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Reviewed on Sep 21, 2018 , Ian Cumming, Yannick Khong

Dell Alienware AW3418DW
MONITOR REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.0

Test Benches:

  • 1.0: Fall 2017
7.7
Mixed Usage
Score components:
Size : 34 "
Resolution : 3440x1440
Refresh Rate : 100 Hz
LCD Type
What it is: Type of LCD technology used by the monitor.
When it matters: Different technologies have different viewing angle properties.
:
IPS
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
:
G-Sync

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.

Test Results
Design 8.0
Picture Quality 6.7
Motion 8.7
Inputs 9.2
Pros
  • Image remains accurate when viewed at an angle
  • Good gaming features like G-SYNC
  • Large, high resolution screen
Cons
  • Mediocre brightness
  • Poor dark scene performance
Update 11/6/2018: There was an error with the curve radius scoring which has been fixed. This has not changed the usage scores for this monitor.

Check Price

8.0

Design

Score components: Subjectively assigned
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Design Picture
Curved : Yes
Curve radius : 1900R
Weight (without stand) : 16.8lbs (7.6 kg)
Weight (with stand) : 25.6lbs (11.6 kg)

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.

Stand
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Stand picture
Width : 22.1" (56.2 cm)
Depth : 12.5" (31.8 cm)

The stand supports the monitor well and there is little wobble. Its design blends with the overall futuristic design of this monitor.

6.0 Ergonomics
What it is: How much the position of the screen can be adjusted to match the viewing preference of the user.
When it matters: All usages, but especially office and gaming use.
Score components:
  • 46% Height Adjustment
  • 18% Switch portrait/landscape
  • 18% Swivel Range
  • 18% Tilt Range
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Ergonomics picture
Height Adjustment : 5.1" (12.9 cm)
Switch portrait/landscape : No
Swivel Range : -20° to 20°
Tilt Range : -25° to 2.5°

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.

Back
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Back picture
Wall Mount : VESA 100x100

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.

Borders
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Borders picture
Borders : 0.4" (1.0 cm)

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.

Thickness
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Thickness picture
Thickness (with stand) : 11.0" (27.9 cm)
Thickness (without stand) : 4.8" (12.1 cm)

The monitor is quite thick mainly due to the stand and the curve. Without the stand, this is a relatively thin monitor.

8.5 Build Quality
What it is: How well built and sturdy the monitor is, and how good the materials used to build it are.
When it matters: All usages.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Build Quality picture

The build quality of the Alienware AW3418DW is excellent. There are no gaps or loose ends and the monitor feels sturdy.

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.

6.0 Contrast
What it is: Brightness difference between white and black. This is the main component of picture quality.
When it matters: Always, but especially when watching dark scenes.
Score components:
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Checkerboard Picture
Native Contrast
What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
981 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with local dimming turned on (maximum) with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
N/A

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.

0 Local Dimming
What it is: The lights behind the LCD layer adapt to the picture displayed, improving the contrast ratio.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Local Dimming
What it is: Whether it has a feature that controls the LEDs behind the LCD layer, to match the picture and darkens the dark portion of it.
When it matters: On LED TVs only. Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
:
No
Backlight
What it is: Configuration of the lights of the backlight.
When it matters: Effectiveness of the local dimming.
Good value: Full-array/direct lighting is better for local dimming. As for the uniformity of the screen, it depends on the implementation. Some edge-lit monitors have more uniform blacks than some full-array monitors.
:
Edge

Local dimming is not supported. The video is for reference only.

7.2 SDR Peak Brightness
What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and with SDR content.
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; SDR content.
SDR Real Scene
What it is: The maximum luminosity the TV can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. Our Real Scene was selected to represent a more regular movie condition. All measurements are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming on, max backlight and with an SDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies and TV shows in SDR.
:
262 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time
:
283 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time
:
283 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
284 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
284 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
284 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent during a scene.
:
283 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent during a scene.
:
283 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
283 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
284 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
284 cd/m²
SDR ABL
What it is: The standard deviation of the SDR sustained brightness, after linearizing for noticeable differences in luminosity
When it matters: Content with large bright areas, such as for PC or video game use, and sports such as hockey
:
0.000

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.

0 HDR Peak Brightness
What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and with HDR content.
When it matters: HDR content
HDR Real Scene : N/A
HDR Peak 2% Window : N/A
HDR Peak 10% Window : N/A
HDR Peak 25% Window : N/A
HDR Peak 50% Window : N/A
HDR Peak 100% Window : N/A
HDR Sustained 2% Window : N/A
HDR Sustained 10% Window : N/A
HDR Sustained 25% Window : N/A
HDR Sustained 50% Window : N/A
HDR Sustained 100% Window : N/A
HDR ABL : N/A

HDR is not supported.

