The Best Ultrawide Monitor for All Budgets in 2017
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An external display, or monitor, can cram loads of content into a single screen. An ultrawide monitor turns a desktop or laptop computer into a multitasking monster Here's How Windows 10 Makes Multitasking a Snap Here's How Windows 10 Makes Multitasking a Snap Snap Assist got an update in Windows 10. Now it's so good that it'll boost your productivity if you learn to make use of it. Read More .

But desktop users still require an external monitor. Even many laptop users may benefit from the use of a monitor. Want to maximize your viewing space? Check out the best ultrawide monitors for all budgets in 2017!

Why Buy an Ultrawide Display?

As many users migrate away from desktops, you might question the use of a monitor. If you’re a desktop user, it’s pretty clear: you need one. Unless you’re running a server headless, the average desktop form factor requires a monitor. But for laptop users, a monitor is still an excellent investment. Although I’ve got an HP Omen laptop for on-the-go work, when I’m at home I prefer using a monitor.

Although I’ve got an HP Omen laptop for on-the-go work, when I’m at home I prefer using a monitor. Usually, I extend my desktop for a dual-screen setup. However, even running your laptop into a monitor usually means you benefit from a larger screen than your native laptop screen. The only exception might be the Acer Predator 21 X, which costs more than some cars. Ultrawide monitors swap the standard 16:9 aspect ratio for 21:9.

As Lifehacker explains, there’s a common myth that the number of monitors is directly proportional to productivity. Rather, it’s monitor real estate. Thus, one ultrawide monitor can replace multiple monitors. You can even use your monitor for console gaming Use a Monitor for Console Gaming to Save Money, Space and More Use a Monitor for Console Gaming to Save Money, Space and More Are you short on money, or space? Can't afford to get an expensive TV for gaming? Here's why you should consider getting a computer monitor for your console gaming! Read More and save both space and money.

Here are some simple rules for buying an ultrawide:

  • Around 29 inches or larger offer a great midground between gaming and productivity.
  • Generally, lower-priced monitors are better suited to productivity whereas high-end monitors are game-centric. Of course, there are plenty of exceptions for ultrawide gaming monitors on a budget.
  • Ask yourself if you want to play games in 4K PC Gaming at 4K: Is It Worth The Money? PC Gaming at 4K: Is It Worth The Money? A resolution revolution is on its way. Ultra HD televisions and monitors are finally starting to drop to reasonable prices. Has Ultra HD matured, or is it still too much money for too little benefit? Read More .

The Best Ultrawide Monitors for All Budgets in 2017

1. LG 29UM68-P

LG 29UM68-P 29-Inch 21:9 UltraWide IPS Monitor with FreeSync LG 29UM68-P 29-Inch 21:9 UltraWide IPS Monitor with FreeSync 21:9 UltraWide Full HD IPS Monitor Buy Now At Amazon Too low to display

LG29UM69-p
Image Credit: Amazon

The LG 29UM68-P may not provide the best specs. It’s hampered by a 60 to 75 Hz refresh rate and a 2560 x 1080 resolution. What really sets the LG 29UM68-P apart is the price. For under $400, it’s easily the most affordable 29-inch ultrawide monitor available.

Don’t expect a top-of-the-line monitor. Similarly, video quality will appear decent though phenomenal. The LG 29UM68-P is an awesome alternative, though this jumps to $400. However, for the price of a mid-range standard monitor, you snag a good all-around ultrawide. As an alternative, the Samsung CF391 is a fantastic curved 32-inch FHD model. Unfortunately, the CF391 opts for a 1080p resolution which is painful to glance at on a screen this size up close. As such, the LG 29UM68-P makes a few minor compromises, but it’s the best budget ultrawide monitor available.

Pros

  • Under $300
  • 2560 x 1080 resolution
  • 29 inches

Cons

  • Under 30 inches
  • Not 4K
  • Some images appear stretched
  • Low refresh rate compared to higher end models

2. BenQ XR3501

BenQ XR3501 35-inch Curved Ultra Wide Gaming Monitor BenQ XR3501 35-inch Curved Ultra Wide Gaming Monitor 2560x1080 Ultra wide monitor requires 2560x1080 graphics driver Buy Now At Amazon $633.88

Slipping in at a sweet mid-range pricing, the BenQ XR3501 is an awesome ultrawide monitor. Linus over at Linus Sebastian of Linus Tech Tips praised the XR3501 for its true gaming optimization. It’s a bit lower in resolution. But its fast refresh rate, curvature, and panel more easily compensate. Dual HDMI points and DisplayPort make for excellent connectivity. Still, there’s no VGA or DVI.

For under $700, you get a 35-inch panel with a 2560×1080 resolution and 4ms response times. Moreover, BenQ includes FreeSync which makes this the best pick for AMD gamers. Linus explains that pixel response time is average, but color calibration is fantastic. The main drawback: its resolution. The size and resolution mean it’s much better for gaming than general use.

Pros

  • 2560 x 1080
  • 4ms response time
  • FreeSync for AMD gaming
  • 35 inches

Cons

  • Lower resolution isn’t fantastic for non-gaming applications

3. Dell 34 UltraSharp U3415W

Dell-34-Ultrawide
Image Credit: Microsoft

Dude, you’re getting a Dell Ultrawide! Dell’s 34-inch curved ultrawide monitor is a mid-range monitor at $760. You’ll get tons of screen space with its 34-inch display. The WQHD monitor is an IPS panel.

