The best ultrawide monitor in 2023: get more screen space for your photo editing

One of the best ultrawide monitors, on an office desk surrounded by plants
(Image credit: LG)

The best ultrawide monitor might seem like an indulgence. But when it comes to editing photos, time is money, and a wider monitor will help you get your work done more quickly. Because whether you need to view lots of photos at once, place two windows side-by-side, or just see all your Photoshop tools and palettes, you'll have the space to do so.

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And we're talking not just a little, but a lot more space. Because while ordinary monitors for photo editing have an aspect ratio (opens in new tab) of 16:9, ultrawide monitors are typically 21:9. There are also an increasing number with even wider aspect ratios of 32:9. This gives you the benefits of having two monitors side by side, without all those wires and clutter. 

So how do you choose the best ultrawide monitor for you? First, decide how big you want it to be. Due to the wide aspect ratio, you'll probably want one that's at least 34 inches wide. Also consider resolution. If your budget stretches to it, we'd suggest going for 3,440 x 1,440 at a minimum.

Below we list the best ultrawide monitors for photo editing. Note that many of these are primarily aimed at gamers and that's no coincidence, because many game-orientated features are also beneficial to photo and video editing. These include such as high contrast ratios, wide color gamuts and low latency.

The best ultrawide monitor in 2023

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

(Image credit: BenQ)
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1. BenQ PD3420Q

The best ultrawide monitor overall

Specifications

Screen size: 34-inch
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440
Brightness: 350 cd/m2
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Response time: 5ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Color support: 100% Rec.709,100% sRGB, 98% DCI-P3
Weight: 9.3kg

Reasons to buy

+
Huge display
+
Excellent color space coverage
+
HDR

Reasons to avoid

-
A hefty investment

The BenQ PD3420Q is our overall pick as the best ultrawide monitor for photographers. It boasts a quality 3,440 x 1,440 resolution, spread over a 34-inch 21:9 ultrawide screen, giving you a huge desktop to work on. And its 2,500:1 contrast means your images will look bright and vibrant. 

The PD3420Q also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range), backed up by VESA DisplayHDR 400 certification, enabling enhanced clarity in extreme highlight and shadow areas. Crucially, this monitor also has 100% sRGB, 100% Rec.709 and an impressive 98% DCI-P3 color space coverage, making it a great choice for photographers, videographers and designers alike.

(Image credit: LG)
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2. LG 34WP85C-B

The best ultrawide monitor with a curve

Specifications

Screen size: 34 inches
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Resolution: 3440x1440 (UWQHD)
Brightness: 300cd/m2
Contrast ratio: 1000:1
USB-C: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Accessible price
+
Decent 3440 x 1440 res for the money
+
99% sRGB coverage

Reasons to avoid

-
Huge width dominates a desk

Prefer a curved ultrawide monitor? Then we reckon the LG 34WP85C represents superb value. For starters, it's an IPS display, so color and contrast accuracy should be more reliable than a cheaper curved monitor using VA LCD screen technology. You also get a decent 95% DCI-P3 color space coverage, plus there's HDR10 certification for viewing high dynamic range content. 

The 3440 x 1440 aspect ratio is to be expected for this screen size, and matches equivalently-sized curved monitors at higher price points. And so all things considered, this LG panel is quite the bargain.

(Image credit: AOC)
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3. AOC Agon Curved Ultrawide CU34G2

The best ultrawide monitor for photo editors on a budget

Specifications

Screen size: 34-inch
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Refresh rate: 100Hz
Response time: 1ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 3,000:1
Color support: sRGB 100%
Weight: 8kg

Reasons to buy

+
100% sRGB coverage
+
Well priced
+
Fast response time

Reasons to avoid

-
Not particularly bright
-
Not IPS

The best ultrawide monitors don't come cheap. But if you're short on funds, it is possible to buy a quality monitor for less. And our top budget buy right now is the AOC Agon Curved Ultrawide CU34G2. 

Like many ultrawide monitors, this is primarily designed and marketed as a gaming monitor. But it has a lot to offer photographers too. This curved monitor has a high 3,440 x 1,440 resolution, decent 3,000:1 contrast ratio and high 100Hz refresh rate. This makes it feel smooth and responsive when in use. A 100% sRGB color space coverage is another nice feature to have for serious image editing. However with only a 300-nit max brightness, working with HDR content is a no-no.

