The 8 Best 1080p Ultrawide Monitors of 2021

1080p Ultrawide

The 8 Best 1080p Ultrawide Monitors of 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Jan 21, 2021

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Ultrawide monitors make for some of the best screens for immersive gaming and media viewing, not to mention providing an aspect ratio perfect for extended productivity.

Which is why today’s feature is here to guide you through the best UWHD monitors available today at various price-points/specs.

Top Picks

Best of the Rest: Quick-Fire Picks

Overall Best 1080p Ultrawide Monitor: Spectre Curved C305B-200UN

No monitor better encompassed what we think our gaming readers will be looking for than this fantastic Spectre display.

Offering an unrivaled balance in picture quality, build quality, and price, the Spectre C305B ticks all the boxes at a lower cost than we expected.

Note: We’ve based this top pick specifically around the best 1080 ultrawide gaming monitor. If you have no interest in gaming (or it’s at least not your main priority), the next 2 picks will be better suited for you.

To start, you are getting up to a whooping 200hz when using DisplayPort. Combined with its ultrawide resolution, this is a truly fantastic coupling of specs for competitive gaming/e-sports and playing through more immersive titles (if you haven’t played at high refresh rates before, it’s hard to overstate just how much they improve gaming).

On top of these leading specs, you’re also getting a display with a 90% sRGB color gamut, excellent blacks with its VA panel, and a 5ms GTG response time; you are well-positioned to have an excellent picture quality.

Freesync is also supported, enabling you to minimize ghosting/stuttering at the C305B’s higher refresh rates.

What makes us love this cheap 1080 ultrawide gaming monitor, even more, is that it’s not compromising on build quality too.

Built like a premium display should be; the stand/overall design is durable, the bezels are incredibly thin and there is even some subtle LED lighting on the back, which if your monitor is near a wall, will add some nice light-blend.

While we wouldn’t recommend any monitor speakers for an audiophile gaming setup, this display’s included sound is decent compared to many others we’ve experienced.

On top of everything else that’s great about this pick, it’s also a curved 1080p ultrawide monitor. Truthfully, there was enough going for this Spectre display that we would’ve given it the top spot without this feature, but having curvature too will really take the immersion in gaming, media, and general use that extra bit further. If you’ve never used a curved monitor before, it’s something that is simply more impressive in person.

There is simply so much to love about the C305B.

Coming in at an incredible price range, we think anybody in the market after a full HD ultrawide monitor for gaming will simply love this pick.

Best IPS 1080p Ultrawide Monitor: LG 34WN650-W 34-Inch

Our next pick is for those focussed less on a gaming monitor, and more on a very vibrant picture quality that’s perfect for media and general use (also perhaps best 1080p ultrawide monitor for Mac).

This LG display has one of the best picture qualities on the list, especially when considering its mid-range price.

Boasting an IPS panel, VesaDisplay HDR400, and an sRGB99% color gamut; the picture here is simply stunning, with excellent colors, blacks, and whites (particularly from the HDR400). This is easily our pick for the best 1080p ultrawide monitor for video editing and other production work.

With its core target focussed around being the perfect general use/office ultrawide monitor, this LG offering has some great quality-of-life features for users focussed on business software and general internet use; utility like flicker safe/reader modes, screen split, and ergonomic tilt/height options. It’s a nice, well-rounded display that meets its goals as a productivity monitor perfectly.

If you are still into gaming, we’re not trying to imply this LG 1080p ultrawide monitor isn’t more than capable of it. With its gorgeous picture quality and some decent game modes available, you can still have a quality, immersive setup on here (we just think that if you’re serious about gaming, the utility of the high refresh rate on the Spectre ultrawide monitor or Samsung pick will be so beneficial for you).

With all that said, if you are focused on picture quality and great utility for a productivity/office monitor, this is easily the best IPS full HD ultrawide display for the job.

Best Cheap 1080p Ultrawide Monitor: LG 25UM58

Our next pick is arguably the most impressive display on the list.

Not because it’s the best, but because it’s an incredible budget 1080p ultrawide monitor. We’ve seen 16:9 full HD displays in this price-range with lower picture quality, so this LG monitor feels like it was made with some kind of wizardry to achieve a decent 1080p 21:9 display at this budget.

With an IPS panel, 99% sRGB color gamut, and up to 250-nits brightness, the specs here will still provide a decent enough picture for a nice office/budget gaming setup.

This 21:9 ultrawide display lacks support for Freesync, which isn’t as good as our top pick for hardcore gamers/those interested in esports, but will still be fine for many gamers who can’t stretch to the pricepoint.

As far as business and personal use go, we think the 25UM58 has the specs you need to create a productive visual workspace.

Perhaps the most important distinguishment between this and our other choices is that this LG display ultrawide display is 25 inches, versus the 34″+ of our other favorite choices.

This is a notable decrease. You still have a gorgeous workspace compared to traditional aspect ratios, though, but it’s probably the biggest reason why it’s still worth stretching to the better picks if you can.

Of course, at this price range, you’re not going to get the vibrance, low response times, high refresh rates, and fantastic blacks/whites as our other picks.

But we’re still floored by what a great option this is if you can only stretch to a budget display. The monitor even has bezels as thin as many of the more expensive picks which we would never expect usually with a budget pick.

If your wallet is tight but you still want a 21:9 desktop then this is, without doubt, the best cheap 1080p ultrawide monitor on the market today.

Best 1080p Super Ultrawide Monitor: Samsung 49-Inch CHG90

The last main pick on our list is for the best 1080p ultrawide screen money can buy.

Yes, it’s an expensive offering, but this Samsung ultrawide monitor is something truly special.

To start, this is a super ultrawide display.

