Dell S3422DWG Review: 3440×1440 144Hz FreeSync UltraWide Curved Gaming Monitor

The Dell S3422DWG is a 34" 3440x1440 144Hz ultrawide curved gaming monitor based on a VA panel with a wide color gamut and FreeSync support.

Bottom Line

The Dell S3422DWG offers an immersive viewing experience thanks to its ultrawide format, high contrast ratio, strong peak brightness and wide color gamut. However, if you’re sensitive to dark level smearing and screen tearing, you should look for an IPS variant instead.

Design:
(4.5)
Display:
(4.8)
Performance:
(4.0)
Price/Value:
(3.7)
4.5

The Dell S3422DWG is yet another 34″ 3440×1440 ultrawide curved gaming monitor with a VA panel, FreeSync and wide color gamut. Here’s how it compares to its many alternatives.

Image Quality

Thanks to its VA panel, the Dell S3422DWG monitor boasts a high static contrast ratio of 3,000:1, allowing it to produce deep and inky blacks. Moreover, it has a wide 90% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage for rich and saturated colors.

Its native color gamut is equivalent to around 125% sRGB gamut size, so regular sRGB content will be a bit over-saturated, but it’s nothing extreme, you just get a bit of extra color vibrancy. There’s no sRGB emulation mode, but there are ways to clamp the gamut if you have an AMD or an NVIDIA GPU.

Although Dell specifies 8-bit color depth for the S3422DWG, it actually supports 10-bit color via dithering for 1.07 billion colors, offering a bit smoother gradients.

The monitor also has a strong peak brightness of 400-nits, so it will easily combat glare even in particularly bright rooms.

Further, the 3440×1440 resolution results in a high pixel density of 110 PPI (pixels per inch) on the 34″ viewable screen of the Dell S3422DWG, providing you with plenty of screen space as well as sharp details and text, without any scaling necessary.

The resolution is a bit more demanding than QHD (2560×1440), but it’s a lot easier to drive than 4K UHD, allowing you to maintain high frame rates with a decent mid-range GPU.

What’s more, the ultrawide format provides you with extra horizontal screen space that’s particularly useful for productivity and office-related work as well as audio/video editing as you get a wider view of your timelines.

You also get a wider field of view in compatibles games and movies shot at the ~21:9 aspect ratio are displayed without the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen as you would see on regular 16:9 widescreen monitors.

16:9 content, on the other hand, will be displayed with black bars at the sides of the screen with the option to zoom in the picture to fill the screen, though this will also crop parts of the image.

Moving on, VA monitors don’t have quite as wide viewing angles as IPS displays, so some minor shifts in gamma and saturation are noticeable at certain angles, but it’s negligible. You can do some basic content creation without issues, but if you need professional-grade accuracy, you should get an IPS monitor instead.

Performance

There are three pixel response time overdrive modes: Fast, Super Fast and Extreme.

Dell specifies a 2ms (GtG) pixel response time speed when using the ‘Extreme’ overdrive option. However, this mode results in eye-catching inverse ghosting.

The Super Fast overdrive mode works a lot better as there’s only minor overshoot and ghosting visible, while the Fast mode has no overshoot but more ghosting.

Therefore, we recommend using the Super Fast mode for the best performance. If your refresh rate is around 60Hz, go with the Fast mode instead to avoid overshoot.

There’s some noticeable smearing behind fast-moving objects in dark scenes, but it’s tolerable unless you’re particularly sensitive to it; some gamers might find it unbearable, some won’t mind it at all.

Input lag performance is excellent at around 4ms of delay, which is imperceptible.

The Dell S3422DWG also supports AMD FreeSync Premium Pro for a variable refresh rate (VRR) up to 144Hz. Its VRR range is 48-144Hz with LFC support, so below 47FPS, frames will be multiplied to keep tearing at bay.

You can also use VRR with compatible NVIDIA GPUs over DisplayPort, but the monitor is not officially certified as ‘G-SYNC Compatible.’

