Finding the best ultrawide monitor for your computer setup can be a tricky process. A new screen can make all the difference to how you work and play on your computer, and some of the latest technology is very tempting.
If you wanted some extra desktop space to let you have two full-sized applications on screen at once, or just more space to have multiple documents open, hooking up a second monitor was once the only answer. But now, an alternative option to consider is to opt for an ultrawide monitor.
Characterised by extra-wide aspect ratios and screen resolutions, ultrawide monitors give you a lot more horizontal pixels. Unlike the dual monitor option, which splits your desktop space with bezels right in the middle, an ultrawide monitor offers a single, wide and seamless desktop space.
Before we get started, let's look at the different things you should consider when choosing the best ultrawide monitor for you. Not sure if ultrawide is for you? Head to our guide to the best monitors.
The best ultrawide monitor: Things to consider
While the most common, comfortable size of an ultrawide is around 34 inches, the largest screens on offer are even wider, a whopping 49 inches wide. If you like the idea of such a massive screen, you should consider that you’ll need a large desk to accommodate it.
In terms of resolution, look for WQHD (Wide Quad High Definition) – which gives you a pixel count of 2560x1440 – and a wide aspect ratio of 21:9. Usually the bigger the screen, the higher the resolution. Some of the best ultrawide monitors offer additional features such as picture in-picture or side-by-side, so you can connect up a couple of sources (like two computers, or a computer and tablet) to the same display.
Another issue with ultrawide monitors is that the screen is so wide, the edges will be slightly outside your peripheral vision, when sitting at a normal working distance. To solve this, most ultrawide monitors are just slightly curved at the edges, subtly bending the image to bring it back into your vision. The effect works extremely well and makes it much nicer to work on an ultrawide monitor.
Ultrawide monitors vary based on panel technology and features. Ultrawide screens generally look just fine with vertical alignment (VA) panels, but the sharper, brighter and considerably more expensive in-plane switching (IPS) panel technology will offer better image quality.
Displays of all shapes and sizes now come with a range of optional extra features, such as 4K screens, colour-accurate screens and gaming displays with fast refresh rates (some up to 144Hz), low latency and adaptive-sync technology, all of which will certainly be great for all kinds of desktop use, from watching movies to using graphic design tools. Ensure your monitor is displaying perfectly with one of the best monitor calibrators.
01. Dell U3419W
Dell’s 2019 ultrawide monitor deserves the top slot
Screen size: 34-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3440 x 1440 | Response time: 5ms | Who’s it for: Video editors, designers, creative professionals
Dell’s newest ultrawide display – the Dell Ultrasharp U3419W – retains pole position on our list, thanks to a winning combination of superb picture quality, fantastic connectivity, and great build quality. In addition to two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort connector, it now has USB-C, which can simultaneously connect the display to a laptop and deliver up to 90w of power for charging.
It has a KVM feature for connected devices too. Connect a single keyboard and mouse to the USB upstream ports to control two computers at once, both of which are visible at the same time via the Picture-By-Picture function. For graphics work, 10-bit colour and 99% sRGB coverage means excellent image quality too. While the U3419W is slightly pricier than its predecessor (the also-excellent Dell Ultrasharp U3415W ), we think the extra features and more modern connectivity offers future proofing that makes the extra expenditure worth it.
02. LG 34UC79G
The most affordable ultrawide monitor – great for gamers
Screen size: 34-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,080 | Who’s it for: Gamers and those dipping a toe into ultrawide
Designed for gaming, the LG 34UC79G is a well-priced ultrawide monitor with DisplayPort plus dual HDMI. There is a potential downside: at 2, 560 x 1, 080, it doesn’t have as high a resolution as more expensive options – LG instead opted for native 144Hz performance. However, we’d choose colour accuracy, contrast and motion blur reduction over a high pixel count – and in most of those areas the LG 34UC79G delivers. It has a great contrast ratio and black levels, alongside vibrant colours, but it does require some calibration for maximum accuracy. The monitor also features a couple of technologies designed to improve gaming performance, including AMD FreeSync (50-144Hz range) to reduce stuttering and motion blur. There’s a fast 1ms response time, too. A cheaper 29-inch version is also available.
