The desire to reach new levels of productivity has led to the advent of a new class of monitor: ultrawide. These large, widescreen monitors offer the ultimate in office productivity, allowing you to place two or more full-screen windows side-by-side without the need for a multi-monitor setup. These ultrawide monitors have become popular with gamers as well, as they deliver a more immersive gaming experience. Like anything else, ultrawide monitors aren't all created equal.
We've reviewed more than 85 monitors so far and below are our recommendations for the best ultrawide monitors to buy in 2020. See our recommendations for the best large monitors, the best monitors for photo editing, the best monitors for coding, and the best ultrawide gaming monitors.
The best ultrawide monitor we've tested so far is the Dell U3818DW. It's a curved monitor with a 21:9 aspect ratio and a great 3840x1600 resolution that allows it to display most of your work or gaming arena, minimizing the need for scrolling. The monitor supports both Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture, which is great for multitasking using two PCs. Its ergonomics, considering the size, allow you to position the monitor comfortably by letting you adjust the height and swivel to your liking. This monitor has a decent overall picture quality and the image remains accurate even when you sit up close so you can immerse yourself into your gaming. It's more suitable for most bright rooms, as it can handle reflections well and can get decently bright to fight glare.
This is a flicker-free monitor with a great response time that displays fast-moving content with only little blur and a very low input lag that'll please most gamers. Unfortunately, it has a mediocre contrast ratio and blacks look gray when in a dark room, like with most IPS monitors. Also, the monitor lacks support for any variable refresh rate technology, which might be disappointing to some demanding gamers.
Overall, however, this is the best ultrawide monitor and delivers good performance in most uses.
Some may gawk at the idea of a 49 inch monitor, but if you're looking for something even bigger than the Dell U3818DW, take a look at the Samsung C49RG9/CRG9 instead. This massive 49" VA display has a decent contrast ratio, great peak brightness, an outstanding response time, and a fast refresh rate. It also has excellent low input lag for gaming, and it supports AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate technology. There are some downsides, however, with viewing angles and black uniformity being quite poor.
Ultrawide monitors aren't for everyone, especially one that's 49", but it does offer a clean and elegant solution to a multi-monitor setup. Overall, the Dell is a better buy for most people, but if you want a super ultrawide monitor, the Samsung is the best alternative.
When it comes to gaming ultrawide monitors, the Dell Alienware AW3418DW is the best ultrawide gaming monitor that we've tested so far. With a 3440x1440 resolution, a fast 100Hz refresh rate, and an excellent response time, it delivers a crisp image and clear motion with very little blur. There's something to be said about the movie-watching experience as well; as most modern movies are filmed in a 21:9 aspect ratio, movies fill up the screen from edge to edge, with no presence of black bars. The inclusion of NVIDIA's G-SYNC technology is truly the cherry on top, allowing near tear-free gaming without the use of vertical sync, which increases input lag.
As for ports, it doesn't have as many inputs as the Dell U3818DW, and doesn't support Picture-in-Picture or Picture-beside-Picture modes, which may be disappointing if you're looking for a more versatile monitor for a home office.
Lastly, like the majority of IPS monitors, this monitor doesn't look as good in a dark room due to the poor black uniformity. Overall, though, it's a great monitor and is our recommendation for the best widescreen monitor for gaming.
If you usually play games at night with the lights out, then check out the Acer Predator Z35P. You won't get the wide viewing angles found on the Dell Alienware AW3418DW/1900R, but on the upside, you'll be getting a good 35 inch monitor that'll keep you happy in most uses. It delivers a decent overall picture quality, with deep blacks in a dark room thanks to its high contrast ratio.
If you sit straight in front and usually game in a dark room, get the Acer. Otherwise, get the Dell, which is a better overall monitor.
The LG 34GK950F-B is the best FreeSync ultrawide gaming monitor that we've tested so far. It has all the features of a great gaming monitor without the price premium of a G-SYNC variant. Excellent motion handling, excellent response time, outstanding low input lag, and the optional black frame insertion all contribute to a great gaming experience, where fast-moving objects are clear with minimal blur.
Like most IPS monitors, viewing angles are good; great for co-op gaming or if you like to sit close to the monitor. It has very good peak brightness and great reflection handling, so glare in a bright room shouldn't be an issue. HDR support is also present but doesn't improve the image quality all that much.
LG also provides a decent selection of ports, including a DisplayPort, two HDMI ports, and a USB 3.0 hub. The monitor sports a somewhat overused color scheme of red on black typical of gaming monitors; however, the red accents are mostly on the back and are fairly subtle.
Unfortunately, this monitor isn't a great choice for gaming in a dark room, though. The low contrast ratio causes blacks to look gray, and it has bad black uniformity. Overall, it's a great gaming monitor and is the best FreeSync ultrawide gaming monitor.
If you find the LG 34GK950F-B too expensive for you, get the LG 34UC79G-B. Despite the cheaper price, this monitor still delivers a great overall gaming experience, with excellent motion handling and outstanding low input lag. It also supports FreeSync for a nearly tear-free gaming experience. It has a lower native resolution than the other LG, though, as well as slightly worse reflection handling.
Overall, the LG 34GK950F-B is the best ultrawide FreeSync gaming monitor we've tested so far, but if you want something cheaper and don't mind compromising on reflection handling, the LG 34UC79G-B is a great alternative.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best widescreen monitors currently available. They are adapted to be valid for most people, in each price range. Rating is based on our review, factoring in price and feedback from our visitors.
If you would prefer to make your own decision, here is the list of all of our ultrawide monitor reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. Most monitors are good enough to please most people, and the things we fault monitors on are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.
01/15/2020: Updated some text to enhance clarity.
11/11/2019: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.