Best UltraWide Monitors

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

16 Models Considered
68 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
75 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best ultrawide monitors

Last Updated November 2019

Are you considering the purchase of an ultrawide monitor? If you’re an avid gamer, a member of the graphic design industry, or simply someone who likes to keep multiple applications open at the same time, an ultrawide monitor could be the right choice for you.

The extra surface area of an ultrawide monitor gives you more space to work, whether you’re pursuing business interests or seeking to perfect your gaming strategy. You’ll need to decide on a screen resolution and a screen size, too: most ultrawide screens stretch between 25 and 49 inches, with 34 inches as the average.

Choosing an ultrawide monitor is not necessarily the same as choosing a traditional monitor. Those who feel the need for an ultrawide monitor have highly specific needs. We prepared the following shopping guide to help make your shopping experience as easy as possible.

Ultrawide monitors appeared on the market in the late 2000s as demand from gamers pushed companies to develop a wider option.

Key considerations

Resolution

As mentioned, ultrawide monitors vary in screen resolution. You can choose between 2560 x 1080, 3440 x 1440, 3840 x 1600, and 3840 x 2160 to support 4K viewing.

Think about your primary reasons for buying an ultrawide monitor, and let that guide your decision. A higher resolution will deliver the best results to designers and graphics-heavy users. Gamers and those who plan to watch movies on their ultrawide monitors will want to have 4K capability as well.

Refresh rate

Refresh rate is the frequency at which a monitor refreshes the image on the screen. Most ultrawide monitors have a refresh rate between 60Hz and 200Hz. For gaming purposes, a higher refresh rate leads to a smoother image and better response time.

Screen size

The screen size that would work best for you depends on a few factors. For example, if you’re using multiple monitors with your ultrawide, that may affect what you need. With screen sizes ranging from 25 to 49 inches, there are more than enough options from which to choose.

Peripheral ports

Ultrawide monitors now come with a myriad of peripheral ports for users, from USB ports to speaker ports. You will need to research which ultrawide monitors offer the ports you require. This is especially true for gamers, who tend play with a number of external components.

Speakers

Some ultrawide monitors come with built-in speakers. This is useful if you rarely need sound on your computer and don’t have your own external speakers. Although monitor speakers have traditionally been subpar, vast improvements have been made recently in both sound quality and loudness.

Monitor footprint

Gamers and professionals alike will want to know if a particular ultrawide monitor would allow them the desk space they need for other components. Finding the right balance between monitor needs and space needs can be challenging. Most small ultrawide monitors incorporate small circular bases. This style tends to be the most space-saving.

If you’re more concerned with stability, consider a wide-stance stand option. Wide-stance ultrawide monitor stands occupy approximately half the width of a monitor, while circular ones take up roughly a quarter to a third of the monitor’s overall width. The average desk width is between 48 and 72 inches. Consider these measurements when choosing your monitor’s total width, generally between 25 inches and 50 inches.

Glare

Screen glare can be the worst enemy of a gamer or designer. Glare from your ultrawide monitor screen can cause poor visibility during a gaming session or headaches for you as you work on design. Most monitors come with a matte finish. However, there are also glossy monitors on the market. If you have a specific preference for one or the other, check the manufacturer website to verify which one your chosen model has. You could also purchase an aftermarket anti-glare screen to go over your glossy monitor if you choose.

EXPERT TIP

Using an ultrawide monitor at work is an effective way for many people to boost productivity by accessing multiple programs at the same time.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Make sure to change your computer’s settings accordingly for proper viewing on an ultrawide monitor.


Staff  | BestReviews

Ultrawide monitor features

Many of the features on today’s ultrawide monitors are designed to create a better gaming experience or expand usability. The good news is, you can find these great new features in every price range. Before you buy, check to see if the product you’re considering has the following features.

