Review: Alienware AW3418DW 34in curved monitor

Everything you could ask for in a gaming monitor, with a price-tag to match.

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Review: Alienware AW3418DW 34in curved monitor
Supplier: Alienware
Price: $2099.00

Alienware is synonymous with pimped out gaming rigs and its latest big screen gaming monitor will fit right in to any pimped-out gaming rig you’ve got going. The Alienware AW3418DW is a 21:9 ultra-wide 34-inch display that’s designed to be an immersive experience that sucks you right into whatever game you’re playing. 

The immersive feeling is delivered via a subtle 1900R curve that wraps around your noggin, filling your peripheral vision with nothing but the 3440x1440 pixels on offer. The chunky, angular stand is emblazoned with Alienware branding and is fully adjustable, so your gaming sessions are ergonomic, as well as immersive. Connectivity-wise it’s all pretty standard on the AW3418DW. 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x HDMI 1.4, 4x USB 3.0 ports and a headphone output. The panel is also flicker-free and low-blue light for those with sensitive eyes.

Being a gaming monitor, refresh rates are important and the AW3418DW delivers with 120Hz. That might not sound like a lot in the age of 200Hz displays but let me remind you that it is a 34-inch curved display that has a resolution of 3440x1440. It isn’t easy to get 120fps at 3440x1440, but if you have the GPU grunt to do so, first person shooters look absolutely amazing and play so smoothly. Once you’ve experienced high frame rate gaming on a big curved display, it’s hard to go back to a tiny 24-inch  60Hz monitor. 

To make sure that your gaming experience is smooth at 120Hz, Alienware has chucked in Nvidia G-Sync support too. If you’re unfamiliar with G-Sync, it’s a way for your Nvidia graphics card to talk to the monitor and make sure the frame rate the GPU spits out and the monitor’s refresh rate are in sync. This avoids the annoying tearing and jagged edges you often see when a monitor and frame rate aren’t getting along. 

Colour accuracy is surprisingly good, with 99% sRGB coverage thanks to the IPS panel. But due to that IPS panel, response times are “only” 4ms GtG. Competitive gamers might find that a little slow, but for 99% of people, the improved colour accuracy an IPS panel brings is more of a benefit than a few extra milliseconds of latency.

Colours are vibrant and rich, but you aren’t going to be able to edit digital photos to print level accuracy here. Speaking of colours, the AW3418DW is covered in LEDs that can be hooked up to Alienware’s AlienFX software. Up to 145 games are supported by AlienFX to create dynamic lightning effects that can be tied directly to game action. When not gaming, they just look cool.

Sure, the Alienware AW3418DW is expensive at $2099, but once again let me remind you that for your two grand you get a 34-inch, 3440x1440 curved display that can do 120Hz and supports Nvidia G-Sync. That sort of performance doesn’t come cheap, particularly since you also need an expensive GPU to go with it. But if you’ve got the cash, it’s a thing of beauty. 

PROS
• Nvidia G-Sync support
• 3440x1440 res & 120Hz refresh
• 99% sRGB colour gamut
 
CONS
• Expensive
• Latency not best in class
• Very expensive
9 10
Verdict
A very expensive investment, but it’s a monitor that will deliver for years to come.
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