Dell U3818DW Curved Monitor Review

OSD Setup & Calibration

The U3818DW has an extensive OSD with many calibration options and all the features you’d expect in a professional display. Bring it up by pressing the third control button twice.

Brightness and contrast are controlled by sliders in the first sub-menu. The U3818DW doesn’t have a ton of output, and we found after setting contrast correctly (it’s too high by default), brightness had to be maxed to achieve 200cd/m2. We’ll go into more detail about that on the next page. Next up is an input selector, which includes USB Type C in the list of choices. You can connect a compatible laptop to that port and mirror its video output.

The Color menu offers six picture modes. Standard is the default and displays decent accuracy, but we found a few gains by using Custom Color with its two-point grayscale, saturation, and hue sliders. You can also adjust the color temp by Kelvins in the Color Temp mode. ComfortView has a low blue-light feature that can reduce eye fatigue, though a proper grayscale calibration accomplishes the same thing. If you connect a Blu-ray player, the monitor supports YPbPr input formats. If you want to reset only the color controls, you can do that as well.

Display has aspect ratio options that can either stretch content to fill the screen or display it in a 1:1-pixel ratio. Obviously, it’s best to stick with the native 3840x1600 format. Sharpness is fine at the default setting. Anything higher and you’ll see clarity-robbing edge enhancement. Dynamic Contrast is available in some picture modes. It improves perceived contrast and clips some highlight and shadow detail. Response Time is a well-engineered overdrive that won’t ghost even at its highest setting. Uniformity Compensation is a toggle, either on or off. We found it has the most effect on higher brightness levels. It reduces output and contrast while providing no significant benefit.

Ultra-wide screens are great for viewing multiple sources. The U3818DW can show two signals in either a side-by-side format or PIP. There are two window sizes available.

USB Selection is where you can assign KVM functions to the three video inputs. This allows the monitor to support two PCs with individual input devices.

The U3818DW’s audio is a cut above the norm, and you can control the volume here. If you plan to use an external system or simply want silence, the speakers can be disabled.

The OSD is available in multiple languages, can be on-screen for up to 60 seconds, and be as transparent or solid as you’d like.

The first two control keys can be programmed for different functions to avoid a trip to the OSD for commonly-used items. There are eight possible options for things like luminance, picture modes, USB and video swap, PBP/PIP, and others. If the power LED is a distraction, you can turn it off. USB ports can be left powered in standby for charging purposes.

The Others menu has DDC/CI options, LCD Conditioning patterns, and signal info. If you want to return all settings to their defaults, select Factory Reset.

Calibration

The U3818DW can be used in its Standard mode without further calibration. It delivers decent accuracy, though there is a little room for improvement. For that, select Custom Color and adjust the grayscale controls as we did. The only changes required by our sample were to the RGB Gain sliders. No other adjustments were necessary. If you want to tweak the color gamut, hue and saturation sliders are provided. The only problem we encountered was a too-high contrast setting. It manifested by clipping highlight detail and causing a red deficiency at 100% brightness. Lowering it enough to fix the issue meant we had to max the brightness slider for 200cd/m2. It also cost us some contrast. There is no gamma control, but our sample hit 2.2 right on the nose, so we didn’t miss it. Here are our recommended settings.

Dell U3818DW Calibration Settings
Preset Mode
Custom
Brightness 200cd/m2
100
Brightness 120cd/m253
Brightness 100cd/m241
Brightness 80cd/m230
Brightness 50cd/m214
Contrast
67
Gain
Red 100, Green 96, Blue 98
Offset
Red 50, Green 50, Blue 50
Hue & Saturation
Unchanged

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  • Realist9
    I guess I give up on waiting for a 4k, 32" or greater G-sync monitor at >60hz.

    Even though the 1080 has been out 1.5 yrs and can handle it, the market must just be too small for manufacturers to make them. Bummer.
  • photonboy
    REALIST9,
    4K, 144Hz, GSYNC is coming in 2018...
    https://wccftech.com/g-sync-hdr-monitors-available-q2-2017/

    Break open your piggy bank though...
  • Lucky_SLS
    How does a curved screen benefit professional work? I thought it was just for the immersion. And this is 2300R instead of 1800R.
  • Tanquen
    37.5” = Yea!

