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.
The Dell U3818DW has a good design. It looks very similar to the 2017 U3417W. It has a stand that is very similar to most Dell Ultrasharp monitors. The stand supports the monitor well, but it does wobble a bit when nudged or when adjusting settings. There is a thin bezel around the screen, and it isn't too distracting. Like most premium Dell monitors, the U3818DW is well built, and there are no obvious concerns over quality.
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.
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.
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.
The Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW delivers decent overall picture quality. Like most IPS monitors, it has only mediocre contrast, so blacks look gray in a dark room. It has decent peak brightness, a bit dimmer than the U3417W but good enough for most rooms. It has very good viewing angles and great gray uniformity. In dark scenes there is some visible clouding, but not as much as most IPS monitors and very little flashlighting. It has a great SDR color gamut in the standard s.RGB color space, but has limited Adobe RGB coverage that isn't ideal for professional photo or video editing.
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.
There is no local dimming feature on this monitor. The video is for reference only.
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.
HDR is not supported on this monitor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Dell 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.
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.
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.
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.
HDR is not supported on this monitor.
HDR is not supported on this monitor.
There are no signs of temporary image retention.
The monitor has great gradient handling. There is only minor banding in some dark colors, not enough to cause any issues.
There is no color bleed when displaying large areas of similar color.
The Dell U3818DW has decent motion handling. It has a very good response time, and fast-moving objects have only a slight blur trail, but there is noticeable overshoot in some transitions. The backlight is completely flicker-free, which great. It has a 60 Hz refresh rate, which is fine for normal use but may disappoint some users. It also doesn't support G-SYNC or FreeSync VRR technology.
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.
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.
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.
The Dell U3818DW has great low input lag, regardless of input resolution. It has a great 38" ultrawide screen and 3840x1600 resolution, which provides excellent screen real-estate great for multitasking. It has a good selection of inputs, and there shouldn't be any issues connecting recent devices to it.
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|
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.
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.
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.
The Dell U3818DW has some impressive features. It can display the image from two separate inputs at the same time, either as PIP (Picture in Picture) or PBP (Picture by Picture). It can also be used as a USB Hub, and the Hub can work as a KVM switch, allowing you to display and control two computers at the same time. Unfortunately, it does not support HDR, which is really surprising for the price.
The Dell U3818DW has some impressive additional features. It is designed to connect to two computers at the same time. There are separate USB upstream ports that allow the monitor to function as a KVM switch by connecting your keyboard and mouse to the USB ports on the monitor. With the Picture-in-Picture or Picture-by-Picture mode, you can display two computers on the screen at the same time, and easily work with both. It has built in speakers, but no HDR support.
The controls on this monitor are very similar to other Dell monitors, including the U3417W. The buttons are small, but they are a bit stiff and aren't comfortable if you plan on making frequent adjustments. There are programmable quick buttons that can make this easier though.
We tested the 38" Dell U3818DW. Dell offers similar models in other sizes, but they perform differently from the U3818DW.
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Dell U3818DW 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.
The U3818DW we reviewed was manufactured in May 2018.
The Dell U3818DW is a great office monitor with some impressive features, but these features come at a premium price.
The Dell U3818DW is better than the Dell U3417W. The U3818DW has a larger, higher resolution screen that allows you to see more of your project. The 2018 U3818DW has much improved input lag, great for gaming, but it is slightly dimmer than the U3417W. The U3417W has a DisplayPort out, so it can be daisy-chained to a second monitor. The U3818DW does not have this feature.
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.
The Dell U3818DW is a bit better than the Samsung CHG90, unless you want the largest screen available and watch in a dark room. The U3818DW has much better viewing angles, which is extremely important in a monitor this size. Overall, motion looks better on the CHG90 thanks to the much faster refresh rate, but the CHG90 has PWM flicker, whereas the U3818DW is flicker-free.
The Dell U3818DW is slightly better than the ASUS ROG SWIFT PG348Q, but overall it depends on your usage. The ROG PG348Q is better for gaming, thanks to the faster refresh rate and G-SYNC support. The Dell U3818DW is better for office use thanks to the larger, higher resolution screen, as well as the multitasking oriented features, like PIP/PBP. The Dell U3818DW has slightly better dark room performance, as there is less backlight bleed and flashlighting.
The Dell U3818DW is better than the Acer Z35P for most uses, unless you are looking for an Ultrawide gaming monitor. The Dell U3818DW has a higher native resolution and larger screen, great for multitasking, and the image remains accurate when viewed at an angle. The Dell is limited to a 60 Hz refresh rate that may be disappointing to some gamers. The Acer Z35P has a higher native refresh rate, and it support NVIDIA G-SYNC VRR for a tear-free gaming experience.