Dell U3818DW – 38” Ultrawide Monitor Paired with MacBook Pro

I recently jumped into the world of ultra big, and ultra wide monitors! Here is what happened..

Monitor information
Size: 38 Inch Ultrawide Curved Display
Resolution: 3840×1600
Connection: USB-C

Screen Shot 2017-09-01 at 7.23.04 PM

Laptop Information
Screen Shot 2017-09-01 at 7.24.37 PM

First a couple general observations

  • The box that it came in is huge! No, seriously, its HUGE!
  • The USB-C cable that comes with the 2016/2017 MacBook Pro is “Charge Only” and cant be used with this monitor.
  • I haven’t used an ultra-wide monitor prior to this, and it does take some getting used to.

Let’s start with the great things!

  • This resolution is crazy! I was somewhat worried about the PPI since I was coming from the Retina MBP screen, but this monitor looks great.
  • I have never liked two monitors side by side because of the disgusting bezel split in the middle. This monitor fixes everything wrong with that setup.
  • Because it has a 21:9 aspect ratio, if you ware watching movies of similar aspect ratio, it’s awesome to see them fit so perfectly
  • Overall, it’s an absolutely beautiful monitor.

Ok, now onto the not so great things.. (Issues)

  • The monitor does have speakers built in that are simply ‘ok’. Audio will play through the monitor, but you cannot control volume using macOS volume controls.
  • Brightness cannot be controlled from macOS controls. Also, Night Shift is not compatible with this monitor.
  • Not really the monitor’s fault completely, but transitioning between ‘clamshell mode’ and laptop mode still sucks.
  • The Everything falls asleep unless amphetamine is running.
  • Only has one USB-C connection.
  • Because your MacBook Pro is closed, you can’t use the TouchBar. Bummer!
  • You also can’t use TouchID. Mega bummer!
  • Not sure why but, Final Cut Pro X refused to run while connected to this monitor.
  • The monitor does not have an integrated webcam (I knew it didn’t when I purchased it), but something to be aware of if you need video capabilities.

Screen Shot 2017-09-01 at 7.24.24 PM

I think a lot of the control issues that I am seeing are due to macOS seeing this display as a ‘TV’ rather than a monitor.

Final Verdict
I really like this monitor! But.. given the issues, I am going to return it.🙁 Going to wait until there is a giant ultra wide that is more compatible with macOS.

I have to imagine connecting this to a Windows computer would be a much better experience since there are specific Windows drivers for this monitor.

4 thoughts on “Dell U3818DW – 38” Ultrawide Monitor Paired with MacBook Pro

  1. I was able to control the built in monitor speakers via the Mac OS keyboard after I installed Sound Siphon by Static Z Software (free demo version). Very happy now!


  2. Hi jay, how good do you think this monitor will be working with Photoshop and Lightroom? I’m planning to buy one next week. I have a 2017 MacBook Pro, so I was worried too with the resolution. I want it for photo editing and the usual day to day work. I’m between this and the Dell UP3216Q, what do you think?


    • Hey Jorge, from a resolution standpoint I think you would be ok. Color accuracy would be my concern given the emphasis on photo editing. As long as you get the color dialed in, it should be just fine for photos. Nothing will compare to the pristine MacBook Pro screen, but we aren’t getting any big Apple monitors that look that good until at least next year. There is the option of the LG 5K display that is made for the MacBook Pro, but those seem to have their own issues. Now that I have used a 38″ ultrawide curved screen, I can’t go back to regular screens!


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