Ultrawide monitors pack power-demanding hardware to run high resolution in its big screen, this means you need power in your computer to run and maximize the display to its full capacity. Thus, then buying an ultrawide display, you need to make sure your computer can support such power in graphics.
34-inch models that runs 3440x1440p resolution packs 140% more pixels that the traditional Full HD 1920x1080p. This 140% pixels means 140% more power to be able display all the pixels. Thus, if you’re into serious gaming, you definitely need to beef up your PC with a graphics card that supports high resolution. However, if you’re just using normal desktop work on your computer, watch videos and play some games from time to time, then you can spare yourself from spending hundreds of dollars for a beefy video card.
With that said, ultrawide screens don’t really need as many outputs as dual monitor and triple monitor setup, which is quite nice, especially if you only plan to use single display on your desk. Multiple screen setups obviously need multiple cables, which needs dedicated ports for each monitor. Ultrawide screens on the other hand, only needs HDMI or DisplayPort 1.2 plug, and you can get it up and running.
Flat Screen versus Curved Screen
As with choosing a new HDTV and monitor these days, you have to make a decision about the shape of the screen, will it be the traditional flat screen, or a curved screen?
There are of course, advantages and disadvantages of one over the other, but it’s still just a matter of perspective. If you’re looking for a more cinematic effect and more immersive experience, then you can go for the curved screen. If you want a monitor where two or more people can watch and play games at the same time, without straining your neck and get a good view of the screen from any angle, then flat screen is the best choice.
Ultrawide monitors aren’t always the biggest monitors, as a matter of fact; they’re available from 25 to 35 inches. To get the best of ultrawide however, we suggest you don’t go below 32 inch. Easier screens may be cheaper, but multitasking benefits are not as apparent in mid-sized screens as compared to bigger screens and constantly switching between apps and windows while working can be tedious.
Like any new product, ultrawide monitors were expensive when they first appeared in the market. In the past couple of years however, prices have started to come down, as more and more manufacturers release models with competitive prices. As a matter of fact, many of them are about the same price as the standard 16:9 widescreen monitors.
To compare the two monitor types, let’s take the Asus MX27AQ, a 27-inch monitor with 16:9 aspect ratio, with a resolution of 2560x1440 and a retail price in Amazon for $470. The closest ultrawide monitor for this price and resolution is the ASUS MX299Q which is even way cheaper at $402.
Thus, if you’re choosing between a traditional flat screen monitor and an ultrawide display, use the price of the products to compare. Pixels are just arranged a differently. Of course, dual monitor setup of two comparable 1080p displays will give you more pixels for about the same price as ultrawide screen, though with the bezel in between.
PiP (Picture-in-Picture) or Screen Splitter Features
Those who are looking to revamp their workstation from dual monitor or multiple monitor configurations to ultrawide screen should look for PiP (picture-in-picture) or any ‘screen splitting’ feature.
BenQ XR3501 (image from Amazon)
PiP (sometimes called MultiTask in other brands) works by taking multiple inputs and splicing the single screen to quadrants, simulating the system style segmentation of multi-monitor setup. This is particularly helpful for computer users who often share the same screen.
BenQ XR3501 is one of the many ultrawide monitors out there that offer PiP feature, with multiple inputs/outputs ports, allowing gamers to display images from two different input soures, and multi-task simultaneously.
Large screen obviously demand larger desk space. Thus, it’s a no-brained that you have enough space on your desk to accommodate the ultrawide display. The widest ultrawide monitor goes almost 3 feet across the bezels, which of course, comes with an imposing footprint to support the massive and heavy cabinet.
Most large monitors don’t come with fully adjustable stand, simply because manufacturers make sure they pair the monitor with the most stable and solid support to hold the heavy monitor safely and keep it from wobbling around. Also, pivoting a monitor from landscape to portrait require large height adjustment range, which again, may make it unstable. This is where the importance of VESA holes gets into the picture.
VESA compatible monitors will give you the freedom to mount the ultrawide monitor to a third party ergonomic solution that provides adjustment flexibility, comfort and ergonomics. You can choose from monitor stands or desk mounts with fully articulating arm, wall mount, or sit-stand workstations. Not all ultrawide monitors come with VESA-ready holes though, so you must check.
Acer XR341CK (image from Amazon)
Acer XR341CK is one of the few ultrawide monitors out there with VESA compliant mounting holes feature at the backside of the cabinet.
Ultrawide Monitor versus Multiple Monitor Setup
With all these benefits of ultrawide display mentioned above, the question now is should you opt for it for stick with the good old dual monitor or triple monitor setup. The answer boils down to what you need and how you’re going to use your computer on a regular basis.
Multiple monitors setups obviously offers better customization and versatility. You can set one screen to landscape, and set the other at portrait mode, and then put it back to landscape for a dual-landscape setup when you play your favorite games or watch movies.
In Ultrawide monitors of course, you will be spared from the bezels. Also, curved monitors offer better immersive experience, especially for games.
We compared dual monitor setup and ultrawide monitor in terms of productivity here.
Though fairly new, ultrawide monitors are a niche displays for specific type of users. But with their prices going down by the day, and newer models being release, it might be worth to consider their benefits on how we work, watch movies and play games.
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