Dell UltraSharp U3417W review: Immersive and productive performance

Hardware Reviews / Reviews / Tech
Dell UltraSharp U3417W

This particular monitor is well suited to multi-window, multi-PC, photography and videography work where you need all that extra space for your workflow.

Ultra-wide monitors are probably not for everyone, especially those of you who prefer having one window open at full size. If you’re buying an ultra-wide and not using the space efficiently, you should rethink your purchase. I didn’t think I had a need for an ultra-wide, that is until I started using the Dell UltraSharp U3417W. This monitor isn’t for everyone, but for those who it is for, it will serve them well. Read on for the full Dell UltraSharp U3417W review.

Specifications

The Dell UltraSharp U3417W has the following features and specifications:

Display Specs

  • Model Number – U3417W
  • Viewable Image Dimension (diagonal) – 86.72 cm (34.14 inches)
  • Horizontal, active area – 799.80 mm (31.49 inches)
  • Vertical, active area – 334.80 mm (13.18 inches)
  • Maximum resolution – 3440 x 1440 at 60Hz
  • Curve radius – 1900 R
  • Pixel pitch – 0.233 mm x 0.233 mm
  • Aspect ratio – 21:9
  • Brightness – (min to typical) 300 cd/m²
  • Color gamut – (typical) 99% sRGB (deltaE < 3)
  • Color depth – 1.07 billion colors
  • Contrast ratio – (typical) 1000:1
  • Dynamic contrast ratio – 5 million:1
  • Viewing angle (typical) vertical/horizontal – 178°/178°
  • Response time Fast mode – 5 ms gray-to-gray (typical)/Normal mode: 8 ms gray-to-gray (typical)
  • Panel type – In-plane switching
  • Backlights – LED
  • Integrated speakers – 2 x 9W

Features, Connectivity and Dimensions

  • Connectors – DP 1.2, mini-DP, DP-out, 2 x HDMI 2.0, 4 x USB3.0 (2 at the side, 2 at the bottom), 2 x USB 3.0 upstream ports
  • Power – AC input voltage/frequency/current 100 to 240 VAC / 50 or 60 Hz ± 3 Hz / 1.5A (typical)
  • Height – 417.0 mm (16.42 inches) ~ 532.0 mm (20.94 inches)
  • Width – 813.6 mm (32.03 inches)
  • Depth – 226.4 mm (8.91 inches)

Weight:

  • Weight without stand assembly (For wall mount or VESA mount considerations – no cables) 7.7 kg (16.97 lb)
  • Weight with stand assembly and cables 10.4 kg (22.92 lb)
  • Weight with packaging 15.4 kg (33.94 lb)

What’s In The Box

  • Monitor with stand
  • Power cable
  • HDMI Cable
  • DP to mDP Cable
  • USB 3.0 upstream cable
  • Drivers and documentation media
  • Quick setup guide
  • Safety, Environmental, and Regulatory Information
  • Factory Calibration Report
Dell UltraSharp U2417W

Lots of room on this 34″ panel.

Design

Monitor designs don’t tend to be anything really that special to write home about and the Dell UltraSharp U3417W design isn’t anything striking. Of course, you have the 34″ curved display, which is its most prominent feature along with the pretty slim bezel all around. Beyond that, it’s basically your typical monitor design. The materials feel solid, it is mostly plastic but it’s by no means cheap in construction.

Around the back is where most all of your ports are located, including the power, display ports, mini display port, HDMI ports, and USB ports. There are two USB ports on the left side of the monitor which is convenient to have. I do wish there were more USB ports on the right side of the monitor as well but there are not. Along the bottom edge of the display is where you’ll find the settings and control buttons to calibrate and adjust the monitor.

Overall the design of the Dell UltraSharp U3417W is more pleasing than a standard flat panel monitor. The curve and the thin bezel lend to its appeal which is a plus. Materials, look and feel all have a premium feel to them and there is a good amount of consideration to making this worth the price you pay for entry.

Dell UltraSharp U3417W

The curve is very evident.

Display

Curved monitors and for that matter, curved TVs, have created much discussion about their usefulness. Does having a curve in a display really make a difference? From my research, it seems one of the conclusions is, curved TVs are basically not necessary as you view them from several feet away making the curve useless. Curved monitors, on the other hand, work better with your peripheral vision as you are less than a few feet away, having the curve in the screen allows you to capture the image better. Of course, there’s probably several different opinions and conclusions about the whole thing so I just suggest you find a local store to look at them yourself.

