You might have seen multi-screen setups before – maybe you even have one yourself. Using multiple monitors is a great way to increase the amount of information you can display on screen at one time. That being said, setting up multiple monitors can be a bit fussy, and there’s nothing you can do about the wide bezels that divide each screen.
Manufacturers have solved these issues with a very, very wide screen known as an ‘ultrawide’ monitor. Forget the traditional 16:9 aspect ratio – these super screens display at a slim 21:9.
So if you’re in the market for a new computer setup that will make you more productive at work and give you an incredible gaming experience, then keep reading. We’ll give you the ins and outs of the ultrawide monitor.
What is an Ultrawide Monitor?
Ultrawide monitors are relatively new, and were designed to compete with the standard two or three monitor setup to enhance your desktop experience.
The key differentiating feature of the ultrawide monitor is, obviously, its ultra wide size. The 21:9 aspect ratio (which is really 64:27) is a huge jump from the conventional 16:9 ratio. You can fit more apps, programs, videos, browsers, word docs, or whatever it is you use on the desktop at one time, meaning you won’t need to switch back and forth between them.
If you’re into gaming, users claim the ultrawide monitor gives you the most immersive gaming experience a PC can offer. And the cinematic wide screen makes watching films at home similar to watching them at the movies.
7 Considerations Before Buying an Ultrawide Monitor
Ultrawide monitors sound great, right? Well, they can be. Let’s have a look at the seven most important things you should consider before you buy.
1. What Do You Need an Ultrawide Monitor For?
First and foremost – what are you planning to use your monitor for? Keep in mind that your answer to this question will help you determine whether or not an ultrawide monitor is for you, and if so, which one. Here are some of the most common ways to use an ultrawide monitor.
Many people who work on the computer claim that having an ultrawide monitor or multiple monitors speeds up their processes and ultimately increases productivity. An increase in screen real estate opens up a ton of opportunity to work smarter. Imagine having a word doc open at the same time as a video conference call, or four spreadsheets open at once. You can get creative with the way you utilise the space.
Before you rush out to buy an ultrawide monitor, think about investing in two or three separate monitors first. When working at home, the bezels that divide each screen are less of an eyesore and more of an organisational tool. You can use each screen to neatly display your programs and files. Plus, multiple monitors will probably give you more screen space than an ultrawide.
For gamers, ultrawide monitors come with the advantage of having no bezels, which can become quite annoying. In games where having a large field of view is important, such as League of Legends, an ultrawide monitor can give you a competitive edge.
It’s a good idea to do some research on games that scale well to the 21:9 ratio. Have a look through a couple of widescreen gaming forums.
If you’re really into watching movies at home, you won’t get a better PC cinema experience than an ultrawide monitor. The widescreen ratio eliminates the need for those black bars on the top and bottom of your screen. Of course, you can also stream movies from your home network setup, a dvd drive or your nas storage drive.
2. Will Your Graphics Card Support an Ultrawide Monitor?
Avoid buying a monitor without being 100 percent sure your computer’s graphics card can handle it. You’ll need about one and a half times more graphics power to run an ultrawide monitor than a standard monitor, sometimes even more if you plan to game.
3. Curved Screen or Flat Screen?
Just like TVs, ultrawide monitors come with either curved or flat screens. Which style you opt for will depend on a number of things:
- What you will be using the monitor for. If it’s just day-to-day office tasks, having a curved screen isn’t necessary.
- What types of games you play. Flight simulators and racing games lend themselves well to a more immersive gaming experience, which is enhanced by a curved screen.
- How many people will be watching the screen at once. Curved screens are best for single-person use. If you plan on watching movies with your partner or friends, a flat screen will ensure everyone has a great view.
4. What is Your Budget?
A few years ago, the ultrawide monitor came at a premium price. Now, these widescreen monitors are comparable in price pixel-for-pixel to standard monitors. As a general rule, the less you pay, the less pixels you get. The more you pay, the better the resolution, and the better the picture will be.
5. What Size Screen Do You Need?
Ultrawide monitors come anywhere from 25 inches to 35 inches across in size. To get the most out of your monitor, I suggest opting for a 32 inch screen or bigger. Although the smaller screens are cheaper, the bigger screens look better, are easier to use, and open up more opportunity for multi-tasking.
6. How Much Space Do You Have?
This may sound like an obvious one, but ultrawide monitors require quite a bit of space to set up. Think of them as a piece of furniture, rather than a piece of tech. The biggest ultrawides can measure up to 90cm across – a huge amount of space if you work in an office cubical or have a small desk.
7. Screen Splitter Options
If you’re looking to replace your current multi-screen setup, it’s definitely worth looking for a screen splitting feature in your new ultrawide monitor. This feature means the monitor will have multiple inputs. Multiple devices can be connected and displayed at one time, creating a similar type of segmentation that you’d get with multiple monitors.
Depending on the brand of monitor, this feature may be referred to as ‘MultiTask’ or picture-in-picture.
Need More Help?
Ultrawide monitors are an excellent choice for those looking to upgrade their desktop setup, but they aren’t for everyone. If you’re sitting on the fence, and not sure which tech will give you the experience you want without sending you over budget, feel free to get in contact. I am more than happy to share with you my knowledge of all things tech, including how best to set up your wireless home network for the best movie streaming experience. Give me a call on 1300 553 166 or fill out the form on this page.
Image 2 (cropped): Vernon Chan