Sounds like marketing jargon, we know, but it in fact means the CHG90 boasts a 32:9 monitor aspect ratio and a 3840 x 1080 resolution.

With standard monitors being a 16:9 aspect ratio, this Samsung offering is literally the size of 2 1080p monitors in one screen; and with its enormous 49-inch size, you really feel the presence of 2 monitors (effectively both 24.5 inches).

This dual monitor in one design makes this a beast of a productivity display, with pretty much limitless potential for business and personal use.

And combined with its QLED screen, 350-nits brightness & HDR support, the vibrant picture you will get on this display is simply phenomenal.

But there’s more; let’s talk gaming.

With a 144hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, stunning picture quality, and, of course, the 32:9 aspect ratio, this is one of the best ultrawide gaming monitors on the market.

It’s hard to overstate just how more immersive a normal ultrawide monitor can be; to get the extra screen width of the CHG90 takes this to a whole other level.

There is also a decent amount of support for this aspect ratio too. You may be worrying if you have a gaming PC powerful enough to run 3840x1080p 144hz, but this resolution has half the pixels of a 4k monitor, and there plenty of 4k 144hz displays on the market. As long as you have a mid to high-range setup, you should be able to run an array of titles here.

To top off the gaming features is built-in support for AMD Freesync 2, which is one of the best technologies available to minimize common monitor issues such as ghosting on high-end displays.

Then there is the build quality; this Samsung 1080p ultrawide display is gorgeous, with a sturdy, well-built frame. It’s worth mentioning that it doesn’t have speakers, but we think you’ll want a real audiophile solution for gaming/general use to appreciate how immersive/productive this display can be anyway.

Last but not least, this is a curved super ultrawide monitor. On top of everything else this display has going for it, its 1800R curvature offers an additional layer of immersion.

Between all the great features we’ve discussed, you probably realize why we rate this screen so highly.

If you have the budget, this is an incredible choice, and the best 1080p ultrawide monitor on the market; something truly special that will last you a long time.

Alternative Picks – Best of the Rest

While the top 4 picks are our absolute favorite options for gaming, media, and general/business use alike, we wanted to provide a few more quick-fire picks in case any of our readers have very specific requirements/briefly explain why we may not have chosen them above the top 4.

34″ 1080p Ultrawide Alternative: Spectre C345W-2560UN

While we think the main Spectre monitor we’ve recommended is the better choice value-wise, this is a great option if you happen to find it at a discount/if the top Spectre choice is out of stock and you want something of similar quality.

Second Cheapest IPS 1080p Ultrawide Monitor: LG 34WL600-B

If you like the look of out budget 1080p ultrawide display pick but want something with a better design/picture quality, this LG monitor is a great pick “in-between” our top cheap and high-end IPS choices. We’d just say it will usually be worth picking up the top Spectre or LG displays if possible over this.

Mid-Range 1080p Ultrawide IPS Monitor: Philips 342E2E

Operating in a similar space to the LG pick directly above, this is a good middle-ground pick for users focussed on a business/general use display (while we prefer our main picks, it would be decent on a discount).

Best 200Hz 1080p Ultrawide Monitor: MSI Optix MAG301CR

Our last pick is an MSI gaming monitor with a superb refresh rate; the main reasons we don’t rate this as highly as our top pick is its significantly larger price-range and user-reports of ghosting. We’d say this is only worth considering if you’re after a very high refresh-rate monitor and the other viable picks are not available.

1080p vs 1440p Ultrawide Resolution

Before we wrap up, we wanted to address the common question on the differences between 1080p and 1440p for ultrawide. Some users seem to think that 2560 x 1080 resolution is “not good enough” for ultrawide monitors. This simply isn’t true.

Of course, if you have the extra budget and a semi-powerful PC, 1440p ultrawide is a marvel to behold. But there is nothing wrong with 1080p, UWFHD monitors are still far superior and more immersive than their 16:9 counterparts and you can still expect a crisp image with full HD, making them a perfect budget ultrawide option; not to mention our Samsung monitor choice proves that this form factor has some incredible premium options too.

If your budget is more in-line with the cost of 1080p ultrawide, don’t fret! We think you’ll love the options above, with the top picks selected with a balance of the picture, high refresh rate, and build quality in mind, you can expect them to be excellent options for gaming, media, or general use.

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The 5 Best 1440p 144hz Ultrawide Monitors in 2021

1440p 144hz Ultrawide

The 5 Best 1440p 144hz Ultrawide Monitors in 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Jan 20, 2021

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1440p, high refresh rate, and ultrawide in one monitor?

If you’re in the market for a new display, some of the best monitor manufacturers have recently put together incredible offerings that meet all of these impressive specs. These displays offer some unique capability for immersive gaming, media, and large screen real-estate for productivity.

Which is why today’s feature is here to take you through the top 1440p 144hz ultrawide monitors worth buying today.

Top Picks

Alternative Quick-Fire Picks

Overall Best 1440p 144hz Ultrawide Monitor: Acer Nitro XV340CK Pbmiipphzx 34″

Although all 5 of our top 21:9 1440p 144hz monitor picks are worthy contenders for the top pick, this Acer display was our clear winner.

Impressively balancing features, picture quality, build, design, and a low cost for the technology, the XV340CK feels amazing for its price.

Let’s start with the obvious: boasting a QHD 144hz ultrawide resolution/refresh rate, what really impressed us is that despite being one of the cheapest choices on the list, the XV340CK includes all of these specs in an IPS panel while still maintaining 1ms VRB response time.

