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Reviewed on Oct 24, 2018 , Simon Barbier, Yannick Khong

Dell U3818DW
MONITOR REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.0

Test Benches:

  • 1.0: Fall 2017
7.7
Mixed Usage
Score components:
  • 30% Office
  • 30% Multimedia
  • 25% Gaming
  • 10% Media Creation
  • 5% HDR Gaming
Size : 38 "
Resolution : 3840x1600
Refresh Rate : 60 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.
:
No

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.

Test Results
Design 7.5
Picture Quality 7.1
Motion 7.1
Inputs 9.0
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
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

7.5

Design

Score components: Subjectively assigned
Dell U3818DW Design Picture
Curved : Yes
Curve radius : 2300R
Weight (without stand) : 19.6lbs (8.9 kg)
Weight (with stand) : 25.4lbs (11.5 kg)

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.

Stand
Dell U3818DW Stand picture
Width : 13.4" (34.1 cm)
Depth : 8.9" (22.5 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.

6.2 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 U3818DW Ergonomics picture
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.

Back
Dell U3818DW Back picture
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.

Borders
Dell U3818DW Borders picture
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.

Thickness
Dell U3818DW Thickness picture
Thickness (with stand) : 6.5" (16.4 cm)
Thickness (without stand) : 3.8" (9.5 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.

8.0 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 U3818DW Build Quality picture

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

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.

6.2 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 U3818DW 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
:
1133 : 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 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 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

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

7.4 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.
:
278 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
:
302 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
:
302 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.
:
302 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.
:
302 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.
:
302 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.
:
301 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.
:
302 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.
:
302 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.
:
302 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.
:
302 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

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 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 on this monitor.

7.5 Horizontal Viewing Angle
What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the side.
Dell U3818DW 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°
:
42 °
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°
:
42 °
Dell U3818DW 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°
:
49 °
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°
:
50 °
Dell U3818DW 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 : 2300 R

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.

8.2 Vertical Viewing Angle
What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the top or bottom.
Dell U3818DW 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°
:
29 °
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°
:
29 °
Dell U3818DW 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°
:
36 °
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°
:
35 °
Dell U3818DW 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°
:
75 °
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 °

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 Gray Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of colors onscreen (not just gray).
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Score components:
Dell U3818DW 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%
:
3.831 %
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%
:
0.136 %
Dell U3818DW 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%
:
0.474 %
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%
:
0.045 %

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 Black Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components:
Dell U3818DW 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.
:
2.137 %
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

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 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 U3818DW Pre Calibration Picture Dell U3818DW Pre Gamma Curve Picture Dell U3818DW 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.
:
Standard
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.
:
242 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.
:
100-100-100
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
:
6593 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
:
1.67
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
1.32
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
:
2.20

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.

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 U3818DW Post Calibration Picture Dell U3818DW Post Gamma Curve Picture Dell U3818DW 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.
:
102 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
What it is: The luminance settings, often named 'Brightness' on monitors, usually range from 0 to 100.
:
23
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.
:
100-99-98
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
:
6420 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
:
0.67
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.54
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
:
2.17

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 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 U3818DW 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 U3818DW 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%
:
77.6 %

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 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 U3818DW 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
:
97.8 %
Dell U3818DW 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
:
83.0 %

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 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 on this monitor.

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 on this monitor.

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 U3818DW 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 %

There are no signs of temporary image retention.

9.4 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 U3818DW 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.
:
10 Bit

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

10.0 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 U3818DW 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 U3818DW 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%
:
0.001 %

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

8.0 Reflections
What it is: How much light is reflected by the TV.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Dell U3818DW Average room Dell U3818DW Average room off picture Dell U3818DW Bright room off picture

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

7.1

Motion

Score components:

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.

8.2 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 U3818DW Motion Blur Picture Dell U3818DW 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
:
6.0 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
:
15.7 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

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.

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 U3818DW 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

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.

6.7 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
:
60 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
:
N/A
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.
:
No
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
:
N/A
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
:
N/A
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
:
N/A
VRR Supported Connectors : N/A

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.

9.0

Inputs

Score components:

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.

8.9 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
:
9.2 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
:
9.5 ms
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
:
9.2 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
:
N/A
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

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.

9.1 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 : WQHD+, 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
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

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

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.

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.
:
Yes
HDR10 : No

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.

On-Screen Display (OSD)
Controls
Dell U3818DW Controls picture

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.

In The Box
Dell U3818DW In The Box picture

  • Manual and calibration report
  • USB-C Cable
  • HDMI Cable
  • DisplayPort Cable
  • USB Type-B Upstream Cable
  • Universal Power Cable

Differences between Sizes and Variants

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.

Model Size Resolution Refresh Rate Notes
U3818DW 38" 3840x1600 60 Hz  
U3417W 34" 3440x1440 60 Hz  
AW3418DW 34" 3440x1440 100 Hz G-SYNC

The U3818DW we reviewed was manufactured in May 2018.

Compared to other Monitors

Dell U3818DW Group Shot Picture
Left: ASUS PG348Q. Middle: Dell U3818DW. Right: Dell U3417W.
Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The Dell U3818DW is a great office monitor with some impressive features, but these features come at a premium price.

Dell U3417W

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.

Dell Alienware AW3418DW

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.

Samsung CHG90

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.

ASUS ROG PG348Q

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.

Acer Z35P

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.

+ Show more

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

7.7Mixed Usage
Score components:
  • 30% Office
  • 30% Multimedia
  • 25% Gaming
  • 10% Media Creation
  • 5% HDR Gaming
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW does not support HDR. For a good HDR monitor, check out the Samsung CHG70.

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