Curved screen: Many newer ultrawide monitors have a curved screen. A curved screen creates a more immersive experience, especially for movie buffs and gamers who love first-person gaming. If you’re a designer or looking for an ultrawide for professional reasons, however, a curved screen may not be as important to you. In fact, a flat screen can help designer images stay pure, whereas a curved screen may distort a 2D image.

Split screen option: A split-screen or picture-in-picture option makes for an even more versatile ultrawide monitor. Originally developed as a feature for television sets, this option makes business and gaming even more productive by letting the user split the screen between multiple programs at the same time.

Black stabilization mode: Black stabilization maximizes the bandwidth of the image. It acts on the luminance and makes dark scenes much more visible to the user, improving the gaming experience substantially. Those who may have difficulty seeing adversaries in low light on their current monitor will want to consider an ultrawide monitor with black stabilization mode.

Ultrawide monitor prices

Ultrawide monitors in the $150 to $300 range tend to be on the smaller side. That’s not to say they are necessarily “small,” but they will offer less screen real estate than their more expensive counterparts. Most of the monitors in this range are between 25 and 34 inches.

For $300 to $600, most people will be able to find an ultrawide monitor to serve their needs. Generally ranging between 34 and 49 inches, the ultrawides in this price zone offer most of the top features available today.

For $600 or more, buyers can get an ultrawide monitor that will help them blow the competition out of the water. An extra-large size and a heap of extra features, like 18W integrated speakers, curved screens, and tilt and swivel bases, make the ultrawide monitors in this price range the envy of the rest.

DID YOU KNOW?

Most gamers who play first-person shooters prefer to use an ultrawide monitor because it gives them better visibility.

Tips

  • Brighter is not necessarily better. Adjust your monitor’s brightness in concert with your ambient lighting and the type of work/gaming you are engaged in on-screen.

  • Plug your monitor into a surge protector rather than directly into a wall. Just like all delicate electronic devices, ultrawide monitors are susceptible to power surges and weather disruptions. Having your ultrawide monitor plugged into the wall places it at higher risk for damage in such an event.

  • When setting up your monitor, adjust the color palette to your personal needs. Many times, changing the color settings to work with your own vision will make using the monitor a more enjoyable experience.

  • Remember that a larger monitor gives off more radiant heat. If working temperature is something that concerns you, a small or medium-size monitor may be a better option.

Other products we considered

The Viotek Curved Gaming Monitor impresses with crosshairs that you can activate while gaming, and the price is right for shoppers on a budget. Another unit we like that sits more in the mid-range is the LG Curved Ultrawide QHD. The USB 3.0 quick-charge feature allows you to charge a smartphone or other peripheral up to four times faster than with a traditional USB port. Finally, there’s the LG UltraFine LED Monitor. This one is a masterpiece. Its HDR (high dynamic range) makes all of the colors of the spectrum, both light and dark, more accurate than most other monitors in any price range.

Most monitor producers now make ultrawide monitors. Thanks to the increase in supply, the price of ultrawide monitors has become more reasonable.

FAQ

Q. Do I need to match my ultrawide monitor brand to my computer brand?
A
. No. As with any “mix and match” electronic components, you will want to find your own mix of individual items that gives you the best performance when put together.

Q. Do I need to change the settings on my computer for to accommodate an ultrawide monitor?
A
. Yes. You will need to adjust your settings accordingly to deal with the altered width of your new monitor. On Windows-based systems, you will access these settings through the “Control Panel.” For Apple users, you will need to make these adjustments through the “System Preferences.”

Q. Do ultrawide monitors have shorter lifespans than regular monitors?
A
. No. An ultrawide monitor should have the same lifespan as a regular monitor, which should be at least four or five years, as a general rule.

Q. Are ultrawide monitors a lot more expensive than traditional monitors?
A
. No. As stated above, there are a wide range of prices within the ultrawide monitor market. You should be able to find what you are looking for within your price range without too much difficulty.

The team that worked on this review
  • Adam
    Adam
    Writer
  • Katie
    Katie
    Editorial Director
  • Kyle
    Kyle
    Writer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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