Higher latency is often the core sacrifice of IPS . So having this panel, alongside 1ms means the colors are vibrant and complementarity immersive alongside its 3440×1440 monitor resolution. The monitor also supports HDR10, where you can expect to achieve a great picture alongside the AMD Radeon Freesync compatibility (and although not officially supported, many users have claimed that G-sync works without issue).

This cheap 1440p 144hz ultrawide monitor hasn’t skipped corners in the build quality either. With a durable, sturdy design and a fantastic screen to body ratio, it feels and looks like a premium product.

The ports are decent and what we’d expect for a high-end gaming monitor too, with 2 x DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI 2.0, and 2 x USB 3.0. Not to mention the monitor includes both DisplayPort and HDMI cables. Of course, these aren’t all that expensive; but again, what we like is how despite its low price-point, Acer doesn’t seem to have really “cut corners” in any area we would expect to see in a budget 1440p 144hz ultrawide gaming monitor.

If you can afford our more expensive picks, then yes, they will have some superior picture quality specs available (or other notable features like screen curvature).

But in its budget price-range, the XV340CK is unrivaled, and easily the best 1440p 144hz ultrawide gaming monitor in terms of value.

Best Curved 1440p 144hz Ultrawide Monitor: AOC CU34G2X 34″

The next offering is not just one of the cheapest curved QHD 1440 144hz ultrawide monitors, but also one of the best choices in the technology.

With a 1500R curvature, the curve in this monitor isn’t underwhelming; it’s a significant change to how content/gaming is viewed and really adds to the immersion that we know users after a QHD ultrawide monitor value.

AOC has gone for a VA panel with this pick. We know many readers prefer IPS panels; however, this UWQHD display includes a 115% sRGB / 98% Adobe RGB color gamut and some fantastic contrast. Between these specs, you can expect a picture that is even more vibrant than our Acer pick (which already has a great picture as it is, the CU34G2X is just that little bit more stunning).

The build quality here is similarly effective. With a solid, durable design and some very small bezels on the sides and top, we love how this monitor looks/feels. On top of that, AOC offers an impressive 3-year warranty covering dead-pixels, technical faults, and even a rather unique 1 year 1-time warranty for accidental damage (hopefully you won’t need any of these, but warranties are not all made equally, so having these backups adds some nice peace of mind when making a monitor purchase).

The race between this AOC monitor and our top Acer display was a pretty close one. With its strong curve, fantastic warranty, and improved picture quality, it was tough for us not to give this monitor the best overall price. However, we suspect that for many users, the reduced price of the Acer display will be more important.

That said, if you can stretch your budget to the 34″ CU34G2X, then it is an incredible offering and one of the best 144hz UWQHD gaming monitors available.

Best Premium 1440p 144hz Ultrawide Monitor: Acer Nitro XZ342CK Pbmiiphx 34″

Now, with our above 2 picks, we’ve focussed very much on value for money, representing the mid-range pricing for this technology.

However, if you’re after the best 1440p 144hz ultrawide display, it’s close between this choice and the AOC monitor above, but we think the XZ342CK takes the prize.

With a high-quality, 1ms VRB VA panel capable of diminishing ghosting and combined with a fantastic color gamut, Freesync support, and 1500R screen, this Acer gaming monitor ticks many of the same boxes that our top two choices provide.

Where the Pbmiiphx 34″ goes one step further is in its fantastic 400-nits brightness/HDR400 support. Our top Acer and AOC monitor picks have 250 and 300-nits brightness respectively, so this is a notable jump and perfect for achieving a fantastic contrast ratio. Some users have even reported that the brightness can achieve closer to 500-nits in some common benchmarks. Either way, the picture on this monitor is stunning for immersive gaming, movies, and general work.

While this Acer display is worth the extra price-tag for the contrast ratio/brightness alone, another bonus we like is that some users have reported this monitor working at 165hz. While 144hz is already a fantastic, high refresh rate and is the official support, the prospect that you can potentially squeeze an extra ~10% smoother fps in games is exciting (though we recommend assuming this is just a nice-to-have and not a guarantee).

Last but not least; the build quality is similarly great to our top two picks. With its zero-frame (i.e. tiny bezel) design and strong stand/wall mount options, we have no complaints about the structure of the XZ342CK.

Important note: When comparing the XZ342CK vs CUU34G2X, this Acer model was only 10% more expensive. However as some of you may know, Amazon listings occasionally have massive short-term price inflations if a monitor is low in stock. So just to be clear; although this is our premium choice, we don’t think it’s worth more than a slight cost increase over the AOC monitor above, don’t spend 25%+ to get this instead.

With all that said; between its gorgeous colors, brightness, low ghosting, and fantastic curvature, this Acer Nitro screen is what we consider the best HDR 1440p 144hz ultrawide gaming monitor on the market for those with the budget.

Best Cheap 1440p 144hz Ultrawide Monitor: VIOTEK GNV34DBE 34-Inch

As far as cheap UWQHD 144hz monitors go, our top Acer choice actually fits the bill perfectly and is usually at a similar price-point (and more readily available in terms of stock) compared to this VIOTEK offering 

However; the GNV34DBE is curved with the same 1500R rating as our two most expensive choices above.

For its price and everything else this screen has going for it, this is an insane value offering.

Running on a VA panel combined with a 116% sRGB / 87% DCI-P3 color gamut, the screen quality is still fantastic despite its lower price-point and even boasts 350-nits brightness, way more than we’d expect for a cheap ultrawide QHD 144hz display.

With all the expected HDMI/DisplayPort/USB outputs, a good design/build quality, and Freesync/G-sync monitor support, this VIOTEK offering ticks nearly all the boxes we want to see.

