The best ultrawide monitors of 2019

Turn your desk into a command center with one of the best ultrawide monitors

We’ve gathered the best of the best in the ultrawide monitor market and run them through a barrage of tests to determine their fitness to display your games, movies, and workspace.

With more than a hundred monitor reviews under our belt, we know what models provide the most — and which ultrawides really impress. The Samsung CF791 is the best option for most with its fantastic design and impressive image quality, but we have some other favorites listed below in other categories.

The best ultrawide monitors at a glance

The best ultrawide monitor: Samsung CF791

Samsung CF791 monitor review
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Why we picked the Samsung CF791:

First and foremost, this monitor is a striking piece of hardware. The design is understated, effortless and professional. The frame and stand all seem to melt away when you’re seated before that massive curved display. Colors saturate your vision from all angles, and the monitor is all-encompassing.

The CF791 offers stunning picture quality, with rich inky blacks, vivid and lifelike colors — right out of the box. Without any tinkering, it hits a stellar 940:1 contrast ratio, which puts it well ahead of similarly priced competitors.

This level of quality on a standard 16:9 display would be outstanding. The fact that it’s on a massive 21:9 display with a deep curve makes it truly a sight to behold. Video content is rich and fluid thanks to the monitor’s 100Hz refresh rate, and AMD’s FreeSync. For a look at the difference between FreeSync and Nvidia’s G-Sync, check out our guide.

In addition to the stunning display, it has a simple and professional exterior design which makes it a bit of a chameleon. It would be just as comfortable beside a flashy gaming PC decked out in LEDs as it would in an office beside a dusty old workstation. The ports also support a variety of uses, including two HDMI, a DisplayPort, and two USB-A ports.

The Samsung CF791 doesn’t need a flashy exterior design because its size, clarity, and resolution make it a showstopper all on its own and recent price drops make it all the more affordable.

Read our full Samsung CF791 review

The best ultrawide for gaming: Alienware AW3418DW

Alienware AW341BDW Utrawide Gaming Monitor
Rich Shibley/Digital Trends

Why we picked the Alienware AW3418DW:

An excellent alternative for gamers, this 34-inch Alienware monitor offers a curved screen for more immersion, and a 120Hz refresh rate that you can overclock for an even faster gaming experience. G-Sync tech is included, and you get six menu buttons for switching to preset modes, automatic overclocking, dark stabilization, and controlling brightness/contrast. That makes this model a great pick for those who like to tinker, or want to push their monitor a bit further. The resolution is well into ultra HD territory with 3,440 x 1,440 pixels.

As is Alienware tradition, there are LED strips on the monitor that you can play with to get some cool lighting, but overall the model is surprisingly understated. However, the design does make port placement a little awkward: Hidden in the back you’ll find a line-out port, USB with power charging, USB 3.0, and USB upstream, in addition to HDMI.

Our tests also showed impressive contrast and great color accuracy, making this an ideal monitor for exploring more vibrant games.

Read our full Alienware AW3418DW review

The best ultrawide monitor for Mac: LG 34WK95U-W

LG 34WK95U-W ultrawide monitor review

Why we picked the LG 34WK95U-W:

If you need an ultrawide but don’t want to sacrifice any resolution to get it, this LG model offers both — that is, if you can afford it. The 5,120 x 2,160 resolution is backed by a Nano-IPS panel and HDR. It’s also entirely flat, which you may want to consider when picking a place to set it up.

You also don’t need to worry about connections, with a Thunderbolt 3 port, a USB-C port, two HDMI, a DisplayPort, a USB-A upstream, and two USB-A downstream connections. Basically, you have options for everything, but we don’t advise you to wall-mount this model. It can make those ports difficult to access. It may also make it difficult to use the hidden joystick, which can control the menu and adjust settings — which include picture modes, manual color temperature controls, and hue and saturation adjustment.

Our tests show that, in addition to the high resolution, this LG monitor supports 90% of the AdobeRGB color gamut, has a color error of only 1.1, and a gamma curve of 2.2 — all better than many of the top monitors that we have reviewed. However, it’s important to note that there’s no FreeSync/G-Sync technology included, and the standard refresh rate is 60Hz, which isn’t the greatest option for some types of gaming.

However, if you really need that top shelf resolution for work or play, there’s no better ultrawide around to deliver it.