7.8 Horizontal Viewing Angle
What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the side.
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Horizontal Color Shift Picture
Color Shift from Left
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your left
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
47 °
Color Shift from Right
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
46 °
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Horizontal Brightness Picture
Brightness from Left
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your left.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
53 °
Brightness from Right
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
53 °
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Horizontal Black Level Picture
Black Level from Left
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
75 °
Black Level from Right
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
75 °
Curve Radius : 1900 R

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.

7.1 Vertical Viewing Angle
What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the top or bottom.
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Vertical Color Shift Picture
Color Shift from Below
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor from below.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
27 °
Color Shift from Above
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor when standing up.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
26 °
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Vertical Brightness Picture
Brightness from Below
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor from below.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
34 °
Brightness from Above
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor while standing up.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
32 °
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Vertical Black Level Picture
Black Level from Below
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor from below.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
25 °
Black Level from Above
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor while standing up.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
75 °

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.

8.3 Gray Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of colors onscreen (not just gray).
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Score components:
Dell Alienware AW3418DW 50% Uniformity Picture
50% Std. Dev.
What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 50% gray.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 2.5%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
3.856 %
50% DSE
What it is: Dirty Screen Effect. High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 0.165%
Noticeable difference: 0.025%
:
0.127 %
Dell Alienware AW3418DW 5% Uniformity Picture
5% Std. Dev.
What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 5% gray.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 1.15%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
0.480 %
5% DSE
What it is: Dirty Screen Effect. High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 0.116%
:
0.062 %

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.

5.3 Black Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components:
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Native Black Uniformity Picture
Native Std. Dev.
What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: <2%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
2.495 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks with Local Dimming enabled
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: <2%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
N/A

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.

6.7 Pre Calibration
What it is: Monitor's color accuracy before a full calibration. The measurements are taken with out of the box 'factory setting'.
When it matters: All video on an uncalibrated TV. This represents most people's use cases.
Score components:
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Pre Calibration Picture Dell Alienware AW3418DW Pre Gamma Curve Picture Dell Alienware AW3418DW Pre Color Picture
Picture Mode
What it is: The picture mode that was used to do the pre-calibration reading. We usually go for the picture mode that gives us the more control over all the picture quality setting.
:
Game 1,2,3
Luminance
What it is: The luminance at which the pre-calibration reading was done. This represents the luminance of the monitor when it is at the factory default settings.
:
209 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
What it is: The luminance settings, often named 'Brightness' on monitors, usually range from 0 to 100.
:
75
Contrast Setting
What it is: The monitor contrast setting, usually ranging from 0 to 100.
:
75
RGB controls
What it is: This is the value for each color (red, green, and blue) used in the monitor internal RGB cuts/gains controls. If the monitor does not have an internal RGB cuts/gains controls, then the color temperature setting will be used instead, and the color temperature that gives us the best result will be used.
:
N/A
Color Temperature
What it is: The color temperature is a measure of the color of light. A colder color temperature (7000K) will look bluer and a warmer color temperature (4000K) will look yellower/redder. 6500K is the standard color for PC monitors and also for the sRGB color standard.
When it matters: When you care about color reproduction and accuracy.
Good value: 6500K
Noticeable difference: 400K
:
7070 K
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all video.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
3.77
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
3.56
Gamma
What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.40

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.

9.6 Post Calibration
What it is: Monitor's color accuracy after a full calibration with a spectrophotometer.
When it matters: All graphics and video content on a monitor that has been professionally calibrated.
Score components:
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Post Calibration Picture Dell Alienware AW3418DW Post Gamma Curve Picture Dell Alienware AW3418DW Post Color Picture
Picture Mode
What it is: The picture mode that was used to do the calibration reading. We usually go for the picture mode that gives us the more control over all the picture quality setting.
:
Custom Color
Luminance
What it is: The luminance at which the calibration was executed. We aim for a luminance level of 100 cd/m².
:
100 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
What it is: The luminance settings, often named 'Brightness' on monitors, usually range from 0 to 100.
:
26
Contrast Setting
What it is: The monitor contrast setting, usually ranging from 0 to 100.
:
75
RGB controls
What it is: This is the value for each color (red, green, and blue) used in the monitor internal RGB cuts/gains controls. If the monitor does not have an internal RGB cuts/gains controls, then the color temperature setting will be used instead, and the color temperature that gives us the best result will be used.
:
96-95-100
Color Temperature
What it is: The color temperature is a measure of the color of light. A colder color temperature (7000K) will look bluer and a warmer color temperature (4000K) will look yellower/redder. 6500K is the standard color for PC monitors and also for the sRGB color standard.
When it matters: When you care about color reproduction and accuracy.
Good value: 6500K
Noticeable difference: 400K
:
6468 K
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all videos.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.63
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.60
Gamma
What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.18

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.