There are two minor pitfalls when compared to our other choices:

  1. The response time for this particular monitor is 4ms (by OD measurement) – don’t get us wrong, this is still perfectly decent for gaming, but may be slightly more at risk for minor ghosting/may be a problem if you’re very sensitive to certain motion, though we expect most users will be fine (as per the thousands of positive reviews).
  2. This monitor is unfortunately consistently out of stock and not as well available as our other choices. If you happen to see it in stock, great! But if not, we would recommend purchasing one of the other great options on this list instead of waiting for what could be a while.

VIOTEK may not be the same large monitor brand compared to Acer and AOC, but they’re still a reputable manufacturer with a warranty for this specific model that nearly rivals AOC’s fantastic policy.

If you want the cheapest curved UWQHD 144hz gaming display on the market that still retains some great quality, this is a fantastic option for you.

1440p 144hz Ultrawide Monitor Honorable Mention: Nixeus EDG34S

While note quite claiming the top accolades we award to our 4 above picks, this Nixeus monitor is still worth considering if the other 21:9 gaming monitors are out of stock (or grossly inflated in price due to low availability).

Boasting a wonderful balance of specs for its price, this 3400 x 1440 144hz ultrawide monitor has gorgeous blacks by combining a VA panel, 350-nits brightness, and a 3000:1 contrast ratio. The color gamut on this monitor isn’t quite as impressive as our other picks, but will still provide an excellent, vibrant picture overall.

With G-Sync, Freesync, and a 1ms PTR response time (4ms GTG), the EDG34S is well equipped to reduce ghosting, screen-tearing, and flickering to a bare minimum.

The build quality is also superb; with VESA mount capability, decent tilt stand, durable design, and wonderfully thin bezels. This is another curved UWQHD 144hz monitor too, with the same 1500R curvature that makes our top picks so immersive for gaming and media.

There is very little not to like about the EDG34S. We just think that at its price-point, it’s a slightly lesser value option than the other choices.

But we’ve included it for a reason; if you’re after a monitor with deep blacks, great response time, and all the makings of a great gaming display, this Nixeus offering is still one of the best ultrawide 1440p 144hz monitors on the market.

Alternative Picks – Best of the Rest

Now, while the above 5 picks are easily our top choices for the top 1440p 144hz ultrawide displays, we wanted to provide a few extra decent picks that come close to the same specs for those of you with very specific requirements (or if you’re unlucky and none of the above are in stock while you’re searching).

Best IPS 1440p 120hz Ultrawide Monitor: Alienware AW3420DW

Previously featured on What in Tech, this Alienware high refresh rate UWQHD gaming monitor is a fantastic offering for high-end visuals and build quality (at only a slightly decreased refresh rate compared to our top picks).

Best 1440p 240hz Ultrawide Monitor: SAMSUNG 49-inch Odyssey G9

The highest refresh rate 1440p ultrawide monitor, the Odyssey G9 would be perfect if your single most important goal is high performance in e-sports and titles that demand very high refresh rates. We’ve also featured it in our 1440p 240hz monitor feature.

Cheapest 1440p 120hz Ultrawide Monitor: Monoprice 35in Zero-G

The Monoprice Zero-G doesn’t excel anywhere better than our top picks and comes with a tad reduced 120hz. That said, at the time of viewing, it appears as 25% cheaper than our top Acer choice. If saving that money is more important than the extra hz and slightly better picture, we think this is a great budget choice.

Best 1440p 100hz Ultrawide Monitor: Spectre C355W-3440UN

Similar to the Monoprice monitor above, this Spectre offering is worth consideration as a budget choice. It’s one of the least powerful on the list, but still, an excellent contender if you’re not able to reach the prices of the above top 21:9 monitors.

Final Word

And there you have it! 1440p 144hz ultrawide is a simply mind-blowing set of monitor specs for gaming and general use. Picking up any of the above will serve you well for a long time, and we don’t see 4k 144hz ultrawide becoming the norm for a long time, so you can consider these future-proof monitors!

Want more options for a premium gaming monitor? We also have features on other very impressive high-end display technology; 1440p 240hz, 4k 144hz, and the highest Hz monitors available.

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The Best 1TB MicroSD Cards of 2021

1TB Micro SD

The Best 1TB MicroSD Cards of 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Jan 19, 2021

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A 1 Terabyte MicroSD card? What a time to be alive!

This technology has only come around very recently, and with no signs of 2TB Micro SD cards on the market any time soon, we expect this to be the largest MicroSD card size you can buy for Nintendo Switch, cameras, phones, and more for a long time.

Unfortunately, as with most portable storage, there is a swarm of fake 1TB micro SD cards on the market.

So if 1TB flash drives aren’t portable enough for you, we’ve put together this list of the best genuine 1TB MicroSD cards worth buying!

Top Picks

Fake 1TB MicroSD Cards / Where to Buy Real Ones

If you’re already looked for a 1TB MicroSD card on Amazon, amongst the expensive options from SanDisk, you’ll see a bunch of 1TB MSD cards that are literally 10% of the price.

So, what gives?

Unfortunately, I’m here to tell you that getting a 1TB Micro SD card for $30 isn’t something you’ll be seeing for a long, long time.

These deceptively low priced items are all fake. Some of these products will change the data on the card to “look like” there’s 1TB available (but will corrupt/stop working quickly), others will simply send you a smaller SD card and hope you don’t notice.

Thankfully, a lot of these listings have either bad or no reviews. But there are some tricky listings that deceive buyers further by using a well-reviewed product page that was made for a previous card (e.g. lots of good reviews on a 128MB MicroSD) and then proceed to change the page to a fake 1TB card, luring customers in with the misleading good reviews for old products.

It’s a tricky space to navigate, especially when there are only a couple of genuine 1TB microSD cards on the market right now.