03. Dell U4919DW
The ultimate ultrawide
Screen size: 49-inch | Aspect ratio: 32:9 | Resolution: 5,120 x 1,440 | Response time: 8ms (normal mode); 5ms (fast mode) | Who’s it for: Gamers, design pros, people who like big things
Dell has knocked it out of the park with its monstrous 49-inch U4919DW, due to the excellent image quality from its enormous IPS panel, superior to the majority of alternative ultrawides that use VA panel technology.
Offering 99% sRGB coverage, 350-nit brightness and a 1000:1 contrast ratio, it has a 32:9 aspect ratio and a 5,120 x 1,440 resolution - an absolutely huge desktop area that can accommodate two full screen applications side by side.
Delving in a bit deeper, its relatively low 5ms (fast mode) response time means it’s fine for gaming too, making it well worth the additional expenditure, although it doesn’t support adaptive-sync like some alternative displays out there.
04. Alienware AW3418DW
A great ultrawide for 120Hz gaming with G-Sync
Screen size: 34-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3,440 x 1,080 | Who’s it for: Gamers, design pros
Alienware is one of PC gaming’s best known hardware brands of high-end and high priced laptops and desktops, but with the AW3418DW , it’s turned its attention to ultrawide displays and come up with a specification that is great for gaming on.
It’s a 34.1-inch display with an IPS panel, 21:9 aspect ratio and a WQHD 3,440 x 1,440 resolution, that will certainly offer up great desktop image quality. Gamers will be most interested in the 120Hz refresh rate and G-Sync adaptive-sync technology for ultra-fluid, tear-free animation with Nvidia graphics cards.
What’s more, the 4ms response time stands out as one of the lowest in an ultrawide display, further boosting its gaming credentials.
05. Acer Predator Z35P
A great looking, well-priced 100Hz G-Sync display
Screen size: 35-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440 | Response time: 4ms | Who’s it for: Gamers, people who love industrial hardware design
With the Acer Predator Z35P , Acer is continuing its exploration of exciting hardware design. The stand on this ultrawide monitor is like a twisted metal piece of a sci-fi spaceship, and the 34-inch curved screen that offers superb gaming performance. It offers a 100Hz refresh rate – which will give a great boost over the usual 60Hz we’re all used to, along with native G-Sync technology for tear-free gaming using GeForce cards. Connectivity is the standard array of DisplayPort, HDMI and a USB hub, with picture quality that goes up to 100% sRGB coverage, making this screen perfectly suitable for general computing tasks as well.
06. ASUS ProArt PA34VC
The best colour-accurate ultrawide
Screen size: 34-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440 | Who’s it for: Design pros
While there are loads of options for standard sized 16:9 colour accurate displays, and plenty of general purpose ultrawide displays with features for gaming, the choice is more scant if you want an ultrawide that can offer exceptional colour accuracy.
The ever resourceful Asus has managed to fill this slot though with its ProArt PA34VC , a 34 inch 21:9 HDR screen that’s the one to go for if you demand high levels of colour accuracy. It’s one of the few ultrawide displays that ticks both boxes, offering 10-bit colour, 100% sRGB and 98% DCI-P3 coverage.
07. AOC Agon Curved Ultrawide
A great gaming alternative
Screen size: 35-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440 | Response time: 4ms | Who’s it for: Gamers who want higher resolution
Featuring Nvidia G-Sync for stutter-free gaming, The AOC Agon AG352UCG is our gaming choice if you’re not prepared to put up with the lower resolution of the LG above (and you can stump up the extra cash for this model). Again, this display is gently curved and there are also a couple of AOC technologies to improve gaming colours and shadows. The stand is height-adjustable, too. The rear of the screen features a striking ‘winged’ design so won’t be for everybody. It’s a little bit of an odd combination since the front of the display is rather utilitarian in appearance.