8.8 SDR Color Gamut
What it is: The palette of colors the monitor can display
When it matters: General content consumption or production
Score components:
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Color Gamut s.RGB Picture
s.RGB xy
What it is: Coverage of the s.RGB colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: Almost all content. Includes websites, standard windows environment and SDR movies
Good value: > 95%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
99.0 %
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Color Gamut ARGB Picture
Adobe RGB xy
What it is: Coverage of the Adobe RGB colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: Professional photography.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
77.1 %

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.

9.0 SDR Color Volume
What it is: How much of the SDR color spaces the monitor can reproduce
When it matters: General usage and SDR media creation
Score components:
Dell Alienware AW3418DW s.RGB Color Volume ITP picture
s.RGB in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the s.RGB colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: Most content, including web, SDR video games, and SDR media creation
:
96.6 %
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Adobe RGB Color Volume ITP Picture
Adobe RGB in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the Adobe RGB colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels, normalized to the monitor's peak brightness.
When it matters: Professional media creation
:
82.4 %

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.

0 HDR Color Gamut
What it is: The monitor's ability to reproduce HDR color spaces
When it matters: HDR content consumption or media creation
Score components:
Wide Color Gamut
What it is: Whether the monitor can support wider color gamuts
When it matters: HDR content and media creation
:
No
DCI P3 xy
What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy
When it matters: When consuming or producing HDR content.
:
N/A
Rec. 2020 xy
What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: When consuming or producing HDR content.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
N/A

HDR is not supported.

0 HDR Color Volume
What it is: How much of the HDR color spaces a monitor can display at different luminosity levels.
When it matters: HDR content consumption and production. Includes streaming services, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Score components:
DCI-P3 in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels, normalized to the monitor's peak brightness output.
When it matters: HDR content.
Good value: 80%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
N/A
Rec. 2020 in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the Rec. 2020 colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels, normalized to the monitor's peak brightness output.
When it matters: HDR content.
Good value: 80 %
Noticeable difference: 5 %
:
N/A

HDR is not supported.

10 Image Retention
What it is: How much a static image is retained on a monitor screen after a certain amount of time.
When it matters: When working or playing video games on your PC monitor.
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Image Retention Picture
IR after 0 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured right after the static image exposure, without recovery time.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 2 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 4 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 6 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 8 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 10 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %

No image retention is visible, which is excellent. Even after 10 minutes of a high contrast static image, no remnants are visible.

7.2 Gradient
What it is: How finely levels of color can be displayed.
When it matters: Details in shadows, sky and skin tones. Matters more for HDR content.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Gradient Picture
Color Depth
What it is: Number of bits per pixel to represent a specific color. Note: we consider 8-bit with dithering to be equivalent to 10-bit, as long as the 10-bit gradient looks smooth.
When it matters: HDR content like HDR video games or HDR UHD movies. Won't matter for regular Blu-ray movies, SDR video game or desktop environment content displayed from a Windows PC. Those are limited to 8-bit color.
Good value: 10-bit.
Noticeable difference: 1 bit.
:
8 Bit

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.

10 Color Bleed
What it is: How much the color from one area of the screen affects the color in another area of the screen.
When it matters: All usages, but especially media creation.
Score components:
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Color bleed horizontal
Pixel row error
What it is: The amount of bleed that appears across the screen horizontally.
When it matters: General usage of a PC monitor, can appear when browsing the web or with media creation like graphics.
Good value: <0.2%
Noticeable difference: 0.1%
:
0.000 %
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Color bleed vertical
Pixel column error
What it is: Amount of color bleeding that appears across the screen vertically.
When it matters: Most uses of a PC monitor. Can appear while browsing the web or when editing images or graphics.
Good value: <0.2%
Noticeable difference: 0.1%
:
0.000 %

When displaying large bands of a single color, no bleed can be seen and the colors appear uniform.

8.0 Reflections
What it is: How much light is reflected by the TV.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Average room Dell Alienware AW3418DW Average room off picture Dell Alienware AW3418DW Bright room off picture

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.

8.7

Motion

Score components:

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. Unfortunately, it does not support black frame insertion to clear blur and make the image crisper.