The Dell UltraSharp U3417W has a WQHD 3440 x 1440 resolution and a 21:9 aspect ratio with a matte finish on the panel, which is so much better than reflective glossy material. Dell says they’ve calibrated the monitor so you get 99% sRGB right out of the box and I have to admit, I have only tweaked the settings and reverted back to their stock settings. Dell ComfortView also reduces the blue light emissions some monitors tend to have which is supposed to be better for your eyes.

You can also switch between PCs with the Dell UltraSharp U3417W with the built-in KVM switch, which is very convenient for those who might use two PC’s or a laptop and desktop. Personally, I didn’t use this feature as I only hook up my desktop to a monitor, the laptop is pretty strictly for mobile use or around the house when away from my desk.

The colors are nice and natural on this monitor. I’m not a huge fan of oversaturation, especially when working in Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. I like the image to have a nice natural and neutral color so I can tweak levels in whatever editing program I may be using. The text is crisp and clear on this monitor, everything is very easy to read. Whites are really white, even compared to my 2016 MacBook Pro 15″, I felt the Dell had cleaner whites than Apple’s panel. The blacks are also deep and rich which makes movie viewing a joy and editing in Adobe Premiere great!

Dell UltraSharp U3417W

Curvy is good for monitors.

For my workflow having a curved 34″ widescreen display is phenomenal. Having the ability to have two full-size windows side by side is a huge time saver, especially when writing articles and looking to the other window for references. If you’re a single window user, this monitor is pretty useless for you as 40% of the screen will be taken up with blank space in your browser. If you’re a gamer, photographer, or videographer, now that’s a different story, this monitor is going to tickle your sweet spot.

First, playing Steam games on this was absolutely fun. The games take up the entirety of the display and it’s a very immersive experience. The rich blacks and the great contrast really make the gaming experience a solid one. Second, and what I used this monitor for the most, video and photo editing. Using Premiere and Photoshop on this monitor makes your workflow move much faster. There is so much more room for more information on this screen and the ability to have that much info quickly accessible is amazing. Video editing was particularly great as I could have an extensive timeline without truncating it so much it was hard to make edits.

Dell UltraSharp U3417W

Two USB 3.0 ports on the side.

The display on this thing is truly great. It works great for gaming, though if you want deep oversaturated colors it may not be for you. I think where the display really shines is in movie consumption and particularly in multi-window as well as photo and video editing. I have seen other reviewers complain about some back light bleed on this monitor, but my review unit did not exhibit this problem. I’m not sure if this is an issue with some units that Dell fixed or it’s just a random issue for some.

There are other obvious uses for this monitor such as spreadsheets and intensive data entry projects where you may need multiple windows going at once. Unfortunately, I do not do spread sheets or work of that sort, but I do a lot of multi-window work and the Dell UltraSharp U3417W has an excellent display for the workflow and needs I had.

Dell UltraSharp U3417W

Ports…ports…ports

Speakers/Sound

The monitor comes with two dual 9W speakers that actually sound pretty nice. They work well for some background music, YouTube videos, or light media consumption. They even work in a pinch for gaming but you’d probably rather use a nice gaming headphone like the Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum. If you’re looking for vibrant, full, immersive, bass intensive sound, the built-in speakers are probably not going to do the trick. That being said, they are certainly better than a lot of built-in speakers that I’ve used and they really will get you through your basic needs.

Price/Value

The MSRP for the Dell UltraSharp U3417W is $1099.99USD but you can find it on Dell’s website (as of this review) for $839.99USD and on Amazon for $833USD. Computer monitors are a bit different than televisions as they have different graphics they must contend with which is why they cost a bit more than comparable sized TVs. I personally have a 32″ Samsung LED TV that I use for a monitor and I picked it up for the price, but I do wish I had something of this caliber as it does so much better than a low priced TV. I’ll be sad to have to pack this particular review unit up and send it back as I think the price is fair and the value is more than there.

Wrap Up

This monitor is a beast and probably a beast that not everyone really needs. This particular monitor is well suited to multi-window, multi-PC, photography and videography work where you need all that extra space for your workflow. It’s also a great monitor for gaming, provided you don’t want a highly oversaturated panel. I’d say the Dell UltraSharp U3417W is well worth the cost and will most certainly improve some people’s workflow.

Dell UltraSharp U3417W
4.6 Out of 5
Nailed it
So much space to work. The ability to have two full-size windows open lends itself well to the type of writing work I do. The wide aspect ratio is also excellent for video and photo editing in Premiere Pro and Photoshop.
Needs Work
It's a bit pricey but worth it, the speakers aren't super great but tolerable.
Bottom Line
This is the first ultra-wide monitor I've used and for video editing, writing, multi-window tasks this thing is amazing.
Design4.75
Display4.75
Speakers/Sound4.50
Price/Value4.50
*We were sent a demo unit of the Dell UltraSharp U3417W for the purposes of this review.
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