 455nm, which is good news. There is no blue light filter control on this screen, but there is a “text” preset mode which basically includes a lower brightness setting and switches to the ‘warm’ colour temp mode. That makes the image warmer, more orange looking and darker, although you can also change the settings in this mode if you want. We measured a 4596K white point in that mode so this might be useful if you want to set up and customise an alternative preset mode for late night work or lots of text reading.
Other office use considerations and performance
The wide colour gamut provides flexibility to work with a range of different colour spaces if you need to. The native wide gamut is useful for gaming, HDR and multimedia where you might well prefer the more saturated and vivid colours, and especially for HDR content which is mastered in this DCI-P3 or the even wider Rec.2020 colour space anyway. Having the ability to cover most of the DCI-P3 (98.0%) and Adobe RGB colour spaces (96.7%) from this screen is great news if you want to work in either of those, although you’d need to be able to calibrate the screen with a calibration tool to clamp the gamut to Adobe RGB properly. The native colour space is very close to DCI-P3 so you wouldn’t need much clamping there. You’d also need a calibration device to be able to correct the high gamma in dark grey shades in the native wide gamut mode ideally too. Especially if you were working with any darker content, as otherwise shadow detail is crushed. A decent and generally well configured sRGB emulation mode is also provided which is definitely useable and valuable. This is slightly too warm and has a variable gamma in lighter grey shades, but the emulation of this smaller colour space, and the accuracy of sRGB colours, is very good.
The OLED panel offers super-wide viewing angles which result in a stable and clear image, even from viewing positions that are not head on. There’s also none of the glow on dark content like you get on IPS panels, popular in the office LCD monitor space.
Ergonomics and Connections
The stand has limited ergonomic adjustments with only a tilt adjustment available. This is due to the large screen size and bendable nature, as it’s a bit impractical to include other adjustments. Tilt provided a decent adjustment range but was very stiff to operate so you don’t want to be moving it around too much if you can help it. We did miss a height adjustment to be honest, although with the screen being so large it was at a fairly comfortable height by default.
There is a very good range of connectivity options available though on the 45WQHD240 and these are quite nicely positioned on the front and back of the stand. On the front there are two easy access USB data ports and a headphone connection which is useful. On the back are the video connections and it was great to see not only DisplayPort and HDMI 2.1 included here, but also a USB type-C (with DP Alt mode and 30W power delivery) for single-cable connectivity from compatible devices. There’s also a couple more USB data ports here too. A good range of connectivity options provided which is great to see. A KVM function could have been a nice addition, and common on modern screens nowadays.
The screen also supports various PiP (Picture in Picture) and PbP (Picture by Picture) configurations if you want to view multiple devices at once.
Image retention risks and OLED issues
We will not go too much in to potential concerns around lifespan of the OLED panel, colour shift, dark spots or image retention/burn-in here. You can read our OLED Displays and the Monitor Market article for more information about those potential issues. As a desktop monitor if you are going to use the screen for many hours per day, some of these things might become an issue in time. In our fairly short period of time testing and using the screen we noticed no issues in any of these areas.
If you are using the screen a lot as a desktop monitor and working with a lot of static content you will probably want to consider things like auto-hiding your taskbar, setting a screensaver to run etc. If you’re working with a lot of stationary windows for office work, internet browsing, photos etc then the risk of burn-in increases and to be honest that’s a bit of an annoyance with an OLED screen like this. These are things you don’t need to worry about with a typical LCD desktop monitor but it’s always in the back of your mind when using an OLED screen. The only built-in prevention measures featured is the ‘Orbit’ pixel shifter, which you can leave turned on to help. Although you may also find it annoying for static and office use too, which is ironically the area where it’s of most value. There’s no ASBL (Auto Static Brightness Limiter) on this screen, which is a very good thing from a usability point of view, but an added risk when it comes to image retention.
Corsair do at least provide a 3 year warranty which includes burn in protection, so that gives added peace of mind for a display like this. This is listed on the product page, although further details and specifics are not currently listed on their warranty support page. We’ve asked Corsair to provide more information, and expect this to be updated on their product pages soon too.
