The Dell AW3418DW is very good curved ultrawide IPS LCD monitor with a 3440x1440 resolution. It has very wide viewing angles so the sides of the screen remain accurate when viewed from up-close. The Alienware has a fast response time and very low input lag that will please most hardcore gamers and it also supports NVDIA's G-SYNC implementation of variable refresh rate so it can deliver smooth motion without tearing. Unfortunately, it can't produce deep, uniform blacks and it is not well suited for a dark room.
The design of the Dell Alienware AW3418DW is good. It has a futuristic sense especially when you look at it from the back. The stand is wide and sturdy and supports the monitor well. The ergonomics are among the best with most monitors of this size. The large size and the curvy profile make the monitor look thick when viewed from the side and it will protrude even if VESA mounted. If you like the futuristic look of the monitor, you are better off not VESA mounting it, as removing the stand takes away some of the futuristic look.
The stand supports the monitor well and there is little wobble. Its design blends with the overall futuristic design of this monitor.
The Dell Alienware AW3418DW has decent ergonomics. You can adjust the height, swivel left and right and tilt up and down, but there is no option to rotate. Nonetheless, the degrees of freedom should be enough to allow you to position it according to your preferences.
When looking the monitor from the back, the modern design with the abundance of straight lines and flat clear planes becomes apparent. The inputs are hidden and there is provision for cable management through the stand.
The borders of the Dell AW3418DW are thin. There is a vent that runs along the top border and serves for heat dissipation. The bezel is very thin and the panel starts at the edge of the border. The screen pixels, however, start after a small gap. It is nonetheless a very good monitor for side by side use.
The monitor is quite thick mainly due to the stand and the curve. Without the stand, this is a relatively thin monitor.
The picture quality of the Dell AW3418DW is decent. As with most IPS monitors, blacks are not deep and will look grayish in a dark room, as its native contrast ratio is low. Unfortunately, it cannot get too bright to fight bright room glare, but it has great reflection handling, good gray uniformity, and a great color gamut that allows it to display an abundance of colors.
The native contrast ratio of the Dell Alienware AW3418DW is sub-par. A low contrast ratio is expected in IPS panels and results in blacks that appear gray in the dark. The Alienware's native contrast ratio is slightly better than the Dell U3417W.
Local dimming is not supported. The video is for reference only.
Decent peak brightness for the Alienware AW3418DW. The monitor is not suitable for a very bright room with a lot of glare. The good news is that the brightness remains constant regardless of the window size.
HDR is not supported.
Very good horizontal viewing angles for this monitor. The best we have measured so far along with the ASUS ROG PG348Q. This monitor will display the same image quality at very large side angles.
The vertical viewing angles of the Dell AW3418DW monitor are decent. The picture quality appears uniform at the bottom side of the screen, but if you place the monitor slightly higher than your eye level, you might notice some slight uniformity issues at the top side of the screen.
The gray uniformity of the Alienware is good. There is some visible issues in the 50% gray image but this is mostly closer to the top edge and should not be distracting in normal use. There is no visible dirty screen effect. In the darker shades, the uniformity is excellent.
The Dell AW3418DW has poor black uniformity. There is clouding all over the image and there is visible backlight bleed in the lower two corners. This is very similar to Samsung CF791.
The 'Standard', 'Game 1', 'Game 2' and 'Game 3' Preset Modes were all nearly identical out of the box. The 'Game 1,2,3' modes allow you to set values for Dark Stabilizer and 'Red, Green, Blue, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow' saturation that are specific to that mode, allowing you to customize each 'Game' mode for a different use case or game.
The out of the box color accuracy of these modes is decent. White balance dE and color dE are both above our threshold of 3, and that means that most enthusiast users will notice some color inaccuracies. The color temperature is cold, and a bluish tint is apparent. Gamma averages 2.4, and doesn't track our target curve, and the image looks darker than what it should be.
After calibration, the color inaccuracies almost disappear. White balance dE and color dE are very low and it is almost impossible to spot inaccuracies. The color temperature is very close to our target of 6500 K, and gamma is almost perfectly tracking our target curve .
You can download our ICC profile calibration here. We don't recommend using this profile, as the calibration values vary per individual unit, even for the same model, due to manufacturing tolerances.
s.RGB Picture Mode: Custom Color (calibrated)
Adobe RGB Picture Mode: Custom Color
Excellent color gamut for the Dell Alienware. The monitor covers almost all of the sRGB space. However, the wider Adobe RGB color space used in professional printing or publishing applications is not adequately covered. If you are looking for a monitor that covers those needs check out the Acer Predator X27 and our recommendations for the best monitors for photo editing.
s.RGB Picture Mode: Custom Color
Adobe RGB Picture Mode: Custom Color
Excellent color volume coverage for this Dell Alienware. At various luminance values, the monitor can display a wide range of colors of the sRGB color space. However, in the darker shades, it is slightly limited by its low native contrast ratio. The Adobe RGB color volume coverage is confined by the limited Adobe RGB color space coverage and the low contrast ratio.
HDR is not supported.
HDR is not supported.
No image retention is visible, which is excellent. Even after 10 minutes of a high contrast static image, no remnants are visible.
The Dell Alienware AW3418DW has one of the worst gradient performance that we have measured so far. There is 8-bit banding in all colors, however, this should not be an issue for normal use.
Update 01/07/2019: The gradient score has been updated (7.2 -> 8.6), as it was scored incorrectly at the time of the review.
When displaying large bands of a single color, no bleed can be seen and the colors appear uniform.
