Alienware AW3418DW Review
Ultra-wide computer monitors have seen a huge bump in popularity as of late. Thankfully for us as consumers, there are many options due to some fierce competition between companies that manufacture gaming monitors. At the same time, however, with so many brands and models, it can be frustrating for new buyers looking to purchase one of these state-of-the-art monitors.
The aim of this article is to help anyone who’s interesting in learning more about this ultra-modern, awe-inspiring technology, but more specifically it’s for people interested in purchasing an Alienware AW3418DW ultra-wide monitor. This monitor is nice coupled with a great gaming PC and can enhance a user’s gaming experience.
Design and Performance
As far as design, this 34-inch, 3440 x 1440 monitor was expertly designed to instantly catch your attention. Of course, many of these are purchased online, but if it were on the monitor aisle in a local big-box retailer, this would be the one to pop out. It’s really that stunning.
The dramatically bold 21:9 aspect ratio is elongated to the point that owners will instantly have the competitive advantage over opponents. Due to the quite substantial cost of top-of-the-line ultra-wide monitors, a great number of gamers have yet to upgrade. Therefore, anyone who owns an AW3418DW will be able to clearly see their enemies and surroundings in significantly crisper detail than gamers using 16:9 monitors.
It’s also worth mentioning that larger screens tend to enhance the productivity. Traditional 16:9 monitors can hold only one, maybe two, active windows at a time, whatever they may be – a web browser, text document, PDF, music player, Photoshop, etc. Ultra-wide monitors such as this one from Alienware will easily maintain several windows at once. Less clicking and fiddling with screen organization lead to greater focus and concentration.
Needless to say, the AW3418DW is catered towards the gaming community. The ultra-modern, sleek lines of the AW3418DW are bedazzled in a stunning array of LED lights. Owners of other Alienware products will be pleased to know that you can fully customize these LEDs just as is possible with the company’s laptops and desktops. The AW3418DW will fit flawlessly in any existing Alienware setup, but the slick, modern design remains neutral enough to blend well with non-Alienware machines.
Over the past few years, monitor manufacturers have been slowly upgrading their products to handle refresh rates in excess of 100Hz, or in some cases 200Hz. In the world of computer monitors, the smoothness of any on-screen action or movement is affected by the refresh rate. A rate of 100Hz means your screen can display 100 different states per second. After setting this monitor up, many users are astonished at the difference 40Hz could make. Jumping up from 60Hz (the most common refresh rate today) to 100Hz is, for lack of a better term, game-changing.
Overclocking is one of the more interesting abilities of this 34-inch ultra-wide monitor. The Alienware AW3418DW is equipped with industry-leading G-Sync technology that furnishes the ability to overclock to a whopping 120Hz! Again, users are usually shocked at how powerful such a “small” increase can be. Overclocking the monitor from the default 100Hz to the 120Hz limit is nearly as visually impactful as the initial move away from a 60Hz monitor.
It’s important to remember, however, that there’s a difference between refresh rates and frame rates, although many tech writers lump them together. Refresh rate is largely a function of your monitor; your frame rate, on the other hand, has to do with the display information being sent from your PC to the monitor. Amazingly, G-Sync technology has the ability to do up to 240Hz, however, if your machine or game lacks the capability to send so much information every second, your rate is limited.
The on-screen menu allows for even further fine-tuning. Three prominent settings: “Normal”, “Fast”, and “Super Fast” allow you to reduce lag by improving the monitor’s response time. Of the three, users tend to find “Fast” to be the most useful. With this setting, there’s certainly a perceivable improvement in fast-paced game environment, but there’s none of the tinted outlining we’ve experienced with “Super Fast”.
After much frustration and toying with the setting, users eventually figure out it isn’t a problem on their end; instead, it’s an actual flaw in the product. Several people have complained about this shadowy outline, but others say it’s not too big an issue considering “Fast” provides a good enough improvement. However, users who buy this monitor are chasing perfection, not good enough.
As far as degree of motion, this 34-inch curved monitor can be titled backward 25-degrees, forwards 5-degrees and swivel side-to-side up to 40-degrees. The base is manufactured to move nearly 5-inches up or down.
There’s nothing noteworthy about the input selection. In all fairness to Alienware, however, there hasn’t been any significant changes in the field of input standardization in recent years. There are a few ports for HDMI, DisplayPort, as well as three USB 3.0 (2) Type A & (1) Type-B.
All-in-all, the AW3418DW from Alienware is doubtlessly one of the most stylish, cutting-edge gaming monitors.
If you’re in the market for a top-of-the-line gaming monitor, look no further, as the Alienware AW3418DW is the cream of the crop. Sure, it has a few (very very few) shortcomings but considering all of its highlights and advantages, it’s a no-brainer.