The 10 Best Ultrawide Monitors
This wiki has been updated 23 times since it was first published in November of 2016. As PCs become more powerful, monitors get bigger, brighter, and more responsive, and now they're getting much wider, too. A far cry from ancient CRT technology with its 4:3 aspect ratio, today's newest displays offer the true cinematic standard of 21:9 - or more - providing plenty of space to maximize your working or gaming experience. Many also offer support for HDR and adaptive refresh rates. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
July 16, 2020:
They may seem a little indulgent, but ultrawide monitors are, to many people, the epitome of luxury when it comes to PC displays. Take, for example, the LG 34BK95U, which is almost as nice as anything Apple has ever put out, and in fact is so nice that it's sold on Apple's website worldwide. Of similarly high quality, and in the number 2 spot in terms of resolution for a 21:9 display, is the LG Ultragear GL950. If you can afford, it's awfully hard to beat, thanks in part to its massive size. Speaking of expensive, the Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ costs an arm and a leg, but it's hard to imagine anyone being dissatisfied with its image quality.
On the more affordable side of things - but still pretty costly - are the MSI Optix MPG341CQR, which is a good choice if you want to save a little cash, and the Alienware 3420DW, which is one of the nicest all-around options you'll find, no matter how hard you look. The ViewSonic VP3481 is in the same price range as those, and while it's not meant for gaming, it's highly capable when it comes to editing tasks. The LG WN80C, meanwhile, doesn't have the bells and whistles of many others, but is relatively affordable, considering the high cost of the rest of the category.
Then there are the super-wide models. The AOC Agon AG493UCX and Samsung CRG9 both measure 49 inches diagonally in a 32:9 aspect ratio, which gives them a level of gaming immersion that can only be topped by a VR headset, and they can also display 3 windows simultaneously without losing much real estate on each one, so they're as good for productivity as they for having fun.
May 23, 2019:
Monitors wider than the now-standard 16:9 aspect ratio are extremely useful for productivity as well as entertainment purposes. If you're an avid gamer, you'll really appreciate the increased field of view from an ultrawide such as the LG 34GK950F or the ViewSonic Elite. Also, for what it's worth, a couple outlets have tested that LG as having an input lag as low as 4 milliseconds, which is about quick of a response as is possible. The Acer is another fantastic choice that's got a great price-to-performance ratio. The BenQ is a little more expensive, but its dynamic contrast is near the top of the pack and it does a great job at representing HDR.
LG's 29WK600 is a great choice if you're looking for extra real estate but don't want to spend a lot. It may not be ideal for high-end gaming or a truly cinematic viewing experience, but it's an incredible simply simply because it costs so little. Clear on the other end of the spectrum, the Dell UltraSharp is, as usual, one of the finest displays on the market, and this time, it's actually pretty reasonably priced. LG's UltraFine is one of the most expensive, but that's for good reason; it combines some of the most impressive technology available today and works great for work as well as play -- as long as you have a strong enough computer.
Samsung offers a number of quality options as well, and luckily they're available at a range of prices. We particularly like the QLED model because of its eye-popping color, but they're all great choices.
One final note is that of curvature. You'll notice a lot of ultrawides aren't flat. When a monitor's that wide, the edges of 3D games start to distort, and viewing angles become apparent even when you're staring straight at the monitor. So depending on the unit's size and what you use it for, you may be happier with a curved ultrawide monitor than you would with a flat one or a curved monitor of standard width.
Samsung Odyssey G9 The Samsung CRG9 stretches 49 inches from corner to corner and is the same as a pair of WQHD monitors sewn together, but the impressive specs don't stop there. It boasts a 1000R curvature that's almost identical to that of the human eye and utilizes QLED filtration to deliver shockingly bold color. The drawbacks? It's really expensive, requires powerful hardware if you want to fully appreciate it, takes up a huge amount of desk space, and is hard to get your hands on. But if you like big, bold, and beautiful, it's for you. samsung.com
Alienware AW5520QF While it is built in the 16:9 aspect ratio common to most PCs, this 55-inch behemoth is one of the few displays of its size with a DisplayPort input, which allows it to deliver 4K resolutions at up to 120 hertz. As you might imagine, it's remarkably expensive, but it's one of the only large-format gaming monitors out there. dell.com
The Benefits Of Using An Ultra-Wide Monitor
You can keep your email open on one side, your word processor open on another, and your collection of cat videos open in the middle, where they belong.
