An ultrawide monitor is undoubtedly a huge upgrade on anyone's PC setup, from a gamer to a graphic designer or content creator. Typically, this display offers 1/3 more screen space in width than a normal widescreen monitor. This makes ultrawide monitors a very sound investment for either a more immersive gaming experience or improved productivity.
Finding the best budget ultrawide monitor is arguably threading a needle. After all, you are looking for a high-end display at a low-end price point. Consequently, it is somewhat unlikely to find a top-of-the-line ultrawide monitor selling at less than $600. Nevertheless, if you're willing to put up with a few limitations, you can certainly enjoy the perks of this booming ultra-wide sensation with just around $200-$400.
What Should You Expect from a Budget Ultrawide Monitor?
As previously mentioned, budget ultrawide monitors come with one or two compromises for the time being. For starters, the resolution will probably sit at no higher than 2560 x 1080. While this is not in any way the worst image quality, enthusiasts would prefer a significantly higher resolution with refinements such as Adaptive-Sync.
A limited budget might also restrict the size of the ultrawide monitor you can get. We recommend you start choosing from 29-inch models for more a natural viewing experience. Any less than this might be too narrow, hence limiting your viewing comfort. That being said, you can still land a 34-inch ultrawide monitor within a budget.
The bottom line is, budget ultrawide monitors will mostly focus on the essentials. In any case, these are the most important aspects of any purchase. You shouldn't be discouraged at all; the best budget ultrawide monitor will:
- Allow you to multitask with ease from one single display.
- Increase the field of view.
- Enhance the gaming experience.
- Allow you to watch cinema-format movies.
- Require less GPU power.
Even an entry-level ultrawide monitor still presents a unique and satisfying experience at the end of the day. We have rounded up 5 of the best ultrawide monitors to consider on a budget. Let's dive in.
Best Budget Ultrawide Monitor For Gaming And Productivity
1. LG 29WK600
- 29 inch ultra wide 21:9 full HD IPS monitor
- HDR10 compatible
- AMD free sync technology
- sRGB 99% Color Gamut
The LG 29WK600 is a serious contender for the best ultrawide gaming monitor overall. It's a 29" IPS panel display with a maximum resolution of 2560 x 1080. This provides sufficient real estate and crisp image detail, thanks to the impressive 96 PPI. Furthermore, a 99% sRGB gamut delivers precise, consistent and vibrant colour reproduction. The panel features a 1000:1 static contrast ratio, a 300-nit peak brightness and a wide 178-degree viewing angle. It also supports HDR, but only through software emulation.
AMD FreeSync Variable Refresh Rate, 40-75Hz/FPS, ensures that gamers don't have to worry about screen tearing, stuttering or input lag as long as they have a compatible GPU. A 5ms response time makes it quick enough to eliminate motion blur even at 75Hz. Furthermore, the Black Stabilizer, Dynamic Action Sync, custom crosshairs and picture presets add to a gaming-focused ultrawide display.
It's a tilt-only stand design, although it's VESA-mount compatible. It comes with two 5W built-in speakers, plus 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2 and a headphones jack.
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The Sceptre c305B is a 30" VA panel display with a 2560 x 1080 resolution. It sports an impressive 3000:1 contrast ratio, meaning deeper blacks and a clearer relation between the darkest and brightest shades. A 90% sRGB colour gamut translates to slightly less accurate and vibrant colour reproduction. While the viewing angles are not particularly the best in town, you won't have too much of a problem with images shifting in colour and contrast.
It's exceptionally fast, with a 200Hz refresh rate. Consequently, the gaming experience is remarkably more responsive and immersive. The only downside is the VA panel's response time which isn't as quick, leading to visible trailing of fast-moving objects. The response time might even struggle to keep with its top-rate refresh rate, especially beyond 144 FPS, which results in motion blur and ghosting in some games. A 120Hz refresh rate seems to be the sweet spot for getting the best responsiveness and motion clarity from this ultrawide.
