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Dell U3818DW Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Reviewed Oct 24, 2018 at 09:35 am
Dell U3818DW Picture
7.2
Mixed Usage
7.8
Office
6.8
Gaming
7.1
Multimedia
7.3
Media Creation
5.2
HDR Gaming
Size 38"
Resolution 3840x1600
Max Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Pixel Type
IPS
Variable Refresh Rate
No VRR

The Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW is a good ultrawide IPS monitor with decent picture quality, low input lag, and decent motion handling. It is an impressive monitor for office use, with great screen real-estate and some impressive multitasking features, including Picture-in-Picture (PIP) and Picture-by-Picture (PBP), and the USB Hub allows you to use one keyboard and mouse with two computers. Unfortunately, it doesn't perform as well in a dark room, and there is significant overshoot that causes motion smearing. It also doesn't support HDR, which is surprising for a 2018 premium Dell monitor.

Our Verdict

7.2 Mixed Usage

The Dell U3818DW is a good monitor for most uses. It has a good stand that can easily be adjusted to an optimal viewing position. It gets decently bright and has very good reflection handling, great for a bright room. The high resolution, large screen is great for multitasking or for an immersive gaming experience. It has low input lag and decent motion handling.

Pros
  • Image remains accurate when viewed at an angle
  • Excellent out of the box accuracy
  • Lots of screen real-estate great for multitasking
Cons
  • Noticeable motion smearing caused by overshoot
  • Blacks appear gray in a dark room
7.8 Office

Very good monitor for office use. The monitor can display two inputs at the same time, great if you telecommute and have a work and personal computer on the same desk. The stand is easily adjustable to an ideal viewing position. It has very good viewing angles, which is really important with a screen this size.

6.8 Gaming

Very good monitor for gaming. It has decent motion handling, but the overshoot may cause some noticeable smearing in motion. It has excellent low input lag regardless of input resolution. The large, high resolution curved screen provides a more immersive gaming experience. Some gamers may be disappointed by the 60 Hz refresh rate and lack of VRR support.

7.1 Multimedia

Good monitor for multimedia. It has decent motion handling and a great response time, so there is little motion blur in fast moving objects. It has very good viewing angles, great for sharing the latest YouTube trends with some friends. Unfortunately, it doesn't look as good in a dark room due to the mediocre contrast ratio, as blacks look gray in a dark room.

7.3 Media Creation

This is a good monitor for media creation. It has a large, high resolution screen that allows you to see more of your project at once. It has very good viewing angles, great for sharing your project with a nearby coworker. Unfortunately, the Adobe RGB color gamut coverage is less than ideal for professionals working in photo or video editing.

5.2 HDR Gaming

The Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW does not support HDR. For a good HDR monitor, check out the Samsung CHG70.

  • 7.2 Mixed Usage
  • 7.8 Office
  • 6.8 Gaming
  • 7.1 Multimedia
  • 7.3 Media Creation
  • 5.2 HDR Gaming
  1. Update 6/11/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.
  2. 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.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Curved Yes
Curve Radius 2300R
Weight (without stand)
19.6 lbs (8.9 kg)
Weight (with stand)
25.4 lbs (11.5 kg)
Design
Stand
Width
13.4" (34.0 cm)
Depth
8.9" (22.6 cm)

The stand is identical to the older U3417W. It has a unique trapezoid shape, and like most Dell stands, it is very slim, allowing you to place small objects directly in front of the monitor.

6.4
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
4.7" (11.9 cm)
Switch Portrait/Landscape No
Swivel Range -30° to 30°
Tilt Range -20° to 5°

Mediocre ergonomics. The height of the monitor can be adjusted, and it can tilt and swivel, so you can easily turn your monitor for an impromptu meeting at your desk. The display can't be rotated, but with the large, curved design, you wouldn't really want to anyway.

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 100x100

The back of the monitor is very plain. Most of the inputs are grouped together near the center of the monitor.

Design
Borders
Borders
0.4" (1.0 cm)

The borders are thin and look good. They are the same thickness as the Dell U3417W, and slightly thinner than the ASUS PG348Q.

Design
Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
6.5" (16.5 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
3.8" (9.7 cm)

Because of the curved screen, the monitor looks thick when viewed edge-on. It is thinner than the U3417W due to the less aggressive curve. When VESA mounted, it is very thin, especially for a curved monitor this size (see our recommendations for the best curved monitors).

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Ultrasharp U3818DW is well built. There are no obvious build quality issues that could cause any issues.

