If you work with large document files or regularly have several windows open simultaneously, it may be time to consider an ultra-wide screen monitor like the Dell P3418HW ($ 699.99). This 34-inch monitor uses In-Plane Switching technology to deliver solid grayscale performance and wide viewing angles. It offers plenty of features, including a highly adjustable stand, advanced color settings, and a generous selection of ports. That said, its 2,560-by-1,080 resolution doesn’t offer the level of image detail that you get with the NEC MultiSync EX341R-BK or our Editors’ Choice, the Dell UltraSharp 34 Curved Monitor U3417W. Both of those monitors are more expensive, but could be worth the extra cash if you need more pixels.
Big and Flexible
The P3418HW uses a 34-inch ultra-wide IPS panel with an R3800 curvature, which is housed in a black and gray cabinet. The monitor is supported by a heavy-duty stand that offers height (4.5 inches), tilt (26 degrees), and swivel (60 degrees) adjustments, but you can remove the stand and hang the monitor on a wall using the four VESA-compliant mounting holes and an optional mounting bracket. The panel has a 5-millisecond pixel response, a 60Hz refresh rate, a 1000:1 native contrast ratio, a 21:9 aspect ratio, and a 300 cd/m2 peak brightness. However, it tops out at 2,560 by 1,080, which is a relatively low resolution for such a big panel. The monitor’s 9-watt speakers are loud and provide decent bass response.
You get a nice selection of I/O ports with this monitor. Located at the rear of the cabinet, facing downward, are two HDMI (1.4) inputs, one full-size DisplayPort input, one Mini DisplayPort input, one USB 3.0 upstream port, two USB 3.0 downstream ports, and an audio output. On the left side of the cabinet are two additional USB 3.0 downstream ports. Beneath the lower bezel on the right side are four function buttons used to access and navigate the settings menus, and a power button.
There are six color presets, including Standard, Comfort View, Movie, Game, Color Temperature, and Custom Color. The Custom Color option has RGB Gain and Offset adjustments and advanced 6-Color Hue and Saturation settings that allow you to fine tune the display. Other settings include Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness, Dynamic Contrast, and Picture in Picture (PIP) settings, as well as Aspect Ratio and speaker volume settings.
Dell covers the P3418HW with a three-year parts, labor, and backlight warranty that also includes an Advanced Exchange service where Dell will send you a replacement right away. Included in the box are DisplayPort and USB cables and a Quick Setup Guide.
Good Grayscale, Colors Are Slightly Off
The P3418HW delivers very good grayscale performance in our tests. Swatches from the DisplayMate 64-Step Grayscale test gradated evenly from dark to light and the test images showed good shadow and highlight detail. Overall, the picture appeared sharp, but, as noted, a panel of this size begs for a higher resolution.
Color accuracy was generally good, but not ideal. As illustrated on the chromaticity chart below, red and blue colors (represented by the colored dots) were closely aligned with their ideal CIE coordinates (represented by the boxes), but green was well outside of its box. We saw this with the NEC MultiSync EX341R-BK, and as was the case then, the skewed greens do not result in tinting or oversaturated colors. As with most IPS panels, viewing angles were wide with no noticeable color shifting or loss of luminance when viewed from an extreme angle.
The 5-millisecond pixel response did a decent job of handling fast motion on our Crysis 3 (PC) and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (Sony PlayStation 4) gaming tests, but minor ghosting and screen tearing was evident. Input lag, as measured using a Leo Bodnar Lag Tester, came in at a very reasonable 10 milliseconds. Our fastest monitor, the Lenovo L27q, measured 9.5 milliseconds.
See How We Test Monitors
Compared with other 34-inch monitors, the P3418HW is relatively energy efficient. It consumed 32 watts of power in testing while set to Standard mode (it does not offer an ECO power-saving mode). The Asus Designo Curved MX34VQ used 48 watts of power while operating in Standard mode, and 46 watts while in ECO mode, and the Samsung CF791 used 45 watts in Standard mode and 36 watts in ECO Saving Plus mode. The NEC MultiSync EX341R-BK consumed 59 watts in Standard mode.
Feature-Packed, More Pixels Please
The Dell P3418HW is a good choice for users who require lots of screen real estate, but don’t have the desktop space for a dual monitor configuration. It delivers very good grayscale and viewing angle performance, contains numerous digital inputs, and is equipped with a four-port USB hub, although its color accuracy is slightly off. Fortunately, it offers advanced settings that allow you to correct any color issues. If the 1080p resolution doesn’t cut it, consider the NEC MultiSync EX341R-BK, or our Editors’ Choice for high-end, extra-large-screen monitors, the Dell UltraSharp 34 Curved Monitor U3417W. Both are 34-inch curved screen monitors that offer a higher WQHD (3,440-by-1,440) resolution, but they will cost you a few hundred dollars more than the P3418HW.
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