(Pocket-lint) - Picking up a top ultrawide monitor can transform your desk setup, whether you want to use the screen for gaming or working from home.
Before you toss your old CRT monitor onto the trash heap, though, it's important to understand what you're getting with an ultrawide monitor. Essentially, these wider screens let you view your content in a 21:9 aspect ratio, rather than the standard 16:9 ratio - kind of similar to watching something at the movie theater instead of your TV at home.
This means the bezel gap you find with dual-screen setups is eliminated, and you can enjoy wide-angle viewing in its most natural form.
Since there are enough models of ultrawide monitors to fill a warehouse, though, we've boiled things down and detailed some of the very best for every budget that can elevate your home setup - whether you're seeking more immersion in spreadsheets or your games.
Our best ultrawide monitor picks to buy today
If you're after a mid-range ultrawide monitor that can really elevate your gaming sessions, AOC's CU34G2X is one that manages to rise above the rest of the crop.
The 34-inch, 3440 x 1440 Quad HD resolution provides you with next-level crispness, while the 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms MPRT is the key behind some very smooth gameplay.
The screen itself offers 1500R curvature, which adds to the immersion, with room for two DisplayPort, two HDMI 2.0, and four USB ports.
Not everybody wants an ultrawide monitor primarily for gaming - sometimes you just want to stretch the screen to stop yourself drowning in different windows. That's where LG's budget 25UM58 comes in.
The 25-inch, Full HD 1080p monitor can be both mounted or rested on the included stand, with features available for easily dividing up your screen.
If you do want it to double up as a gaming monitor, it does have three modes for different genres, as well as black-color stabilization and Dynamic Action Sync to assist smoothness.
There's ultrawide, then there's super ultrawide - and if money is no object, Samsung's CRG9 should absolutely be on your considerations list.
The 49-inch, Quad HD curved behemoth is the equivalent of running two 27-inch QHD displays without the bezel gap, offering 120Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync 2 for the smoothest, sharpest HDR image possible.
There are also dedicated modes for both split-screen, allowing you to connect to two devices at once, and reducing blue light emissions, allowing you to enjoy flicker-free imaging in longer gaming sessions.
The Philips 346B1C is another impressive mid-range ultrawide monitor that doesn't skimp on features.
The Quad HD, 34-inch curved display (1500R) gives you excellent resolution, while USB-C docking/charging and a built-in KVM switch allow you to flip between multiple inputs - both real life-savers and not something you'll find consistently.
Elsewhere, there's one DisplayPort, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and built-in speakers, with dedicated modes to reduce blue light, view two sources at once, and also to save energy.
Sceptre manages to undercut most of the mid-range market and still deliver a seriously impressive ultrawide monitor.
The 34-inch model features a 1500R curve, 2560 x 1080 resolution, and 100Hz refresh rate for a solid, smooth picture, with two dedicated modes for gaming and one for reducing both blue light emissions.
There are also three HDMIs and one DisplayPort, while the display itself can be tilted 15 degrees backward and 5 degrees forward.
LG Ultrawide 34WL50S
For the work-from-home body who needs the ultimate ultrawide monitor for multi-tasking, say hello to LG's 34WL50S.
The Full HD monitor gives you 2560 x 1080 resolution for a sharp image, with HDR 10 backing this up and elevating colors and brightness.
LG's OnScreen Control also gives you the ability to split your display when you're working, and there's even something for gamers - AMD FreeSync, with LG's Dynamic Action Sync and Black Stabilizer, all work to give you the ultra-smooth experience you crave.