The screen uses an OLED panel which is well-known for its near-instant response times. As a result it does not need to use overdrive technology in the same way as a desktop LCD panel would, and there aren’t any controls for the response time or overdrive in the OSD menu. We are reliant on the manufacturers tuning of the response times. Corsair, courtesy of the panel manufacturer LG.Display, quote a pretty absurd 0.03ms G2G response time in their spec as well as a 0.01ms on/off spec. While true <1ms G2G should be expected from this technology it is over the top to start suggesting they are really going to reach that low. With LCD’s being regularly listed as 1ms, we will cut Corsair and LG some slack in trying to articulate how much quicker OLED is relative to LCD panels, but we’d still rather see realistic and achievable response time figures quoted.
|(at native resolution)||Refresh Rate|
|Maximum Refresh Rate DisplayPort||240Hz|
|Maximum Refresh Rate HDMI||240Hz|
|VRR range||48 – 240Hz (both DP and HDMI)|
The screen has a native 240Hz refresh rate which makes it much faster than any previously available OLED monitor or TV, which are limited to ~120Hz at the moment, or 175Hz from the QD-OLED panels. We will discuss how this impacts motion clarity and gaming experience in a moment, but this is a refresh rate getting much closer to what’s available in the LCD space – which are currently available up to 360Hz. You will be able to push higher frame rates up to 240fps here compared with other OLED displays, and with the 3440 x 1440 resolution instead of anything higher, that is also a somewhat easier task in modern games too.
|VRR capabilities and Certification|
|AMD FreeSync Premium certification|
|Native NVIDIA G-sync module|
|NVIDIA ‘G-sync Compatible’ certified|
|HDMI-VRR (consoles via HDMI 2.1)|
To help support the 3440 x 1440 res @ 240Hz the screen features adaptive-sync, giving Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support for both NVIDIA and AMD systems which is great news. The screen has also been certified under the NVIDIA ‘G-sync Compatible’ and AMD ‘FreeSync Premium’ schemes to give added reassurance around VRR performance. There is also support for HDMI-VRR via HDMI 2.1 which is useful for the latest PS5 and Xbox Series X games consoles. We will look at console gaming more later.
OLED panel benefits for gaming and shadow detail problems
The OLED panel provides super-deep blacks and basically infinite contrast ratio which is of course excellent for gaming too. This helps ensure true blacks, and if configured correctly, good shadow detail. We found the gamma in the wide gamut modes to be too high in dark grey shades leading to washing out of those shades and a loss of shadow detail so you will ideally need a way to correct that for gaming. This isn’t possible via the OSD menu on its own unfortunately, as we tried different gamma, colour temp, contrast and brightness settings. Some kind of ‘black stabilizer’-type setting could have been useful here to help correct this, or a more accurate gamma setup out of the box. This could be an issue in darker games unfortunately, unless you can calibrate and correct the gamma properly – and then also have that correction and profile active in your content which may be another challenge. This might be something Corsair can improve through a firmware update too.
The very wide viewing angles of this technology are excellent and make the screen suitable for viewing from many different positions if you need. These wide viewing angles importantly include the freedom from things like the pale/white “IPS glow” that you get on darker content on that common LCD technology. There’s none of that here on the OLED panel.
Resolution and Curvature considerations
We talked earlier about the relatively low resolution and pixel density of this panel when it comes to office, general and productivity uses. For gaming, it is less of a problem in general especially if you sit further away from the screen as you might do on something this size. The 3440 x 1440 resolution still provides a nice ultrawide format that is supported by some games, and a great feeling of immersion too thanks to the large screen and ultrawide format. This immersion is more than you’d get on smaller screens and 16:9 formats, and is enjoyable to use. The resolution doesn’t look as sharp and crisp when you use the screen up close as some high pixel density screens, and you may lose some detail in graphically rich games. But we think most people will find the density perfectly fine for gaming. If you move further away from the screen when using a controller, or using a games console, this becomes even less of an issue.
