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How to Find the Right Ultrawide Monitor
Ultrawide monitors are useful for multitaskers who like to have multiple application windows open side by side, for anyone who’s looking to replace a dual-monitor setup with a single monitor, or for anyone who likes to have a ton of information on screen at once. That said, a good ultrawide costs more than two typical monitors. On top of that, all ultrawides have minor but noticeable color and backlight issues, and their curved screens can cause problems for some kinds of professional work.
Whereas a traditional monitor has an aspect ratio of 16:9—16 horizontal pixels for every 9 vertical pixels—an ultrawide is 21:9. That aspect ratio makes the monitor much wider than a normal monitor, giving you more horizontal screen real estate to work with. On an ultrawide monitor, you can have three full-size browser windows open side by side. If you work in massive spreadsheets with a lot of columns, you can see more of those columns at once. If you’re working with video, or any other format with a timeline, you can see more of that timeline on the screen. Ultrawides are perfect for research-intensive, where you often have dozens of tabs open across several browser windows.
The experience isn’t always perfect, though. Full-screen mode in some apps, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, looks absurd, with massive blank space on the sides. Videos on sites like YouTube don’t scale properly to the wider display, sometimes showing black bars on the top, bottom, and sides.