The Dell Alienware AW3418DW has good reflection handling. Very similar to the Dell U3417W. The curve helps diffuse point sources across the screen and thus reduce their intensity. The light-matte finish helps diffuse them even further, so this monitor will do well even in a fairly bright room.
The motion handling of the Dell Alienware AW3418DW is excellent. It has a very fast response time and great VRR support through NVIDIA's G-SYNC implementation (see our recommendations for the best G-Sync monitors). Unfortunately, it does not support black frame insertion to clear blur and make the image crisper.
Refresh Rate Tested: 120 Hz
The Alienware is a fast monitor. The response time is low, and this means only a small blur will trail the image. Response Time 'Normal' is the best overdrive setting as 'Fast' and 'Super Fast' have unacceptable levels of overshoot causing image duplications. In the 'Super Fast' option, the overshoot from 0% to 20% is so much that it clips.
This monitor does not use PWM Dimming to lower the backlight and this is good as it makes motion look smoother.
On the other hand, this monitor lacks the option of introducing flicker to make the image crisper. This is a surprise as it supports G-SYNC and we would expect it to also support ULMB which is NVIDIA's implementation of black frame insertion.
Excellent refresh rate. The Alienware AW3418DW supports the G-SYNC implementation of VRR. However, it is only supported through DisplayPort and not through HDMI that has a lower bandwidth. Over HDMI at 3440x1440 resolution the monitor's maximum refresh rate is 50Hz, although, other resolutions such as 1080p can run at 60Hz.
The Dell AW3418DW has an excellent low input lag which remains low even when G-SYNC is activated, and this will please most gamers. The screen is large and has a good resolution for a great multitasking experience.
Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying an alternative resolution at its native refresh rate. The non-native resolution tested depends on the native resolution of the monitor, following this pattern unless otherwise specified in the Input Lag text:
|Native Resolution||Non-Native Resolution Tested|
Refresh Rate Tested: 120 Hz
The monitor has an excellent low input lag, which makes it very responsive. It is suitable for hardcore gaming as it reacts to your input almost instantaneously.
Over DisplayPort the only supported resolutions are (3440x1440, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480), and only 3440x1440 is capable of refresh rates greater than 60 Hz. This isn't usually a problem though because most graphics cards will upscale lower resolutions to 3440x1440 without you even knowing.
This Dell Alienware AW3418DW has an excellent resolution for its size. You are able to easily multitask, and you will see every little detail your game has to offer.
One 3.5mm audio out is for headphones and has adjustable volume, while the other is a line out with fixed volume, which is useful when using external speakers.
The Dell Alienware AW3418DW does not have internal speakers or support for HDR10 but has some neat additional features that you might find useful. The navigating buttons are good and OSD is intuitive, so you will not have any issues.
This monitor does not have speakers or HDR10 support but has a few neat additional features:
We tested the Dell Alienware AW3418DW, which is a UWQHD 3440x1440 IPS gaming monitor. There are 3 other variants of the Alienware lineup with different sizes and characteristics - a selection of which are listed in the table below.
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their monitor doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. Note that some tests such as the gray uniformity may vary between individual units.
|Model||Size||Panel Type||Resolution||VRR Support|
The monitor we bought was manufactured in June 2018.
The Dell Alienware AW3418DW is a good monitor for most usages and especially for gaming (see our recommendations for the best gaming monitors, the best ultrawide gaming monitors, the best 1440p gaming monitors, and the best curved gaming monitors).
The Dell Alienware AW3418DW is marginally better than the ASUS ROG PG348Q. The Alienware has a little faster refresh rate and produces a little less blur in fast-moving content. Also, the Alienware has lower input lag and responds slightly quicker to your actions giving you a small edge in gaming. Other than those minor differences, the two monitors are very similar.
The Dell Alienware AW3418DW is somewhat better than the LG 34UC79G-B. The Dell has a better resolution so you can see more detail on your screen and better reflection handling so you will not be bothered if your room has many lights. Its ergonomics make it also easier to position as you prefer. The LG has an optional black frame insertion feature that can clear blur and make the image crisper.
The Dell Alienware AW3418DW is a bit better than the Acer Z35P. The Acer has slightly better dark room performance, but the Dell looks better when viewed at an angle. The Dell also has a faster response time, so fast moving objects have less blur trail behind them.
The Dell Alienware AW3418DW is better than the Dell U3417W. The Alienware has a much lower input lag, less trail blur, and a faster refresh rate which help it deliver a great gaming experience.
Overall, the Dell Alienware AW3418DW and the Dell U3818DW perform similarly, but the AW3418DW is better suited for gamers, whereas the U3818DW is better for office use. The AW3418DW has a faster refresh rate and better response time, as well as NVIDIA G-SYNC support. The Dell U3818DW has a larger, higher resolution screen that is better for multitasking, as well as support for PIP/PIB, allowing you to work on two computers at once.
If you have more than one monitor next to each other and will be looking from the side, the Dell Alienware AW3418DW is a better choice as it has better viewing angles. But if you have a dark room and want HDR support, then the Samsung CHG70 is the way to go. The Samsung has better motion handling with a faster refresh rate and a black frame insertion feature to make the image crisper. The Alienware, on the other hand, is larger with better resolution and will display more details on its screen.
The Dell U3219Q is marginally better than the Dell Alienware AW3418DW. The Dell U3219Q has a significantly better ergonomics and supports HDR content. The Dell U3219Q also has a better resolution so you can see more of your work on your screen. The Alienware is flicker-free, handles reflections better, and has a lower input lag and support for G-SYNC, which is great for gaming.