Alienware AW3418DW Introduction
Finally, I received the Alienware after 4 months from a pre-order. The Alienware AW3418DW is the first of three newest upcoming native 100Hz IPS (120Hz Overclock) ultrawide curved gaming monitors next to the Acer Predator X34P and the AOC AG352UCG6 on the market. Its design is very sci-fi oriented but overall it has a fantastic look. The Alienware AW3418DW offers high refresh rates and a 4ms response time panel, a 3440 x 1440 (Ultrawide-QuadHD) resolution on 34 Inch with a PPI (Pixels per Inch) of 109.68, G-Sync with a range of 30-120Hz, a curved panel with 1900R (radius), a maximum brightness of 300cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of around 1000:1. With its 8-Bit panel, the AW3418DW has a
- color gamut coverage of 99.1% sRGB
- and a color gamut coverage of 109.2% sRGB.
Thanks to the IPS panel (In-Plane Switch) the AW3418DW has great viewing angles for bright image content, whereas viewing angles in dark image content (horror or sci-fi titles) are still not good as all other current gaming monitors with a TN, VA or IPS panel on the market.
With the AlienFX led lighting, you can set one of 19 available different RGB colors fully customizable on three or rather four different areas of the monitor:
- On the bottom of the screen
- On the back of the monitor
- On the foot stand
- and the power led
The Alienware AW3418DW has a very interesting price tag (of course depending on your region) between 999 and 1300$ so that you even can pay less than for the Asus PG348Q or the Acer X34A. An overall better monitor for less money? Yes, definitely! The 21:9 aspect ratio offers an immersive gameplay experience combined with a high refresh rate panel and a crisp sharp image.
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Deviations in gaming monitors measurement results
There is one thing you strongly(!) should keep in mind. Individual units will differentiate in terms of nearly all aspects of a gaming monitor, especially in measurement results. This means, that one unit can have a contrast ratio of around 800:1 while another unit can have a contrast ratio around + 1100:1. Gaming monitors and PC monitors, in general, differentiate in terms of
- Gamma settings
- Native sharpness settings
- Max brightness
- Response time (overdrive settings)
- Pixel inversion and many more.
Why I'm telling you this? Simply because of two reasons. If you are buying a monitor, you should compare different measurement results and buying/not buying a monitor because of one result. Sometimes, monitor manufacturers also send their golden (quality controlled) exemplary to big review sites so that these monitors can have better results. To cover and bypass this "issue", my goal for the future is to review 3 same models (3 different units) to find out what the average customer will get. For this, I still have to grow but as soon I will have this opportunity, this is something I definitely will cover.
The build quality of the Alienware AW3418DW is fantastic, especially its heavyweight full out of metal foot stand. The design, of course, is personal taste and usually, I'm the type of guy who prefers a minimal look, but the AW3418DW simply has a pretty nice design for my taste.
The Alienware AW3418DW has a curvature of 1900R which is twice as much as the Asus PG348Q or the Acer X34A. Combined with this, the AW3418DW offers less IPS glow issues. A better immersive gameplay experience with a better image quality, especially in dark.
Note / Information:
Ratings have been removed. In near future I will add comparisons (Rankings) - This will have two huge benefits. First: You will be able to compare a monitor within each topic (Coating, Black level, Black uniformity, VA Glow, Panel Frame Construction etc.) to find the best gaming monitor to for your personal preferences and second I can concentrate on much more reviews.
- Five people reported me that they could not observe any retention issues. So in fact, this is an "issue" which can occur in individual units (lottery)
- One user had "horrible" calibration out of the box, probably gamma settings can vary strongly within this gaming monitor
- Several users reported flickering issues on the Alienware when enable 120Hz overclocking (The cable has been checked and it should be an issue on the gaming monitor)
Alternative Ultrawide QHD 1440p +100Hz G-Sync Gaming Monitors
Find all Alternative (G-Sync & Freesync) Ultrawide +100Hz QHD (3440x1440p) IPS & VA gaming monitors to the Alienware AW3418DW here: Gaming-Monitor-List
Ultrawide QHD +100Hz Gaming Monitors with IPS/VA and G-Sync:
Asus ROG Swift PG348Q Check Price / Watch Review
Acer Predator X34A Check Price
Acer X34P Release soon.
AOC AG352UCG6 Release soon.
