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Dell UltraSharp 38 Curved Monitor Review

As part of our review of the Dell Canvas, the company also sent us its UltraSharp 38 curved monitor. Given the opportunity, we put this IPS display through its paces. With its incredibly thin InfinityEdge bezel, the UltraSharp 38 (37.5 in., measured diagonally) provides a nearly borderless immersive image with a 21:9 aspect ratio and a native WQHD resolution of 3840×1600.

The UltraSharp 38 (Dell model number U3818DW) weighs 26.76 pounds (including the stand). The panel itself measures 35.2×15.62×2.19-in., has a height adjustment range of 17.0 to 21.54 in., and needs a space 8.91 in. deep. The stand provides a stable support and allows the display to be swiveled 30 degrees left and right and tilted from -5 to +21°. Cables can be neatly routed through a hole in the center of the lower portion of the stand.

The Dell UltraSharp 38 curved monitor provides an immersive image with a 21:9 aspect ratio.

The Dell UltraSharp 38 curved monitor provides an immersive image with a 21:9 aspect ratio.

In addition to the power cable, Dell also provides four cables: HDMI, DisplayPort, USB Type-C and USB 3.0 upstream input. A printed calibration report, quick setup guide and a disc with drivers and manuals are also included. It took just a few minutes to assemble the stand and attach the panel. The panel also includes standard 100mm VESA mounting holes.

Connections on the rear include AC power, a security lock slot and four video inputs: two HDMI, one DisplayPort and one USB Type-C that supports USB power delivery, data and DP video signal. For our review of the Dell Canvas, that single USB Type-C connection was all we needed. There is also an audio line-out jack, a pair of USB upstream ports and a pair of USB downstream ports with power charging capabilities. A second pair of USB 3.0 jacks (one with charging capabilities) is located on the lower left edge of the screen. Five buttons on the lower-right bottom edge of the panel enable you to access the onscreen menu, control volume and turn the power on and off.

In addition to being able to switch between input sources, the UltraSharp 38 supports picture-in-picture (a smaller image from a second input in a corner of the screen) and picture-by-picture (two different simultaneous inputs side by side). The two USB inputs also enable you to use the monitor as a KVM switch.

The active matrix TFT curved screen delivers a panoramic viewing experience, while integrated dual nine-watt speakers yield excellent sound quality. Visual tests using DisplayMate were flawless. Colors were vibrant and the image was crisp and clean across the entire 2300R curvature.

Although the UltraSharp 38 has a suggested retail price of $1,499, we found it online for $1,100 from several retailers. The U3818DW is backed by a three-year warranty that includes replacement of the panel if you discover even one bright pixel. Although we tested this monitor in conjunction with the Dell Canvas and Dell Precision 5520 mobile workstation, it would be a great addition to any engineering workstation.

More Info


Dell UltraSharp 38 Curved Monitor (U3818DW)

  • Price: $1,499 MSRP ($1,100 street price)
  • Size: 37.5-in. (diagonal)
  • Display type: Active Matrix TFT LCD IPS backlit
  • Screen dimensions without stand (WxHxD): 35.2×15.62×2.19-in.
  • Physical size with stand at highest setting (WxHxD):
  • Weight: 26.7 pounds
  • Native resolution: 3840×1600 pixels @ 60Hz
  • Display area: 34.63×14.43-in.
  • Horizontal frequency range: 25kHz–115kHz
  • Vertical refresh rate: 24–85 Hz
  • Aspect ratio: 21:9
  • Pixel pitch: 0.229 mm
  • Dot/pixel per inch: 111
  • Brightness: 300 cd/m2
  • Contrast ratio: 1000:1
  • Response time: 5ms (gray to gray)
  • Number of colors: 1.07 billion
  • Color gamut: 100% sRGB
  • Power consumption: 56 watts typical, 0.3 watts standby
  • Video input ports: Two HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, one USB Type-C
  • I/O ports: Two USB 3.0 input, four USB 3.0 output
    (three with charging capability), audio line-out
  • Other features: Tilt/swivel base, built-in 9W stereo speakers,
    Kensington lock slot
  • Cables included: AC power cord, HDMI, DisplayPort,
    USB Type-C, USB 3.0 input
  • Warranty: Three years parts and labor

About David Cohn

David Cohn has been using AutoCAD for more than 25 years and is the author of more than a dozen books on the subject. He’s the technical publishing manager at 4D Technologies, a contributing editor to Digital Engineering, and also does consulting and technical writing from his home in Bellingham, WA. Watch for his latest CADLearning eBooks on AutoCAD 2015 on the Apple iBookstore, at Amazon, and on the CADLearning website. You can contact him via email at david@dscohn.com or visit his website at www.dscohn.com.