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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