Picture Quality
6.2
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
1133 : 1
Contrast With Local Dimming
N/A

The Dell U3818DW has a mediocre contrast ratio, but slightly better than the Dell U3417W. Unfortunately, there is no local dimming feature that could improve dark room performance.

Like the Dell U3417W, the contrast ratio was measured with Uniformity Compensation disabled. With this set to 'Calibrated', the contrast ratio is cut to 604:1.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

There is no local dimming feature on this monitor. The video is for reference only.

7.4
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
278 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
302 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
302 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
302 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
302 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
302 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
301 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
302 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
302 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
302 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
302 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.000

The Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW is decently bright, and the brightness does not change with different content, which is great. It is a bit brighter than the Dell Alienware AW3418DW.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
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 on this monitor. If you want an ultrawide monitor with HDR support, check out the LG 38WN95C-W.

8.1
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
47 °
Color Washout From Right
47 °
Color Shift From Left
53 °
Color Shift From Right
55 °
Brightness Loss From Left
51 °
Brightness Loss From Right
51 °
Black Level Raise From Left
70 °
Black Level Raise From Right
40 °
Gamma Shift From Left
46 °
Gamma Shift From Right
56 °

The monitor has good horizontal viewing angles. Given the size of the monitor, this is extremely important to ensure that the entire image remains uniform when sitting up close.

7.4
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
34 °
Color Washout From Above
35 °
Color Shift From Below
40 °
Color Shift From Above
43 °
Brightness Loss From Below
36 °
Brightness Loss From Above
37 °
Black Level Raise From Below
70 °
Black Level Raise From Above
70 °
Gamma Shift From Below
41 °
Gamma Shift From Above
44 °

Excellent vertical viewing angles, typical of IPS panels. The brightness and colors shift at slightly narrower angles than the U3417W, but not enough to be noticeable or cause any issues. The black levels stay relatively flat at any angle, which is great.

8.2
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
3.831 %
50% DSE
0.136 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.474 %
5% DSE
0.045 %

The Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW has great gray uniformity. There are some dark vertical bands visible, but these are not noticeable under normal viewing conditions. There also isn't much DSE, which is great for browsing the web or watching streaming sports. Uniformity in near-dark scenes is much better, and there is almost no DSE.

Like the Dell U3417W, the gray uniformity was measured with Uniformity Compensation disabled. Setting this to 'Calibrated' did not significantly improve the uniformity, but cut the contrast ratio in half, so we don't recommend it.

5.8
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
2.137 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

Disappointing black uniformity. There is clouding visible across the entire screen, but not much flash-lighting, which is good. The photo is an overexposure designed to highlight clouding, in person, the Dell U3818W looks good in dark scenes.

8.9
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
Standard
Luminance
242 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
75
Contrast Setting
75
RGB Controls
100-100-100
Gamma Setting
Default
Color Temperature
6593 K
White Balance dE
1.67
Color dE
1.32
Gamma
2.20

The Ultrasharp U3818DW has outstanding accuracy out of the box. White balance and color accuracy dE are very low, and even enthusiasts likely won't be able to notice any inaccuracies. Gamma follows the target curve nearly perfectly, and the color temperature is only slightly cool.

9.6
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
Custom Color
Luminance
102 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
23
Contrast Setting
75
RGB Controls
100-99-98
Gamma Setting
Default
Color Temperature
6420 K
White Balance dE
0.67
Color dE
0.54
Gamma
2.17

The color accuracy and white balance are nearly perfect after calibration, but the Gamma is slightly worse. Color temperature is slightly warm after calibration.

You can download our ICC profile calibration here. This is provided for reference only and should not be used, as the calibration values vary per individual unit even for the same model due to manufacturing tolerances.

8.8
Picture Quality
SDR Color Gamut
sRGB xy
99.0 %
Adobe RGB xy
77.6 %
sRGB Picture Mode
Custom Color
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Custom Color

s.RGB Picture Mode: Custom Color (calibrated)
Adobe RGB Picture Mode: Custom Color

Excellent SDR color gamut. Standard s.RGB color space coverage is nearly perfect, but coverage of the wider Adobe RGB coverage is limited. Overall, the Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW is great for daily use, but isn't ideal for professional photo or video editing.

9.0
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB In ICtCp
97.8 %
Adobe RGB In ICtCp
83.0 %
sRGB Picture Mode
Custom Color
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Custom Color

s.RGB Picture Mode: Custom Color
Adobe RGB Picture Mode: Custom Color

Excellent color volume. The U3818DW can produce bright colors across the s.RGB color space without issue. Unfortunately, it can't produce deep, dark colors in either color space due to the limited contrast ratio.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
No
DCI P3 xy
N/A
Rec. 2020 xy
N/A
DCI P3 Picture Mode
No HDR
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
No HDR

HDR is not supported on this monitor.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 In ICtCp
N/A
Rec. 2020 In ICtCp
N/A
DCI P3 Picture Mode
No HDR
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
No HDR

HDR is not supported on this monitor.

