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What are the features that make for the best 38-inch monitor? For starters, these ultrawide monitors offer excellent image quality thanks to high resolution, vibrant colors, a high static contrast ratio, and fast refresh rates.
The best ultrawide display in this size category should also offer multitasking features like a functional screen-split mode to simulate a multi-monitor setup.
You should also come to expect these larger displays to offer plenty of adjustability, especially when it comes to height adjustment and viewing angle. 38-inch monitors are larger and heavier than smaller sizes, so they also need to include sturdy stands to keep them in place with ease. These features also make them join the league of the best computer monitors in the market.
Read on to learn more about the best 38-inch monitors and how they can serve to increase your productivity or create a more immersive viewing experience for gaming.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is great for color-critical work thanks to its superb calibration and wide port selection. The screen is also easy to wall-mount and has great contrast.
The ViewSonic VP3881 is a premium 38-inch display with a 2300R curvature for immersive viewing and 100% coverage of the sRGB Rec 709 color scale for vivid color reproduction. Because of this, it is ideal for color-sensitive work and has fantastic contrast. The display supports HDR10 content to deliver an ultra-realistic picture and has a 60Hz refresh rate to keep images smooth and screen tearing at bay. The display’s 38-inch screen size provides a wide field of view, and with DisplayPort, HDMI, and USB-C connectivity, owners will be able to connect a wide range of devices to it. Unfortunately, it does not have a webcam.
The display is also adapted for multiple-screen use since it features a KVM switch which allows users to control different systems with the same mouse and keyboard, and since it has full VESA compatibility, wall mounting shouldn’t be an issue. To help prevent any eye problems for users that tend to spend quite a lot of screen time, this ViewSonic monitor comes with FlickerFree technology and a Blue Light Filter to reduce eye strain, and thanks to its built-in ambiance sensor, it can turn off its backlight whenever the owner is not nearby.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: It supports HDR10 content and has a Game Mode for advanced gaming performance. It also comes with screen control features that help maximize productivity and is tilting and height-adjustable.
The LG 38WN75C-B is a 38-inch monitor with a 21:9 aspect ratio because of its curvature and very thin bezels for a virtually borderless design. The ultra-wide display has a 99% coverage of the sRGB color space and a stand with both tilt and height adjustable for optimum viewing angles. Its support for HDR10 content will have owners enjoy ultra-realistic visuals, and with unique features such as reading mode, users will be able to tailor it to their preferred use. Its only drawback is the lack of USB ports.
This display also comes with a couple of features meant to improve gaming performance. Some of them include Dynamic Action Sync, which reduces input lag and allows for faster responses, and a Black Stabilizer which enhances vision in dark scenes. Its OnScreen Control feature also allows users to optimize it for improved productivity. Users will be able to split the screen into two windows or even set specific screen adjustments that are only applied when a particular application is running.
Award: BEST FOR PORT SELECTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: It has an impressive array of inputs and outputs, allowing for expanded connectivity. It also has decent ergonomics and VESA compatibility for stress-free wall mounting.
The Dell U3818DQ from its U-Series is a sleek, 38-inch curved display with a thin top and side bezels for maximum screen real estate and a great port selection. It boasts two HDMI ports, a USB type C port, an audio line out, two USB upstream ports for a monitor-to-PC connection, and two USB downstream ports for attachments and peripherals. It’s got a pair of 9-watt speakers that deliver decent audio quality and has OK brightness at 330 nits. However, it might not be ideal for gaming due to a low refresh rate and lack of FreeSync support.
It can display two inputs simultaneously for expanded productivity and offers excellent viewing angles that make it ideal for group use. Its ergonomics are also good enough for most people since the stand allows for height, tilt and swivel adjustments, and because it comes with VESA compatibility, users shouldn’t have any issues wall mounting it. Color reproduction is good enough for general use, and its impressive build quality will ensure it remains in great condition over an extended period.
Award: BEST FOR COMPETITIVE GAMERS
WHY WE LIKE IT: It has a high refresh rate and a very low response time, making it ideal for fast-action games. It also offers great color and has a wide array of ports.