Sadly, as it’s the case with most VA monitors, some units are affected by the VRR brightness flickering issue. Since screen tearing isn’t nearly as noticeable at 144Hz as it is at 60Hz, some users might be fine with just disabling VRR completely.

Next, the S3422DWG supports MBR (Motion Blur Reduction), which Dell labeled as ‘MPRT.’ This technology uses backlight strobing to reduce perceived motion blur, but it reduces the brightness while active and it cannot work at the same time as VRR. Further, it introduces screen flickering that’s invisible to the human eye but might bother users sensitive to flicker.

The backlight of the monitor is flicker-free (unless MPRT is enabled) and there’s an integrated low-blue light filter available.

Features

Dell S3422DWG OSD Menu

The Dell S3422DWG supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) and has VESA’s DisplayHDR 400 certification. Since it lacks local dimming, among other things, you’re not getting the true HDR viewing experience.

However, due to its decent brightness, contrast and color gamut, some HDR scenes might look a bit better than SDR, especially if you have an AMD GPU and you’re playing FreeSync Premium Pro compatible games for better tone mapping.

Moving on, the monitor offers plenty of useful features. The OSD (On-Screen Display) menu is accessed via the directional joystick at the rear of the monitor, next to four additional hotkeys that can be used as certain shortcuts.

Noteworthy features include Dark Stabilizer (improves visibility in dark scenes by altering the gamma curvature), various picture presets (FPS, RPG, RTS/MOBA and three customizable Game profiles), on-screen timers, a refresh rate tracker and Picture in Picture/Picture by Picture support.

Apart from the standard image adjustments (brightness, contrast, color temperature, aspect ratio, input source selection), the Dell S3422DWG also has some advanced settings, such as hue/saturation and sharpness, but no gamma modes.

Design & Connectivity

Dell S3422DWG Monitor Design

The stand of the monitor is robust with a good range of ergonomics with up to 100mm height adjustment, -5°/21° tilt, +/- 4° slant and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

The screen has a moderate 1800R curvature for added immersion and a light matte anti-glare coating against reflections.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0 ports (limited to 100Hz at 3440×1440, 120Hz at 2560×1440 and 1920×1080), a quad-USB 3.0 hub, a headphone jack and an audio line-out port.

Price & Similar Monitors

The Dell S3422DWG goes for around $500.

You can find the AOC CU34G2X and the Gigabyte G34WQC/A for $450 and for ~$400 on sale. These two models use a similar VA panel with a slightly more aggressive 1500R screen curvature. The overall image quality and performance is very similar, so pick whichever is the cheapest in your region or according to your preference of the design and/or features.

If you don’t want to deal with smearing and VRR brightness flickering, consider the Gigabyte M34WQ with an IPS panel. It offers smooth VRR performance and a quicker response time speed, but its contrast ratio is not as high and it has a flat screen instead of a curved one.

Check out our best ultrawide monitor buyer’s guide for more information and the best deals available.

Conclusion

All in all, the Dell S3422DWG is an excellent ultrawide monitor for gaming, work and everyday use as long as you’re not too sensitive to smearing and screen tearing. Since there are plenty of monitors that are based on this (or similar) panel, be sure to check them all out in order to get the best value for money.

Specifications

Screen Size34-inch
Screen Curvature1800R
Resolution3440×1440 (UWQHD)
Panel TypeVA
Aspect Ratio21:9 (UltraWide)
Refresh Rate144Hz
Response Time (GtG)2ms (GtG)
Response Time (MPRT)1ms (MPRT)
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync Premium Pro (48-144Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack, Audio-Out,
4x USB 3.0
Brightness400 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio3000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
90% DCI-P3
HDRDisplayHDR 400
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • Immersive image quality with high pixel density, contrast and wide color gamut
  • Plenty of gaming features including FreeSync and MBR
  • Height-adjustable stand and rich connectivity options

The Cons:

  • Minor ghosting in fast-paced games, mainly in darker scenes
  • Some units of the monitor have flickering issues with FreeSync enabled
  • Design lacks swivel option

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Dell SE2419HX Review
Dell SE2419HX Review: Budget 1080p IPS Monitor
Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.