Dell Alienware AW3418DW 120Hz G-SYNC UltraWide
Dell’s Alienware sub-brand are known to provide products that have a distinct ‘gaming’ flavour without looking (in our opinion – shared by many) tacky. They have recently ventured back into the monitor market with their 240Hz TN models. The same styling cues are found on their UltraWide AW3418DW. The bezels are slim, with a two-stage design featuring a hard plastic outer component and a slim panel border. This panel border blends in seamlessly when the monitor is switched off, but is visible when it is on and in particular displaying a lighter image. The bottom bezel has a medium-dark grey brushed metal look, continued onto the angular stand. The power button is one of numerous LEDs on the product controlled by ‘AlienFX’. This allows users to control the colour of the LEDs and cycle various pulsing patterns using the OSD (On Screen Display) or software on their PC. The software also allows you to assign different colour schemes to different games or applications. The OSD is accessed using pressable buttons on the underside of the bottom bezel, towards the right.
The monitor uses a 3440 x 1440 (21:9 UltraWide) IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel with a 120Hz refresh rate. Interestingly, the panel itself is 100Hz native (vs. 60Hz native as seen on existing UltraWide IPS models) and is overclocked to 120Hz. We’re quite confident this is an LG Display AH-IPS (Advanced High-Performance In-Plane Switching) panel. Nvidia G-SYNC is supported on compatible GPUs (30Hz – 120Hz variable refresh rate range) to get rid of tearing or stuttering from refresh rate and frame rate mismatches. The panel has a fairly steep 1900R curve, which we can say from experience should give a bit of extra depth to the experience without feeling unnatural. The screen surface is light matte anti-glare, with a relatively smooth surface giving an ungrainy look to the image. A 1000:1 static contrast ratio and 178° horizontal and vertical viewing angles are specified, with high levels of colour consistency and rich colours right across the display an expectation for an IPS panel. A flicker-free WLED backlight is included offering a typical 99% sRGB coverage; enhanced phosphors are used, so expect a bit of extension beyond sRGB for extra vibrancy without things entering ‘traditional wide gamut’ territory.
A 4ms grey to grey response time is specified, which as usual is to be taken with a pinch of salt. The monitor includes a number of ‘Game mode’ presets (FPS, RTS, RPG) including 3 customisable preset slots. Low Blue Light settings also feature, including the ‘ComfortView’ preset. These are designed for more relaxing viewing, particularly in the evening where blue light output from screens should be restricted to aid rest. The rear of the monitor features powder-coated metal stand elements and a clear angular design. The screen features ‘AlienFX’ LED strips here as well if you want to add a bit of colour to the rear. The included stand offers tilt, swivel and height adjustment and attaches using a quick-release bracket mechanism. It can be detached at the push of a button and replaced with an alternative 100x100mm VESA compatible stand or mount. The ports are downfiring and include as numbered in the image; AC power input (internal power converter), 3.5mm line-out, USB 3.0 (with fast-charging), 3.5mm headphone jack, USB 3.0 port, USB 3.0 upstream, 2 USB 3.0 ports (4 downstream in total), HDMI 1.4 and DP 1.2 (supports G-SYNC).
Further information can be found on Dell’s website. The monitor is available from the manufacturer directly in the US for ~ $1500, with wider availability and possibly a slight price reduction expected shortly. We’re keen to review this model, but can’t promise we’ll be able when or if we’ll be able to get hold of a sample.