This is why we’ve made this list of the best options that we highly recommend sticking to. But if, for whatever reason, you want to look elsewhere and need to know how to find real 1TB Micro SD cards, just make sure you stick to the best MicroSD brands: SanDisk, Samsung, Corsair, etc.

Overall Best 1TB MicroSD Card: SanDisk 1TB Ultra microSDXC

Even though genuine 1TB Micro SD cards are hard to find and brand new to the market, we’re very pleased to see that the king of portable storage, SanDisk, is the one to lead this exciting technology.

At a very respectable price-tag for the innovation, the 1TB Ultra MicroSD is an incredible package.

With read speeds up to 120MB/s and write speeds up to 90MB/s, the transfer rates on this card are very fast and impressive even when compared to smaller, more refined sizes (which is key when you’re dealing with such large photo/video/game storage).

It’s nice to see that on read/write speed benchmark tests, the 1TB Ultra manages to reach speeds close to the advertised 120 & 90 Megabytes per second read/write values (often, microSD storage has the issue of demonstrating lower speeds once tested in the normal use cases).

We also easily consider this the best 1TB MicroSD for Nintendo Switch, and the largest MicroSD for Switch consoles too! Offering incredible game storage, it’s important to note that while we talk about SanDisk’s premium offering in the next pick, the Switch will not utilize the higher read/write speeds of that card, so the Ultra is the best for you if you’re looking for some seriously impressive storage space for your Switch.

What else is there to say? With fantastic read/write speeds, the largest size on the market, and from an incredible, reliable manufacturer; the SanDisk is not just the best option, but also an impressively cheap 1TB microSD card considering you’re getting brand new technology. If you’re in the market for one and aren’t after the highest possible transfer speeds of our next pick, this is a no-brainer.

Best 1TB MicroSD Card (High-End Pick): SanDisk 1TB Extreme microSDXC

Now, as much as we think the SanDisk Ultra will be the best MicroSD card for a majority of readers, if you want the best card regardless of value/price, then this one is for you.

When considering SanDisk Ultra vs Extreme cards, the Extreme series represents an upgraded version of the Ultra. These Micro SDs tend to have some of the highest read/write speeds available at their respective sizes.

For the 1TB version, the Extreme boasts read speeds up to 160 MB/s. The write speed is the same at up to 90MB/s, but this is not too surprising, as the write-speed was already fast. High-end MicroSDs tend to focus on improving read speeds in order to enable users who require them for very demanding content such as 4K/UHD.

On that note, the Extreme is one of the best MicroSD cards for 4K, with its enormous size and high read speeds (you could probably get away with using the Ultra for 4K content, but there are no guarantees, while SanDisk proudly boasts the Extreme’s capability in this area).

With all that said, the Extreme is 25% more expensive than the Ultra.

For a large majority of users, we don’t think this extra read speed is worth the price.

But if you’re after the best 1 terabyte MicroSD regardless of price, or specifically need the very high transfer speeds, then know that budget-withstanding, this is the best solution on the market.

Best Cheap 1TB MicroSD Card Alternative: 2 x SAMSUNG EVO Select 512GB

OK, so we’re kind of cheating with this pick.

As far as we’re concerned, the SanDisk Ultra is an incredible price for a MicroSD with 1TB storage, we’re confident SanDisk could’ve charged significantly more and still had a large consumer-base for this new technology.

That being said, we appreciate that the price is a fair step up from 512GB MicroSD cards. So for our best budget 1TB MicroSD card alternative, we’d recommend picking up a pair of 512GB cards instead.

Yes, you then have the inconvenience of having to swap out if using for a Nintendo Switch, camera, or supported phone, but 2 x 512GB Samsung EVO Selects are nearly half the price of 1 x 1TB SanDisk Ultra.

The Samsung pick also still has decent transfer speeds, with up to 100MB/s read and 90MB/s write. A tad slower on the read speeds than our SanDisk choices, but still enough for most content.

We love our top SanDisk picks and would recommend them highly for anyone in the market for the largest Micro SD card today, but we appreciate some people will need to consider a cheaper option. If that’s you, picking up 2 Samsung EVO cards is the next best thing.

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Lenovo Flex vs Yoga in 2021 – Differences Compared

lenovo flex vs yoga cover

Lenovo Flex vs Yoga Laptops in 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Jan 18, 2021

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Lenovo is one of the greatest names in the PC manufacturing business.

This brand has produced countless iterations of decent portable choices, and standing tallest amongst their Ideapad laptops are the Flex and Yoga series models.

But how do you decide between these 2 offerings?

Today’s feature is here to help by detailing the differences between the Lenovo Flex and Yoga, and informing you which is better depending on your budget and requirements.

Table of Contents

Differences Between Lenovo Flex and Yoga

Short answer: the IdeaPad Flex laptops are usually defined by being the cheaper, more mainstream choice of laptops. While the IdeaPad Yoga is the “premium” range designed for users after the longest-lasting 2-in-1 machines.

First Main Difference – Price

There’s no denying it; a majority of the Flex choices are notably cheaper than the Yoga offerings. However what you’re getting for your money is really what the question is about, which we talk more about in the other 2 key differences.

Bear in mind that there are expensive Flex laptops and cheap Yoga laptops, we break down which is best in each price-bracket later in this feature.

Second Main Difference – Build Quality

  • Lenovo Flex laptops are generally made of cheaper plastics/metals and may have more basic hinges and designs to keep costs as affordable as possible for the mainstream.
  • The Lenovo Yoga series, on the other hand, are often made with very high-quality metal, feel impressively durable, and are often extremely slim/some of the most beautiful laptops you’ll find on the market.