Read our full LG 34WK95-W review

The best G-Sync ultrawide monitor: Acer Predator Gaming X34

Acer Predator X34

Why we picked the Acer Predator Gaming X34:

There are a lot of great gaming displays out there and a lot of them support G-Sync technology, but if you’re looking for the best ultrawide that ticks those same gaming boxes, there’s nothing quite like the Acer Predator X34. It has a resolution of 3,440 x 1,440 — that gaming sweet spot resolution — and has a refresh rate of 100Hz (120Hz if overclocked). Its brightness isn’t the best, at just 300 nits, but that’s more than enough for a non-HDR screen and its other features make up for it.

Thanks to its IPS panel it enjoys fantastic viewing angles for collaborative work and play, and it doesn’t suffer much on the response time front, with a rating of just 4ms. Color support is pretty strong too, featuring 8-bit color depth and decent color accuracy across the screen.

G-Sync support is a given in this category and it not only helps prevent screen tearing, but means Nvidia has given this display its seal of approval. It’s a fantastic display, and it’s our favorite ultrawide for G-Sync gaming.

The best ultrawide monitor for video editing: BenQ EX3501R

best hdr monitors ben q ex3501r monitor mainfull2 800x534 c

Why we picked the BenQ EX3501R:

BenQ’s EX3501R has a professional, understated look and with good reason: this is a monitor for professionals. It features a gorgeous 1800R curvature, which makes it immersive, but don’t think it sacrifices color accuracy for that wraparound effect. This is one of the most vibrant, accurate displays we’ve ever seen, beating out strong competition from high-end Samsung, Dell, and LG screens in our testing.

With a resolution of 3,440 x 1,440 and 35-inches diagonally, there’s plenty of screen space for multiple windows, or a very long editing timeline. With a contrast of 1,100:1 and more than 330 nits, it has beautifully dark blacks and bright whites. HDR support is there, though monitors with greater brightness can take better advantage of it. Connections include HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-A 3.1 Gen 1, and USB-C.

Although this screen isn’t designed for gaming, if you want to do it in your off-hours it does a great job of it. With a refresh rate of 100Hz, and FreeSync support to block screen tearing, there’s little else you could ask for. This is a fantastic all-round display, but it’s our favorite ultrawide for video editing.

Read our full BenQ EX3501R review

Research and buying tips

Is an ultrawide monitor worth it?

Ultrawides are an alternative to multiple monitor setups that eliminate the dividing bezel and make for a cleaner experience than a pair or more monitors. That said, multiple monitors let you mix and match capabilities, having one for gaming and one for work, for example. That can make it easier to get everything you need in both cases, whereas with an ultrawide you have to get everything in one display or make some sacrifices. That’s especially impactful in gaming, where an ultrawide’s large resolution can tax even high-end graphics cards.

You should also factor in the physical footprint of large ultrawide displays. They can be huge, so make sure your desk and room have enough space for it.

Also consider that when watching TV or movies on an ultrawide, you may have to put up with black bars at the edges of the screen, as few productions are filmed in a way that’s compatible with ultrawide aspect ratios.

Is an ultrawide monitor good for gaming?

They can be. Although not all of them are designed with gaming in mind, the ones that are can offer some of the most immersive gaming experiences outside of virtual reality. Curved, large-screen, ultrawide monitors can wrap around your peripheral vision in a way that’s far more encompassing than traditionally sized monitors. Just be aware that not all games support ultrawide resolutions and those extra pixels can tax your graphics card a bit more than normal.

How to split the screen on an ultrawide monitor?

How you portion out your screen will very much be up to you, but you can snap multiple windows or applications into place with ease in any of the recent versions of Windows. Either click and drag the window to any edge of the screen and release to have it snap into place. Alternatively, press the Windows key and any of the arrow keys to lock that window to that part of the screen.

From there you’ll be given the option to fill the additional space with other windows. You can also manually lock them there using the same method as above. Once everything’s in place, you can click and drag the dividing lines between windows to adjust their size.

Some ultrawide monitors offer more robust hardware solutions as well, though they depend on each manufacturer, so check your setup manual for the specifics.

What size of ultrawide monitor is best?

The size of your ultrawide is very much dependent on your own needs and physical space constraints. If you’re looking to find out what’s the largest ultrawide monitor, there are some 49-inch screens out there, like Samsung’s CHG90 or Dell’s 49-inch Ultrasharp display. But you don’t have to go that big. As you’ve seen above, we tend to prefer the slightly more constrained monitors which improve pixel density and offer better feature sets than the absolute largest screens out there.

A good place to start are the 34-inch options with a 21:9 aspect ratio. They’re large enough to experience the full effect of the width without completely overtaking your desk.

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