The desire to reach new productivity levels 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 and deliver a more immersive gaming experience. Like anything else, ultrawide monitors aren't all created equal.
We've tested more than 130 monitors, and below are our recommendations for the best ultrawide monitors to buy. 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 that we've tested is the Dell U3818DW. This 38 inch model has a curved screen with a 21:9 aspect ratio, allowing you to easily have multiple windows open at once while keeping the sides of the image from getting distorted. It has a ton of inputs and additional features, including four USB 3.0 ports and a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort Alt, so you can plug in compatible laptops with a single cable, and power them while also supplying display to your monitor.
The out-of-the-box color accuracy is excellent, and it has full coverage of the sRGB color space. The gray uniformity is great, with no noticeable dirty screen effect, and it has a 10-bit panel with outstanding gradient handling. Like most Dell office monitors, the stand offers a good amount of height and tilt adjustments, so you can easily find a comfortable viewing position for your desk. It even supports Picture-in-Picture, which allows you to display images from two input sources at once.
Unfortunately, the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz, which may be disappointing to some people, especially if you also use it for gaming. Its response time is also disappointingly slow, resulting in visible motion smearing that may bother some people. Also, while its coverage of the sRGB color space is outstanding, it's much more limited with the wider Adobe RGB space. Overall, if you're looking for an ultrawide for office use, this is among the best computer monitors we've tested.
If you need even more screen real estate for ultimate multi-tasking, get the Samsung C49RG9/CRG9. This super ultrawide's colors aren't nearly as accurate out-of-the-box as the Dell U3818DW, and it doesn't have a USB-C port to plug in a laptop or phone, but its 32:9 aspect ratio gives you much more real estate, and it has a much higher 120Hz refresh rate. This 49 inch screen is the equivalent of having two 27 inch 16:9 screens placed side-by-side, but without any bezels in between. It has much better coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, and it can display a wide color gamut to deliver a great HDR experience. Response time is fast, and it supports FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, which is great if you game as well.
If you want more accurate colors or the ability to easily plug your laptop into your monitor, go with the Dell, but if you want an even wider screen or prefer a higher refresh rate, get the Samsung.
The best ultrawide monitor with G-SYNC support that we've tested is the Dell Alienware AW3420DW. This 34 inch model feels amazingly well-built, and the stand ensures very little wobble. It has decent ergonomics, and you can easily adjust the height for a more comfortable viewing experience, while the monitor itself has very thin bezels all the way around the screen.
It has an IPS panel that provides wide viewing angles, and its native 120Hz refresh rate with G-SYNC Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support ensures motion looks smooth. Input lag is remarkably low, and it has an excellent response time even when playing at any refresh rate from 60 to 120Hz. It's also FreeSync-compatible, which is great if you have multiple devices or end up changing your video card in the future, and the excellent gray uniformity results in virtually no sign of the dirty screen effect.
Unfortunately, it has a low contrast ratio and sub-par black uniformity, so blacks appear gray when viewed in a dark room. It also doesn't support HDR, and it can't quite get bright enough to combat glare in very well-lit environments. That said, if you're looking for an ultrawide that supports G-SYNC, this is a great choice, and is among the best G-SYNC monitors we've tested.
If you prefer to game in the dark, then you should check out the Acer Predator Z35P. Unlike the Dell Alienware AW3418DW/1900R, it has a VA panel that can produce deep and inky blacks. It's slightly bigger at 35 inches, but it has the same resolution and aspect ratio, and the screen is also curved. Response time is excellent, input lag is exceptionally low, and its 100Hz refresh rate can be overclocked up to 120Hz. Unfortunately, its VA panel has significantly worse viewing angles, resulting in images that look washed out when viewed from the side. And even though it has great reflection handling, it doesn't get very bright, so visibility can be an issue in well-lit rooms.
Overall, both are good ultrawide gaming monitors, and the choice comes down to what you need most. The Dell has much better viewing angles, which is important for a screen this wide. However, if dark room performance is more important to you, go with the Acer.
The best ultrawide monitor with FreeSync that we've tested is the Acer Nitro XV340CK. This 34 inch screen has very good ergonomics, with a stand that allows for a wide amount of swivel and height adjustments. It feels decently well-built overall, though the plastic on the base feels a bit cheap. It has a good amount of inputs, including two USB 3.0 ports, so you can use it as a hub without needing to plug your devices into the back of your PC.
It has excellent response time at its max 144Hz refresh rate, and even when lowered to 60Hz, it's still very good. It supports FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) to help eliminate screen tearing while gaming and its input lag is exceptionally low. The screen covers almost all of the sRGB color space, and the gradient handling is superb, with no noticeable banding with most content.
Unfortunately, since it uses an IPS panel, its contrast and black uniformity are only mediocre. While this would normally come with the trade-off of good viewing angles, they're only decent when viewing the image from the side, and mediocre vertically, so this may not be the best choice if you often share your screen with someone else, or have it placed above or below eye level. Overall, this is a great ultrawide gaming monitor with FreeSync support, especially considering its relatively low price point.
10/02/2020: Replaced the Dell Alienware AW3418DW with the Dell Alienware AW3420DW for consistency, and the LG 34GN850-B with the Acer Nitro XV340CK.
09/03/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
06/05/2020: Replaced LG 34GK950F-B with LG 34GN850-B.
03/13/2020: Added Samsung CHG90 to notable mentions.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best widescreen monitors currently available. They're 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 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.