Ultrawide vs. Dual Monitor - Which is Better?

Confused between ultrawide vs. dual monitors? Compare the advantages and disadvantages of both displays for professionals, gamers and creatives.

Computer setup with multiple monitors
Are you in the market for more screen real estate but torn between the allure of an ultrawide display and the convenience of a dual monitor setup? You're not alone. Many professionals, gamers and creatives face this dilemma when choosing the perfect monitor to boost productivity and enhance their overall experience. In this article, we deep-dive into the world of ultrawide vs. dual monitors, revealing their strengths and weaknesses so that you can choose the best monitor for you.
What is an ultrawide monitor?
Ultrawide monitors are a relatively recent addition to the display market. These monitors boast an aspect ratio of 21:9 or higher, offering a wider horizontal screen space than traditional 16:9 monitors. The ultrawide format provides a more immersive viewing experience, ideal for gaming, video editing, and multitasking.
What are ultrawide monitors best for?
An ultrawide monitor has a couple of key use cases.
Gamers will relish the wider field of view of ultrawide monitors, which enhances the gaming experience and provides a competitive edge.
Video & design
Video editors and designers can benefit from the extra workspace of an ultrawide monitor, enabling them to view timelines, editing tools, and previews simultaneously.
Ultrawide displays are perfect for watching films shot in wider aspect ratios. The single ultrawide monitor provides a completely uninterrupted and immersive experience for the viewer.
Advantages of ultrawide monitors
Ultrawide monitors have a couple of key benefits.
Immersive experience
A seamless ultrawide screen setup provides an immersive experience, drawing users into their content with an extended field of view. This is especially true for ultrawide curved monitors.
Enhanced gaming
Gamers can enjoy a more encompassing view on ultrawide gaming monitors, enhancing their performance and enjoyment.
Minimal bezel distractions
Ultrawide monitors typically have thin bezels, reducing distractions and providing a seamless display.
Disadvantages of ultrawide monitors
Ultrawide monitors have a few drawbacks to consider.
High price
Ultrawide monitors are often more expensive than their standard counterparts, so they may not be accessible to everyone.
Limited content support
Most applications and games are designed for a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. Some might not fully support the ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratio of an ultrawide monitor, resulting in black bars or stretched content.
Desk space requirements
Due to their broader screen, ultrawide monitors may require more desk space, which could be an issue for smaller workstations.
Less versatile
When you compare ultrawide vs. dual monitors, the former is less flexible. Because they are bulkier, ultrawide monitors are not practical as a portable monitor solution. They are also fixed with a landscape orientation, which isn’t suitable for some uses, like writers, programmers and artists, who generally work with portrait orientation.
What is a dual monitor?
As the name suggests, dual monitors involve using two separate screens connected to one computer. This setup allows users to extend their desktop, effectively doubling the available screen space. Dual monitors have been popular among professionals for years due to their versatility and productivity benefits. Most dual monitor setups range between 24 to 32. espresso Displays portable monitors are an innovative way to create a dual screen setup anywhere, anytime.
What are dual monitors best for?
Dual monitors shine in a couple of main areas.
Professional multitasking
Dual monitors are great for professionals working on multiple tasks simultaneously. For instance, finance professionals can have spreadsheets on one screen and financial news on the other.
Graphic design
A dual monitor setup allows graphic designers to keep their creative software open on one screen while browsing for inspiration on the other. Having two screens side by side reduces the need to switch between applications, streamlining workflows.
Efficient collaboration
In collaborative settings, dual monitor systems can be a game-changer. When working on a project with a colleague or client, one monitor can be used for presentation or reference materials, while the other is used for active work. This enhances communication and streamlines the collaboration process.
Advantages of dual monitors
Dual monitor users opt for this display setup for several key reasons.
Enhanced productivity
Dual monitors enable users to work on multiple projects without constant window switching, resulting in increased productivity. For example, you can view data or research on one screen while writing on the other.
Unlike ultrawide monitors, which are large and bulky, portable monitors like the espresso Display can be configured as a dual monitor setup wherever you are. At only 5.3mm thin and with a single USB-C cable connection, these super lightweight portable screens are the perfect solution when you need more screen space on the go. Whether you’re hybrid working, freelancing, or a digital nomad, you don’t have to sacrifice screen space for portability.
Customizable workspace
With a dual monitor setup, users can arrange their screens to suit their preferences, making organizing and accessing applications easier. The espresso Display gives you the flexibility to switch between a horizontal and vertical monitor setup easily.
Dual monitors work seamlessly with almost all computers and operating systems, making them an easy addition to existing setups. The espresso Display range is compatible with all major operating systems, laptops, gaming consoles and software platforms.
A dual screen setup can be more cost-effective than investing in a single ultrawide monitor with similar screen real estate.
Disadvantages of dual monitors
There are a couple of drawbacks to dual monitor configurations.
Bezel distraction
With a dual monitor setup, the gap between two monitors can be a minor distraction, especially when working with continuous visuals.
Compatibility challenges
Some applications may not optimize their interfaces for dual-monitor setups, affecting the user experience.
Ultrawide vs. dual monitor: which is better?
Choosing between ultrawide and dual monitors ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. If immersive gaming or using advanced video editing software are your priorities, an ultrawide monitor could be your best bet. On the other hand, if enhanced productivity, easy customization, and cost-effectiveness matter more to you, a dual monitor setup may be the way to go. Remember that the monitor you choose can significantly impact your performance and overall enjoyment, so invest wisely.
Achieve more anywhere, anytime
espresso Displays are the world's thinnest portable interactive monitors. Loved by professionals, gamers, and creatives, you can work efficiently from any location. Simply set up, get in the flow and reach peak performance wherever you are.
Photo credit: Jorge RamirezJorge Ramirez on Unsplash