The bendable nature of the screen comes in to play here as well, allowing you to set the curve as you wish. Different game genres and content looks better in different curvatures really. For example Racing and Flight simulators might feel best in 800R or 1000R curvatures. Games like FIFA soccer looks better flat or almost flat due to the distortion of the pitch lines. The bendable nature of this screen is unique in the market at the moment and gives you flexibility to customise the curve to your liking, to different game (and work) situations. That’s really nice to see, and we think could be a popular option for many people.
There are a few additional gaming extras in the OSD menu familiar to gaming monitors. These include a crosshair graphic and refresh rate overlay. As we said above, a black stabilizer setting could have been useful here.
Black Frame Insertion (BFI) is missing (and missed)
We should note here that unfortunately there is no Black Frame Insertion (BFI) mode available on this screen which we were disappointed about. That’s the equivalent of a strobing blur reduction backlight on an LCD monitor, but thanks to the super-low response times on OLED this feature can work really well at reducing motion blur. It was available on some of LG’s older OLED TV’s including the CX and C1 at both 60Hz and 120Hz, and we were really impressed by the motion clarity improvements it brought at 120Hz when we tested the LG CX.
On the more recent 2022 LG 42C2 model it was only available at 60Hz, and unfortunately LG.Display have now left it off altogether here on the panel used for the 45WQHD240 monitor. They have basically stopped inclusion of this with their new panels which is a shame. We’d like to see that brought back at some point as it can work extremely well on OLED panels.
As discussed in our detailed article about Response Time Testing – Pitfalls, Improvements and Updating Our Methodology we are using an improved and more accurate method for capturing G2G response times and overshoot, based on figures that are more reflective to what you see visually on the screen in real-World usage. Our article linked above talks through why this is better and how we arrived at this improved method in much more detail.
The above response times are consistent at all refresh rates, including 240Hz, 120Hz and 60Hz and during VRR situations with changing frame rates. Thanks to the OLED panel the response times are super-fast and near-instant, with an average of only 0.45ms G2G measured! The best case was an incredibly impressive 0.34ms but not as low as the silly 0.03ms G2G advertised. All transitions can keep up easily with the frame rate demands of 240Hz, and in fact this screen could comfortably keep up with >1000Hz if the panel could support it! Let’s hope OLED refresh rates are driven much higher in the coming years, as it’s a really well suited technology for that. The G2G performance remained basically the same across all refresh rates which means you get those same excellent response times during VRR situations and for fixed 120Hz / 60Hz input devices.
Thankfully unlike the recently tested LG 27GR95QE (27″ 240Hz OLED panel) there was no visible overshoot detected here in our measurements or visual tests. On the LG we’d seen a few transitions from black to grey with some moderately high RGB value overshoot, which had resulted in some visible pale halos at lower refresh rates. On the Corsair 45″ OLED panel here, there was some minor overshoot on the same transitions along the top row of the table (black > grey) but these were lower and at no point did they become visible in practice. This includes at lower refresh rates like 60Hz too. Obviously you lose a lot of motion clarity at lower refresh rates, but you don’t get any visible overshoot or halos thankfully.
Motion Clarity – Pursuit Camera Photos
We captured some pursuit camera photos of the screen at a variety of refresh rates, designed to capture real-world perceived motion clarity. This gives you a good indication of how the screen looks in real use, beyond raw measurements.
Despite the amazing pixel response times you still get large amount of blur at 60Hz due to the sample-and-hold nature of the OLED screen, you can’t expect miracles just because it’s got fast response times. There are major and obvious benefits in motion clarity as you increase to 120Hz high refresh rate mode, and this brings it on par with common 120Hz OLED screens such as the popular 42″ LG 42C2 TV. Moving up to 240Hz offers another significant and noticeable improvement in motion clarity, and the moving image is now sharper and clearer. Tracking of moving content is now much easier and clearer. This really was excellent motion clarity and very impressive. If you can push the screen up to 240fps in your games, you will benefit from excellent clarity and smoothness.
