Now that we're heading into the Black Friday shopping season, this is a great time to find some fantastic early sales, including some excellent bargains on some of the best ultrawide monitors around. According to a recent consumer report by Adobe (opens in new tab), prices for computers and related components dropped about 15% starting in the month of November last year, and it stayed that low throughout the month. That means that some of the best deals we're going to see all year are already starting to pop up, so now is a great time to go bargain hunting.
- John Loeffler, US Computing Editor
Long gone are the days when boring, boxy, 4:3 CRT monitors filled offices, libraries, and homes around the world. In recent years, we've been treated to some fantastic monitor form factors to boost productivity and enjoyment, with the most exciting being the introduction of ultrawide, 21:9 monitors – and the best ultrawide monitors are cheaper than ever.
Whether you're looking for the best business monitors, the best gaming monitors, or anything in between, ultrawide displays have something to offer. In addition to more screen real estate, ultrawide monitors are also great for ergonomic reasons and help reduce eye and neck strain by keeping the sides of the display better angled for easy viewing.
And before you think that having an ultrawide display is an exclusively luxury purchase, many of the best cheap monitor deals are on smaller 1080p and 1440p ultrawide monitors that already have affordable starting prices before any discounts are even offered.
And with early Black Friday monitor deals right around the corner, now is definitely the time to start considering your options. Who knows? You might not even have to wait until Black Friday to score a great discount thanks to our price comparison tool that pulls all the best monitor deals from around the internet to help you find the ultrawide monitor you needs at a great price.
And if you want help deciding which one is right for you, we've pulled from our many years of experience to answer some of the most commonly asked ultrawide monitor questions to give you the tools you need to decide which ultrawide monitor is the right monitor for your needs and budget.
The best ultrawide monitors 2022
Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
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 more: LG UltraGear 38GN950 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 more: AOC CU34G2X review
The BenQ EX3410R is an excellent ultrawide gaming monitor with lots of features, a stylish design, and great 144Hz performance. Its 1ms pixel response makes it a fantastic option for esports players who need to better see the battlefield and react quickly.
Surprisingly, the speakers on the BenQ EX3410R are actually very good, and while they're not going to compete with a high-quality soundbar with woofer and Dolby Atmos, they are more than enough for the vast majority of people out there.
The only real knock we have against it is that while it does have good color coverage, it doesn't have enough for the needs of creative professionals, so this is really a gamer's gaming monitor, rather than something that creatives who are also gamers can gangpress into doing double duty.
- Read more: BenQ EX3410R review
Go big with the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9. The 21:9 aspect ratio is great and all, but if you love games like Final Fantasy XIV, you’re going to need more screen real estate for your buttons and meters. Luckily, this behemoth offers that coveted 32:9 aspect ratio, which gives you a whole lot more room to spread out.
It’s more than just the size as well. It also packs the most impressive tech we’ve seen and used in a gaming display, turning up everything its predecessor, the Odyssey G9, offers to 11. It now comes with Samsung's new Quantum Mini LED tech that allows this panel 2,048 local dimming zones for the most impressive and stunning HDR we’ve ever seen.
Unfortunately, because of its size and tech, you need a seriously powerful PC to take full advantage of it. But, then again, if you’re buying a monitor that costs as much as this one does, you better have the gear to back it up.
- Read more: Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 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 more: MSI Prestige PS341WU 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 more: Alienware AW3418DW 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 more: BenQ EW3880R review
How we test the ultrawide monitors
Testing monitors in general is more involved than you'd 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.
How to shop for the best ultrawide monitors
Ultrawide monitors are a fairly niche item right now, but they are growing in popularity very quickly. Still, this does mean that many shoppers are likely new to the ultrawide monitor market and might not be as familiar with what they need to know to make the right choice for their needs and budget. Fortunately, we've pulled together some frequently asked questions to help set you on the right path to finding a great ultrawide display.
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.
Is an ultrawide monitor good for gaming?
This very much depends on whether the game you want to play in 21:9 supports that resolution, and not every game does. A game like Elden Ring did not support ultrawide resolutions at launch, and so those with ultrawide monitors had to either deal with letterboxing along the sides of the display to frame a 16:9 aspect, or the game would stretch a 16:9 frame into 21:9, noticeably distorting the visuals.
Some games like Final Fantasy XIV do support 21:9 aspect, however, and when this is the case a game world can feel even more expansive and immersive as a result.
Is an ultrawide monitor worth it?
Obviously, the biggest advantage of an ultrawide monitor is the larger screen real estate. If you're constantly finding your display cramped with windows and you're losing track of – or need to constantly switch between – different apps and workspaces, than an ultrawide can definitely help give you more room to work.
A lot of games are introducing support for ultrawide resolutions, too, so you can definitely improve your gameplay experience with an ultrawide in some cases. Not all games support ultrawide yet though, so you're likely better off with one of the bes tgaming monitors using the standard 16:9 screen ratio if you're more interested in your monitor's gaming performance.
Where can I buy an ultrawide monitor?
Most major electronic retails sell ultrawide monitor now, and often have some fantastic deals on them as well.
In the US –
Amazon: The world's largest retailer often has ultrawide monitors on sale (opens in new tab)
Newegg: This popular computer and parts retailer always has great sales (opens in new tab)
B&H Photo: The place to go for professional ultrawide monitors (opens in new tab)
Walmart: A great place to find more budget-oriented ultrawide monitors (opens in new tab)
In the UK –
Amazon.co.uk: Offers a wide range of ultrawides in the UK (opens in new tab)
Box.co.uk: One of the UK's biggest electronics retailers usually has great sales (opens in new tab)
Currys: Another great place to find the best ultrawide monitors on sale (opens in new tab)
Argos: Great options for ultrawide monitors, usually with in store pickup (opens in new tab)