9.1 Motion Blur
What it is: The performance of the pixel response time. Poor response time causes trails to follow moving objects. Response time is one of a few sources of motion blur.
When it matters: When there's fast movement on screen, such as during video games and sports.
Score components:
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Motion Blur Picture Dell Alienware AW3418DW Response Time Chart
80% Response Time
What it is: How quickly pixels can reach 80% of a full transition from one color to another.
When it matters: When there's fast movement on screen, such as during video games and sports.
Good value: < 8 ms
Noticeable difference: 4 ms
:
4.4 ms
100% Response Time
What it is: How quickly pixels can fully transition from one color to another.
When it matters: When there's fast movement on screen, such as during video games and sports.
Good value: < 20 ms
Noticeable difference: 10 ms
:
10.8 ms
Best Overdrive Setting
What it is: If the monitor has adjustable pixel overdrive settings, which one produces the best response time with minimal overshoot.
When it matters: When adjusting the monitor's settings to get the least possible motion blur.
:
Normal

Refresh Rate Tested: 120 Hz

Response Time 'Normal'
Response Time 'Fast'
Response Time 'Super Fast'

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.

7.5 Image Flicker
What it is: Luminosity pattern when displaying images
When it matters: Nearly all the time during PC monitor use, but especially during fast movement such as video games
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Backlight Picture
Flicker-free : Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
What it is: Flickering pattern at different luminosities.
When it matters: For people sensitive to flickering.
Good value: N/A or high frequencies (> 300 Hz). Frequencies that are multiples of 60Hz are better.
:
0 Hz
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
What it is: Option to turn screen black between frames
When it matters: Reduces eye tracking blur in motion
Good value: Yes
:
No
BFI Maximum Frequency
What it is: Highest possible frequency of flickering pattern
When it matters: Reduces eye-tracking blur in motion
Good value: Matches the native refresh rate
Noticeable difference: 20 Hz
:
N/A
BFI Minimum Frequency
What it is: Lowest possible frequency of flickering pattern
When it matters: Reduces eye-tracking blur in motion
Good value: 60 Hz
Noticeable difference: 20 Hz
:
N/A

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.

8.8 Refresh Rate
What it is: How frequently the monitor can refresh and show new frames, and whether it can vary its refresh rate in real time using technologies like G-sync and FreeSync.
When it matters: Mostly for gaming, but does provide a little better motion during normal usage.
Native
What it is: The frequency at which the monitor is capable of displaying images every second
When it matters: General usage, but better results are most important for gaming
Good value: >100 Hz
Noticeable difference: 15 Hz
:
100 Hz
Factory Overclock
What it is: The frequency at which the monitor's can be boosted to using its internal menu.
When it matters: Gaming and other usages where high frame rate content is consumed.
Good value: >100
Noticeable difference: 15
:
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
:
G-Sync
VRR Maximum
What it is: The maximum frequency covered by the Variable Refresh Rate feature of the monitor.
When it matters: Any time the VRR feature is enabled.
Good value: Matches Refresh rate
Noticeable difference: 10 Hz
:
100 Hz
VRR Minimum
What it is: The lowest frequency covered by the monitor's Variable Refresh Rate feature.
When it matters: When using the VRR feature of the monitor at lower frame rates.
Good value: 30 Hz
:
< 20 Hz
VRR Maximum With OC
What it is: The maximum frequency covered by the Variable Refresh Rate feature when the monitor's overclocking feature is used.
When it matters: When both the overclocking and VRR features are used.
Good value: Matching the overclocked refresh rate.
Noticeable difference: 10 hz
:
120 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors : DisplayPort

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.

9.2

Inputs

Score components:

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.

9.4 Input Lag
What it is: Delay between input and onscreen reaction.
When it matters: General usage of the mouse and gaming.
Native Resolution
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying its native resolution at its native refresh rate.
When it matters: General usage and while playing video games.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
5.3 ms
Non-Native Resolution
What it is:

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
4k UHD QHD
QHD FHD
FHD 1600x900
3440x1440 2560x1080
2560x1080 1920x1080
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
N/A
Native Resolution @ 60 Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying its native resolution at a refresh rate of 60 Hz.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
13.1 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is using its Variable Refresh Rate feature at its native resolution.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
6.1 ms
HDR
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying an HDR signal at its native resolution and refresh rate.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
N/A
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when BFI is enabled and the monitor is displaying a signal at the highest supported BFI refresh rate.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
N/A

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.