10
Picture Quality
Image Retention
IR After 0 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 2 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 4 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 6 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 8 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 10 Min Recovery
0.00 %

There are no signs of temporary image retention.

9.4
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit

The monitor has great gradient handling. There is only minor banding in some dark colors, not enough to cause any issues.

10
Picture Quality
Color Bleed
Pixel Row Error
0.000 %
Pixel Column Error
0.001 %

There is no color bleed when displaying large areas of similar color.

6.4
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
7.5 %
Indirect Reflections
4.3 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
3.2 %

Great reflection handling, similar to the AW3418DW. There should be no issues using this monitor in a bright room.

7.0
Picture Quality
Text Clarity
Sub-Pixel Layout
RGB
Motion
4.9
Motion
Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
Best Overdrive Setting
Normal
Rise / Fall Time
6.6 ms
Total Response Time
26.0 ms
Overshoot Error
17.6 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
6.5 ms
Dark Total Response Time
25.3 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
18.7 %

Response Time Normal
Response Time Fast

The monitor has a very good response time, slightly worse than the Dell U3417W. There are only two overdrive settings, and unfortunately in both modes there is significant overshoot in some transitions that causes smearing in motion that may bother some people.

If you want a monitor with faster response time, check out the LG 38GL950G-B.

4.9
Motion
Response Time @ 60Hz
Best Overdrive Setting
Normal
Rise / Fall Time
6.6 ms
Total Response Time
26 ms
Overshoot Error
17.6 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
6.5 ms
Dark Total Response Time
25.3 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
18.7 %
10
Motion
Image Flicker
Flicker-Free Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz

The Dell U3818DW is completely flicker-free. There is no PWM flicker at any backlight level. There is also no option to introduce flicker to help clear up motion.

0
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
No
BFI Maximum Frequency
N/A
BFI Minimum Frequency
N/A
5.9
Motion
Refresh Rate
Native
60 Hz
Max Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No
FreeSync
No
G-SYNC
No
VRR Maximum
N/A
VRR Minimum
No VRR
VRR Supported Connectors No VRR

The Dell U3818DW has a standard 60 Hz refresh rate that is fine for most users, may disappoint more demanding gamers. There is also no FreeSync or G-SYNC VRR support.

Inputs
8.9
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution
9.2 ms
Native Resolution @ 60Hz
9.2 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
Variable Refresh Rate @ 60Hz
N/A
10 Bit HDR
N/A
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
N/A

Non-native resolution tested: 2560 x 1080 @ 8-bit.

Excellent low input lag. The Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW only supports non-native resolutions in 8-bit, but this shouldn't cause any issues if you want to use 10-bit, as most graphics cards will upscale without you knowing.

Non-native resolutions are only displayed when sending 8-bit, otherwise, they are displayed at the native resolution. Non-native input lag is ever so slightly higher, but still excellent.

8.9
Inputs
Resolution And Size
Native Resolution 3840 x 1600
Aspect Ratio 21:9
Megapixels 6.1 MP
Pixel Density
111 PPI
Screen Diagonal 37.5 inches
Screen Area 498 sq inches

The monitor has a great 38" screen and impressive 3840x1600 resolution. This rather uncommon resolution is sometimes known as WQHD+, and is great for multitasking, or for watching widescreen 4k content.

Inputs
Inputs
Inputs
Total Inputs
DisplayPort 1 (DP 1.2)
Mini DisplayPort No
HDMI 2 (HDMI 2.0)
DVI No
VGA No
DisplayPort Out No
USB 4 (USB 3.0)
USB C 1 (USB, USB PD, DP Alt Mode)
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 1
Microphone In 3.5mm No
Digital Optical Audio Out No
Analog Audio Out RCA No
Power Supply Internal

There is an audio line-out port, but it is meant to only be used for speakers, as the volume can't be controlled.

There are 4 USB 3.0 ports, and a USB-C port that can be used with DisplayPort Alt mode, allowing you to connect a laptop to the monitor and charge it with a single cable. USB Power Delivery mode on the U3818DW can deliver up to 95W of power.

Unlike the U3417W, the U3818DW does not have a DisplayPort out, so it can't be daisy-chained with another monitor.

Features