Now don’t get us wrong; for the average consumer, the build quality of an IdeaPad Flex laptop is still excellent. The durability of their hinges is unrivaled at their price range, you really won’t find better without spending significantly more.

The Yoga’s build quality is more important if you’re purchasing something pricey (say, around/over $1,000) and want to make sure that your expensive laptop is built to last (especially important with those who plan on constantly switching between tablet and laptop mode and challenging the longevity of the hinge).

Third Main Difference – Hardware

  • Lenovo Flex laptops are usually built with less powerful specs. Think less RAM, slower CPUs, smaller SSDs, and screens that are slightly less colorful/vibrant.
  • Yoga laptops will often come with better main specs. One area this range often shines in is the quality of their displays. If you’re purchasing a premium Yoga PC, some of the options expand into 4k, 500-nits, and excellent color accuracy.

As we alluded to in the price discussion, the hardware is very dependent on budget. Don’t assume you are getting a laptop with better specs just because it is a Yoga. We’ll explain more below…

Lenovo Flex vs Yoga – Which is Better?

So, now that we’ve been through the key differences, which comes out on top?

As a rule of thumb, we’d say that if you are looking for a budget to low-mid range laptop, the Lenovo Flex range is perfect for you.

If you are looking for a premium 2-in-1 laptop that is built to perform and last, go for the Yoga series.

BUT, this is just a rule of thumb, and we want to help you choose the exact right laptop for your needs.

The problem? This rule of thumb is not universal when considering the IdeaPad Flex vs Yoga. These types of Lenovo laptops come in many different models of different quality.

To put it another way; the most expensive IdeaPad Flex laptop will be way better than the cheapest Yoga laptop. Other resources imply that the Yoga series is “always” better. Yes, this will usually be true, but stating it’s “always” the case is just lazy.

So, how do you determine which one is right for you?

This will all depend on what requirements and budget you have.

This is why the rest of today’s feature is dedicated to which series comes out on top for each of the main budget requirements, or even where a different laptop range should be considered.

Overall Best Flex / Yoga Laptop (Budget Choice): Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5 14″ 2-in-1 Laptop

Arguably one of the best laptops available on the market in any category, this pick feels like a bit of a no brainer to satisfy most readers of the list.

The Ideapad Flex 5 14″ hits the perfect sweet spot between build quality, hardware, great battery life, and price. The only touchscreen laptop that really comes close to this Lenovo offering is the latest HP Envy x360 model. However with that machine, you’re paying more to get less RAM, so you can probably see why we rate the Flex 5 so highly.

Boasting a 4th gen Ryzen processor, 16GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD, the specs on this machine are unrivaled in its price range. You have hardware that is perfect to provide enough performance for general use, media, and drawing/notetaking.

You’re getting an IPS panel touchscreen here with decent brightness. We appreciate Lenovo not going for a TN/VA panel as many convertible laptops do at this cost. You’re not going to get quite the same display vibrance as that of the premium Yoga picks below, but we doubt you’ll find better at this price.

The build quality is also deceptively good for the budget; with a nice, sturdy hinge that feels designed to be rotated 360 degrees regularly. The laptop’s material is decently durable, looks great, and also comes with a thermal design capable of keeping at decent temps even during intensive computer work.

Yes, the build quality will be inferior when compared to our Yoga picks, but we still think that the average user that can’t stretch to 4 figures will still be pleasantly surprised by what’s on offer here.

We love that Lenovo has still included a pen despite everything else on offer here. The pen is usually one of the sacrifices manufacturers make at the very low price-points.

Lenovo Yoga C740 vs Flex 5

Before we count the Yoga series out at this price range, it’s only fair to show you the Yoga laptop that the Flex competes with.

The latest Yoga C740 model is a decent offering focussed on the Yoga’s superior build quality. It also offers a large SSD than the Flex.

But we simply can’t recommend it over the fantastic Flex 5 for pretty much every type of user because the C740 comes with half the RAM and a significantly inferior CPU. You’ll miss the performance boost of the Flex 5 way more than the slightly superior build quality of the C740 (if you want both, check our next pick out).

What else is there to say? By what feels like wizardry, this IdeaPad Flex laptop is the clear winner at a budget to mid price range, and arguably one of the best touchscreen laptops on the market. If you can’t stretch to our Yoga picks below, we think you’ll love this Flex model.

Best Flex / Yoga Laptop Under $1,000: Lenovo ThinkBook Yoga 14s

Next up is one of the best Yoga laptops on the market and perfect for someone after a Windows 10 PC just under the 4-figure mark.

The Thinkbook 14s Yoga has some similar main specs to our top Flex choice. Led by the 11th Gen Intel i7-1165G7 processor, this CPU rivals the performance of the Ryzen 4500U (with both laptops having a decent 16GB RAM).

So, in the Lenovo Flex 5 vs Yoga 14s battle, where does this premium option come out on top?

Well firstly, the 14s Yoga boasts a 512GB SSD, twice the size of our top Flex pick and what we consider a nice storage option if your budget can stretch this far.

This Yoga choice also takes its display further. Led by another IPS panel, you are getting 300 nits of brightness and a 100% sRGB color gamut all housed in a gorgeous thick glass glossy display. If you plan on consuming a lot of media or writing/drawing a lot, it’s hard to overstate how beautiful a screen this will be to perform on.

Finally, there is the build quality of the Yoga 14s.

Like we said before, the Flex 5 is a well-built machine that feels deceptively sturdy for its price range.

But there’s no denying that the Yoga 14s is not just notably more durable, but also one of the best looking laptops at the $1,000 dollar mark. With some gorgeous colors, a high-quality metal, and excellent hinges, the machine is a sight to behold.

