Dell UltraSharp 34 Curved U3425WE Monitor Review: Jack Of All Trades

Dell's UltraSharp 34 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor Delivers A Great Experience With IPS Black Tech

dell ultrasharp curved u3425we ips black

Dell UltraSharp 34 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor U3425WE: MSRP $819, Currently $769.99
The Dell UltraSharp 34 U3425WE is a beautiful, curved Thunderbolt-enabled monitor featuring IPS Black technology, for enhanced contrast and color accuracy, with great viewing angles.

hot flat
  • Integrated Thunderbolt Hub
  • Tons Of IO
  • Great Ergonomics
  • Low Blue Light Eye Care
  • IPS Black With Great Contrast And Accuracy
  • 120Hz Refresh Rate
  • Wide Viewing Angles
not flat
  • Comparable OLED Monitors Have Gotten Affordable
  • Bland Aesthetics
  • Plastics Don't Feel Premium
  • hothardware recommended small

The world of PC and workstation monitors is often driven by the latest advancements in visual innovation, which can vary greatly in their intended purpose. Some monitors feature incredibly high refresh rates for gaming, while others feature impeccably accurate panels with high resolutions for serious productivity and content creation. Dell has approached its new UltraSharp 34 Curved Thunderbolt Hub Monitor U3425WE from a slightly different, more balanced angle, building a 5-star eye comfort certified solution that puts the user experience front and center. 

The Dell U3425WE packs a gorgeous 34-inch WQHD IPS Black display with a gamer-satisfying 120Hz refresh rate, a native resolution of 3440x1440, and attractive styling. However, embedded therein you'll also find a rich set of connectivity options, starting with Thunderbolt 4 with 90W of power to charge both Windows and Apple laptops. A built-in USB hub and KVM switch rounds off the accouterments you might expect in a high-end monitor, together with a flexible, swiveling stand. A bevy of DisplayPort and HDMI ports are also standard fare in the rear connectivity area, but let's run down the rest of the specs for Dell's UltraSharp 34 U3425WE monitor...

Dell UltraSharp 34 Curved Thunderbolt Hub U3425WE Specs

We tested this monitor in extended productivity and content creation sessions on both PC and Mac, diverting our attention only for the requisite gaming sessions to push this panel to its 120Hz limits. With a sales price currently of just $769.99, this display holds a lot of promise with a rich feature set that won't break the bank. Keeping careful attention to Dell's assertions of increased eye-comfort, we also kept track of any noticeable advantages there. So, let's dive in deeper and light-up this curved 34-inch display so you can see for yourself.

dell unboxed

Dell UltraSharp 34 Curved Thunderbolt Hub U3425WE Design And Features 

The Dell UltraSharp 34 U3425WE has a 5-star eye-comfort TUV Rheinland Certification, using its ComfortView technology which reduces blue light emissions through the use tuned LED backlights. An ambient light sensor also monitors room conditions and adjusts brightness and color temperature accordingly, further reducing eye fatigue. The native resoolution of 3440x1440 also hits somewhat a of a sweet spot for a monitor of this size. The resolution is high enough to provide a crisp pixel denisty of 110ppi, but not so high as to require large amounts of scaling in Windows. 

To top it off, a 120Hz refresh rate allows for smoother motion and less blur, a boon for design work, content creation and gaming. While using this monitor, we did not notice any visual drawbacks to this underlying technology, and we can anecdotally report that we had a comfortable experience with this panel, even after extended use.
editing 2

Thanks to its IPS Black display technology, color space coverage is 98% of DCI-P3 / Display P3 with vibrant colors and satisfyingly deep blacks, which are roughly twice as deep as traditional IPS panels. While not quite OLED levels, saturation, black reproduction and brightness prove very good with its DisplayHDR 600 certification. This makes the visual experience not only comfortable, but enjoyable as well during longer sessions of use. Contrast is rated for 2000:1, providing for great detailed image reproduction while using Adobe Photoshop or similar applications. 

side back

The included stand is attractive, and has solid mobility and movement. This is important, since ergonomic considerations go hand-in-hand with the entire mantra of achieving eye-comfort with this panel. A properly adjusted monitor will allow the user to sit in front at the proper viewing angle and distance, be it for productivity tasks or gaming tasks. It can swivel to the side, and raise up and down with fluid motion for proper placement.

