The desire to reach new productivity levels has led to the advent of a new class of monitors: 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 145 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 we've tested is the Dell U3818DW. It's a massive 38 inch model with a 21:9 aspect ratio, giving you plenty of space to place multiple windows side-by-side. It has a 3840 x 1600 resolution to deliver sharp images and text, and its IPS panel has wide viewing angles so that you don't lose image accuracy when viewed from the side. The ergonomics are mediocre, although it's somewhat expected for an ultrawide monitor.
If you're a content creator, you should know that it has an excellent SDR color gamut, covering the entire sRGB color space. It has good coverage of Adobe RGB, but it may not be enough for some professionals. It has outstanding accuracy out of the box, exceptional gradient handling, and no signs of color bleed. Unfortunately, blacks look a bit grayish in dark rooms due to its low contrast ratio, and it doesn't support HDR. Additionally, it has a terrible response time and no VRR support, so it isn't the best option for gaming.
One of its standout features is its Picture-in-Picture mode. It lets you display two input signals at once, and it can act as a KVM switch so that you can use one set of mouse and keyboard to control both computers. It has a USB-C port that lets you display an image from a compatible device and charge it at the same time, making it easier to keep your setup clean. All in all, as long as you don't plan on gaming, it's a good office monitor that should satisfy most people.
If you want an even bigger model than the Dell U3818DW for multitasking, then check out the Samsung C49RG9/CRG9. It's a 49 inch monitor with a 32:9 aspect ratio, which is equivalent to two 16:9 screens placed side-by-side. It uses a VA panel with a high contrast ratio, allowing it to produce deep blacks, and it gets significantly brighter, enough to deliver a great HDR experience. Plus, it has a good response time, a 120Hz refresh rate, and it supports VRR to reduce screen tearing, making it a much better option if you plan on gaming. The downside is that although it has a Picture-in-Picture mode, it only has one USB-B upstream port if you want to use the KVM switch. This means you can only plug in your keyboard or your mouse for both computers, but not both. Also, it doesn't have a USB-C port.
Overall, the Dell is a better choice if you only need a monitor for work. However, if you want to game on it and don't mind compromising on a few features, go with the Samsung.
The best ultrawide monitor with FreeSync we've tested is the Acer Nitro XV340CK. It's a 34 inch model that delivers an incredibly immersive and fluid gaming experience. It offers a good amount of ergonomic adjustments so that you can place the screen at your ideal viewing position, and its decent viewing angles help maintain image accuracy when viewed from the side. It has good reflection handling, but it might struggle to overcome intense glare, so it's better suited for a moderately-lit room.
It has excellent motion handling to deliver clear images in fast-moving scenes. It has a fast response time and a Black Frame Insertion feature to further reduce motion blur. Its 144Hz refresh rate and low input lag provide a smooth and responsive gaming experience, and it has both FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility to minimize screen tearing. It supports HDR, but unfortunately, it can't display a wide color gamut and doesn't get very bright. Also, its IPS panel has a low contrast ratio, which makes blacks look grayish in a dark room.
Additional features include two USB 3.0 ports, a pair of built-in speakers, and a Picture-in-Picture mode that lets you display images from two input sources simultaneously. If you tend to game for long hours, there's a blue light filter to help reduce eye strain, and the backlight is flicker-free. Overall it's a great ultrawide gaming monitor that should please most people.
If you like gaming in the dark, then you should consider a VA panel monitor like the Gigabyte G34WQC. Like the Acer Nitro XV340Ck, it's a 34 inch model with a 1440p resolution. However, it's much better suited for dark rooms due to its ability to produce deep blacks. It has a good response time, a 144Hz refresh rate, and native FreeSync support. It can display a wide color gamut for HDR content, and it gets decently bright to bring out highlights. The downside is that its VA panel has narrow viewing angles, which isn't ideal for sharing content or playing co-op games. Also, it doesn't allow for swivel adjustment.
Overall, the Acer is a better choice because it has better response time, wider viewing angles, and better ergonomics. However, if you want a monitor that performs better in the dark, go with the Gigabyte.
The best ultrawide monitor with native G-SYNC support we've tested is the Dell Alienware AW3420DW. Part of Dell's Alienware lineup, this well-built model offers great gaming performance. It has a modern and stylish design that fits into any gamer setup, and it has an RGB lighting zone on the stand. It also has a moderate curve to make it easier to see the sides.
It has a native 120Hz refresh rate, and the G-SYNC support allows it to drop as low as 20Hz, but like most G-SYNC models, VRR support only works through a DisplayPort connection. The response time is excellent, delivering very clear motion, and it remains great even when gaming at 60Hz, but it doesn't have a Black Frame Insertion feature. Input lag is exceptionally low, and it stays low even with VRR enabled. The 3440x1440 resolution delivers clear text and offers an immersive gaming experience. It has an IPS panel with fairly wide viewing angles, so it's a decent choice for co-op gaming.
Unfortunately, it doesn't support HDR, and like most IPS panels, it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks appear closer to gray. It's also not the best choice to use in bright rooms as it has just okay peak brightness, and it really struggles with direct light on it. The stand offers decent ergonomics for a screen of this size, but you can't rotate it into portrait mode. All things considered, this is the best ultrawide monitor with native G-SYNC support that we've tested.
12/22/2020: Minor text and structure changes; no change in recommendations.
11/27/2020: Minor text and structure changes. Replaced Nixeus EDG 34 with Gigabyte G34WQC.
10/30/2020: Removed the Acer Predator Z35P and added the Nixeus EDG 34 as dark room alternative.
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.
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 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.