Sceptre C305B supports both AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA-cards compatibility. As a 1800R curved screen, you also get more enhanced depth and immersion. It features DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0, a headphones jack and 3W built-in speakers. It also comes with two appealing red LED strips at the back. However, it has a tilt-only stand, although it can be VESA mounted.
- 34” 3440x1440 VA Display
- 144Hz Refresh Rate, 1ms (MPRT) Response Time
- Immersive Ultrawide Aspect Ratio 21:9
- Native 1500R Curvature
If you want a large ultrawide with crisp image quality and a snappy 144Hz refresh rate all within a budget, this is definitely worth your consideration. A 3000:1 superior contrast ratio ensures that it delivers true blacks with vivid details. Colours are vivid and spectacular, thanks to a wide 120% colour gamut that produces saturated lifelike colours. Even with a 4ms response time, the VA panel might be culpable for the visible smearing of fast-moving objects, particularly with dark pixels. However, this can be minimized using the Aim Stabilizer MBR.
It supports a 48-14Hz VRR range, although some monitors will have brightness flickering when FreeSync is enabled. It also comes with nifty gaming features such as DisplayHDR 400 Support, Black Equalizer, Color Vibrance, PiP/PbP support, crosshair overlays and pre-calibrated picture presets. The stand can be adjusted up to 100mm with a -5/20-degree tilt. It also features 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, 2 DisplayPort 1.4 inputs, a headphones jack and 2 2W built-in speakers.
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This certainly falls into the realm of super ultrawide, with a 49" display and 32:9 aspect ratio. The Odyssey G9 is by far the best ultrawide gaming monitor on this list. For starters, a breathtaking 5120 x 1440 resolution on 49" produces a 108 PPI for plenty fo screen space and vivid details. A 2500:1 static contrast ratio, plus edge-lit backlight with localized dimming, further enhances the picture. The 420-nit peak brightness for HDR content produces impeccable detail clarity on the image. On top of the 125% sRGB colour gamut, it also uses a quantum-dot enhanced film, all these combining for the most immersive image quality we have seen at the price range.
It supports both AMD FreeSync Premium pro over DP, allowing HDR and VRR to work simultaneously. It's also officially certified as G-Sync compatible. You get a snappy 120Hz refresh rate, although you can get up to 240Hz with a DSC-supported graphics card. It also features customizable crosshairs, Black Equalizer, Low Input Lag Mode and pre-calibrated picture presets for some games.
The best ultrawide gaming monitor sports a snazzy look, plus its solid design with an adjustable ergonomic stand. It also features 2 DisplayPort 1.4 inputs, HDMI 2.0, a headphones jack, 1 upstream + 2 downstream USB 3.0 ports.
- G sync compatible
- 34 inches ultra wide 21: 9 Full HD (2560 x 1080) IPS display
- 144 Hertz refresh rate
- 1ms motion blur reduction
When it comes to ultrawide monitors, a 2560 x 1080 resolution on a 34" display results in an average 81 PPI. However, this limitation works in favour of the LG 34GL750, allowing it to get the most out of its fast 144Hz refresh rate. This means that fast-paced and competitive games are on a whole new immersive level on this ultrawide monitor.
This large monitor with a high refresh rate and quick response time is a steal at its price point. It supports AMD FreeSync 50-144 Hz over Displayport and 60-144Hz over HDMI. It's also officially certified as G-Sync compatible. It features 1ms Motion Blur Reduction technology, which is very impressive when playing fast-paced games. It also includes Black Stabilizer, customizable crosshairs, D.A.S, FPS/RTS presets and software-emulated HDR support.
The LG 34GL750 is VESA mount compatible with an adjustable stand. It comes with a DisplayPort 1.4, 2 HDMI 2.0 ports and a headphones jack. Lastly, this is a 3800R curved ultrawide monitor for a better viewing experience and more enhanced immersion.
How to Choose the Best Budget Ultrawide Monitor
Finding a steal in the ultrawide marketplace can get quite overwhelming. As such, keeping the following aspects in mind should help you narrow down your selection to get the ultrawide monitor that matches your needs and expectations.