The base itself is rather wide, however, so take note if you have particularly tight desk space. The only cable management provided is an opening through the stand itself, which should be more than adequate to route things neatly. The overall design of the Dell UltraSharp 34U3425WE curved monitor is attractive, with reasonably trim bezels and a clean color scheme of silver for the visible elements of the monitor housing. 

dell ports bottom

Connectivity starts with Thunderbolt 4 and a 90 Watt charging capacity, along with display capabilities in one cable. Furthermore, DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.1, and a Gigabit 2.5 RJ45 Ethernet port is available. Complementing those are 5 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type A ports, along with 4 USB Type-C (a mix of TB4 downstream for daisy chaining, USB 3.2 Gen2 downstream and upstream ports) making this monitor full-featured for connecting various devices and acting as a connectivity hub.

dell settings

The display's settings are easily accessed through a small joystick on the rear right of the panel. Pressing it brings up a menu with a myriad of options. A Network KVM switch is built-in, allowing use of two systems with this single monitor with a split display. Picture-in-picture, and picture-by-picture are both available with this Auto-KVM and Network KVM capability as well. 

dell 34

Dell UltraSharp 34 Curved Thunderbolt Hub U3425WE Content Creation & Productivity Testing

Productivity and content creation are a core focus of this particular monitor, and that it does very well. To test Dell's claims of maximizing eye-comfort, I set out to make this my main work machine for an extended period of time to see how my eyes reacted. Starting with the immersive WQHD resolution and 34-inch size is a great step, with my entire workflow layout spread out in front of me.

Panel quality with its IPS Black technology is excellent. Text is clear, sharp, and colors look beautifully saturated along with this display's 2000:1 contrast ratio. Brightness was good with display HDR600, and the light sensor worked in the background to keep the experience consistent across a variety of room lighting conditions. 

dell inputs

We easily connected to the 2019 Apple Mac Pro with its Thunderbolt cable for the display connection, and to a PC via its DisplayPort cable. A major consideration professionals will always appreciate is richness of connectivity options, and in this regard the UltraSharp 34 U3425WE delivers in spades. The ability to use Thunderbolt 4, USB A / C, Ethernet and various other display connectivity is essential for many use cases. 

video editing

Video editing was also very enjoyable on this monitor, once again owing to its expansive 34-inch panel size and high-quality display. Colors appeared accurate and vibrant and with good levels of contrast out of the box, without additional calibration. Of course, we still wanted to calibrate this display for testing and to quantify some of its capabilities.


Using DisplayCAL with a Calibrite Color Checker to measure the characteristics of the display provided excellent results. Dell claims Delta E is less than 2 on average, and the tests provided an excellent result of 0.14 average with a maximum shift of 2.84. Gamut coverage is also very good, with near 100% sRBG coverage and over 91% actual measured coverage of DCI P3.

In real world use, we also paid special attention to the eye-comfort levels to see if we noticed any difference from our Apple Studio Display when working. The Dell U3425WE did seem easier on the eyes, without any noticeable strain even after many hours of use. The ComfortView technology also worked behind the scenes to keep blue light emissions low. Blue light will be less than 35% according to Dell, a marked improvement for the usual 50% or so experienced on other monitors not tuned for reduced blue light emissions. 

dell monitor uniformity test
DisplayCAL Backlight Uniformity Test

The ambient light sensor also seemed to do its job very well, adjusting brightness as needed when we turned off some office lights. DisplayCAL's uniformity test (above) proved the display has some excellent brightness characteristics across the entire panel, tested on 5x5 grids to break the panel down into 25 individual zones. As you can see, uniformity is essentially perfect -- all of the 25 zones are within expected tolerances, as represented by the green outlines in the image above. Displaycal will highlight a non-uniform zone with amber, when it's only slightly out of spec, and red, if uniformity is particularly bad. Uniformity is a non-issue, at least with our particular sample, which was near perfect. Coupled with the 120Hz refresh rate, fluid and smooth on both Mac and PC as well. 

dell usb hub
The Left Speaker and USB Hub area

The Dell U3425WE also comes with built-in speakers, which proved to be rather enjoyable. While typing and writing, we played classical music such as Bach through the speakers, and they provided a clear, nicely full-bodied sound. Editing video also proved successful with this setup, and they were adequate for most tasks. While some users may prefer to use discrete external speakers for higher audio fidelity, the ones included in this Dell display will surely do the job some folks. 


