Are UltraWide Monitors Worth It?

Find out everything you need to know about ultrawide monitors and if they're the type of display technology for you.

Is an ultrawide monitor for you? What do you get and what do you lose by going the ultrawide route? Are ultrawide monitors worth the money?

These are some of the questions we’ll be answering in this article, allowing you to decide whether an ultrawide monitor suits your needs.

First of all, note that there are two types of ultrawide monitors, with 21:9 and 32:9 aspect ratios. 32:9 is also referred to as ‘super-ultrawide.’

In comparison to the standard 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, ultrawide monitors provide you with extra horizontal screen space, while the vertical screen space is reduced, that is, when comparing two screens with the same diagonal size but different aspect ratio.

So, a 25″ 21:9 monitor is wider than a 25″ 16:9 display, but it’s also shorter. Here’s a list of popular ultrawide screen sizes and how they compare to popular widescreen sizes.

  • 30″ 21:9 – equvalent height to 24″ 16:9, but ~25% wider
  • 34″ 21:9 – equvalent height to 27″ 16:9, but ~25% wider
  • 38″ 21:9 – equivalent height to 30″ 16:9, but ~25% wider
  • 40″ 21:9 – equivalent height to 32″ 16:9, but ~25% wider
  • 49″ 32:9 – equivalent to two 27″ 16:9 monitors side by side
  • 43″ 32:9 – equivalent to two 24″ 16:9 monitors side by side
  • 43″ 32:10 – equivalent to two 24″ 16:10 monitors side by side

UltraWide Monitors For Office Work

Dual Monitors

So, is an ultrawide monitor worth it if you just want to get as much screen real estate as possible for productivity, spreadsheets, multi-tasking, etc?

Well, if you need a lot of screen space, you should be getting at least a single 27″ 1440p monitor. It has a high enough pixel density for sharp text and plenty of screen real estate without any scaling necessary.

For the price of a single 34″ 3440×1440 monitor, you could get two 27″ 2560×1440 displays, such as the LG 27QN600, resulting in more screen space.

So, a dual monitor setup offers better value for money when it comes to office-related work. Of course, you might find two displays excessive and one not enough, making an ultrawide monitor a great in-between choice, but you’ll be paying a premium.

Larger ultrawide monitors are significantly more expensive, so they’re not very cost-effective if your main goal is to have a lot of screen real estate.

UltraWide Monitors For Watching Videos

One thing that looks particularly great on 21:9 ultrawide monitors are movies shot at aspect ratios between 2.35:1 and 2.4:1.

On regular 16:9 screens, these movies have black bars at the top and bottom of the screen, but they fill the entire screen on 21:9 ultrawide monitors, resulting in a more immersive viewing experience.

16:9 content will have black bars at the sides of the screen on ultrawide monitors, but through the use of browser plugins or video player settings, you can choose to zoom in or stretch the picture to fill the screen.

There are no 32:9 super-ultrawide movies and very few 32:9 videos available, so you’ll have to cope with black bars at the sides of the screen for most content. The main reason to get a super-ultrawide monitor is for playing compatible games or mixed-use.

UltraWide Monitors For Editing

Two Monitors

If you’re looking for a color-accurate ultrawide monitor, you’ll need one with an IPS panel and an appropriate color gamut.

When it comes to audio and video editing, ultrawide monitors are very popular as they provide you with a wider view of your timelines, making for easier editing.

For photo editing, the ultrawide format is not necessary or particularly useful. Moreover, it’s cheaper to get a 4K IPS monitor with a decent color gamut and factory-calibration than an ultrawide display with the same features.

UltraWide Monitors For Gaming

Lenovo UltraWide Gaming Monitor

Keep in mind that consoles do not support ultrawide resolutions natively, so you’ll be forced to either stretch or crop and zoom in the picture to fill the screen, therefore, we don’t recommend ultrawide monitors for console gaming.

As far as PC gaming goes, it comes down to the user’s personal preference and game compatibility.

The ultrawide format increases your field of view, which results in a more enjoyable and immersive gaming experience. However, some competitive titles (Valorant and mostly Blizzard games, such as Starcraft, Overwatch and Diablo) don’t support ultrawide resolutions precisely for this reason.

Bigger ultrawide monitors aren’t intended for competitive gaming anyway; for instance, even though you might spot an enemy in a left corner that wouldn’t have appeared on a widescreen monitor, by the time you divert your attention to it, another enemy might appear elsewhere.

For competitive FPS gaming, players prefer smaller monitors (24″ – 27″) as they allow them to see most of what’s happening on the screen at once.

The MSI MAG301RF is a unique 30″ 2560×1080 ultrawide with a fast 200Hz refresh rate and quick 1ms response time speed. Since it’s only as tall as a regular 24″ screen, if you sit a bit further from it, you’ll be able to see the whole screen and take advantage of the ultrawide format in supported games.

Ultrawide monitors are exceptionally good for graphically-oriented games and most newer titles support ultrawide resolutions natively. Even with most older games, it’s possible to add ultrawide support through mods, editing the hex values, or using the flawless widescreen application for a one-click-fix.

So, whether or not an ultrawide monitor is worth it for gaming depends on the type of games you play.

Conclusion

Hopefully, we provided you with enough information to decide whether an ultrawide monitor is for you, but feel free to leave us a comment below if you have any questions.

Related Reads

Quantum Dot Display
What Is A Quantum Dot Display?
Rob Shafer
Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.