Ultrawide monitors are ideal purchases should you be after something a little more than a single display, but do not wish to fork out on and have the hassle of setting up two or more monitors. Ultrawide screens generally sport resolutions that cover two or more displays with an aspect ratio of around 21:9. We take a look at why they’re worth considering and a few options should you be interested in picking one up.
Why go ultrawide?
So why should you choose ultrawide over a single or multiple monitor setup? As touched on above, these wide load screens offer an immense amount of real estate without the need for multiple monitor purchases, configuring Windows with said setup and having to put up with a gap between the two instances. An ultrawide screen allows you to see a great amount of content on a single unit.
Generally, you’ll be looking to pick up a monitor with a resolution of 2560×1080 or 3440×1440, depending on the model. These advanced resolutions aren’t just for work either — they’re also excellent for gaming. Titles like X3, Grand Theft Auto V, and others look insanely good on ultrawide displays when compared to a single or multi-screen setup.
You’re also helping the graphics card out slightly by not requiring it to draw to two or more monitors. While low-end cards may struggle to power higher resolution gaming, you should notice an increase in frames-per-second with only a single, but wider, monitor connected as opposed to a multi-display configuration.
Another bonus is the freeing up of ports on the graphics card, as an ultrawide monitor will only require a single connection. Grab two ultrawide monitors and unlock the workspace of almost four screens across two units and only two connections. There are also curved displays too, which offer more immersive experiences for consuming media and playing the latest titles, thanks to the panoramic view.
As for pricing, you can pick up a solid 29-inch display for less than $400, but flagship ultrawide displays can easily slip past the $1,000 marker. It depends on what you’re in the market for. We’ve compiled a list of displays that comfortably fit into different categories, whether it be affordability, smaller, larger and those that support synchronization technologies.
The 25UM58-P ($166.99) has replaced the 25UM57 as LG’s super-affordable ultrawide monitor. Sporting a resolution of 2560×1080, it’s no 1440p but at this price point, you shouldn’t expect a higher resolution. The plus side is the screen is only 25 inches, so the low resolution shouldn’t have a dampening effect on the visual experience.
LG has opted for in-plane switching (IPS) tech, which offers improved viewing angles and color reproduction. It’s possible to split the screen up to four times for increased levels of productivity and there’s even a dual controller for connecting two PCs to the unit. As an added bonus, LG once again included dedicated game modes. The only real restriction is connectivity — you’ll find just two HDMI ports.
There’s also the stand, which isn’t brilliant, but luckily LG implemented VESA mounting so you can use your own bracket. It’s not a bad screen for gaming, with a response time of 5ms. Overall, it’s a solid entry into the world of ultrawide monitors and at just $166.99 the 25UM58 won’t destroy your bank account if you’ve never used an ultrawide display before.
The 29-inch LG UM68-P ($246.99) is an ideal option for those seeking a 1080p ultrawide display with support for AMD’s FreeSync technology. This added benefit eliminates screen tear and stutter by synchronizing the graphics card and monitor together for smoother gaming. All you need is a capable AMD graphics card and you’re ready to go.
Everything on the UM68-P can be configured with the on-screen controls or via the Windows-supported control panel with your mouse and keyboard. To help improve gaming further, LG has included features like Black Stabilizer to help with dark scenes and Dynamic Action Sync for smoother, more fluid action.
For connectivity, this monitor supports DVI, DisplayPort, and HDMI. Again, this isn’t a 1440p display, but it is affordable. You can get all this for $247.
LG’s 34-inch curved beast ($869) is a force to be reckoned with. Not only do we have the usual LG features of Screen Split 2.0 and onScreen Display Control (for configuring your monitor using your connected mouse and keyboard), but also “Game Mode” that’s billed to enhance the experience with specifically tuned settings for FPS (first-person shooter), RTS (real-time strategy), and other genres.
For those looking for a new monitor to game on, FreeSync is included here for tear and stutter-free gaming. And while the monitor itself doesn’t support VESA mounting, the stand can be tilted and adjusted to achieve your ideal position. This display sports a resolution of 3440×1440, so you’ll be able to throw up numerous windows and enjoy high-quality media.
The UC98-W sports a number of connections too. There are two USB 3.0 (with Quick Charge) ports, 2 HDMI, a single DisplayPort, and even two Thunderbolt ports. While it’s slightly pricey at $869, should you be on the look for a solid curved ultrawide monitor, LG has your back with the UC98-W.
Dell UltraSharp U3415W
The UltraSharp U3415W (around $600) is Dell’s 34-inch 21:9 curved display with a WQHD (3440×1440) resolution. Upgrading from a single 1080p or 1440p monitor will open new worlds of possibilities with regards to how one can work with multiple windows open at a single time, or how games look when taking full advantage of the extended screen real estate.
To hook up your PC to the Dell display, you’ll have the option of a single HDMI, DisplayPort, and Mini DisplayPort, as well as a USB 3.0 hub. On the plus side, Dell has included VESA mounting support so you can bring your own brackets and wall mounts.
Dell allows for multiple inputs to be displayed simultaneously. It also helps that the U3415W looks stunning. Priced at around $600.
Acer XR 34
The Acer XR ($799) is a 34-inch display with IPS and a WQHD resolution of 3440×1440. Thanks to the technologies deployed, Acer is able to produce stunning visuals and bright colors without losing quality depending on the angle you happen to be viewing from. It’s also curved, which helps with the addition of a panoramic view.
A refresh rate of 60Hz (overclock to 100Hz) is sported by the XR for improved media consumption, particularly in games. The 4ms repose rate isn’t the absolute fastest out there, it’s not going to cause any issues in most applications. Adaptive-Sync technology will ensure the monitor remains synchronized with your AMD graphics card.
For connections, HDMI, DisplayPort and USB 3.0 are available. The Acer XR 34 is available for $799, which isn’t bad when you consider what’s included. There is the option to go with NVIDIA G-Sync, ideal for those of you with NVIDIA cards already installed in your PC, but you’ll be looking to pay out a further $400.
ASUS ROG SWIFT PG348Q
The ASUS Republic of Gamers Swift ($1,177) is a monitor for those who enjoy long sessions in their favorite titles. This display looks as though it holds the king of monitors crown, and rightfully so with the included NVIDIA G-Sync technology for tear and stutter-free gaming, 100Hz refresh rate, appealing design, and 3440×1440 resolution.
It’s a display that can cater for both work and play, utilizing IPS to reproduce colors more accurately and offer enough real estate to get work done promptly in order to join friends and commence fragging. ASUS has included its own Eye Care technology as well, which lowers the amount of blue light emitted by the display, as well as flickering.
The unit can swivel, pivot and be adjusted on the stand, which also sports some lighting effects underneath to fit in with the PC case light show. This can be toggled, so fear not if you aren’t a fan of LEDs. If you want G-Sync and desire a solid-looking 1440p wide monitor, the ASUS ROG Swift PG348Q can be yours for $1,177.
Updated February 13, 2018: We double-checked this list to ensure we’re still offering the best ultrawide monitors.