When I’m not writing or researching for these pages, I spend my days as a filmmaker. I spend a tremendous amount of that time sitting in front of a monitor, editing and affecting the frames I manage to capture. For the longest time, I did this work on a 15-inch laptop, and I can personally attest to both the slow and horrific workflow that such a small screen produced, and the resulting problems in color correction and shot matching that followed.
Then, in 2016, I directed a film with enough of a budget that I didn’t need to edit it myself. What was the first thing I noticed when I walked into that professional editor’s space and saw his setup? A large, ultrawide monitor — two of them, in fact. One contained his meticulously organized workflow spanning three different picture editing software (one for cutting, one for color, and one for special effects), and the other was dedicated to playback, so he could see his work full-screen at all times. Needless to say, I was jealous.
Film editing is, however, only a single example of the usefulness of these ultrawide monitors, though it speaks to something that most people who spend a lot of their day working on a computer can confirm: screen real estate is precious. The more windows you have to stack on top of one another for whatever workflow you’ve designed, the more you’ll have to clumsily switch from one to the next, having to hold important information in your head or on your clipboard as you go.
An ultrawide monitor allows you to lay out your entire workflow on a single screen, without any stacking. That means you’ll have access to all the information pertinent to your work at any time. You can keep your email open on one side, your word processor open on another, and your collection of cat videos open in the middle, where they belong. You’ll work more quickly, with fewer mistakes and more cats.
Ultrawide Monitors Can Be Fun, Too
When you’ve finished with all of this tedious work, you’ll want to relax, of course. While it might be a good idea to finally peel your eyeballs away from a screen for a while, there’s a good chance you aren’t going to do that. It’s more likely that you’re going to pop on your favorite TV show, watch a great movie, or fire up a good video game.
When you’ve finished with all of this tedious work, you’ll want to relax, of course.
It’s probably a given that film and television will look great on many of these monitors. They tend to boast at least 1080p resolution, and have many of the same features you’d find on a good flat screen television. It’s in the gaming world that these babies really shine.
Coincidentally, the same features that make these ultrawide monitors ideal for work also make them great for playtime. Screen real estate is a factor here, for sure. Being able to see as much of the field as a game designer intended, while also keeping your HUD in full view on that very same screen can give you an enormous advantage over the competition.
Differences Between The Monitor And The Television
You may take a look at the ultrawide monitors on our list and rightfully ask yourself why you don’t just go out and get a cheap flat screen TV. It is true that the line between the two has blurred significantly in recent years. Since TV manufacturers are aware that many of their customers connect computers and similar devices to their sets, they often built compatibility across a wide range of potential resolutions into their products. That allows the majority of these televisions to double as computer monitors when necessary.
If you plan on editing photos or videos of any kind, however, it’s quite possibly the biggest reason not to use a television for your work.
Of course, some televisions won’t accommodate your specific resolution options. In my personal experience, my laptop and television do not share a resolution option, so if I want to display something on my television, I either have to sacrifice the upper and lower portions of the screen or settle for a smaller look at whatever I want to see. Monitors tend to have a greater number of available resolution options, so the odds of one matching your computer’s output are far greater.
Televisions also tend to have more limited color customization options. If you’re planning to use your monitor for word processing, data entry, and internet research, that might not be the biggest downside. If you plan on editing photos or videos of any kind, however, it’s quite possibly the biggest reason not to use a television for your work.
Proper color calibration is so important for film and photo work that professionals often won’t simply rely on their eyeballs and whatever adjustment settings come on a given monitor. The best monitors can sync up with third-party color calibrators to achieve results that more closely resemble the colors of the original scene. This is especially important to fashion and product photographers whose clients demand that the images of their products match those products’ colors in the real world.
Available inputs are one last vital feature with which you can see a clear difference between TVs and monitors. Going back to my personal setup, my laptop’s only video output is a mini-display port. The MDP is small and convenient, and a male-to-male MDP cable can connect many computers to the vast majority of monitors on the market, most of which also have the port. To connect to my TV, however, I need an MDP-to-HDMI converter.
Consider what hardware you want to connect to your monitor, and investigate what its native outputs are. That way, you can select an ultrawide monitor to which you can connect without an adapter. There’s nothing inherently wrong with using an adapter for your connection, but it does create one more part in the chain that can fail. The simpler you can keep your setup, the more durable it will be and the easier time you’ll have diagnosing any problems that may arise.