There is no visible overshoot at any refresh rate which is great news. That’s very rare on OLED panels generally, but we did see some on the LG 27GR95QE (27″ 240Hz panel) when we tested that recently, evident at lower refresh rates in practice and our measurements.
We can also compare the motion clarity of the Corsair 45WQHD240 here against some super-high refresh rate 360Hz LCD screens we’ve reviewed. You can see that actually despite the lower refresh rate (by 33%) the motion clarity is very similar here from the 240Hz OLED panel. There is a ratio of approximately 1.5:1 when it comes to motion clarity between an OLED screen and an LCD screen, thanks to the near-instant response times. So you get a motion clarity in practice beyond what you might expect from the refresh rate number. We have compared the Corsair against two 360Hz screens here.
First the BenQ Zowie XL2566K which we would rate overall as being slightly faster than the Corsair, with a slightly sharper and clearer image. This becomes a little more apparent in certain situations like with scrolling text as well, but unless you were comparing them side by side it would probably be hard to separate the two for most people. If you’re after the absolute clearest motion for Esports and competitive gaming, then something like the BenQ with its 360Hz TN Film panel has the slight edge.
Compared with the 360Hz IPS panel of the Asus ROG Swift PG259QN we would say the Corsair has the edge though. Despite the higher refresh rate of the Asus, it has some issues with response time, notably some slower transitions from light to dark shades common on IPS panels and causing a bit of pale smearing. And also a bit of pale overshoot as the response times are pushed hard to keep up with the frame rate. Admittedly this was one of the first gen 360Hz IPS panels and other reviewers have noted that more recent offerings are a bit faster (e.g. the Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN – 27″ 1440p, 360Hz as reviewed by Monitors Unboxed) which would bring the performance closer to the LG OLED panel. But certainly compared with most of the existing 360Hz IPS panels we think the Corsair 240Hz OLED panel has the slight edge in motion clarity, even though it has a lower refresh rate.
Read our detailed article about input lag and the various measurement techniques which are used to evaluate this aspect of a display. The screens tested are split into two measurements which are based on our overall display lag tests and half the average G2G response time, as measured by our oscilloscope. The response time element, part of the lag you can see, is split from the overall display lag and shown on the graph as the green bar. From there, the signal processing (red bar) can be provided as a good estimation of the lag you would feel from the display. We also classify each display as follows:
- Class 1) Less than 8.33ms – the equivalent to 1 frame lag of a display at 120Hz refresh rate – should be fine for gamers, even at high levels
- Class 2) A lag of 8.33 – 16.66ms – the equivalent of one to two frames at a 120Hz refresh rate – moderate lag but should be fine for many gamers. Caution advised for serious gaming
- Class 3) A lag of more than 16.66ms – the equivalent of more than 2 frames at a refresh rate of 120Hz – Some noticeable lag in daily usage, not suitable for high end gaming
There is a low lag on the 45WQHD240 measured at an incredibly low 0.67ms total display lag, and leaving us with only ~0.56ms estimated signal processing lag – basically nothing. This is great for competitive gaming and shouldn’t represent any issue. This is also a lot lower than most TV’s since there is no added image processing or advanced scalers like there would be on TV’s, with the screen designed to be like a normal desktop monitor.
The Corsair 45WQHD240 is pretty well positioned to handle console gaming, with its performance strengths being the super-fast response times and excellent HDR capabilities (discussed later). The screen has two HDMI 2.1 ports, and so can support the full capabilities of this screen from a PC (3440 x 1440 @ 240Hz), as well as handle modern games consoles and many of their features, to a point.