    IPS = Yea!

    10-bit color = Yea!

    3840x1600-pixel resolution – Yea!

    USB 3.1 Type C = Yea!

    HDMI 2.0 = Still no 2.1?

    21:9 = Lame!

    Curved = Why?! Why do folks want their screen squished in the middle and the ISO graphics distorted?

    No FreeSync = God Dam it!
  • Tanquen
    2381310 said:
    How does a curved screen benefit professional work? I thought it was just for the immersion. And this is 2300R instead of 1800R.


    It doesn’t. It’s a gimmick that they think will help sell displays. This has mostly come and gone from the TV space but the computer monitors always seem to be a year or more behind.
  • lar33mo
    This looks like a really nice monitor. In July 2017, I purchased a Dell UltraSharp 32" Ultra HD 4K Monitor with PremierColor - UP3216Q. I paid $1,399.99 for the monitor,
    ( reduced in price by $400.00 ), $25.00 shipping, and $90.49 in taxes, ( which I doubt that my home state of Connecticut will see a penny of.. ;-) ). I ordered the monitor from Dell online, on a Sunday, and it was delivered via FedEx the following Tuesday!! :-) I purchased the 32" after my Dell 30" monitor died after a number of years. Regarding this 38" monitor, I believe my 32" Dell Monitor was intended for the same market. The very solid construction appears to be present in both models. While I usually have two 30" monitors on my desk, ( the new 32" monitor fits fine with my HP ZR30w 30" monitor). I do wish however, that this 38" monitor was available when I bought the Dell UltraSharp 32". I would have had a more modern monitor for about $350.00 less, tax included. :-| Maybe next time. ;-)
  • Kungpaoshizzi
    Enough with this 27" monitor crap :|
    35"+ please!
  • Nintendork
    More like enough with the idiotic curve, IPS is sh*t with that pathetic contrast.

    All monitors should be VA 1080/1440/1600 16:10/4k 3000-5000:1
  • gio2vanni86
    I have a curved TV and monitor. I honestly love it. Don't see why theres hate on curved. It give the tv and monitor a feel that cant be described, but it honestly is a nice touch. I don't buy flat anymore, it doesnt please my appetite anymore. To me i feel like i went back to the stone-age when i look at a flat screen. This is just my opinion. Still waiting on those 144-240hz 4k HDR curved g-sync displays :)
  • metathias
    I've ended up deciding i actually like my 1800r curved monitor. At 38'' you can't even notice it at about 20 inch's from the screen.
  • JWoody
    Im fine with 60Hz, but the vurved just dosent do it for me, not that theres anything wrong with it, its just that i will continue to have dual displays no matter how large my main gets to be and it dosent seem to fit that kind of usage, otherwise love the monitore and i prefer IPS panels way better than T&N (Yuk, to old school, crap viewing angles, even worse contrast), contrast may be lower than MVA/PVA but the color accuracy tends to be higher at the cost of contrast i do like that the MVA/PVA has super high contrast but id rather have IPSes tradeoff in higher color accuracy and viewing angles, important for dual monitor usage. if this display had a flat-screen version id be more than happy to own it. Do they?
  • JonDol
    194916 said:
    37.5” = Yea! IPS = Yea! --> NOO, VA please ! 10-bit color = Yea! 3840x1600-pixel resolution – Yea! --> NOO, at least 4K please ! USB 3.1 Type C = Yea! HDMI 2.0 = Still no 2.1? 21:9 = Lame! --> AGREE ! Curved = Why?! Why do folks want their screen squished in the middle and the ISO graphics distorted? No FreeSync = God Dam it!


    DP 1.2 --> NOO, DP 1.4 please !

    AdaptativeSync: the one that works with the fastest GC so G-Sync atm, please !
  • shrapnel_indie
    67821 said:
    REALIST9, 4K, 144Hz, GSYNC is coming in 2018... https://wccftech.com/g-sync-hdr-monitors-available-q2-2017/ Break open your piggy bank though...


