The best ultrawide monitors 2022: top 21:9 monitors
The best ultrawide monitor is an ideal upgrade if you’ve ever felt crowded by your display. All that screen real estate can benefit multitaskers, content creators and gamers alike. Anyone who needs to look at several tabs or windows at once will like the extra space one of these affords.
While that extra-long screen might not work for everyone, they are an immersive experience, almost on par with the best VR headsets. Once you get one, you may never go back to a regular display. And, some of them are so good that they rival the best monitors on the market. There might not be a better way to make your favorite PC game come alive.
Since we’ve tested a lot of monitors, ultrawide and otherwise, we look for several things when putting together a list like this such as screen quality and resolution, feature set and even port selection. After all, they need to bring out the best from that workstation or gaming PC. We also consider factors like refresh rates for ones that might double as a gaming monitor.
No matter if it’s for business or pleasure, one of the best ultrawide monitors here will suit your needs. And, you can find some excellent best monitor deals with Amazon Prime Day just around the corner.
It’s hard not to be impressed by the LG UltraGear 38GN950. If you’re looking for the ultimate gaming monitor, this is certainly the one to beat, with a 144Hz refresh rate that can be easily overclocked to 160Hz, 1ms response time, spectacular image quality, and many other gaming features like G-Sync, an ultra-wide aspect ratio and DisplayHDR 600.
During testing, the 21:9 ultra-wide aspect ratio certainly delivered the ‘wow’ factor. Games feel much more cinematic on this display, offering not just a super-immersive experience, but also a tactical advantage. The Microsoft Flight Simulator certainly greatly benefits from it as it allowed us to keep an eye on landmarks and runways without pressing a button to switch views.
Playing at 144Hz and 160Hz, we found, results in an enjoyable experience without screen tearing. Meanwhile, the DCI-P3 98% color gamut support makes it a good option for photographers and video editors.
Read our in-depth LG UltraGear 38GN950 review
Ultrawide resolutions are already pushing our computing experiences to the edge, so when we came across the BenQ EX3501R, a 3,440 x 1,440 monitor with HDR, we sat up and took notice. This is an absolutely incredible gaming monitor – though BenQ advertises it as a ‘video enjoyment monitor.’ And, considering it’s equipped with a USB-C input and an astonishing 2,500:1 contrast ratio, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything not to love about one of the best ultrawide monitors out there.
Turning on HDR mode, we found, produces beautiful result straight away, touting increased contrast. On test, it proved that not only does it handle games particularly well, but it’s also great for watching films and shows.
It comes with a 4ms response time, which might be slightly too slow for people who need as little lag as possible. However, it didn’t show any noticeable delays during testing. Besides, the display size, aspect ratio, and high refresh rate should more than make up for any lag. Oh, and did we mention that it comes with an affordable price of entry as well? This is the best ultrawide monitor for budget-minded consumers.
Read our in-depth BenQ EX3501R review
The Alienware AW3418DW has been one of the best ultrawide monitors for years now. With an incredibly reliable, color accurate display and a high refresh rate, this Alienware gaming monitor has definitely earned its gaming classic label.
Apart from the immersive aspect ratio that fills your vision, it offers a gloriously smooth gameplay right out of the box. This is thanks to the 100Hz refresh rate and G-Sync technology, which delivered high frame rates without screen tearing during our testing.
If you want smooth, high-frame-rate games with an immersive vision-filling aspect ratio, and plenty of game-specific features, this is the best ultrawide monitor for you. It’s still a bit expensive, as you may expect from an Alienware product, but you really are getting what you’re paying for. And, just like any other product from the alien-themed manufacturer it looks amazing sitting on your desk.
Read our in-depth Alienware AW3418DW review
If you’re looking for a monitor that’s a cut above the 4K norm, then you’ve got the MSI Prestige PS341WU. Showing up any impeccable 4K monitor is by no means an easy feat, but this monitor does so with the huge 5K2K native resolution (and 21:9 ultrawide aspect ratio) of its luscious 34-inch IPS screen.