|Native panel resolution||3440 x 1440|
|Maximum resolution and refresh rate supported||3840 x 2160 (4K) @ 120Hz|
|PlayStation 5 support||4K @ 120Hz|
|Xbox Series X support||4K @ 120Hz|
|Virtual 4K support|
|4K at 24Hz support|
|4K at 50Hz support|
|HDMI connection version||2.1|
|HDMI connection bandwidth||48Gbps|
|HDMI-VRR (over HDMI 2.1)|
|Adaptive-sync (FreeSync) over HDMI||n/a|
|Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)|
|Display aspect ratio controls||Auto, Full|
|Ultra high speed HDMI 2.1 cable provided|
The screen has a native 3440 x 1440 panel, but can also accept a “virtual 4K” input signal which may sometimes be useful for modern consoles. That means you can input a 4K resolution if you want, and the screen will scale that back down to the 1440p native vertical resolution, putting black borders down the sides to bring it back to a 16:9 aspect ratio. On PS5 nowadays that isn’t really necessary, as you can instead set the console to output in 1440p now Sony have added it, and instead prioritise the higher refresh rate up to 120Hz. That’s probably optimal to avoid the need for any monitor scaling as well, and because you can push refresh rate better at 1440p.
On the Xbox Series X there is also a 1440p setting which would have been better to prioritise refresh rate again. However, that mode annoyingly cannot support HDR from the console, and so if you are playing an HDR capable game (and most are nowadays) you would be better running at 4K output to the screen, where HDR is then supported from the console.
HDMI-VRR is supported thanks to HDMI 2.1 from both consoles. ALLM is unfortunately not supported, and although the input lag will be consistent across all preset modes (the main reason for this setting is to turn a TV in to its game mode for lower lag), it could have been useful if it had switched to a gamer preset mode, as opposed to perhaps your normal working mode like the sRGB preset for instance.
HDR (High Dynamic Range)
The screen is well positioned to handle HDR content and surpasses anything available currently in the LCD monitor space in many regards. OLED technology has long been regarded as the best technology for HDR thanks to its pixel-level dimming capability. This allows each pixel to be individually lit, meaning you don’t need backlight local dimming zones or need to worry about issues like blooming or halos like you get on other technologies. Even very demanding HDR scenes like the night sky or Christmas lights perform well, being able to easily dim the darker areas, and brighten the lighter areas without producing any blooming at all. Technically the contrast ratio you get for normal SDR content is infinite:1 as well (for maximum “dynamic range”), but in HDR mode these OLED screens are capable of offering increased peak brightness as well.
|HDR Technical Capabilities|
|VESA DisplayHDR certification level||None at time of writing|
|Multiple HDR formats supported||HDR 10 only|
|Local dimming||Yes, pixel level OLED|
|High number of local dimming zones||4.95 million (per pixel)|
|Increased peak brightness||726 nits max at ~D65 white point|
|Reaching advertised peak brightness||Max 904 nits, but only at cool temp|
726 nits at ~D65 white point
|Increased dynamic range (contrast) max||~Infinite:1|
|Increased “local” HDR contrast ratio max||~Infinite:1|
|Wide colour gamut >90% DCI-P3||98.0% absolute|
|10-bit colour depth support||Supported, 10-bit panel|
The screen only accepts an HDR10 input signal, which leaves it behind OLED TV models like the LG C2 which can support Dolby Vision and HLG formats too. As we discussed earlier, in order to maximise black depth and contrast ratio you’d ideally want to be using the screen in a dark or dimly lit room for HDR, to avoid diffuse reflections from the coating impacting these areas. Although generally HDR is best viewed in those environments anyway, regardless of the screen coating choice.
HDR Modes and Settings
When you enable an HDR input source you are left with very few available settings in the menu. There is just a single HDR preset mode, and most other picture related settings are greyed out and unavailable, with the exception of sharpness and two colour temp modes. You can switch the colour temp between ‘standard’ and ‘default’ which we will test in a moment. Note that you can also enable ‘Brightness Stabilizer’ mode in HDR which you would almost certainly want to turn off, as you want to maximise brightness regardless of the behaviour of the ABL. We don’t care about that for HDR multimedia and gaming like we would for desktop/office use. This setting is remembered from your SDR mode which is a bit annoying, as it means if you want to use it for SDR/desktop, but turn it off for HDR, you have to do so from the OSD menu. This is perhaps something Corsair could tweak in a future firmware, either make the setting available and remembered independently in SDR vs HDR, or just disable it for HDR perhaps as it’s unlikely to be needed.
