The Alienware AW3418DW is an exclusive ultrawide behemoth that offers a G-Sync module mated to a 120Hz IPS screen for low latency high-end gaming. Boosted ultrawides gained traction in the last few years with favorite products like the Asus PG348Q and the Acer X34 as prime samples which have 100Hz refreshes, but the market is now headed into higher thresholds like this model. The Alienware AW3418DW and its fantastic design plus features represent the next significant steps for the “ultrawide master race” and immersive gaming.
Alienware AW3418DW Specifications
- Screen Size: 35 Inches
- Resolution: 3440 x 1440 UW-QHD
- Aspect Ratio: 21:9
- Panel Technology: In-Plane Switching (IPS)
- Refresh Rate: 120Hz
- Response Time: 4ms
- Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 (Static)
- Brightness: 300 cd/m²
- Built-in Speakers: No
- Stand: Height – Yes (5.12 Inches)
- Stand: Tilt – Yes (-4°/+35°)
- Stand: Swivel – Yes
- Stand: Pivot – No
- VESA Compatibility: Yes
- Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2 x 1, HDMI 1.4 x 1, USB 3.0 x 4, 3.5mm Audio Jacks
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 32.03″ x 22.08″ x 12.56”
Design and Features
The Alienware AW3418DW sports a futuristic and minimalist design composed of angular lines and metallic finish which made the brand’s gaming offerings iconic in the gaming scene. This model, when compared to its aggressively designed competition, looks less tacky or gaudy so more users may find it appealing. The massive display area employs Dell’s Infinity Edge design for a bezel-free view, although there still are panel edges which are 11mm wide.
The rear of the cabinet is divided into three distinct lines with the two going to the bottom having LED strips which users can control for synchronized lighting schemes. The metallic finish on this surface feels pleasant to the touch while adding a hint of luxury to an already expensive device. On the upper corner, the signature extraterrestrial head logo can be seen.
One of our favorite features on the Alienware AW3418DW is its articulated stand that despite the display’s weight, stands firm and upright. Users get six inches of height adjustment, swivel, and tilt for convenient and comfortable usage. At the apex of the obelisk-shaped upright is another RGB LED strip, but the standout design consideration here is the hollow center for cable pass through.
While playing around with the Alienware AW3418DW, we did not notice any flexing or wobbling thanks to the durability of the aluminum used in the build. The footing provides a broad base to support the heft of the product, but some users might have issues with the depth of over a foot. Those that use keyboards with wrist pads or narrow desks might need to adjust to accommodate this beast comfortably or choose VESA mounting instead.
Connectivity on the Alienware AW3418DW is limited due to the proprietary G-Sync module installed inside. You will only get Display Port 1.2, HDMI 1.4, and three USB 3.0 slots at the rear panel, while the hub at the bottom has two USB 3.0 receptacles, 3.5mm audio jack and another RGB LED strip for convenience. There are no integrated speakers which are a shame considering the price, although we know that prospective owners already have a booming sound setup ready to complement this device.
Display and Performance
The Alienware AW3418DW boasts a 34-inch IPS panel with a 3440 x 1440 resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and 4ms response time. This panel is a newer version of the LG module used in the Asus PG348Q and the Acer X34 which was a 60Hz native overclocked to 100Hz while this one is a 100Hz native overclocked to 120Hz. This new formula produces advantages by eliminating issues such as lower response times and missing the advertised speeds.
The light AG-coated screen can produce 108% sRGB and 80% DCI-P3 coverage quickly thanks to a true 8-bit interface. Out of the box, the Alienware AW3418DW is set too bright at around 210cd/m2, and accuracy is a bit off at Delta E 3.2, which is relatively average, but not ideal for color critical work. Gamma is also a bit off at Delta E 2.6 which is too dark for most uses, although some might like the noire effect it provides.
But when calibrated, the Alienware AW3418DW seems like a different gaming monitor altogether, since the scores above improve drastically. With the help of a colorimeter, you can achieve a color Delta E of 0.5 and a perfectly balanced gamma of 2.2 for the best imaging performance. So far, only contrast doesn’t do supremely well at an average of 850:1 across various brightness levels.
Panel uniformity for the Alienware AW3418DW is reasonable, and we did not notice any colossal backlight bleeding save for minuscule peeks from the corners. The ideal D65 color temp is centered through the width of the panel, although deviances of 10% to 15% radiated outward. We can always expect curved screens to have some backlighting escape from the corners and minor skewing, although, on this model, we did not find it disturbing nor detrimental to gaming.
Despite the lower response time, we did not notice any interlacing or ghosting on the Alienware AW3418DW when its Overdrive is set at normal setting. We tried using its maximum level but it did introduce overshoot in some situations, so we recommend leaving it at its default for all conditions unless for some reason users opt for 60Hz or 100Hz. 120Hz is readily achievable, but if in case you only wish to run at 60Hz or 100Hz, the Fast setting is better suited to keep ghosting at bay.
The G-Sync functionality in the Alienware AW3418DW reduced tearing to nothingness during our Destiny 2 test with an EVGA GTX 1080 Ti FTW3. At the highest setting, the framerate struggled to stay above 100FPS, but we didn’t run into stuttering in the explosive sequences of the game. The screen’s qualities, G-Sync, and the 1900r curve all made the experience more engrossing, justifying this monitor’s hefty price tag.
For the KDR conscious, extra sensitive, and the hardcore, the Alienware AW3418DW only clocks in at 3.8ms which indicates that is virtually no delay. The input to screen transfer felt seamless making this monitor suitable for E-Sports applications although its form factor might hold it back. This result puts the Alienware AW3418DW ahead of its competition, although you will have to pay more for that advantage.
Thoughts on the Alienware AW3418DW
The Alienware AW3418DW is currently the fastest WQHD ultrawide out in the market regarding responsiveness and input lag, making it a top pick for serious gamers. The screen’s calibrated setting is top-notch, and the design speaks for the product’s premium appeal. Using an overclocked 100Hz native panel got rid of the known issues of previous versions so that buyers can opt for this model with confidence.
If there were ever one thing we could complain about, it would be the Alienware AW3418DW’s whopping price tag. We know hardware from the brand doesn’t come cheap, but it would be difficult to justify the value of the product to the masses. But that statement doesn’t mean that the Alienware AW3418DW isn’t worth your cash since paying for the premium buys you the best ultrawide gaming monitor the market has to offer at the time of this writing.