The Acer Predator X38 is a curved widescreen monitor that checks all the boxes for gaming enthusiasts. Its 38-inch screen is curved to provide an immersive gaming experience, and with a refresh rate as high as 175Hz, screen tearing isn’t a problem one should expect with this monitor. With a response time of about 0.3ms, pro gamers will have a slight edge over their competitors with regard to reaction times. Its bezels are also super thin to provide a wide and uninterrupted field of view, and with a stand that is both tilt, height, and tilt adjustable, owners will be able to adjust it down to their specific placement requirements. Unfortunately, some have raised concerns over the presence of backlight bleed.
The display’s support for HDR technology means that images will be vivid and ultra-realistic, and with a port selection that includes one Display Port, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and four USB ports, it allows for pretty flexible connectivity to other devices. The display is also adapted to help keep users’ eyes safe since it is Flicker-free and filters out Blue Light through its Blue Light Shield. Its array of settings under the Predator GameView feature also allows users to customize and adjust the display for optimum gaming performance, and since it has a fairly wide color gamut, color reproduction is very accurate.
Award: BEST FOR OCCASIONAL GAMEPLAY
WHY WE LIKE IT: It has a couple of features that occasional gamers will appreciate, and its build quality is pretty sturdy. The display is also rather bright and has good contrast.
The Alienware AW3821DW is a gamer-oriented 38-inch curved display that supports the DisplayHDR 600 protocol for impressive image processing and a 2300R curvature for a deep and all-around field of view. The display also has a high 144Hz refresh rate for butter-smooth transitions and a 600-nit brightness level for utmost clarity when gaming. It also features a rapid 1ms response time for super-quick reactions and supports 10-bit color for vivid visuals. Still, some might be disappointed with its lack of HDMI 2.1 ports for gaming on next-gen consoles such as the PS 5 and its lack of speakers.
On the flip side, the display offers good cable management and comes with a satisfying 131% coverage of the sRGB color gamut for well-saturated color. It has 32 dimming zones for good contrast and a super low 4ms input lag that avid gamers will appreciate. Its controls are situated on the rear bottom right side of the display for easy reach, and its build quality is sturdy enough to keep it suitable for extended use.
Award: BEST FOR PRODUCTIVITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: It doesn’t have too many bells and whistles, and its screen size makes it great for productivity. It also has a decent array of ports and OK contrast.
The HP Z38C is a curved 38-inch LCD monitor with a high pixel density and a 60Hz refresh rate that keeps the screen tearing at a minimum. Its brightness level is rated at 300 nits, and its contrast ratio stands at 1000:1 for dark blacks and bright whites. The display has a port selection that allows for DisplayPort, HDMI, and USB connectivity, as well as VESA compatibility for those that would want to wall mount it. However, it does not support HDR content.
This display also has great viewing angles and boasts a decent 98% coverage of the sRGB gamut for accurate color reproduction. Its thin bezels add a lot to its sleek design, and its stand has a relatively small footprint compared to the monitor’s size. It also has a relatively low 5ms response time, and its large screen size makes it great for improving productivity.
Like all monitors, including the finest 40-inch computer monitors, a great 38″ monitor is a device that connects directly to your computer or laptop so you can see what you’re doing while using your computer. Monitors connect to your computer using a display cable like an HDMI or DisplayPort cable. However, if you don’t have an HDMI port or DisplayPort, you might want to find some of the best 38 inch monitors that have a VGA or DVI port.
On the other hand, if you’ve already purchased a fine 38 inch ultrawide monitor for your PC setup, there are adapter cables from HDMI to DVI or DisplayPort to VGA that you can buy to make your monitor work.
Computer monitors commonly use a variety of different display technology to reproduce the images and information coming from your computer. We’ll discuss these further in this guide, but most 38-inch monitors are either LCD or LED displays that use an IPS panel, much as you’ll find in our write-up of the Alienware 1900R.
When it comes to core functionality and purpose, 38-inch monitors are no different than traditional monitors. They simply display information from your computer so you can clearly see what you’re doing. Now, there may be better options if you buy a high-end 38 inch gaming monitor, as these tend to have better specs for gamers.