We measured the screen in its ‘standard’ colour temp mode first:
HDR Mode – Standard Colour Temp Setting
The setup in this ‘standard’ colour temp mode was good overall for HDR. We had a fairly good tracking of the PQ curve on the right, dropping a slight bit in darker grey shades below the target luminance causing a bit of shadow detail crushing, but not too extreme. There was better shadow detail and near black grey rendering in HDR mode than in the default SDR modes (excluding sRGB mode where it was good). The white point was excellent at 6521K, so that was really good to see. In grey shades the average temp was measured at 6945K, being a little too cool but nothing too severe. Greyscale accuracy was on the whole very good at 1.3 dE average.
Peak brightness in this ‘standard’ colour temp mode reached a maximum of 726 nits in our tests, and that was on a 2% APL window (and basically the same for smaller APL). So for small highlight areas, the max peak brightness was pretty decent for an OLED panel. It’s on par with LG.Display’s 42″ and 48″ OLED TV’s (~700 nits) which is good, but it isn’t getting anywhere near the advertised 1000 nits peak brightness spec for this display – although we will try the other colour temp mode in a moment. Due to the OLED ABL, the peak brightness dropped for larger APL’s but this is typical. At a full white windows (100% APL) the sustained brightness was only 144 nits, which was the same we’d seen at 100% window in SDR.
Colour accuracy of wide gamut Rec.2020 content was very good overall. With a moderate 73.9% coverage of this very wide colour space possible, the largest errors came in red, green and cyan (dE 6.7 max), which is typical for any HDR display really. The average dE was still an impressive 1.6 and colours and skin tones looked accurate. This was a good factory setup for HDR accuracy in the ‘standard’ colour temp mode.
HDR Mode – ‘Default ‘Colour Temp Setting
We switched to the other colour temp setting which is called ‘Default’, confusingly as it’s not actually the default setting for HDR mode at all! Maybe this should have been called “native” for the native panel white point? Anyway…
The main obvious difference in this ‘default’ colour temp mode is that we now have a much cooler image. Greys and whites look more bluish than before, and we measured an 8776K white point. PQ tracking was the same as before, but with the overly cool image we had high errors in greyscale (relative to a 6500K target) with dE 7.5 average. You can see from the middle graph that the blue channel is now far too high, causing that cooler image.
On the flip side the peak brightness was now quite a lot higher, and this is actually the reason for offering a cooler mode in the first place. It’s a common “trick” on OLED panels to offer a cooler setup to boost brightness, and that’s what’s available here. If you don’t mind the cooler image and the poorer accuracy overall, you can benefit from a peak brightness up to 904 nits here. That’s very good for an OLED panel although still not living up to the advertised 1000 nits spec quite.
Because of the cooler image, the colour accuracy was impacted and we now had a dE average of only 3.3, which would be considered moderate.
We would suggest sticking with the ‘standard’ colour temp mode for a more accurate setup and better white point. In real world HDR content and scenes the OLED panel offered excellent black depth and contrast ratio, all without any blooming or halos. Brightness is however a weakness of this panel relative to some HDR LCD monitors, and while the HDR effect and experience is still decent, it can’t match that of Mini LED LCD screens. To be fair, OLED TV’s can generally only support ~700 nits peak brightness typically, so the ~726 nits here is on par or better than many OLED screens. It’s also a fair bit better than we’d seen from LG.Display’s smaller 27″ 240Hz OLED panel which had only reached ~609 nits at ~6500K white point.
However, we have seen some other OLED monitors like the Dell Alienware AW3423DW (QD-OLED panel) which can reach over 1000 nits so we’d have hoped for a bit more here really, without needing to resort to cooler colour temps. Especially since LG.Display have used the latest generation META / MLA panel technology, and have advertised a 1000 nits peak brightness spec for the panel.