Adobe Photoshop was a pleasure to use on this monitor. Once again, the expansive panel size and relatively high resolution made it a great companion. Color accuracy and vibrancy are the main attractions here, with the 2000:1 contrast ratio helping with editing photos. While this is a matte display, occasionally you can get some minor glare from brighter light sources as seen in the above photo on the top left of the panel, but that is as expected. The monitor reacts very well to light, especially within a normal brightness range. 

dell settings 2

For use cases where you'll want two systems connected, KVM functionality is built in and can be used over a network or the traditional way with discrete cables. We connected a Mac to the Thunderbolt display connection, and a gaming PC to the DisplayPort. Both functioned perfectly, and it was easy to switch inputs with the joystick and menu system as needed. On the Mac, the volume control wasn't available directly as it would normally be on the Apple Studio Display, but there are some work arounds for that option. Volume control via the keyboard worked fine with the PC, however. This is true of most monitors and Apple Mac systems when using HDMI or Thunderbolt, so it is not a reflection on the Dell UltraSharp 34's capabilities itself. 

viewing angle
Excellent viewing angles make for a flexible, and comfortable, experience. 

Excellent viewing angles add to the high-quality experience of this panel, with 178 degrees vertical and horizontal. This delivered real-world comfortable visibility in many lightning and seating conditions, regardless of more obtuse angles. We don't all always have perfect posture, and remain dead center of our displays, so maintaining accuracy at wider viewing angles is definitely helpful, and one of the main advantages of IPS display technology.

How Is The Dell UltraSharp 34 Curved Thunderbolt Hub U3425WE Monitor For Gaming?

Gaming may not be the apparent as the target for this monito, but it does pack an impressive 120Hz refresh rate, which combines for an excellent gaming experience coupled with its immersive 34-inch size. 

Response time is a minimum of 5 ms for gray-to-gray, which is good for productivity, and still falls within a decent range for gaming. The fastest gaming monitors on the planet will have even faster response times that eclipse the Dell U3425WE, but this display strikes a good compromise for the type of panel that it is. Plus, you're still getting the same eye-comfort benefits when gaming too, which is sure to be a relief on your circadian rhythms after a long night of gaming fun. 

dell gaming 3

Gaming was an absolute joy, with Ratchet and Clank showing the vibrant and colorful image reproduction that this monitor has. Its DisplayHDR600 certification will fall short of the HDR capabilities of other high-end panels geared for gaming, but it proved to deliver a wonderfully rich output with excellent contrast and brightness. 

Motion was smooth, with no ghosting or other issues, and response time proved more than adequate for this single player game. The U3425WE's IPS Black technology did a great job in keeping darker scenes clear and with a good balance in requisite areas. While not as deep as OLED panels, black levels and color vibrancy were excellent. 

The integrated speakers of this display provided to be good for gaming, too. While not on the level of a good soundbar or separate audio system, it can do the job for those just wanting clear, balanced sound from the monitor itself. 

The Dell UltraSharp 34 Curved Thunderbolt Hub U3425WE Delivers

The Dell UltraSharp 34 Curved U3425WE is a well-rounded monitor that is well suited for a wide array of entertainment, productivity, and content creation workloads, with a clear emphasis on its excellent 5-star rated eye-comfort certification. When the work is done, this jack-of-all-trades can easily morph into a very competent gaming monitor as well, with its 120Hz refresh rate and good response times. Sure, it won't beat a specialized gaming monitor in terms of its specifications, but it can hang on its own merits and its a beautiful 34-inch curved panel.

The main draws for this monitor are are its extensive feature set and advanced IPS Black panel technology. Currently selling on for $769.99, this is a feature-rich and a high quality PC or Mac monitor. Its beautiful curved display reacts exceedingly well to a wide array of tasks, from photo and video editing, to spreadsheet workloads, and gaming. Ample connectivity options open various possibilities for those needing to access more than one system, while maximizing the usability of this single, but large monitor. We highly recommend the Dell UltraSharp 34 Curved U3425WE Thunderbolt Hub Monitor, if you're in need of a display that can do it all with great flexibility, features and accessibility.

Related content