Alienware's not-cheap 34-inch curved displays go IPS

Unlike many of the 34-inch curved panels on the market, at least one of these monitors use IPS.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography | PCs and laptops | Gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin

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 IPSn/a
Backlight type Edge-lit LEDn/a
Size (diagonal) 3434
PWM backlight dimming n/an/a
Curve radius 1900R3800R
Resolution UWQHD (3,440x1,440)WFHD/UWUXGA (2,560x1,080)
Aspect ratio 21:921:9
Pixel pitch (mm) 0.230.31
Maximum gamut 99 percent sRGBn/a
Rotates vertically NoNo
Bit depth 88
Typical brightness (nits) 300n/a
Sync standard G-SyncG-Sync
Maximum vertical refresh rate (at HD or higher resolution) 120Hz (overclocked)160Hz (overclocked)
Gray/gray response time (milliseconds) 4n/a
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) 11
DisplayPort 11
Headphone jack YesYes
Release date August 2017Winter 2017