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LG makes a 38-inch ultrawide monitor worth emptying your wallet for

LG unleashed a monster in Berlin at this year’s IFA 2016. No, it’s not some genetically engineered terror — but instead a 38-inch ultrawide gaming monitor.

We stopped by LG’s booth for a look at the 38UC99, and found not one but three of the displays side by side. Together, they formed a widescreen gaming setup that’s wider than most people are tall. Fittingly, LG had a racing game set up on the trio of screens. It was hard to deny that the effect was stunning and, in cockpit view, it almost seemed as immersive as a VR headset. And that was on the bright show floor — it would be even more engrossing under ideal conditions.

Of course, very few people are going to buy three LG 38UC99 displays — but even one is impressive. The 38-inch panel turns heads with its width, but it’s actually rather tall as well, beating the vertical space of a nearby LG 27-inch monitor by an inch or two.

That’s important, because it gives the 38UC99 two lives. It’s a gaming monitor first, with 3,440-by-1,600 resolution and AMD FreeSync support. But it’s also useful when there’s work to be done, thanks to its great color gamut (spanning 99 percent of sRGB) and incredible size. In effect, the 38UC99 is like owning two large 4:3 monitors — and LG ships the monitor with firmware that can divvy up the screen automatically, if you so choose.

Of course, anyone eyeing the 38UC99 is going to return to its one big problem. The price. At $1,499, this isn’t a monitor most people can afford. It costs as much as two GTX 1080 video cards — more, in fact! But if you do have the money, and you want the most immersive gaming experience shy of a virtual reality headset, this display looks set to deliver. Its sheer size makes it unique, but it also delivers on the fundamentals of resolution, color gamut, and FreeSync support.