Choosing a monitor can be tricky as our workspace can often now double as our play space. Whether you're a creative looking for the best monitor to make your work shine or a gamer wanting a crisp image and sharp frame rate, picking a monitor that does it all is a tough task. But I've tried the forthcoming Xeneon Flex OLED monitor from Corsair and it's, quite literally, the best of both worlds. One monitor instead of two saves you money, right?
Why does the Xeneon Flex do everything? The clue is in the name, as this OLED monitor can bend from a flat 45-inches, 21:9 to an immersive 800R curve. I tried it at the Corsair headquarters in the UK, and the Xeneon Flex really is an impressive monitor that escapes the tag of a novelty because it's genuinely useful and crammed with the tech we all need.
The act of physically 'bending' the monitor feels great and is genuinely useful. Take a look at my gallery of images below to see more of the screen go from flat to curved. The build quality is excellent, as you'd expect from Corsair, which regularly has products in our best keyboards buying guide and its partner, LG, tops our best gaming monitors guide. Corsair also has a number of nominations in this year's Creative Bloq Awards 2022.
The Xeneon Flex has been developed in partnership with LG and its W-OLED technology, ensuring the display is not only flexible but delivers deep blacks and vibrant colours. For creatives the OLED's 1000nit peak brightness and 1,350,000:1 contrast ratio ensures the image quality is true to life and accurate, while gamers will love the 240Hz refresh rate that makes motion blur a distant memory.
We're not really here for the killer tech, as such, that's almost a given (you can scroll down a little for more details), as the game-changer with the Xeneon Flex is its ability to be pulled and pushed from flat to curved. At first I was anxious about pulling the screen – tugging it towards me and inwards to bend it – as I really didn't want to break Corsair's swish new monitor. But, honestly, it bent easily and 'clicked' through a series of settings so you can choose how immersive you want that widescreen curve.
On this prototype version the handles attached to either side of the display are fixed, but on the final version these can be pushed inside to neaten the monitor. A further handle is at the base of the screen so you can tilt it up and down, too. Bending the Xeneon Flex feels great, and Corsair boasts it can be 'flexed' 10,000 times with a predicted lifespan of at least five years – that's bending the monitor around eight to ten times a day.
The screen itself is impressive. The 45-inch display and 3,440×1440 resolution delivers the perfect cinematic experience whether gaming or streaming a movie. This is a somewhat unique aspect ratio that Corsair claims delivers 20% more surface area than a 49-inch, 32:9 ultrawide monitor. For creatives spending a lot of time staring at a screen we're welcome the Xeneon Flex features an anti-glare coating and LG's protective Low Blue Light technology.
I particularly like some of the design choices made by Corsair when it comes to the ports and cable access. Behind the monitor all the standard inputs are aligned vertically in a simple and neat manner – no panels to unclip and fiddle with. At the front, hidden below the screen are two USB-C ports, a headphone jack covered input slot. The Xeneon Flex is, generally, very clean and accessible.
I tested the monitor by playing a round of Halo Infinite and then a match of FIFA and, well, it impressed me. The blacks are deep and the frame rate never stuttered or blurred even when Master Chief was destroying a room. Naturally, it's compatible with NVIDIA G-SYNC and AMD FreeSync Premium adaptive sync standards. For games I found the Xeneon Flex to be a really excellent monitor. This was a short hands-on, but we'll have a deeper review hopefully this side of Christmas.
Why the curve? Well it's a focus thing, as your eyes naturally dance to the corners of a screen and back to the centre they usually need to refocus, but on a curved screen they don't need to, making for a more comfortable gaming and cinema experience. Not so for design and digital art work, as the curve can make judging straight lines harder, so a flat screen is best. The Xeneon Flex does both, so it's a win-win.
If you are considering replacing your monitor for a curved one, but also want a display for work too, then the Xeneon Flex looks like a good option that could save you money (and space). The only real downside is the 45-inch screen is large, meaning you'll need a big space to make the most of this elegant display. LG itself has the LG Flex coming, which is similar tech but at 42-inches, but it's more of an OLED TV than a monitor.
There's no word on a price point yet but expect pre-orders for the Xeneon Flex to be announced around November time, with the first monitors shipping early in 2023. You can keep track of the details at the Xeneon Flex official site.