HP Omen X35 Check Price / Watch Review
AOC AGON AG352UCG Check Price
Acer Predator Z35P Check Price
Optimal OSD Settings (on this unit)
- Color Temperature Homogeneity (on its native white point)
- Scrolling Text, Eiffel Tower, & Chase Square Test
- Response Time (UFO Test)
- Brightness Distribution
- Sharpness Test
- Overdrive Settings
- Frame Skipping
- Retention issue on the UFO Test
Maximum brightness in cd/m2
Maximum contrast x:1
Asus Rog Swift PG348Q
Black point on 120 cd/m2
Black point with optimal settings (120 cd/m2 , 6500K)
Asus Rog Swift PG348Q
Brightness ULMB (Backlight Scanning)
Find your best gaming monitor (in progress)
Compare a monitor in a specific topic (Response Times, Black Uniformity, Homogeneity, Backlight-Bleed, Clouding, Brightness, Contrast, etc.) soon
Overall the Alienware AW3418DW is a fantastic gaming monitor. It also has good improvements compared to the Asus PG348Q or the Acer X34A. No horizontal scan lines and (much) fewer IPS glow. Is it worth it to switch from the Asus or Acer to the Alienware or one of the newer native 100Hz IPS gaming monitors? No. Here I definitely would say that you should stick to one or both monitors if you own one of these. But if you are planning to buy an ultrawide gaming monitor, the Alienware is definitely the best choice right now.
Is it worth it to wait for the new 200Hz ultrawide HDR quantum dot IPS monitors? Maybe. As mentioned, if you are willing to pay around 2000$ than probably yes. But since these monitors are not released yet we don't know how much "issues" they will have in which specific topic. I definitely will test all these upcoming HDR gaming monitors on Lim's Cave.
The AlienFX RGB lighting of the Alienware AW3418DW on the backside of this monitor. Choose from 19 different colors located in three different areas (+ a customizable power LED).
The biggest problem with the Alienware probably is the retention issue which is covered in detail in the video review. The good: I couldn't notice this while playing games. The bad: It still can occur. In theory, you will lose contrast the longer you are playing a game on this monitor and the retention is gone after around 10-15 minutes on a static image. While testing a high contrast image for 30minutes on this monitor, I couldn't notice any retention issues so this "issue" should not become a real dilemma. However, I had this problem also on the Asus PG279Q, but a bit less visible. Many people are reporting "white spots" on their Asus PG279Q and this probably occurs when a static image after a while has burn in the IPS screen. I also have this same problem on my IPS laptop, which I was using for everyday +5hours a day when I have studied. In the end, the stupid thing is that you have this problem constantly in mind and we are afraid that something could burn in. I will update this review above in the update section as soon as I will have new information from other users regarding the retention issue.
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The typical VA glow is also visible even in brighter image content in form of "washed out colors" on the near left and right side of this panel (again because of the harsher viewing angle to your eyes). Would I buy this monitor? For now, I have an IPS panel (Viewsonic XG2703-GS) and I really like the size of 27". Also a sharper image in terms of PPI but the Viewsonic as same as the Acer and AOC all suffer from bad sharpness settings so that on the desktop the LG even can have a sharper image(!). Would I recommend this monitor? Yes, but you should keep in mind the disadvantages and ask yourself if you can deal with!
Tipps & Tricks For the Alienware AW3418DW
Use lamps in your room to increase the subjective black level and lower the perception of the IPS Glow. Even small desk-lamps can help.
Try to sit at a good viewing angle with good height + tilt adjustments and increase the distance to the panel in dark image content + dark environment, so that you also can avoid as many IPS glow as possible.
Do not sit too close to the monitor, this will increase the IPS Glow drastically.
Try to get used to a lower max. brightness. Many people are using their monitor in very extreme brightness settings. After you will get used to the lower brightness (around 1-2 days, depending on how long you sit at the gaming pc) you will have an overall better image quality and your eyes also will be thankful.
Pro & Contra
- Currently the best ultrawide gaming monitor (panel)
- A lower price to the Asus PG348Q and the Acer X34A + a better screen
- 34" with a 1900R curve for an immersive gaming experience
- G-Sync with a very nice range of 30-120Hz
- Good image quality out of the box (gamma have to be tweaked a bit)
Note: VA Gamma 2.2 looks totally different from IPS Gamma 2.2
- Very solid build quality, especially the foot stand
- Very low input lag
- Black equalizer for fps games
- AlienFX lighting (RGBs)
- A bit darker top near the bezels inhomogeneity (not visible in games)
- Homogeneity issues on several units
Some units suffer from a cooler color temperature on the left and a warmer color temperature on the right side as same as my unit. On my tested unit however it is only very very slightly visible
- A tiny bit too much sharpness settings which cant be changed within the OSD
- You need a fairly deep desk so that you still have enough space on your desk and not sitting too close to the panel to avoid IPS glow
- Halfe matte panel coating (a bit more matte compared to the Asus PG348Q or the Acer X34A)
- No gamma settings within the OSD (measured gamma on this unit = 2.4)
- Retention issues(!)
Update: They can vary in each individual unit so that you should check your unit for retention issues when you got your Alienware
- Unfortunately: ULMB still is not integrated
- Some people reported flickering issues when overclocking to 120Hz
- Still, the IPS glow, especially on the left (but much less compared to older 100Hz IPS Ultrawide panels)