PC Mag awarded the UltraSharp U3415W a 4.5 out of 5 in its review. Among its top features, the UltraSharp U3415W accurately produces colors and dominates with its awesome gray-scale. Though the display is phenomenal, PC Mag appreciated its booming audio as well. But like you’ll see with many ultrawide monitors, the price is pretty hefty at $725. Oddly, especially at this price range, there are no side-mounted USB ports. How expensive can those be to include? Nevertheless, the Dell UltraSharp U3415W is a great performer which delivers a rich color palette and tons of screen real estate.

Pros

  • Rich color reproduction
  • IPS panel
  • 34 inches
  • 3440 x 1440 resolution
  • Pair of 9-watt speakers

Cons

  • No side-mounted USB ports
  • Pricey

4. Samsung CF791

Samsung CF791 Series 34-Inch Curved Widescreen Monitor (C34F791) Samsung CF791 Series 34-Inch Curved Widescreen Monitor (C34F791) 1500R Curvature 34" Widescreen Monitor Buy Now At Amazon Too low to display

Samsung-CF791-ultrawide
Image Credit: Amazon

If you’re looking for a solid ultrawide monitor for a range of applications, the Samsung CF791 is your best option. At $800, it’s not the cheapest model. Nevertheless, this 34-inch curved ultrawide model sports a 100Hz refresh rate and 4ms response time. Its 3440 x 1440 WQHD resolution is almost three times the pixel density of a full HD 1080p panel. You’ll also find quantum dot technology for as high as 125 percent RGB color space. The end result delivers more colors than a traditional model for crisp, lifelike color reproduction.

CNET praised the CF791 for its large size and 100 Hz refresh rate. Reportedly, this complements AMD Radeon cards well. Additionally, its colors are vivid. But CNET disliked the lack of USB ports. You’ll only find two. Further, the integrated stand makes VESA mounts a challenge. Still, it’s large and features superb colors. With its FreeSync capabilities, it’s a decent multi-purpose display and notably the best bet for Radeon gamers.

Pros

  • FreeSync support
  • Great for Radeon gamers
  • 100 Hz refresh rate
  • Accurate color reproduction
  • 34 inches
  • Bright image

Cons

  • Only two USB ports
  • Stand isn’t ideal for VESA mounting
  • Expensive

5. Acer Z35

Acer-Z35
Image Credit: Newegg

While it’s not quite the Acer Predator 21 X, the Acer Z35 ultrawide is tough to recommend. It’s definitely the best ultrawide monitor available. Furthermore, the Acer Z35 is the fastest ultrawide monitor with a blistering 200 Hz refresh rate. Digital Trends enjoyed its high contrast ratio, a bevy of gaming-centric elements, and its bright display. Picking the right monitor for gaming Computer Monitors For Gaming: How Do You Choose The Right One? Computer Monitors For Gaming: How Do You Choose The Right One? Read More can be tricky, but this is easily a gaming panel.

However, the Z35 comes with a low pixel density. It’s also quite expensive. At $800, the CF791 is a pricey though high-performing monitor. The Acer Z35 clocks in at $900. Of course, when you hit the $800, what’s another $100 for the Z35? Sure, it’s fast and caters to gamers. But the price makes the Acer Z35 hard to justify. It’s undoubtedly the best ultrawide monitor available. However, unless you’re a gamer, this is complete overkill.

Pros

  • 200 Hz refresh rate
  • Lots of gaming features
  • Premium looks and build quality

Cons

  • Expensive

Final Thoughts on Ultrawide Monitors

Which ultrawide monitor you select depends on your needs. Often you’ll find lower-priced monitors cater to office work and all-purpose needs. Whereas high-end monitors target the gamers. However, certain mid-range monitors like the BenQ XR3501 are superb for gaming. Think of ultrawide monitors as two monitors in one. After all, most do offer the screen real estate of multiple display panels conveniently wrapped into one form factor. This is awesome for saving space.

It’s tough to beat the LG 29UM68-P which hits such a low price point. If you want to go all out, snag the Acer Z35. For a decent middle-of-the-road ultrawide with delightful gaming optimization, check out the BenQ XR3501. After you’ve selected your monitor, learn how to properly calibrate What Is Monitor Calibration, and How Will It Make Your Photos Look Better? What Is Monitor Calibration, and How Will It Make Your Photos Look Better? Calibrating a monitor ensures that colors are displayed accurately, as well as consistently across every display, even when printed. Read More it for better-looking images.

Which ultrawide displays do you recommend?

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  1. Sarfraz Khan
    September 7, 2017 at 11:08 am

    You stated the CONS of the first monitor as not being 4K. There is no 4K ultra wide monitor.

  2. Phil D.
    August 11, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Second paragraph of your LG 29UM68-P review has some issues:

    "Similarly, video quality will appear decent though phenomenal." I think you omitted a word between "though" and "phenomenal".

    "The LG 29UM68-P is an awesome alternative, though this jumps to $400." The LG 29UM68-P is an awesome alternative to the LG 29UM68-P?

    Also, note that the LG 34UM68-P 34-Inch 21:9 monitor MSRPs at $399 and can be had on Amazon for under $300.