However, there are some stark differences between 38-inch monitors and most other displays. For starters, virtually all 38-inch monitors are considered ultrawide monitors. This means they offer a 21:9 ultrawide aspect ratio, which means you get a lot more width than a standard display.
With ultrawide monitors, you’ll be able to see more full-sized windows side-by-side on your screen. This makes 38-inch monitors incredibly useful for working professionals who need to multitask on a regular basis.
Another difference to note is the fact that most 38-inch monitors offer a curved screen. Seeing everything on your display can be difficult with more horizontal real estate. A curved monitor makes everything easier to see without turning your head.
At the simplest level, a 38-inch monitor works by plugging into your computer via one of the display ports. Once the monitor is plugged in, your computer transfers data and visuals directly to the monitor through the display cable you plugged in.
It’s important to note some of the technical aspects of how your 38-inch monitor works, though. Most ultrawide monitors use LCD technology, which stands for liquid crystal display. LCD monitors feature two layers of glass with liquid crystals in between that react to the backlight.
The backlighting for 38-inch displays comes either in the form of cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LED). In general, ultrawide monitors use LED backlighting more commonly because of their reliability, long lifespan, and versatility.
If you like having multiple full-size windows open side-by-side while working on your computer, then an ultrawide monitor like a 38-inch display is perfect. With screen split functionality and tons of real estate, you’ll easily use these monitors to work on multiple tasks at once.
They can also make for good gaming monitors if you purchase a 38-inch monitor with a high refresh rate, fast response times, and high screen resolution. You’ll likely need to take more time to find the right model.
If you’re spending a good chunk of change on an ultrawide monitor, then you’ll want to be sure it lasts a good amount of time. Fortunately, most 38-inch options are LED monitors, meaning you’ll get the most life out of them.
According to TechiExpert, you should expect your LED monitor to last you anywhere between 80,000 hours and 120,000 hours of total usage. This usually equates to around 10 to 15 years if you use the monitor eight hours a day.
Of course, using a monitor more will lessen its lifespan. The opposite is true if you use it less. You can also extend your monitor’s lifespan by not using it on the maximum brightness settings and by keeping it in a clean, dust-free environment.
When it comes time to start looking at different 38-inch monitors available on the market today, you’ll want to go into the purchasing decision with a clear view of what you want and need. Take some time to consider
The answers to the following questions can help you determine which 38-inch monitor is best for your needs. As you read through the questions, take note of your answers and refer back to them as you start to look at specific monitors.
Ultrawide monitors typically use one of two different panel technologies: IPS or VA. These panel technologies describe the types of panels used in LCD monitors. Let’s take a closer look at both IPS panel and VA panel monitors:
A monitor’s screen resolution refers to the number of pixels present in the monitor. A monitor’s resolution is measured by the number of pixels horizontally and the number of pixels vertically. When it comes to 38-inch ultrawides, you have two main screen resolutions: 2560×1080 or 3440×1440.
In general, we recommend always choosing a monitor with a 3440×1440 pixel resolution. This resolution makes everything on display sharp and detailed, even text. Monitors with a 2560×1080 resolution tend to be more pixelated, especially when it comes to text.
If you’re using your monitor solely for gaming and watching movies, then a 2560×1080 display will work fine. However, you’ll likely be browsing the web, working, and creating documents with your monitor, which is why a 3440×1440 monitor is better.
Some ultrawide monitors are starting to offer 3840×1600 resolution, but they are rare and much more expensive overall.
With such a large display area, you’ll want to be sure your 38-inch monitor offers immersive image quality. This way, everything looks crisp and clear while you’re working or playing video games.
The following features are what you should consider when it comes to picture quality:
If you plan on purchasing a 38-inch monitor for gaming, there are a few key features to consider. These things are important for ultrawide gaming monitors:
Since there are so many ways to connect your monitor to your computer, it’s important to consider the specific input ports available on the monitor you purchase. Let’s take a look at the most common types of connectivity and how they work with a widescreen monitor: