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- The LG 38WK95C-W monitor is one of the most expensive computer monitors you can buy – ultrawide or not.
- However, if you’re looking for perfection, you won’t find another ultrawide monitor that comes close. LG’s is simply the best.
In the last few years, 4K and ultrawide monitors have been fighting for the limelight. While there are pros and cons to both, ultrawide monitors have generally won the fight, as they offer deeper immersion in games and more screen real estate for productivity. Most modern ultrawide monitors come with a 3,440 x 1,440-pixel resolution, too, so you’re not giving up too many pixels.
If you’re unaware, an ultrawide monitor uses a 21:9 aspect ratio, which is the same as most movies. While originally intended as a way to watch movies without the dreaded black borders, ultrawide monitors have naturally found a home with content creators and gamers, as the wider-than-average field of view occupies more of your peripheral vision.
We took to the internet to find the best ultrawide monitor on the market. Using expert and buyer reviews, as well as hands-on experience, we narrowed down five options that are worth their weight in gold.
While the quality of the display is key, there are also some technical considerations. For instance, we didn’t select any 29-inch ultrawide monitors, despite the fact that there are plenty available. While a cheap point of entry, 29-inch monitors are too narrow to provide the benefits of an ultrawide monitor.
Here are the best ultrawide monitors you can buy:
- Best ultrawide monitor overall: LG 38WK95C-W
- Best ultrawide monitor under $400: LG 34UM60-P
- Best ultrawide monitor for gaming: Acer Predator X34P
- Best ultrawide monitor for gaming under $600: Massdrop Vast
- Best ultrawide monitor for video editing: Dell UltraSharp U3417W
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best ultrawide monitor overall
Why you’ll love it: Although it’s one of the most expensive ultrawide monitors you can buy, the LG 38WK95C-W proves that price really can buy perfection.
Choosing the de facto “best” ultrawide monitor is difficult, as the purpose of the display dictates which one you should buy. That said, the LG 38WK95C-W strikes an impressive balance with a massive size, high resolution, and slew of built-in connections.
Let’s start with who it’s not for: gamers. With an uninspiring 75Hz refresh rate and 5ms grey-to-grey response time, the LG 38WK95C-W won’t give you an edge in your next match of CS:GO. Despite the impressive 3,840 x 1,600-pixel resolution and support for FreeSync, we wouldn’t recommend it as part of your battle station.
For productivity, though, there’s no suitable replacement. The slightly higher than UHD resolution makes text ultra-crisp on the monitor, and the highly color accurate IPS panel is perfect for video editors, designers, and photographers. The extra four inches on the normal ultrawide size doesn’t hurt, either.
Which brings up some of the bad. The 38WK95C-W is huge, and furthermore, expensive. At nearly $1,500, it’s one of the most expensive ultrawide monitors around. However, for freelancers or businesses looking for a hefty tax write-off, it makes perfect sense.
If you’re looking to save a few bones, the LG 38UC99-W is essentially the same monitor, though slightly older. It has a slightly worse stand and 60Hz refresh rate, but the color accuracy, resolution, and support for USB-C and USB 3.0 charging is still intact.
Pros: High resolution, highly color accurate
Cons: One of the most expensive ultrawide monitors available
The best ultrawide monitor under $400
Why you’ll love it: Despite the LG 34UM60-P monitor’s bottom of the barrel pricing, it delivers a great, if not perfect, ultrawide experience.
The LG 34UM60-P is far from a perfect monitor with an admittedly cheap-feeling plastic construction and low resolution. At just a bit more than $300, though, it’s the only ultrawide monitor on the market that will give you the full experience without breaking the bank.
Specs-wise, it’s decent, though nothing special. It sports a 2,560 x 1,080-pixel IPS panel with surprisingly good color accuracy consider the price, 5ms response time, and 75Hz refresh rate. Oddly, when I tested the monitor, it defaulted to 60Hz, but I was able to overclock my particular panel to achieve 75Hz.
It supports FreeSync, too, which was normally a con, but given Nvidia’s recent announcement to support FreeSync displays, it’s more enticing. While the response time and refresh rate aren’t the best for competitive gaming, FreeSync is still nice to have for any single-player adventures.
That’s why this monitor is so great. It provides just enough features to be considered a serious ultrawide while skipping in a few areas to achieve a low price point. From gaming to even light content creation, the LG 34UM60-P is an excellent display, and pretty cheap, to boot. At this price, the best you’ll find is a similarly specced 29-inch ultrawide.
Pros: Inexpensive, color accurate, support for FreeSync
Cons: The stand is basic and cheap
The best ultrawide monitor for gaming
Why you’ll love it: As the champion of ultrawide gaming monitors for many years, the Acer Predator X34P still impresses today.
The Acer Predator X34P has everything we want to see in an ultrawide gaming monitor. It features a clean aesthetic that manages to scream “gamer” without being nauseating, a large 35-inch, 100Hz IPS panel, and a 1900R curve sat on top of a thin but highly durable frame. Despite being over four years old, the Predator X34P still holds the crown for the best gaming ultrawide.
