If you’re the kind of person who looks at the best ultrawide monitors in the world and says, “I still need something wider,” there are some monitors out there for you. Two of the best come from Dell and Samsung, offering 49-inches of display a piece in a ludicrously broad form factor.
In a battle for the best of the ultra, ultrawides, we pitted the Dell Ultrasharp 49 versus the Samsung CHG90 to see which makes the best use of its 49 inches of screen real estate.
While image quality is paramount, the overall look, feel, and customizability of the frame the monitor is attached to is important too. Both monitors offer good-looking solutions in that regard, but their footprint and design are drastically different.
The Samsung CHG90 has a stand that, although trim, is almost as large as the monitor itself. It gives the frame some minor tilt and swivel control, though since this is a curved display, you’re going to want to sit right in front of it if you can, to take full advantage of its wraparound effect.
The overall design weighs in at 33 pounds with the stand, so is not the most maneuverable of monitors, but its size is by far the biggest determining factor there.
The Ultrasharp has a much thinner, but deeper stand. It leaves much more desk space underneath the display itself and offers a greater range of motion for the monitor that sits atop it. You can tilt the display through 21 degrees and swivel it almost entirely around. We would caution doing so too quickly as 49-inches of monitor is a lot to be swinging around, but it’s an impressive feat nonetheless. The stand is also height adjustable through 3.5-inches, so you can make minor adjustments to set it at a comfortable height.
The whole package is exceedingly heavy though, weighing 58.27 pounds, so we wouldn’t recommend moving it without an extra pair of steady hands.
If you’re buying a screen that could rival the average living room television in terms of physical footprint, you want the display to be of high quality. Fortunately, both Dell and Samsung oblige in this case, offering both enormous and stunning displays to choose from — though there are some marked differences between them.
For its $1,000 price tag, the Samsung CHG90 offers a 3,840 x 1,080 resolution screen with a curvature of 1,800R. It uses the VA panel type, which helps give it the great color accuracy and wide color support we saw in our testing. It even manages a 1ms response time, which isn’t a common feature of that panel type and has a great contrast ratio (we clocked it at 1,160:1). It does support HDR, but it wouldn’t meet the new VESA specifications, as its brightness peaked at 286 nits in our review.
Its gaming-centric specifications are pretty stellar though. Alongside the fast response time, the refresh rate of the CHG90 is 144Hz and if you can’t hold such frame rates at a steady clip in the latest AAA-games, FreeSync 2 support should help prevent screen tearing and stuttering.
In comparison, the Dell Ultrasharp 49 (U4919DW) comes in at a much higher cost of $1,700, but you do get some extras for your money — notably a lot more pixels. Its resolution is an intense 5,120 x 1,440 pixels which offers a lot more screen real estate and much higher detail levels in games. Think of it like two 1440p screens side by side without the bezel, where the CHG90 is more like two 1080p screens side by side.
The Ultrasharp uses an IPS panel so should have slightly richer colors. By the specifications, it has the same wide, 178-degree viewing angle as the Samsung display, as well as support for 1.07 billion colors.
Where it doesn’t offer quite so much is in the gaming department. The response time of the Ultrasharp 49 is 8ms, which is certainly usable in games, but it’s not ideal and those with the quickest of eyes may be able to tell a difference in faster-paced titles. It is brighter than the Samsung alternative, but it only offers a refresh rate of 60Hz, so doesn’t support high frame rates in the same way. It also doesn’t have any frame-syncing technologies, so gamers who want that functionality will have to rely on V-Sync.
Although at these sorts of monitor resolutions you’re going to want to use specific ports rather than others, having a good selection of options for versatility and connecting other peripherals is useful. The Samsung CHG90 comes with the choice of DisplayPort, mini-DisplayPort, two HDMI ports, a couple of USB-A connectors, a dedicated headphone jack, and a pair of microphone in/out jacks.
Notably absent on the Samsung monitor is a USB-C connection, which the Dell Ultrasharp 49 adds. Alongside that single reversible USB port, it also has a pair of HDMI 2.0 ports, a DisplayPort 1.4 connector, five USB-A 3.0 downstream ports, and a pair of USB-A 3.0 upstream ports.
As much as the Dell Ultrasharp’s higher-resolution, impressive frame, and connectivity options make it an arguably better display in some cases, the Samsung CHG90 is the more versatile of the two displays — it’s also a lot cheaper.
For $700 less than the Dell alternative, the CHG90 gives you the same physical screen space to play with, a higher refresh rate, better response time, comparable colors, and support for FreeSync and HDR. The Ultrasharp might have some advantages, but at $1,700, it’s a hard sell when the Samsung is just so good.
While we’d like to see Samsung release a second-generation of its ultra, ultrawide display with USB-C and a higher resolution, for now there isn’t a screen like it, especially at that impressive $1,000 price point.
Overall winner: Samsung CHG90