And what’s more, this thing is light. It’s impressive to see specs of this magnitude in such a lightweight machine. It’s even notably thinner than the Flex (which is already very thin as it is).

Performance-wise, you won’t see crazy benefits from spending the extra money on the Yoga 14s over the top Flex PC.

But that’s only because all the real benefit has been recorded in its amazing screen, build, design, and storage space.

The Yoga 14s is built to last. If you’re looking at the $1,000 price-point, this is comfortably our best choice for the best 2-in-1 touchscreen laptop.

Best Premium Flex / Yoga Laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 5th Gen

Our next pick is for those after the best convertible touchscreen laptop possible in either the Flex or Yoga range.

The X1 Yoga combines the sleek, beautiful 2-in-1 design of the Yoga series with the incredible durability and first-class performance of the ThinkPad series (Lenovo’s most classic offering designed to last an incredibly long time).

In terms of RAM and CPU, the X1 Yoga doesn’t do better than our Yoga pick directly above.

But that’s not what you’re paying the extra money for, the performance is already good enough with these specs. Where this Yoga offering goes so much further is in its screen.

A 4k laptop, this screen doesn’t just have a striking UHD resolution, but also 500-nits of brightness, excellent color accuracy, and a finish that works well as an anti-reflective/fingerprint surface. It’s one of the nicest laptop screens we’ve come across.

What’s more, the X1 Yoga has a pair of Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C ports, alongside all of the other ports you’d hope for in a premium model. Perfect for transferring data to and from it’s enormous 2TB PCIe SSD. You won’t find a better storage solution on a laptop this lightweight.

The final area we want to discuss on the X1 is its superb build quality. Yes, we’ve made it clear that beautiful design and top durability is what the Yoga series is all about. But the X1 takes this further, with excellent results across noise and thermal benchmarks, the fact that the machine offers stable performance as a lightweight 4K convertible laptop is truly remarkable; there really isn’t anything else like it on the market.

Don’t be concerned by the lack of customer reviews here; this is just because the 5th gen is the latest iteration of a long line of ThinkPad X1 Yoga laptops, the series already has a great reputation.

If budget isn’t a concern for you, and you like the sound of having an incredible 4k screen to go alongside the top-of-the-line build quality for ultralight laptops, then we don’t think you’ll find better than the ThinkPad X1 Yoga 5th gen.

Cheapest Flex / Yoga Laptop: Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 13″

Our final pick is for users who are essentially after the cheapest touchscreen laptop possible that is still suitable for general use.

The Chromebook Flex 5 is an excellent option for this. While you may be getting a reduced Chrome OS instead of Windows 10, we think this will cover the needs of many people looking at this budget range (if you do want a full Windows laptop, the cheapest offering we would recommend is this Flex model).

What really stands out to us with the Chromebok Flex 5 is how it doesn’t feel like a cheap laptop. The build quality is decent, the display bezels are relatively thin, the weight/dimensions are low and yet the battery life is fantastic. 

Of course, in a laptop of this price, the specs are notably diminished from our other picks. With only 4GB RAM, a Core-i3 processor, and 64GB memory, you can expect a reduction in performance over the more expensive picks. The full HD laptop screen is well built and relatively pretty, but won’t provide the same brightness and colors as our other picks.

But with that said, with the Flex 5 13″ running on Chrome OS, the machine is still perfectly suitable for general web browsing, media use, and simple document tasks.

Would we push you towards our IdeaPad Flex 14″ top pick if you can? Absolutely, but if your budget can’t stretch that far, know this Flex offering is a fantastic one and gets a lot done for its low price.

Lenovo Flex vs Yoga for Gaming?

If you’re after the best gaming laptop, we cannot recommend either of these laptop models.

There are companies that not only have laptops with significantly better graphical capabilities (full GPUs, not just integrated graphics) but also come with screens designed for high refresh rate gameplay.

The only time we’d recommend these Lenovo PCs is if you absolutely need a 2-in-1 laptop that also has some gaming potential. If that’s the case, then go with one of the premium Yoga picks above.

But for most after a gaming laptop, look at our features on the best 144hz laptops, or the best gaming laptops available on Amazon.

Lenovo Flex vs Yoga Final Word

If you’re a general user with a low to mid-range budget, chances are you’ll prefer our Flex laptops picks above.

If you’re a buyer with more of a budget after the best touchscreen laptop possible (and perhaps the best-looking laptop range too), then the Yoga will be for you.

Either way, whatever your budget, we love both of these ranges and think you will too. Lenovo has shown again and again that they can create laptops ahead of the competition in their respective price brackets.

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The 5 Highest Hz Monitors of 2021

Highest Hz Monitor

The 5 Highest Hz Monitors of 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Jan 17, 2021

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If you’re into competitive gaming or looking for the best monitor possible for immersive titles, you’ll know how wonderful playing on a high hertz gaming monitor can be.

Thankfully, there have recently been a few exceptional products to take high hz displays well beyond the usual 60-144hz + 1080p.

Which is why today’s feature will guide you through the highest refresh rate monitors worth buying for different resolutions and budgets.

Top Picks

Highest Hz Monitor: ASUS ROG Swift 360Hz PG259QN 24.5”

Usually, on our top monitor features, there is a close battle for the top choice.

But in the category of the highest hz gaming monitor? There is a clear winner.

With an incredible 360hz, this ASUS display is unrivaled by nearly every other option.

Not only is this the highest hz 1080p monitor available on the market, but it’s as good an offering as we could hope for with plenty of other decent specs elevating the screen’s quality. We wouldn’t be surprised if it remains the best 360hz monitor available even when more options begin to emerge in the next year or two.