It doesn’t come cheap, but it does have a great feature set to make up for that, including a Nano IPS panel with DCI-P3 color gamut, HDR support, and comprehensive connectivity. During our testing, it delivered superb image quality, colors that absolutely pop, and viewing angles that are about as good as they get. And, that’s right out of the box.
In addition, it comes with 100% of the sRGB gamut and 98% of DCI-P3 color coverage that make it a solid choice for color-critical content creation. All that packed in a beautiful white aesthetic, and you’ve got yourself one of the best ultrawide monitors of 2020.
Read our in-depth MSI Prestige PS341WU review
Even non-creative professionals can get a lot out of an ultrawide monitor, which means there’s certainly a place for the BenQ EW3880R. This display is just as great for work as it is for media consumption, touting a subtle curvature that increases immersion, that ultra HD resolution in 21:9, and eye-comfort features that boosts productivity.
Its ability to display four, full-sized A4 documents, huge spreadsheets and large graphical working areas makes it a productivity dream. Plus, during testing, its Ultra HD 3,840 x 1,600 resolution kept everything crisp and in sharp relief on test while its evenly lit panel married with the matte screen kept fatigue after prolonged periods of work at bay.
As for media consumption, the built-in 2.1 sound system is seriously impressive – not to mention, space-saving since you won’t be needing a pair of external speakers. It’s expensive and not quite gaming-friendly. However, if you have the money to spend on a premium display for work and entertainment, it’s definitely a winner.
Read our in-depth BenQ EW3880R review
There’s no arguing with this monitor’s exceptional performance. This ‘frameless’ monitor works hard to provide best-in-class performance, rather than advertising its gamer-centric nature via sharp angles and aggressive RGB lighting. Though if you are looking for gaming features, it boasts a 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time and 1440p resolution for immersive gaming that looks incredible as well.
The AOC CU34G2X’s performance is also impressive. Its curve doesn’t feel too overwhelming when leaning in close and offers one of the most immersive gaming experiences we’ve had. Out of the box, the hues and shades are gorgeous, not needing any adjustments for color balance. Meanwhile, its 144Hz refresh and 1ms response time have proven to be effective at minimizing screen-tearing even during intense battles.
This is among the best ultrawide monitors for gaming. And, with a $450/£450 price tag, you’re certainly getting a lot of value for your money.
Read our in-depth AOC CU34G2X review
How we test monitors
Testing monitors is more involved than you think. It isn’t as simple and straightforward as setting it up, using it for a day, and taking down notes. A monitor is an investment, whether you’re looking to get the traditional 16:9 aspect ratio or need the screen real estate an ultrawide monitor can offer, so we take great pains to ensure that anything we recommend is worth your hard-earned money.
To do so, we use it as our main monitor for at least a week, utilizing it for our day-to-day workloads, watching movies and shows with it, and playing our favorite AAA games on it if it’s a gaming monitor. This way, we can gauge its real world performance.
We also test very specific things like refresh rates, response times, and viewing angles. We use a colorimeter to check its color reproduction, color accuracy, and uniformity. We check to see just how smooth, clean, and artifact-free its image quality is as well as how good its marquee features like HDR, adaptive sync technology, RGB lighting, and curvature.
Of course, we note its design, aesthetic, and other physical features like how thin its bezels are, how good its port selection is, and how durable its build is. We then gather all that information and compare it to its price tag, to see if it’s a great value to consumers.
What’s the difference between ultrawide monitors and standard monitors?
The difference between ultrawide monitors and regular monitors mainly lies in their aspect ratios. Standard monitors have an aspect ratio of 16:9, whereas ultrawide monitors have an aspect ratio of 21:9 making them, as their name states, much longer horizontally. The extra length is great if you need to keep a lot of things onscreen or just like watching or creating 4K videos.
It’s important to note that as impressive as ultrawide displays are, their resolutions aren’t always supported by modern tech. If you’re looking for a monitor to connect to your PS5 or Xbox Series X, you’re probably better off with a standard monitor because the traditional resolutions are supported on those consoles.