September 2, 2017

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: 3840x1600 Connection: USB-C

macOS Screenshot

Laptop Information macOS Screenshot

First a couple general observations

  • The box that it came in is huge! No, seriously, it’s HUGE!
  • The USB-C cable that comes with the 2016/2017 MacBook Pro is Charge Only” and can’t 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.

macOS Screenshot

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.

I have now also tried the Acer XR382CQK — 37.5” Ultrawide Monitor.  

Dell MacBook Pro Monitor U3818DW Ultra Wide

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