My Ultrawide Desk Setup That Changed The Way I Work

Like anyone who is obsessed with their desk setup, I am constantly changing up my desk. I typically swap items with the goal of boosting aesthetics or boosting functionality and productivity. 

One change that stands out far from the rest was when I swapped out my 27″ 4K monitor for a 34″ Ultrawide monitor. It’s safe to say, I’m never going back.

In this article, I’m going to talk about how introducing an ultrawide monitor to my desk setup changed the way I work. Keep reading to see how I get more done with the ultrawide monitor, and how it ties my entire desk setup together. 

We’ll end with some sweet ultrawide desk setup inspiration.

Benefits Of An Ultrawide Monitor At Your Desk

Here are all the benefits I’ve been seeing as I used my ultrawide desk setup more and more. 

Easy Multitasking

This is the benefit that most people are pretty prepared for with regard to ultrawide monitors. You get monster screen real estate on a single monitor. 

With such a large screen, multitasking becomes super easy.  I almost always work with three windows open with my ultrawide. 

I have my main working window centered and two reference windows on either side. This means less switching from window to window which can eat away at your time pretty dramatically. 

Immersive Experience

I am using the Dell U3417W, which is a 34″ ultrawide curved monitor. Because it’s a curved monitor, the experience is pretty immersive. 

Different ultrawide monitors have different curve radii, and mine is not very aggressive at 1900mm. 

hide monitor cables (1)

Even though that’s a pretty large radius, I still get the visual immersion. It covers a big area of my field of view when I’m sitting at my desk. 

The slight curve also means my eyes don’t have to refocus when they wander to the edges of the screen. This adds to the immersive viewing experience. 

If you are thinking about going for an ultrawide monitor, I would highly recommend a curved one. 

Super Functional Aspect Ratio

Multitasking

Most monitors have a 16:9 aspect ratio. I didn’t realize that this was not a great ratio for multitaskers until I got my current UW monitor. 

Most ultrawide monitors have a 21:9 ratio. This works so much better for multi-tasking! Organizing your multiple applications side by side is much more functional than stacking windows in my experience. 

With the 16:9 ratio, you can’t comfortably use more than two windows side by side unless you have a huge screen. The ultrawide ratio can be split into multiple vertical sections much more effectively. 

Movies & Games

Also, widescreen format movies fit very well on ultrawide screens. This means you get the immersion with movies as well! 

I game a little bit here and there, and the immersion you get with a curved wide monitor with games is really hard to beat. Compared to a normal monitor, you have a lot more environment in your field of view. 

This improved my gaming experience quite a bit. To get the same effect on a normal monitor, you have to adjust the field of view settings, but that then makes everything a bit smaller which works against you.

Aesthetically Pleasing & Minimal

My desk setup for a while was my centered ultrawide monitor with my laptop on the left side. The laptop screen was for Spotify or some other non-important program. 

These days, I keep my laptop closed for the minimal look. 

The aesthetics of having a single ultrawide monitor centered on your desk is pretty unbeatable. 

You have a single monitor that is wide and uninterrupted, unlike multiple monitor setups. It’s perfectly symmetrical at the center of my desk and I can’t get enough of the look.

Benq e-reading lamp - on desk with desk clamp

 It’s not just for looks because, as we talked about, it is highly functional. 

With such a large primary screen, I don’t feel the need to have any more monitors. With the simplicity and functionality of the single ultrawide screen, it lends itself to a very minimal setup. 

Of course, you need to start with a pretty minimal setup. We have a dedicated article on curating the best minimal desk setup here. 

Ultrawide Desk Setups vs Other Desk Setups

Let’s quickly compare how an ultrawide desk setup compares to the other monitor setups out there. 

Ultrawide Monitors vs 4K Monitors

I came from a 27″ 4K monitor before joining the “ultrawide master race”. I absolutely loved the high-resolution display. 

My biggest worry from switching from a 4K monitor down to my 34″ ultrawide was the resolution drop. 

My 27-inch 4K monitor had a resolution of 3840 x 2160, and my current 34-inch UW monitor has a resolution of 3440 x 1440. It’s a pretty big drop in pixels per inch. 

However, once I started using my ultrawide monitor for multitasking and seeing how much better it looks sitting on my desk, there really was no looking back. 

BenQ ScreenBar On Monitor
screenbar halo light bar govee bias

The huge increase in screen real estate meant I could do so much more with fewer clicks. I don’t have to click through to different windows anymore and I can reference way more applications at once. 

The time savings this monitor gave me is ridiculous. I don’t miss my 16:9 monitor, or any 16:9 monitor anymore!

In an ideal world, I would have an ultrawide monitor with a 2160 vertical resolution, making it a 5K monitor. However, I’m not ready to spend $1500 on a monitor. 

LG 40WP95C-W 40” UltraWide Curved WUHD (5120 x 2160) 5K2K Nano IPS Display, DCI-P3 98% (Typ.) with HDR10, Thunderbolt 4 with 96W PD, 3-Side Virtually Borderless Design Tilt/Height/Swivel Stand
  • The 5K2K UltraWide (5120 x 2160) resolution is great for your creative work as it can display everything you are working on - from video editing to special effects - all...
  • 10W x 2 Built in Speakers with Rich Bass
  • DCI-P3 98% (Typ.) with HDR10
  • Thunderbolt 4 Connectivity with 96W Power Delivery
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Even if I could afford one, I don’t think my computer would have a fun time trying to run a 5K resolution monitor. 

Ultrawide Monitors vs Dual Monitors

Many people have a tough time choosing an ultrawide monitor setup and a dual monitor setup. Ultrawide 1440p monitors can be found for around $300-$400 these days. 

