Traditionally, if you needed extra screen real estate – whether for work or play – you’d have to research the best monitors and buy an extra display or two. These days, ultrawide monitors are increasingly commonplace. And while the move to bigger screens has been partly driven by gamers, creative pros have much to benefit from the wealth of tech these huge screens offer. 

So what’s the best ultrawide monitor, and how do you pick the right one? Well, size is a consideration, of course – most of the ultrawide monitors in this roundup are 34 inches. Make sure you have enough desk space before investing in your chosen model.

You also need to think about connectivity (most of these screens feature both HDMI and DisplayPort) and what PC or Mac you’ll be using to drive the display. You’ll want either dedicated Nvidia or AMD graphics, or you’ll need to have Intel-based graphics from the last few years – we’d suggest HD Graphics 3000 or later, or Intel Iris Pro. And you’ll need to make sure you have the latest drivers installed.

In terms of resolution, look for WQHD (Wide Quad High Definition) – which gives you a pixel count of 2,560 x 1,440 – and a wide aspect ratio of 21:9. Meanwhile, another handy feature to check for is whether the display can also do picture in-picture or side-by-side, so you can connect up a couple of sources (like two computers, or a computer and tablet) to the same display. 

Finally, flat or curved? We believe a flat screen is still better for design work, but increasingly the market for large widescreen monitors has moved towards curved displays. Certainly on a flat 34-inch display the sides can feel a little distant. A curved screen will also slightly reduce the amount of side-to-side movement you have to do with your head. If you opt for one, remember to ensure you set up the monitor at an appropriate distance and height from your sitting position. 

These are the main considerations you’ll need to make. Now read on for our pick of the best ultrawide monitors you can buy right now.

The best ultrawide monitors in 2018

01. Dell Ultrasharp U3415W

Hands-down the best ultrawide monitor for professionals

Screen size: 34-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440 | Response time: 4ms | Who’s it for: Video editors, designers, creative professionals