If you want to buy a new monitor, you have more options than ever before. It’s no longer a question of size and pixel density; you also need to choose an aspect ratio.
Ultrawide monitors are increasingly popular because they provide the same horizontal space as a dual monitor setup. You also get to skip the bezel and the added wires.
But given the significant added cost, are ultrawide monitors actually worth the money?
What Is an Ultrawide Monitor?
An ultrawide monitor is a monitor with a 21:9 aspect ratio. This is compared to the standard 16:9 offered by most monitors and televisions.
They are significantly wider than standard models but are usually approximately the same in terms of height.
They were originally invented because more and more people were using dual monitor setups. An ultrawide monitor provides a similar experience in a single product.
Ultrawide monitors are available with curved screens, but you can also purchase flat-screen versions. Curved screens provide better immersion and allow you to see more of the screen without turning your head.
But flat-screen monitors remain popular for anything that requires straight lines. They also offer wider viewing angles and are better suited to being mounted on walls.
4 Reasons to Upgrade to an Ultrawide Monitor
Ultrawide monitors are expensive. But this hadn’t stopped then becoming popular. Here are a few reasons why you might want to buy one.
1. Ultrawide Monitors Are Perfect for Movies
If you primarily want to watch movies, an ultrawide monitor is arguably worth paying more for. This is because they’re not just bigger than standard monitors; they have a better shape.
Most movies are shot in 21:9. They can be watched on any screen. But then the ratio has to be adjusted, or you wind up with black bars. An ultrawide monitor allows you to watch movies as they were originally shot.
It’s worth noting that this does not apply to YouTube videos or even most Netflix shows, as they are shot in 16.9.
2. Ultrawide Monitors Offer Immersive Gaming
It’s easy to get the impression that ultrawide monitors were invented for gaming. A curved monitor provides unparalleled immersion and may even allow you to see more of what’s happening in a game.
The difference is particularly noticeable in first-person shooters. Some gamers believe that ultrawide monitors help gaming performance. But it’s worth noting that many ultrawide monitors have lower refresh rates.
Gaming PCs are already expensive. So if you’re already spending a lot of money on the newest graphics card, an ultrawide monitor will make the most of it.
3. Ultrawide Monitors Are Ideal for Photography and Video Editing
Ultrawide monitors are often sold to video editors and photographers. This is because dual monitor setups aren’t recommended for either activity.
Video editing programs obviously require a lot of horizontal space. An ultrawide monitor provides this space without a bezel.
Working on a single monitor also ensures that colors are consistent. The monitors in dual setups tend to have slight differences in terms of color. This isn’t necessarily a problem if you’re browsing the web. But it is an important issue for activities that require color accuracy.
4. Ultrawide Monitors Are Easier to Use
Ultrawide monitors are easier to use than dual monitor setups. They don’t just allow you to skip a bezel. They provide a more seamless user experience overall. You can also use virtual screen dividing software that provides added organization.
Most applications aren’t designed to be used on two monitors simultaneously. And it isn’t always convenient to be pushing program windows from one screen to another.
There are software applications for dual-monitor setups, too, but ultrawide monitors are simply more user-friendly out of the box.
4 Reasons Not to Upgrade to an Ultrawide Monitor
Ultrawide monitors are popular, but not everyone should buy one. Here’s why.
1. Ultrawide Monitors Take Up Entire Desks
Ultrawide monitors are a lot bigger and heavier than many people expect. They are surprisingly difficult to install.
You might want added screen space, but what about desk space? The added weight also means a bigger stand.
People often purchase monitors for use with a monitor they already have. Ultrawide monitors are usually too wide for this purpose. Before buying an ultrawide, it’s important to make sure that you actually have room for it.
2. Ultrawide Monitors Don’t Offer Much Added Height
Ultrawide monitors provide a noticeable difference in terms of width. But this doesn’t always translate into a noticeable difference in height.
This means that ultrawide monitors don’t necessarily provide the added space that some people expect. Unfortunately, it also means that none of that added space is useful for activities such as document editing or reading.
A standard monitor in a bigger size is recommended for anyone who wants more vertical space. Dual monitor setups can also be adjusted by placing the monitors into portrait mode.
3. Not All Applications Support Ultrawide Monitors
Ultrawide monitors didn’t exist until recently and not all applications support them. It’s possible that some applications won’t work properly. And other applications may work but won’t make efficient use of the available space.
The same problem sometimes occurs when you plug-in hardware. Most Blu-ray players, for example, expect a standard resolution display. They will work but usually without using all available space.
4. Ultrawide Monitors Are Sold at a Premium
Ultrawide monitors are so much more expensive than standard monitors that it’s easy to spend more and get worse features.
A dual monitor setup is not only cheaper, but at some price points, they provide more space, more pixels, and even a higher refresh rate.
If you’re on a budget and want to maximize what you can afford, an ultrawide monitor is not a good choice.
Should You Buy an Ultrawide Monitor?
Ultrawide monitors are one of many PC peripherals where the decision to buy really depends on what you want it for. Unfortunately, they are not good value, and those on a budget should look at dual setups instead. It’s also important to understand that ultrawide usually doesn’t mean any added height.
However, if you want a monitor for gaming or watching movies, it’s easy to understand why so many people are willing to spend more.
Don’t buy a curved monitor that will hurt you eyes. Learn how to find a curved monitor that’s more suited to productivity instead.
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