Alienware AW3418DW UltraWide 120 Hz G-Sync Gaming Monitor
Gaming Monitor (34”)
The more time you spend with an UltraWide display, with its increased aspect ratio of 21:9, the more you feel like ‘yeah, this is exactly how it’s supposed to be’. There’s a level of additional immersion that comes from a curved UltraWide screen that is hard to dismiss. And certainly, makes it hard to go back to the standard 16:9 widescreen displays that can be found everywhere. And then you think back to that moment when LCD screen prices dropped so low that everyone began placing two on a desk – for that sweet +1 productivity boost. And how this is the evolution of that.
The Alienware 34 Curved Gaming Monitor (AW3418DW) is certainly more than a simple curved display. In addition to its sturdy and visually striking design, you also get brilliant G-Sync performance with support of up to 120 Hz at a WQHD resolution of 3440 x 1440 pixels. Plus, stellar colour, brightness, and contrast.
Alienware not only figured out a way to introduce its angular, chrome, and almost sci-fi design into the look of the Alienware 34 – in a way that extended beyond the stand – but managed to facilitate the design to extend to the cooling. Now, the reason why we mention that is because with an overclocked refresh rate of 120 Hz at the WQHD resolution, being able to dissipate heat is something that needs to be taken into consideration. As the market for QHD and 4K high refresh-rate displays continues to grow, we’re already begun to see several displays come equipped with audible cooling fans.
This is not to say that the Alienware 34 is silent, but – well - it is. In that a top down few of the chunky sci-fi vent-like design and chrome panels will give you the impression that there could be another screen hidden in there somewhere. Or that it could open at any moment and release a fleet of tiny UFOs to wreak havoc across your desk. Alienware as brand is not known for subtle design, and the Alienware 34 Curved Gaming Monitor more than stands out thanks to its numerous panels and RGB light strips.
When viewed from the front, when gaming, all that fades away. You can’t see that stuff because all you’re left with is the impressive screen and a thin bezel.
Maximum Resolution: WQHD 3440 x 1440
Refresh Rate: 120Hz NVIDIA G-Sync
Response Time: 4ms (GTG)
Brightness: 300 cd/m²
When we reviewed the Predator X34 last year
, a similar display in a lot of regards, we noted that the curve in the display was subtle. Almost imperceptible. Now, this was born from the fact that curved screens, at least in the realm of large screen TVs – don’t really make a lot of sense. With an UltraWide display though the curve factors into the immersion and feels necessary. With the Alienware 34, the curve is certainly noticeable, but once you bask in the large field of view you get when playing any number of games ranging from Far Cry 5 to Shadow of the Tomb Raider – there’s nothing quite like it. Also, the large viewing angle means uniform brightness and clarity no matter your head movement.
Couple this with the wonderful bright display and rich colour that comes from an IPS display and the Alienware 34’s impressive 21:9 presentation flows across to regular app use, browsing, and even firing up a widescreen cinemascope movie and watching the entire image fill the screen. From a pure tech standpoint, the 120 Hz of the display may not sound as good as say a display with a 200 Hz refresh rate – but trying to get a modern AAA release to run anywhere near 120 fps at 3440 x 1440 pixels is no easy feat. In fact, the 120 Hz is more than enough, especially when you factor in G-Sync. Which is even more impressive on an UltraWide display – where anything above 40 fps looks buttery smooth.
A View to Remember
If there’s one gripe to be had with what is without a doubt a brilliant display that offers exceptional calibration out of the box – it’s with the menu and OSD controls. Something that can be said of just about every display - when it takes a while to ‘get used to’ the controls. At the price-point that the Alienware 34 Curved Gaming Monitor sits, surely a remote could have been included – as opposed to the included row of 7 brail-like context-sensitive buttons.
"The more time you spend with an UltraWide display, with its increased aspect ratio of 21:9, the more you feel like ‘yeah, this is exactly how it’s supposed to be’."
Anyway, that’s neither here nor there, as the Alienware 34 performs admirably in terms of offering all manner of adjustment options and game specific functions like displaying frame-rates and timing. In terms of any issues we noticed with the picture, well outside of the brilliant colour response and contrast there is the slightest hint of edge-light or corner-light bleeding when viewing 16:9 content. Which is to be expected with an IPS display. Ahead of the release of Nvidia’s RTX 2080 series of cards the 3440 x 1440-pixel resolution is perfect for the current 10-series, with games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider able to draw additional detail across the wider image – resulting in a noticeably more immersive experience than what we found on a standard QHD screen.
Which really, brings us full circle. If you’re in the market for a 1440p display, then it’s hard to look past the jump in immersion and impressive game performance you get out of a WQHD UltraWide display like this. There’s nothing quite like firing up a game and seeing your entire field-of-view fill up with digital gold. And in terms of pure image quality, vibrant colour, and brightness – they don’t come much better than the Alienware 34.