Cho’s computer setup.
Photo: Mark Cho
Mark Cho is co-founder of classic menswear store The Armoury, which has locations in Hong Kong and New York, and is co-owner of Drake’s, an English menswear brand based in London. He’s also a tech geek who posts gadget reviews on his personal Instagram. Here, he tells us why everyone should use an ultrawide computer monitor.
I don’t know why more people don’t use ultrawide computer monitors. Maybe they just don’t know about them. Most computer monitors and screens have a width-height ratio of 16:9 (or in the case of MacBooks, 16:10), but ultrawides are 21:9 and sometimes even wider, giving you significantly more real estate on the sides. I’ve been using them almost exclusively since 2015 and am impressed every day by their utility.
Say you had to write a report and needed to reference a website at the same time. Have you ever tried doing that on a regular monitor? How much time do you waste toggling between two windows — or cutting off a third of each to fit both within the screen? An ultrawide lets you use half the screen for a web browser and and the other half for a document with enough space for both.
Or maybe you’re trying to pick some images out of a large catalogue and lay a couple of them side by side. An ultrawide would let you see how that would actually look without making you zoom all the way out so the pictures look like nothing. Large spreadsheets are infinitely easier to deal with. The new Gmail works so much better — you can get your headers on the left, body text in the middle, and your calendar on the right. Computer gamers love the curved versions of these screens, which wrap your field of view for a more immersive experience. If you’re a Mac user, ultrawides will work for that, too, on the latest OS. The only thing that is slightly trickier is watching a movie on an ultrawide, as the width-height ratio is obviously far wider than film’s ratio, but there are workarounds. Everything you like about your monitor, an ultrawide does better. Here are my favorite models.
LG 29WK600-W 29” UltraWide 21:9 IPS Monitor
This cheap and cheerful monitor is what’s in all of our offices. We have six of them now and the team loves them. They’re 29-inch screens, equivalent to the height of a normal 16:9, 24-inch monitor, but much wider. While the color gamut and brightness leave a little to be desired, it’s well worth the price.
Samsung C34H890WJN – 34 Inch (3440 x 1440) WQHD UltraWide Professional LED Curved Monitor
One of the newer generation of monitors that can connect via USB C. The USB C port will act as both a video and data connection for the built-in hub, allowing for simplified cable management, too.
Samsung LC49HG90DMNXZA CHG90 Series Curved 49-Inch Gaming Monitor
An ultra-ultrawide, this monitor has a screen ratio of 32:9, making it one of the widest screens available. It has Samsung’s Quantum Dot Color which gives a huge color gamut, great for photos and images. It has a low response time of 1ms, making it very suitable for gaming. A bonus: NBA 2k will display the entire court on this monitor without any panning.
Acer XR382CQK 37.5” UltraWide QHD
A great model for non-gaming use, this monitor has one of the tallest and highest resolution panels available, at 37.5 inches. It’s useful for any photo editor or code jockey, for whom the additional vertical resolution is key. Unfortunately it only has a refresh rate of 75 Hz, a red flag for some gamers.
Dell Alienware 1900R 34.1” Curved Gaming Monitor
A well balanced monitor that is great for gaming but well suited for color and productivity as well. It has a 100 Hz refresh rate and can be overclocked to 120 Hz, which is all a way of saying it’s great for showing fast moving objects. It also features NVidia’s G-SYNC technology, which locks the screen’s refresh to the frames drawn by your graphics card, allowing for a smoother, better-looking gaming experience.
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