The Corsair Xeneon Flex 45WQHD240 sets out to deliver something quite unique and cutting edge in the monitor market, and it does that very well. It’s not without its limitations and drawbacks though when it comes to using the screen outside of its target use-case, that being primarily for gaming and multimedia. Thinking about its target uses first, the OLED panel delivers amazing motion clarity, response times and HDR gaming performance. You have near-instant response times, and freedom from any overshoot across the entire refresh rate range. The 240Hz OLED refresh rate offers motion clarity to rival even the fastest current 360Hz LCD monitors too, and it’s supported by adaptive-sync as ever for VRR. The input lag of this monitor was also incredibly low, and the large screen size and ultrawide format gave a great feeling of immersion in gaming.
The other great feature of this screen is its bendable format, allowing you to choose between a flat panel or any level of curve, up to a pretty steep 800R. It’s possible to customise the screen shape to suit your particular game, viewing position and preference and we really liked that flexibility. The mechanism is quite stiff to operate, and it always feels a bit odd bending a monitor, but it’s a nice feature that gives you a lot of choice.
HDR is the other area where this screen performs very well. It’s got a nicely configured and accurate HDR mode (in the ‘standard’ colour temp setting), and the per pixel dimming delivers the usual amazing blacks, contrast and avoids all halos and blooming that you get on LCD HDR displays. This makes it an excellent choice for HDR gaming, even supporting modern games consoles very nicely with its HDMI 2.1 connections and virtual 4K resolution support. Brightness was typical for an OLED panel, although it doesn’t live up to the 1000 nits spec, especially if you want to stick with an accurate D65 white point. It gets closer to that spec, but only in an overly cool mode which is cheating a bit.
So for its target gaming use, it is very good. However, as you move away from gaming some of the screens limitations become evident. While Corsair have done a nice job with connectivity options and features like USB type-C and PiP/PbP for example to try and make the screen more versatile, it is not particularly great to use for general, office or productivity work. This is mainly down to the low resolution on such a large screen size, and exacerbated a little by the unusual sub-pixel structure of the WOLED panel. 3440 x 1440 is the resolution you will find on 34” ultrawide panels, and it was always going to be a challenge using this same res on a larger 44.75” sized screen. Text is large and not particularly clear, and the very large screen size often makes it feel like you should have more desktop space than you really have available. When moving back to a normal pixel density monitor like a 34” ultrawide or a 27” 1440p, you really notice the improvement in clarity, sharpness and perceived resolution. Add to that the usual image retention concerns related to using OLED panels for prolonged static use, the fairly grainy AG coating, and the limited SDR brightness when using ‘Brightness Stabilizer’ mode, and it’s not ideal.
The default setup of the screen is on the whole pretty good, although some high gamma in darker shades causes some crushing of shadow detail which is a shame. That needs correcting really for dark SDR gaming or working with darker content. The sRGB emulation mode is well calibrated and works nicely though, and HDR mode is overall very accurate.
This is the kind of screen that will be very interesting if you’re after a large format display almost exclusively for gaming, movies and other content consumption. The large format, bendable nature and OLED panel all provide a unique capability and are very enjoyable to use for these purposes. Just don’t expect it to be great for an all-round, all-purpose monitor as it is more limited in other areas.
|Where to Buy|
The Xeneon Flex 45WQHD240 is available to buy now in many regions from Amazon, and also from Newegg and Bestbuy in the US, and from Overclockers in the UK. You can check availability and pricing for your region using our affiliate links above.
|Excellent motion clarity and near-instant response times from 240Hz OLED panel||Low resolution on such a large screen means its not great for office or productivity work|
|Bendable format is unique and gives you a lot of flexibility for different uses and different games||Limited SDR brightness when using ‘Brightness Stabilizer’ mode. Can be quite a lot brighter if you’re willing to live with ABL instead|
|Very good HDR performance thanks to OLED panel, and decent setup||Crushing of shadow detail, most noticeable in SDR mode that needs calibration to correct (excluding sRGB preset mode)|
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