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 are not 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 2019. 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 Dell U3818DW is the best ultrawide monitor that we've tested so far. It's a 38 inch monitor, with a 3840x1600 resolution. This aspect ratio is a bit uncommon but has its merits. While most people find that ultrawide monitors are wide enough, they often lack vertical real estate, which causes more scrolling to see everything. Physically, the monitor is very minimalist, with thin bezels and a compact stand that allows adjustment for height, tilt, and swivel.
Picture quality is decent, and although the IPS panel does provide great viewing angles, do note that this is a curved monitor and may not be to everyone's liking. Additionally, IPS monitors often have mediocre contrast ratio and poor black uniformity, so this is more suited for well-lit rooms. Motion handling is also decent along with great response time, but there is noticeable motion smearing and it doesn't support any advanced gaming features, which is disappointing for some.
Last but not least, Dell managed to surprise us with yet another trick up its sleeves: it supports both Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture. This is great if you usually work on two computers, as you can see both screens at once. This monitor even has a unique set of connections that allows you to control both computers at once, with a single keyboard and mouse.
Overall, it's a good monitor for most uses, a truly great ultrawide office monitor, and is our top recommendation.
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 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 is 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 like to play games in a dark room, the Acer Predator Z35P is a better choice than the Dell Alienware AW3418DW. The VA panel delivers much deeper blacks and better contrast ratio. Other than that, these monitors are very similar in performance. Unfortunately, this model does have some black uniformity issues that may bother some people, so it isn't perfect.
Overall, the Dell is the best ultrawide gaming monitor for most people; but for a dark room, the Acer Predator Z35P is a better alternative, and one of the best ultrawide monitors.
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.
11/11/2019: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.