Alienware debuted its first monitors in the spring, and it's following up with a pair of 34-inch curved displays, the AW3418DW and AW3418HW. There's a lot that's similar between the two, but the differences are important and probably bound to cause confusion.

First the commonalities: they use the same stand, have the same connections and menu system, support game-specific lighting effects via the company's AlienFX software and are G-Sync compatible. It's not clear from the information I have whether the HW uses an IPS display or whether that's just in the DW.

Everything else is different. The DW is more expensive at $1,500, thanks in part to its 3,440x1,440 resolution; the HW has a lower 2,560x1,080 resolution and price, $1,200. They have different curves -- based on the numbers, the HW's is much tighter, about the same as the LG 34UC89G (a monitor with very similar panel specs).  Dell only provides maximum overclocked refresh rates. I don't have UK or Australian prices yet, but those convert directly to about £1,160/AU$1,890 and £930/AU$1,510, respectively. 

Alienware Gaming Monitors

Alienware's functional stand isn't terribly attractive, but you can distract yourself with lighting schemes.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The stand isn't terribly attractive, but it does seem well designed -- in addition to hidden cable organization, it supports tilting and swiveling as well as height adjustments, features which aren't as common as they should be.

The AW3418DW is shipping immediately; the AW3418HW won't be available until it's time to start holiday shopping.

Basic specs

Alienware 34 AW3418DW Alienware 34 AW3418HW
Price (MSRP) $1,499 $1,199
Panel type IPS n/a
Backlight type Edge-lit LED n/a
Size (diagonal) 34 34
PWM backlight dimming n/a n/a
Curve radius 1900R 3800R
Resolution UWQHD (3,440x1,440) WFHD/UWUXGA (2,560x1,080)
Aspect ratio 21:9 21:9
Pixel pitch (mm) 0.23 0.31
Maximum gamut 99 percent sRGB n/a
Rotates vertically No No
Bit depth 8 8
Typical brightness (nits) 300 n/a
Sync standard G-Sync G-Sync
Maximum vertical refresh rate (at HD or higher resolution) 120Hz (overclocked) 160Hz (overclocked)
Gray/gray response time (milliseconds) 4 n/a
HDMI 1 1
USB Type-A (out) 4 x USB 3.0 (1 x BC 1.2) 4 x USB 3.0 (1 x BC 1.2)
USB 3.0 (in) 1 1
DisplayPort 1 1
Headphone jack Yes Yes
Release date August 2017 Winter 2017