    Are you sure that is the article you wish to use to back up your claim? It's from Jan 2017 AND claims Q2 of 2017. Q2 of 2017 has came and gone. We're in the middle of Q4 of 2017... and the two models listed there don't show up anywhere.
  • Tanquen
    2131435 said:
    194916 said:
    37.5” = Yea! IPS = Yea! --> NOO, VA please ! 10-bit color = Yea! 3840x1600-pixel resolution – Yea! --> NOO, at least 4K please ! USB 3.1 Type C = Yea! HDMI 2.0 = Still no 2.1? 21:9 = Lame! --> AGREE ! Curved = Why?! Why do folks want their screen squished in the middle and the ISO graphics distorted? No FreeSync = God Dam it!
    DP 1.2 --> NOO, DP 1.4 please ! AdaptativeSync: the one that works with the fastest GC so G-Sync atm, please !


    But G-$ync is almost scam like. Freesync is good enough and NVidia could enable it on their cards but they are big jerks.
  • gaborbarla
    Curved screen are pretty much necessary over 27". The pixels need to face more towards you than they do on a flat screen for uniformity. So for those that wonder if curved is a good idea, I think it is actually necessary. Overall the curve will try to point every pixel more or less 90 degrees towards your eyes, on a flat 38" screen the edges of the screens will be like 30-45 degrees from your eyes creating a really uncomfortable experience. This actually should increase colour uniformity from the viewers standpoint compared to a flat screen.
  • JonDol
    194916 said:
    2131435 said:
    194916 said:
    37.5” = Yea! IPS = Yea! --> NOO, VA please ! 10-bit color = Yea! 3840x1600-pixel resolution – Yea! --> NOO, at least 4K please ! USB 3.1 Type C = Yea! HDMI 2.0 = Still no 2.1? 21:9 = Lame! --> AGREE ! Curved = Why?! Why do folks want their screen squished in the middle and the ISO graphics distorted? No FreeSync = God Dam it!
    DP 1.2 --> NOO, DP 1.4 please ! AdaptativeSync: the one that works with the fastest GC so G-Sync atm, please !
    But G-$ync is almost scam like. Freesync is good enough and NVidia could enable it on their cards but they are big jerks.


    I'm aware that FS could also be enabled on Nvidia if it decides so but it has no reason to do it atm since it not only holds the crown for the fastest GC but also for the more efficient ones and all the world excepting the US is more interested in the performance/watt than the brute performance (I just gave you an insight of the hit both AMD and Intel will take when the ARM multicore platforms will spread). And if FS is good enough for you it isn't good enough for me for the two reasons mentioned earlier.
  • ddferrari
    http://
    1675488 said:
    I guess I give up on waiting for a 4k, 32" or greater G-sync monitor at >60hz. Even though the 1080 has been out 1.5 yrs and can handle it, the market must just be too small for manufacturers to make them. Bummer.

    The GTX 1080 isn't considered adequate for 4K. Even the 1080 Ti isn't a slam dunk according to most gamers (although it's not far off). The 1080 averages less than 40 fps in games like Witcher 3, GTA V and FC Primal. It completely fails at Crysis 3 in 4K. Sure- you could drop all your settings to medium or low, but then why bother with 4K?

    https://images.nvidia.com/geforce-com/international/images/nvidia-geforce-gtx-1080/nvidia-geforce-gtx-1080-3840x2160-performance.png
  • ddferrari
    1800653 said:
    Im fine with 60Hz, but the vurved just dosent do it for me, not that theres anything wrong with it, its just that i will continue to have dual displays no matter how large my main gets to be and it dosent seem to fit that kind of usage, otherwise love the monitore and i prefer IPS panels way better than T&N (Yuk, to old school, crap viewing angles, even worse contrast), contrast may be lower than MVA/PVA but the color accuracy tends to be higher at the cost of contrast i do like that the MVA/PVA has super high contrast but id rather have IPSes tradeoff in higher color accuracy and viewing angles, important for dual monitor usage. if this display had a flat-screen version id be more than happy to own it. Do they?