Over most high refresh rate gaming displays, the X34P is unique is that it’s fairly color accurate. Acer’s marketing material, of course, suggests that the color accuracy is great, but independent tests seem to back that up. The IPS panel awards wider viewing angles, too, meaning the colors will stay accurate even when you’re outside the sweet spot.
As far as gaming goes, the panel ships with a 100Hz refresh rate. However, it’s overclockable to 120Hz, which puts the X34P in a class of its own. Our next pick, for example, is similarly specced but capped at 100Hz, and high refresh rate panels like the one featured on the ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q only come with 16:9 aspect ratios.
It should be noted, though, that the panel is capped at 100Hz when using G-Sync. If you want to overclock it to 120Hz, you’ll have to miss out on variable refresh rate.
On the back of the screen, you’ll find four USB 3.0 ports, which is useful for plugging if your keyboard and mouse without reaching behind your tower, and stereo 7W speakers. Most monitor speakers are pretty bad, and the X34P isn’t breaking that trend. However, the dedicated power and stereo setup of the speakers means that you can get by for at least a while without a dedicated audio solution.
Pros: Slick, color accurate, and perfect for gaming
Cons: While attractive, the stand occupies a lot of desk space
The best ultrawide monitor for gaming under $600
Why you’ll love it: The Massdrop Vast gets most of the way there on all fronts, which is all we can ask for considering how inexpensive it is.
The Massdrop Vast is a jack of all trades but master of none. Its VA panel isn’t especially color accurate, despite Massdrop’s marketing attempts to convince you otherwise, and there isn’t a lot of features to make it stand out as a premium product. While it doesn’t do anything perfectly, it gets most of the way there, and that’s saying a lot considering the low price tag of this ultrawide monitor.
The Vast has a professional composure, but the panel quality simply isn’t high enough for anyone other than would-be pros. That said, it’s a great choice for gaming. With a 100Hz refresh rate and 2ms G2G response time, the Vast is the only UHD ultrawide shy of $600 that provides an excellent gaming experience.
The refresh rate and resolution are what matters. The LG 34UM60-P will get you to 75Hz, but the difference between 60Hz and 75Hz isn’t nearly as big as the difference between 75Hz and 100Hz. FreeSync is supported from 49Hz up to 100Hz, too, so you can use the high refresh rate without screen tearing.
For budget-focused monitors, it’s easy to expect manufacturers to throw all of their eggs in the panel basket and disregard things like the stand and chassis quality. Massdrop proves you can get the best of both worlds with the Vast, though. In addition to 20 degrees of tilt and 4.3 inches of spring-actuated height adjustment, the Vast also has a full 90 degrees of pivot so you can turn it completely sideways to see more of a document or, in most cases, dig deeper on Reddit.
At this price point, the only real competitor is LG’s 34UC79G-B, which, at $50 cheaper, boasts a 144Hz refresh rate and more color accurate IPS display. However, it does so at a little over half the resolution. Given the 35-inch size, the resolution makes the difference on the Vast, and while the refresh rate and color accuracy aren’t as good as LG’s monitors, the Vast isn’t too far off, either.
Pros: High refresh rate, low price point
Cons: Not the most color accurate
The best ultrawide monitor for video editing
Why you’ll love it: With a slick design and excellent color accuracy out of the box, the Dell UltraSharp U3417W monitor is a great choice for video editors, graphics designers, and photographers.
The Dell UltraSharp U3417W monitor could fit in any category in this guide minus the budget options. It’s decent at gaming, excellent at productivity, and cheaper than our top pick, to boot. However, given Dell’s excellent business credit program and the clean, office-friendly design, the UltraSharp U3417W is a natural fit for professionals.
Out of the box, the 60Hz IPS panel sports 99% coverage of the sRGB color space, which should be fine for most professionals. Independent testing backs up the color accuracy, with only slight inaccuracies in red, green, and yellow. With manual calibration, these issues can easily be snuffed out.
The panel is 10-bit, meaning it can produce 1.07 billion colors within the sRGB spectrum. While color accurate on that front, it isn’t a wide gamut monitor, so there’s no additional coverage for the Adobe RGB spectrum. For most people, this isn’t an issue, but it may not the best choice if you’re working in the Adobe RGB color space.
As far as ergonomics go, the U3417W offers 60 degrees of swivel, 4.5 inches of height adjustment, and 26 degrees of tilt. If you’d rather go without the stand, there’s a VESA mount on the back so you can attach it to the arm of your choice. While we doubt most professionals will work without a dedicated audio setup, there are also dual 9W speakers that are better than most built-in audio solutions.
The UltraSharp U3417W is the perfect ultrawide for professionals. The high resolution and extra screen estate award more timeline coverage in Premiere or just a little extra room to fit all of the toolbars in Photoshop. At around $900 when not on sale, though, we expect professionals to be the only ones who can afford it.
Pros: Color accurate, large, high resolution
Cons: Low refresh rate, pricey