1. Screen Size
Size matters. For starters, you have to fully consider the amount of space you have on your desk. If you get an ultrawide monitor whose real estate doesn't match the space available, you might end up with quite awkward viewing angles. You may also need to keep adjusting the distance from the screen to get the most suitable position.
Additionally, size also matters when it comes to pixel density. A large monitor with a low resolution ends up saturating image quality due to low pixel density. Therefore, we recommend getting a screen size that has approximately 109 pixels per inch (PPI).
This primarily indicates the number of pixels a monitor has in width x height format. As expected, a higher screen resolution translates to better picture quality. Generally, 1920 x 1080- also known as 1080p or Full HD-is the recommended starting point. But you'll certainly get sharper and crispier images the higher you go, say QHD or 4K. It's definitely prudent to also consider that the larger the monitor size, the more pixel density it requires for better image quality.
3. Aspect Ratio
Aspect ratio is quite essential when you're looking at an ultrawide monitor. It represents the ratio between the screen's width and height. Most ultrawide monitors have either a 21:9 aspect ratio. You can also find a 32:9 aspect ratio, although this generally considered super ultra-wide since it's almost 3 times wide as it is tall.
4. Refresh Rate
Refresh rate, measured in Hertz (Hz), refers to the number of times the monitor refreshes the displayed image per second. The higher the refresh rate, the better the picture, thanks to smoother and less choppy images. If you want an ultrawide monitor for daily or office use, the standard 60Hz works just fine. However, if you are looking into an ultrawide gaming monitor, you'll definitely need a higher fresh rate. This means smoother gameplay, translating to a more enhanced and immersive gaming experience.
5. Response Time
Response time is another priority tied to gaming monitors. It refers to the time it takes for a monitor to change an individual pixel from black to white or from one shade of grey to another for GTG response time. High/long response times usually leads to motion blur in fast-paced games or videos. The best ultrawide gaming monitors have incredibly low/fast response times in the region of 0.5 ms.
6. Panel Technology
Panel technology dictates the quality of the images a monitor produces. There are three common panel types to choose from:
- TN Panel: Low response times and highest refresh rates, hence fastest. Worst viewing angles. Cheapest. Ideal for gaming
- VA Panel: Longest response times and higher refresh rates. Mid-range viewing angles. Best contrast ratio and image depth. Mid-range pricing. Suitable for general use.
- IPS Panel: Slower response times than TN. Low refresh rates. Best viewing angle and colour. Suitable for professional use.
It follows then that the panel technology you end up choosing for your ultrawide monitor largely relies on your budget and intended use.
7. G-Sync vs FreeSync
This is yet another factor that is predominantly relevant to a gaming monitor. These two features are vital in syncing your monitor's refresh rate to the graphics cards frames per second for smooth gameplays. As far as a budget gaming monitor goes, FreeSync-compatible is the more affordable option since it's made via AMD's open-source standard. NVIDIA's G-Sync compatible is a proprietary feature that amps up the cost of an ultrawide gaming monitor.
The best ultrawide monitor has to come with built-in speakers. Not only is this a nifty feature, but it also minimizes clutter from extra cables on your gaming desk or work area.
Frequently Asked Questions about Ultrawide Monitors
1. Are curved monitors worth the hype?
Well, it depends. Curved monitors are not exactly game-changers. A flat-monitor can do virtually anything that a curved one does. However, they have a more immersive element, particularly a curved gaming monitor, thanks to the extended field of view. Furthermore, they are also said to be less straining to the eye.
If you end up opting for a curved monitor, make sure you understand curvature specs first. On the other hand, if you don't, there's no need to feel bad about it. You're not missing out on much.
2. Are ultrawide monitors ideal for advanced content creation work?
Ultrawide monitors provide a great canvas for content creators to work with. Professionals such as graphic artists or photographers can really benefit from the additional screen width. Ultrawides enable the user to shuffle between different windows and programs on the same screen, improving their efficiency and productivity.
3. How do I split an ultrawide monitor?
This definitely varies from one model to the other. Generally, no less, it's usually a straightforward process as follows:
- Click Start>System>Multitasking Tab
- On the pop-up slider, select Snap Windows.