    Why would you prefer having bezels splitting your picture in half instead one seamless picture? That just breaks the immersion completely for me when gaming. Plus, don't most people using dual monitors have them "towed-in" at a slight angle anyway- mimicking a curve? Just curious.
  • Tanquen
    2131435 said:
    194916 said:
    2131435 said:
    194916 said:
    37.5” = Yea! IPS = Yea! --> NOO, VA please ! 10-bit color = Yea! 3840x1600-pixel resolution – Yea! --> NOO, at least 4K please ! USB 3.1 Type C = Yea! HDMI 2.0 = Still no 2.1? 21:9 = Lame! --> AGREE ! Curved = Why?! Why do folks want their screen squished in the middle and the ISO graphics distorted? No FreeSync = God Dam it!
    DP 1.2 --> NOO, DP 1.4 please ! AdaptativeSync: the one that works with the fastest GC so G-Sync atm, please !
    But G-$ync is almost scam like. Freesync is good enough and NVidia could enable it on their cards but they are big jerks.
    I'm aware that FS could also be enabled on Nvidia if it decides so but it has no reason to do it atm since it not only holds the crown for the fastest GC but also for the more efficient ones and all the world excepting the US is more interested in the performance/watt than the brute performance (I just gave you an insight of the hit both AMD and Intel will take when the ARM multicore platforms will spread). And if FS is good enough for you it isn't good enough for me for the two reasons mentioned earlier.


    It is good enough for everyone. It's been tested and most can't tell and they both do the same thing. That is why NVidia has not enabled it, which would cost them nothing to enable on their cards. How else are they going to force monitor makers to add G$ync and not Freesync? How else are they going to force people to use Gsync and not Freesync?
    It would not exist if NVidia did not have a (at the moment) much larger market share.

    If NVidia did not force people to use it no one would. There are already more Freesync displays and it’s not looking any better for G$ync with gaming consoles and TVs supporting Freesync next year.

    You are paying for Display Port and HDMI ports on your cards and NVidia is disabling a feature of protocols on those ports to try and force you to buy their much more expensive hardware and displays for a very small difference (if any) in performance. Why support that? Why buy the more expensive Nvidia card when my AMD card is fast enough, supports Freesync, can use Freesync with a cheaper display and I’ll be able to use it with my new OLED TV next year?
  • Tanquen
    215623 said:
    Curved screen are pretty much necessary over 27". The pixels need to face more towards you than they do on a flat screen for uniformity. So for those that wonder if curved is a good idea, I think it is actually necessary. Overall the curve will try to point every pixel more or less 90 degrees towards your eyes, on a flat 38" screen the edges of the screens will be like 30-45 degrees from your eyes creating a really uncomfortable experience. This actually should increase colour uniformity from the viewers standpoint compared to a flat screen.


    That depends greatly on the quality of the screen and LCDs are not going to get worse at off angle color and brightness. Even when they do have these issues it’s not the guy setting directly in front of the screen less than a few feet away that will normally see it. Even then it will be so slight. Any curved screen is only going to bring the pixels at the sides ever so slightly closer.

    For millions of years the brain has developed to deal with an isometric view of the world. That is what just about everything you watch on a display is developed or filmed in. When I look at a picture or a display it’s perfectly square, it’s not tall in the middle and short on the sides. There is nothing to correct. If you curve the display you are just squishing it a little in the middle and adding distortion to the sides of the original image as it was filmed or rendered in games.

    Curved TVs and Monitors only exist because the manufactures can curve the screen and they hoped they could sell it at a premium or get folks to buy a new TV when they did not need one. It’s already mostly gone from the TV space and will be from monitors as well. They do cost a little more to make and ship and no one really wants them after seeing the extra distortion and glare in curved screens.

    If you were viewing a film shot in 360° video then maybe it would be cool to have an IMAX like wraparound screen that is somehow perfectly 2ft or whatever from your head all the way around. Even then, it would be more accurate to have a hexagon of flat screens around you that matched the number of cameras used.

    Shouldn’t they be curved vertically also???