The best ultrawide monitors can seriously boost your productivity or transform your gaming experience
By David Nield Last updated 2021-10-08T11:29:42.065Z
Welcome to the T3 guide to the very best ultrawide monitors you can get your hands on right now – the super-sized screens that stretch a long way from side to side, to fit in more of your games, spreadsheets, web browsing tabs or whatever else you’re looking at.
If you’ve never tried an ultrawide monitor before, it can be tricky to put across just how useful all that extra room can be. It means you can have two or three program windows up at the same time, for example, so you can more easily take notes from a video or keep an eye on social media while doing research on the web.
When it comes to gaming, titles that support ultrawide modes can provide a much more immersive feel – whether you’re travelling through a vast and open alien world, or driving at high speed down a race track. Once you’ve made the switch to a monitor that has some additional space down the sides, you won’t want to go back.
As when you’re choosing the best 4K monitors or the best gaming monitors, you want to make sure that you’re picking the screen that’s perfectly suited for you in terms of size, versatility, price, features, and everything else.
With this detailed guide to the best ultrawide monitors, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to make the right choice. Before buying, consider what exactly you’re going to be using your ultrawide monitor for, and the kinds of features (like input types) you need it to have.
Lastly, remember that Black Friday is approaching and that means the best Black Friday deals could include some top discounts on ultrawide monitors.
When it comes to ultrawide monitors, the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 is like royalty: it’s a giant beast of a display, but despite its size it produces an excellent picture that will make you feel you’re right inside a game (or a spreadsheet). The Odyssey Neo G9 is marketed as a gaming monitor, but it’s just as capable for running video editing software, watching movies, or doing anything else you want to do with it.
Gamers are going to be particularly interested in the 1ms grey-to-grey response time and the maximum 240Hz refresh rate as well, and with a 1000R screen curvature you really feel like you’re part of the action. The screen is actually so large that you can get two separate inputs up side by side, so it’s like having a dual monitor setup with only one monitor.
As you might expect, this is a big and chunky screen, so bear that in mind when deciding whether or not this is the best ultrawide monitor for you (it needs two people to get it set up, for a start). It’s also on the expensive side, with so much technology on offer. However, if you want the very best ultrawide monitor on the market at the moment, then we think the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 stakes a strong claim.
The MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR is well worth a look if you’re after an impressive but still relatively affordable ultrawide monitor for gaming (it can do a lot of other stuff as well of course, but gaming is where it really shines). The refresh rate tops out at a speedy 165Hz, while you also get 1ms response times to keep that on-screen ghosting and lag down to a minimum while you’re exploring alien worlds or blasting away enemies (or both).
While you don’t get a full 4K resolution here (which is tricky to manage on an ultrawide monitor anyway), you do get a 1000R curvature (it matches the human eye, apparently) and HDR400 support. In short, games that are optimised for the ultrawide format should look gorgeous when you load them up, and we’re also pleased by the number of input options you’ve got here (including USB-C).
A word too on the design, which is sleek and sophisticated: there’s some tasteful RGB lighting around the back, which you can customise to suit the style of the rest of your gaming rig. Cable management is nicely done, setup is straightforward, and there’s plenty of leeway when it comes to tilting and swivelling as well. It’s not the best ultrawide monitor on the market, but it gets pretty close.
When it comes to ultrawide monitors, they’re so big and pack in so much tech that you can’t really get what you would describe as a budget model – but the Philips 346B1C comes pretty close, and is more affordable than a lot of its rivals. Despite the relatively cheap price, as it’s coming from Philips you know that it’s going to be well put together and reliable.
This is also an ideal ultrawide monitor for operating multiple computers, because it comes with its own built-in KVM (Keyboard Video Mouse) switch: you can use the same peripherals and display with more than one PC or Mac. And while Philips is marketing this mainly as a monitor for business users and creatives, it can cope with just about everything very well, including games.
The key specs you need to know about are 34 inches of screen space, a resolution of 3,440 x 1,440 pixels, and a 1500R curvature. It also covers 90 percent of the AdobeRGB colour gamut – which will be of interest if you’re using this for detailed photo and video work. While it doesn’t have the top specs on the market, the Philips 346B1C offers plenty of quality and numerous features, and gives you full value for money.
There’s an awful lot to like about the LG UltraGear 34GN850: it’s simple to set up, it’s versatile, it’s got some top-tier specs, it’s curved (1900R), it gives you plenty of connection ports to play around with, and it produces a really good picture too. The gamers amongst you will be interested to learn that its refresh rate goes all the way up to 160Hz, and the monitor supports both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync too. There’s a 1ms response time here as well, which is good to see.
While you can find other ultrawide screens to beat this one in specific areas, not many competitors are able to switch between different tasks (such as gaming and office work) as well as the LG UltraGear 34GN850. Creatives will be pleased by the 98 percent of the DCI-P3 colour gamut that’s covered, for example – it could be the ultrawide monitor for you if you’re editing video one minute and playing PC games the next.
There are some minor complaints we have about this monitor, including the lack of USB-C connectivity and the slightly higher-than-average price, but overall it gets two thumbs up – you’re not going to be disappointed if you invest in this as your next ultrawide monitor. LG is usually very capable when it comes to putting together electronics equipment that’s going to impress for a long time, and the LG UltraGear 34GN850 continues that tradition.
If you’re after a big, impressive, sharp ultrawide monitor but don’t want to pay over the odds, then the Lenovo Legion Y44W-10 might just be the ideal model for you: it offers some very good specs and features without being the best in class on the market, and that means you can pick it up for a reasonable price (and the money you save you can spend on your gaming rig or a few accessories).
Besides the specs that we’ve mentioned above, the Lenovo Legion Y44W-10 also brings with it a 1800R curvature, a 4ms response time and a 144Hz refresh rate, meaning that it’s going to appeal to gamers as well as everyone else. Something else worth mentioning is the sheer number of ports you get with this ultrawide display: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 2 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x USB-C and 4 x USB-A (for connecting and charging up your peripherals).
With all that in mind, we think this ticks a lot of the boxes that you might be looking for: it’s a great all-rounder in our eyes. In our testing we were impressed with the colour and contrast returned by the monitor, and you’ll find that in the games that support the ultrawide format, you get a truly immersive experience. As always, shop around for the best prices before committing to a purchase.
Dave has over 20 years’ experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.
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