LG 34WP60C-B 34-Inch 21:9 Curved UltraWide QHD (3440x1440) VA Display with sRGB 99% Color Gamut and HDR 10, AMD FreeSync Premium and 3-Side Virtually Borderless Screen Curved QHD Tilt
  • Computer monitor with QHD Display features a wide 21:9 aspect ratio to view multiple documents at once, as well as immerse you in your favorite movies and games
  • High-quality image production, color, and brightness with HDR10 and sRGB 99% color gamut
  • High 160-Hertz refresh rate with 1-millisecond Motion Blur Reduction (MBR) is ideal for fast-paced games
  • AMD FreeSync Premium improves baseline FreeSync technology, with fluid and tear-free gameplay and video with compatible video cards
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Normal 24-inch HD monitors are much cheaper, you can find a great monitor between $100-$150.

Dell S2421HS Full HD 24-Inch LED Monitor

This is an elegant desktop monitor with a three-sided ultrathin bezel design. The In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel ensures consistent colors across wide viewing angles.

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This makes the costs between the two setups pretty similar. If anything, the dual monitor setup is a tiny bit cheaper.  There are a few other distinctions between these two choices. 

34 inch ultrawide monitor on ikea alex desk

Dual monitors will give you a total ratio of 32:9. While this is great, it’s not a continuous screen. You will have a bezel right down the middle. 

This bezel down the middle doesn’t let you have a central application window if you have the monitors side by side. 

Having a symmetrical dual monitor setup works against you because you can’t really use the area directly in front of you. 

We dive deep into the best dual monitor arrangements here, and we discuss this bezel issue in more detail. 

How To Choose The Best Ultrawide Monitor

We could have an entire article on choosing the best ultrawide monitor. Instead, we’ll give you the cliff notes of what you actually need to know. 

First, determine the primary purpose of the monitor. Is it for productivity, gaming, or editing photos and videos? Here are the bullet points on how to choose an ultrawide monitor after determining the purpose:

minimalistic and spacious desk setup
  • Curved monitors will be more immersive and more comfortable on the eyes than flat monitors. 
  • Ultrawide monitors come in 21:9 and 32:9 aspect ratios. The latter is equivalent to two normal monitors side by side and is much more expensive. 
  • VA & TN panels typically provide faster response times and framerates for gamers. IPS panels are more color accurate and have better viewing angles for creators. OLED panels have the best contrast and are the most expensive. 
  • Higher resolutions provide more detailed visuals and can demand higher graphics performance. Wide monitors with 1440p vertical resolution typically provide the best balance of cost, resolution, and performance.

Enhancing Your Ultrawide Desk Setup

If you plan on going for an ultrawide monitor, here are some ways you can further elevate your ultrawide desk setup. 

Use Aftermarket Monitor Mounts

Almost all UW monitors will come with VESA-compatible mounting holes which means you can use aftermarket monitor mounts. If you don’t know what VESA mounting is, check out our article on the basics of VESA mounting.

VESA Monitor Mounting back plate
gas spring monitor arm

In our article on the reasons you should use monitor arms, we go in-depth on all the benefits you get when you ditch the factory monitor stand. 

Here are the major benefits you’ll get when you swap out that monitor stand:

  • Get more desk space
  • Dial in the perfect monitor height
  • Easily adjust your monitor position on the fly
  • Mount your monitor pretty much anywhere
  • Improve the look of your desk setup

Here are before and after images of my desk using the factory stand and then switching to an aftermarket monitor mount. Look how much room we get!

How Many Lumens Should Your Desk Lamp Have
BenQ Ideacam S1 Pro on monitor

Monitor Placement

Check out our article on the perfect monitor height. This is a critical setup step that can have huge rewards in comfort in the long run. 

Placing your monitor at the correct height means you can work much longer and more comfortably while avoiding neck pain and other discomfort. 

Cable Management

Once you have an aftermarket monitor mount at the correct viewing height, managing those cables is a sure way to end up with an ultra-clean desk setup. 

Follow our guide on how to hide monitor cables for the best results in only a few steps. This is exactly how I got my ultra-wide desk setup looking like this:

hide monitor cables (5)

Boosting Productivity With Ultrawide Displays

Because my favorite part of using my ultrawide monitor is the boost in productivity, here are some ways I get the most out of my monitor. 

More Screen =  More Apps

I always split my screen into three screens. All three windows are the perfect width. Not too narrow, not too wide. 

If you are using Windows 11, simply hover over the maximize window button, and you’ll see a bunch of pre-spaced application grouping configurations, like in the image below:

I choose the three-column configuration and then select which column I want the current application in. Windows automatically asks you how you want to fill the following two columns afterward. 

It’s a very efficient way to lay out your apps. 

Less Window Switching

When you make use of presenting multiple windows at the same time, productivity goes through the roof. 

Instead of clicking from one window to another, you simply glance from one window to another. If you are one to constantly use multiple windows, like me, an ultrawide monitor will be a game changer. 

This is what a three-application window setup looks like on my Dell 21:9 ultrawide monitor. 

Better Wide Screen-Friendly App Experience

If you use any apps that require the entire width of a normal monitor, the extra wide monitor real estate will come in handy. 

This became very apparent to me when editing some video footage with DaVinci Resolve. Take a look at how much real estate this video editing software has with an ultrawide monitor!

I have tons of space for my timeline, effects, video preview, timeline preview, and even more! It’s a video creator’s dream to work on! 

Real-World Ultrawide Desk Setups

Want some ultrawide desk setup inspo besides my own? Check out these fantastic ultrawide desk setups from the folks over on r/Workspaces on Reddit. 

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Dasun

I'm a big time workspace enthusiast who is constantly experimenting with my setup. Sharing along the way to help people make their own desk setups more functional and inviting, whether it be for productivity or play!

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