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The best ultrawide monitors of 2019

Sometimes you need a little extra screen real estate, and the typical 16:9 monitor won’t do. Whether you’re a creative professional who needs a massive curved display, or a gamer looking for the most immersive experience you can possibly get outside of VR, there’s probably an ultrawide monitor for you.

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, your movies, or even your 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.

At a glance

Product Category Rating
Samsung CF791 Best ultrawide monitor overall 4.5 out of 5
Alienware AW3418DW  Best gaming ultrawide 4 out of 5
Dell U3415W Best business ultrawide 4 out of 5
LG 34WK95U-W Best 5K ultrawide 4 out of 5
Samsung CHG90 Best 32:9 ultrawide 4 out of 5

Samsung CF791

The best ultrawide monitor

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Why should you buy this: You want a monitor with the sensibility and size of a small luxury yacht.

Who’s it for: Gamers, professionals, and everyone in between.

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 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. However, if you had something different in mind, take a look at our other picks!

Read our full Samsung CF791 review

The best ultrawide for gaming

The best ultrawide monitors of 2019Rich Shibley/Digital Trends

Why should you buy this: Alienware’s curved monitor encourages overclocking for a great gaming experience.

Who’s it for: Gamers who like to tinker, PC builders, and those who want an immersive curved screen.

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 even more performance. 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 3440 x 1440 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

Predator Z35

The best 1080p ultrawide

The best ultrawide monitors of 2019Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Why should you buy this: This monitor’s 200Hz refresh rate is wonderfully excessive.

Who’s it for: Gamers, or anyone else who needs a monitor that can render 200 frames per second without breaking a sweat.

Why we picked the Acer Predator Z35:

Ultrawide monitors look great, and they can provide an immersive gaming experience, but there’s more to a gaming monitor than size and curvature. No matter how big and gorgeous they are, no matter how bright and vivid, there’s one specific that must be up to par. Refresh rate.

So how does Acer’s ultrawide measure up to other gaming monitors in a more traditional form factor? Well, it doesn’t. It obliterates them. The Acer Predator brings a massive 200Hz refresh rate to bear on an equally massive 35-inch 1080p display, and the result couldn’t be more satisfying. By allowing games to hit 200 FPS without screen tearing, the Predator’s refresh rate delivers best-in-class performance. The result is buttery-smooth gameplay.

That said, the display’s 2,560 x 1,080 resolution is a little low by today’s standards. It translates about 80 pixels per inch, which is a little less than a 1080p, 24-inch monitor. However, the resolution does mesh well with the refresh rate. High framerates are less likely at high resolutions.

Despite its high price tag, the Predator is a very good choice for a long-term investment. The Acer Predator Z35 is compatible with Nvidia’s G-Sync, which makes the most of the monitor’s impressive refresh rate, serving up frames as quick as your PC can render them.

Read our full Predator Z35 review

Dell U3415W

The best professional ultrawide

The best ultrawide monitors of 2019Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Why should you buy this: You need a massive workspace and pitch-perfect color accuracy.

Who’s it for: Professionals looking for extra space, without sacrificing color accuracy.

Why we picked the Dell U3415W:

As you can probably gather from our coverage so far, ultrawide monitors look spectacular. The technology has matured over the last couple years as resolution and pixel density have gone up, while prices have gone down. Sometimes, though, you need more than a great looking monitor. Sometimes you need a monitor that looks, well, perfect.

Creative professionals like photographers, graphic artists, and film editors need near-perfect color accuracy. Professional monitors need to resolve colors with a degree of precision that might go unnoticed in movies or games. They need to replicate real-world tones and hues with as little variation as possible.

That’s where the Dell U3415W comes in. With near-perfect color accuracy, 3,440 x 1,440 resolution, a best-in-class contrast ratio of 730:1 at 75 percent brightness, and a display panel capable of reproducing 100 percent of the sRGB spectrum, this ultrawide monitor delivers a unique viewing experience that is well suited to professional graphic design or photo editing.

Dell has also thrown in a few extras, like a versatile on-screen menu system, multiple USB ports, and a highly adjustable stand – something that’s not always guaranteed, even on expensive ultrawide monitors. Taken together, these traits make it a clear pick for creative professionals.

Read our full Dell U3415W review

LG 34WK95U-W

The best 5K ultrawide

The best ultrawide monitors of 2019Riley Young/Digital Trends

Why should you buy this: You need extra screen real estate, and you want the best resolution you can get.

Who’s it for: Artists, designers, and very serious gamers.

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 5120 x 2160 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 a 90% AdobeRGB color gamut, 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.

Samsung CHG90

The best ultrawide for showing off

The best ultrawide monitors of 2019

Why should you buy this: It has more screen real estate than almost any other monitor available.

Who’s it for: Supersize gamers and anyone who needs a domineering display.

Why we picked the Samsung CHG90:

Most of the ultrawide screens we spend time with are 34 inches, but the Samsung CHG90 skips right over that form factor into a new class of its own. It measures a ludicrous 49-inches from corner to corner, with a resolution of 3,840 x 1,080. At $1,000 it’s far from cheap, but there’s nothing out there at this price point that offers anywhere near as much screen space.

Although the CHG90 does lose out to more expensive options like the Dell Ultrasharp 49 with resolution, it’s still incredibly crisp and has beautiful colors and contrast. Better yet, gamers can take advantage of a number of features built in just for them. The 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time make it perfect for high-paced games, while FreeSync 2 support helps keep frame rates smooth and stable.

Entry-level HDR adds some extra pop to the colors and darkened areas of the screen whether you’re gaming or watching a movie, and blue-light filters like Samsung’s Eye Saver Mode help those working late into the night avoid too much eyestrain.

We do miss any kind of USB-C connector and the brightness could do with a bump to take full advantage of the HDR, but overall the CHG90 is a stunning display that turns heads whenever they see it. Indeed it’s so big, that you might even need to make subtle turns of your own to look at opposite corners.

Read our full Samsung CHG90 review

How we test

Reviewing monitors can be tricky. Unlike other types of hardware, it’s hard to convey how well a monitor performs with raw statistics alone. Everyone’s going to see a monitor a little differently, so we do our best to conduct objective testing to bring out the best in each monitor that comes through the Digital Trends offices.

When we test monitors, we leave no stone unturned. From physical stability to color reproduction, we run these monitors through a battery of tests to make sure they live up to manufacturer promises and customer expectations. Right out of the box, we test color accuracy, contrast ratio, and brightness with a professional-grade colorimeter, and follow that up with a run through some very dark and very bright games to get a look at how things look in motion.

To find out more, check out our guide to calibrating your monitor. The tools and techniques we use in that guide or the basis for what we use to test and calibrate monitors that we receive.

Is now a good time to buy?

If you’d have asked that question a couple of years ago, the answer would have been a resounding negative. Ultrawide monitors are more expensive than their traditional 16:9 cousins, as they’re bigger, and less common. But if you compare last year’s prices to those you can find today, you’ll see that some of the best, most impressive ultrawide monitors are currently available for a fraction of their original asking prices.

In fact, if you look through the reviews we have on file for the monitors in this list you’ll notice that the MSRP for each of them is often in excess of their current asking prices. Some are available online for about half what they were just a year ago.

Market pressure and cheaper components have made for an incredibly inviting buyers’ market when it comes to ultrawide monitors. So, yes, now is a great time to buy an ultrawide 21:9 monitor, particularly considering we’re nearing the end of the year, and with the holiday season approaching you might see these already-low prices plunge even lower.

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