Product shot of LG 38GL950G, one of the best ultrawide monitors

(Image credit: LG)

4. LG UltraGear 38GL950G

The best 38-inch ultrawide monitor

Specifications

Screen size: 38 inches
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Resolution: 3840 x 1600
Brightness: 450cd/m2
Contrast ratio: 1000:1
USB-C: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Huge screen
+
Fantastic picture quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Takes up desk space

Want a bigger screen than the 34-inchers we've listed so far? Then the 38-inch LG UltraGear 38GL950 will give you that extra space you're craving. With a  super-smooth 144Hz refresh rate, this premium-priced monitor is very much aimed at the gaming market, but it has a lot to offer photo and video editors nonetheless. With QHD+ resolution of 3840 x 1600 you'll be able to see everything in incredible detail, and with brightness of up to 450cd/m2 and DCI-P3 98% color gamut support, the picture quality is impressive indeed.

Product shot of Samsung Neo G9, one of the best ultrawide monitors

(Image credit: Samsung)

5. Samsung Odyssey Neo G9

The best 49-inch ultrawide monitor

Specifications

Screen Size: 49-inch
Aspect Ratio: 32:9
Resolution: 5,120 x 1,440 pixels
Viewing Angle: 178/178
Contrast Ratio: 3,000:1
Color Support: 1.07bn colours
Refresh Rate: 240Hz
Weight: 14.6kg

Reasons to buy

+
Huge screen 
+
High resolution 
+
Amazing refresh rate

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

If a normal ultrawide monitor isn't wide enough for you, and you want something even wider, then the Samsung CHG90 QLED is going to be right up your street. With a 49.5 inch screen, with an ultra-ultrawide 32: 9 ratio it'll take up your entire desk, but the amount of workspace will be unbeatable. You're more or less getting the screen space that two normal widescreen monitors would provide, but all in one.

With a high resolution of 5,120 x 1,440 pixels, HDR support and an industry-leading 240Hz refresh rate, your work is going to appear with pixel-perfect accuracy on screen too. So while it's an expensive option, it's worth the money for what you're getting.

(Image credit: Samsung)
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6. Samsung CHG90 QLED

The best 49-inch ultrawide monitor for value

Specifications

Screen Size: 49-inch
Aspect Ratio: 32:9
Resolution: 3,840 x 1080
Viewing Angle: 178/178
Contrast Ratio: 3,000:1
Color Support: N/A
Refresh Rate: 144Hz
Weight: 15kg

Reasons to buy

+
Good value 
+
Huge screen
+
HDR support

Reasons to avoid

-
Odyssey Neo G9 has bee

If you want a huge screen but the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 above is out of your price bracket, the Samsung CHG90 QLED offers a similar spec for a more affordable price. Most importantly, you'll get lots of lovely workspace, thanks to a 49.5 inch screen, with an ultra-ultrawide 32:9 ratio. You'll also enjoy HDR support and while this is a step down in terms of both resolution (3,840 x 1080) and refresh rate (144Hz), we'd see those as both acceptable compromises given the cash you'll be saving.

(Image credit: Dell)
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7. Dell S3422DWG

A great choice for HDR content

Specifications

Screen size: 34-inch
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440
Brightness: 400 cd/m2
Refresh rate: 144Hz
Response time: 2ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 3,000:1
Color support: DCI-P3 90%
Weight: 7.7kg

Reasons to buy

+
90% DCI-P3 color coverage
+
High contrast ratio
+
Respectable brightness

Reasons to avoid

-
Not IPS
-
Unnecessary gamer features 

The Dell S3422DWG is another gaming monitor, and its keyboard-illuminating downlight may not be that useful if you're a non-gamer. What photographers will love, though, is the very respectable 90% DCI-P3 color space coverage and the DisplayHDR 400 certification. 

Combined with the excellent 3000:1 contrast ratio, that makes this 34-inch ultrawide monitor a great choice for working with HDR content. It offers great connectivity, too, thanks to the inclusion of dual HDMI, a DisplayPort, and plenty of USB ports.

How we test monitors

We evaluate a monitor with particular attention given to its core image quality, including brightness, contrast, color vibrancy and accuracy. While this can - and will - be assessed by the experienced eye of our professional reviewer, some manufacturer screen specs can only be definitively judged by an 'electronic eye' - a monitor calibrator. Where possible, a calibration device will be placed on the screen to verify its advertised color space coverage, brightness output and consistency, and factory color calibration accuracy. Beyond image quality, we'll also scrutinise the monitor's display and data ports to ensure acceptable connectivity, and will give a thorough assessment of build quality, including the range of ergonomic adjustment in its stand. Only then will we determine if a screen is worthy of use by a discerning imaging or video enthusiast.

Read more
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Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys. 

With contributions from