8.8 Resolution and Size
What it is: The number of pixels the monitor can display, and the surface area of its screen.
When it matters: All usages, but especially for office and media editing.
Score components:
Native Resolution : UWQHD, 3440 x 1440
Aspect Ratio : 21:9
Megapixels : 5.0 MP
Pixel Density : 109 PPI
Screen Diagonal : 34.1 inches
Screen Area : 415 sq inches

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.

Inputs
Total Inputs
DisplayPort : 1 (DP 1.2)
Mini DisplayPort : No
HDMI : 1 (HDMI 1.4)
DVI : No
VGA : No
DisplayPort Out : No
USB : 4 (USB 3.0)
USB C : No
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : 2
Microphone In 3.5mm : No
Digital Optical Audio Out : No
Analog Audio Out RCA : No

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.

Features

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.

Additional Features
What it is: Additional features found on the monitor
Score components:
Speakers
What it is: Whether or not the monitor features standalone speakers.
When it matters: When using your computer without headphones or a dedicated pair of speakers.
:
No
HDR10 : No

This monitor does not have speakers or HDR10 support but has a few neat additional features:

  • Frame Rate counter
  • Timer
  • Display Alignment overlay
    This is useful for lining up multiple monitors.
  • Dark Stabilizer
    This raises the gamma curve to brighten dark shades, which is useful in some games to make dark details more visible. Unlike similar features on other monitors, Dark Stabilizer does not raise the black level.
  • AlienFX Lighting
    The monitor has several LED zones on its body. Each zone can be set to a different color, or all zones can be made to cycle through colors at the same time, using the 'Spectrum' option. The LEDs can also be controlled by AlienFX software on a PC when the USB hub is connected, which allows even more features such as reactive lighting in certain AlienFX supported games.

On-Screen Display (OSD)
Controls
Dell Alienware AW3418DW Controls picture

The controls are quite good. There are more buttons than most monitors, and it's easy to navigate the OSD which is designed really well. The buttons are easy to click and give good feedback.
However, we still prefer a joystick like the ones found on LG 34UC79G-B or the Acer Predator X27.

In The Box
Dell Alienware AW3418DW In The Box picture

  • Manual
  • Displayport to Mini Displayport cable
  • Displayport cable
  • USB Cable
  • Power cable

Differences between Sizes and Variants

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
AW2518H 25" TN FHD 1920x1080 G-SYNC
AW2518HF 25" TN FHD 1920x1080 FreeSync
AW3418HW 34" IPS WFHD 2560x1080 G-SYNC
AW3418DW 34" IPS UWQHD 3440x1440 G-SYNC

The monitor we bought was manufactured in June 2018.

Compared to other Monitors

Dell Alienware AW3418DW Group Shot Picture
Left: Dell U3417W. Middle: Dell Alienware AW3418DW. Right: Samsung CHG90.
Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The Dell Alienware AW3418DW is a good monitor for most usages and especially for gaming (see our recommendations for the best gaming monitors and the best curved gaming monitors).

ASUS ROG PG348Q

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.

Acer Z35P

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.

Samsung CHG70

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.

Dell U3818DW

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.

Dell U3417W

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.

LG 34UC79G-B

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.

Dell U3219Q

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.

+ Show more

Conclusion

7.7Mixed Usage
Score components:
The Dell Alienware AW3418DW is a good monitor for mixed usage. Its large size and good resolution make it good for gaming use as well as office use, as it allows for multitasking. It has a low input lag that makes it very responsive. If you place it in an average lit room, you will enjoy the picture quality.
The Dell AW3418DW is a good monitor for office use. The good size and excellent resolution allow you to do more with your screen area and the viewing angles make it easy to share your work with a colleague. The monitor's ergonomics make it easy to position it as you prefer.
The Dell AW3418DW is a very good gaming monitor. It has a low input lag that makes it very responsive to your actions and supports NVIDIA's G-SYNC. Its large screen and high resolution can display every little detail of your favorite game. You can easily position it to your likings, and its thin bezels will not bother you if you expand your screen area by placing a second monitor next to it.
The Dell AW3418DW is a decent monitor for multimedia. It has a large size and a high resolution that allow you to watch movies and videos in high resolution. It has a high refresh rate so fast action has little blur and it is easy to position to your preference. Unfortunately, its poor black uniformity and low contrast ratio do not make it suitable for a dark room.
This is a good monitor for media creation. The large screen size and the excellent resolution allow for multitasking. It has a low input lag and responds fast to your actions and handles reflections well when placed it in a room with many light sources. Working together with a colleague will not be an issue.
This monitor does not support HDR. If you are looking for a monitor with HDR support, check out the Samsung CHG70.

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