Trying to buy a PC monitor in 2018 can be a practice in frustration. Thanks to a combination of quickly advancing technologies, vastly differing use cases, and the inability for connection standards to keep pace with display innovations, there is no one “perfect” monitor for every user.
But we think we may have found the closest thing. The Alienware AW3418DW
It’s All About The Specs
What drew us towards the Alienware AW3418DW is its goldilocks collection of features.
Here are the headlines:
- Ultrawide 21:9 Aspect Ratio
- 1800R Screen Curve
- 3440×1440 UWQHD Resolution
- 120 Hz Refresh Rate
- IPS Panel
- G-Sync Variable Refresh Rate
Currently the PC space is filled with monitors that have incredibly dense resolutions up to 8K, expanded color gamuts and contrast ratios with HDR, and blisteringly fast refresh rates as much as 240 Hz. Sadly, due to limitations in panel technology and HDMI/DisplayPort connection bandwith, no single monitor exists that features the best of these features. The Alienware tries to toe the line between mixing the most useful and impactful of these features into a single product.
Of course, being great on paper, and being great to own and use are not the same thing. With that in mind, we’ve spent several weeks putting the AW3418DW through its paces.
One thing you realize very quickly when looking at monitors that are designed with gaming in mind, aesthetics can be make or break your experience. Similar competing monitors from Asus, Acer and AOC all employ aggressive design styles that can be… off-putting. Thankfully, the Alienware tends to walk this fine line between “gamery” aesthetic and a clean, professional design.
Instead of loads of black and flashy red accents, the AW sticks to a more monochrome silver theme, with a few small black accents. There is customizable RGB lighting in multiple places, but even that is restrained. The lights are limited to two thin strips on the back of the monitor, the logo, and then a thin strip of lights that come from the underside of monitor bezel.
It’s just enough to add some interesting contrast and design details, but it won’t overwhelm your office space and scream to everyone around that you are a “1337 Gamer.”
The only aggressive standout of the design is the stand. Thanks to the sheer width and size of the monitor, there are two long angular legs that jut out from underneath the monitor to keep it stable. The base is smaller than most of the competition, at least. For those of you who value you deskspace, the Alienware AW3418DW is also Vesa mount compatible, so you can just put it on an arm. Just make sure you get a decent arm that can hold the weight.