To start, the PG259QN runs on an IPS panel, which is great to see when many of the other highest refresh rate displays have chosen TN/VA. ASUS has also negated the usual main downside of IPS with a 1ms response time (between 360hz and the incredibly low latency, we easily rank this the best monitor for esports/competitive gaming).

Working alongside the IPS panel is a 1000:1 contrast ratio, G-sync, and HDR10 capability; we love that this gaming monitor hasn’t sacrificed picture quality for the highest refresh rate (you’re getting the best of both worlds).

Finally, with decent, sturdy adjustment options, thin bezels, and a beautiful design, the PG259QN feels like a premium gaming monitor should; with no notable complaints from us on its build quality.

360hz vs 240hz Monitors

But let’s talk about 360hz for a moment.

A refresh rate 50% higher than the next common high refresh rate option (240hz), even at these incredibly high rates, 360fps will still provide a measurable improvement over 240fps for serious gamers.

That’s not to say 240hz isn’t still a very capable refresh rate for all types of games, which is why we have covered options below if you’d like a screen with a higher resolution.

But there’s no denying 360hz is very compelling, and for competitive gaming, is going to provide that additional edge that is oh-so-important in key reactionary moments.

We’re a long way away from ever seeing things like 480hz, 500hz, and 1000hz monitors being available on the market, so expect 360hz to be king for a long time.

If you’re very serious about getting the smoothest gameplay experience possible, then know this isn’t just the highest refresh rate monitor ever, but a display that excels in picture and build quality to match its incredible 360hz capability. 

Highest Hz 4K Monitor: LG 27GN950-B 27 Inch UHD

Now, as much as we rate our top 360hz choice for the highest hz gaming monitor available, if you’re focussed on immersive titles as much as you are on competitive gaming, then you will likely want to consider our next 2 choices.

This LG monitor offers an incredible UHD + 144hz comboWhile nowhere near as smooth as 360hz, running games at 2160p with a high refresh rate is an entirely new experience in itself.

Similar to our top pick, we love that LG has managed to base this model on an IPS panel with 1ms response time. Taking the display further, this model also has an impressive DCI-P3 98% color gamut & VESA DisplayHDR 600. Between all these specs, you can expect fantastic blacks & colors, and when tied with the resolution and refresh rate? Well, few monitors are going to produce better output, especially at its respectable price-point.

This is also G-sync / AMD FreeSync compatible monitor, with a striking design and beautiful build quality. Two design areas specifically stand out:

  1. The incredible screen-to-body ratio, with some of the thinnest bezels of a premium display we’ve seen. This choice would make a fantastic high refresh rate monitor for a dual display setup.
  2. The RGB Sphere Lighting 2.0 included on the back of the unit; this will output colorful lighting onto the wall behind your monitor which can be customized to blend into what you’re seeing on screen. It sounds gimmicky, but if you see this effect in person with its thin-bezels, you’d be surprised at how much extra immersion it can add.

Ranking at the top of our 4k 144hz display feature, there’s so much to love about this LG model. At its decent price-point, it’s easily the best choice for someone after the highest refresh rate 4k monitor for gaming and more.

Highest Hz 1440p Monitor: Acer Nitro XV272U Xbmiipruzx 27″

Last but not least out of our top 3 highest refresh rate gaming monitor picks is what you could call a “compromise” between the two choices above.

If you want the joys of very high refresh rates but also want a resolution that notably improves graphical capability beyond full HD, this is easily the best pick on the market for you.

At a stunning 240hz + 1440p, the Xbmiipruzx feels like the best of both worlds and is the top choice on our review feature looking at monitors in this category.

Boasting an IPS panel that takes response time even further with 0.5-1ms response time with agile-splendor technology, this is one of the lowest latency monitors out of the premium choices on the market. 

Tied with these specs is a 99% Adobe RGB color gamut and HDR400. Alongside its IPS panel, there’s plenty of capability here for a gorgeous, bright picture (alongside the ability to use AMD Freesync / Nvidia G-Sync to reduce stuttering/screen-tearing).

Now, this list is about the highest hz monitors after all, and while the standard ceiling for 1440p is 240hz (which there are a few great options for), the Xbiipruzx takes this a step further with the ability to overclock to up to 270hz with DisplayPort or USB Type-C. You don’t need this overclocking for the monitor to be incredibly capable of smooth gameplay, but it’s a nice bonus for those extra focussed on building the highest FPS monitor for their setup. 

There are no complaints from us on the build quality either. With a sturdy, adjustable frame and beautifully thin bezels, the monitor is perfect for a multi-screen setup if desired.

The only thing we don’t like about this monitor is the model name (who knows what Acer was thinking with that eyesore!) but you know a model is good when the name is our biggest complaint.

While it is an expensive choice, we see many monitors well above this price-point that don’t match the well-balanced nature of this Acer display’s specs.

If you’re looking for the highest refresh rate 1440p monitor that is worth buying today at a mid-range price point, you’ve found it.

Highest Hz Budget Monitor: Acer XF250Q Cbmiiprx 24.5″

Now, if your budget allows, we would definitely recommend the above 3 picks for someone after the highest hz monitor for esports/gaming.

That said, our last two picks are great options if your wallet demands something closer to the $150-300 range.

The Acer XF250Q still boasts a fantastic 240hz refresh rate and is a superb option for someone after an esports monitor.

One of the cheapest 240hz displays on the market, the model still has a lot going for it; with 1ms response time and AMD Freesync compatibility.

In addition, we like that this budget high refresh rate choice is still well built (even including vertical orientation options) and is from one of the best monitor brands in the business.

So, where does this choice lack compare to our top picks? Well, of course, the main loss in this category is at 1080p, there is a superior 360hz display available which will be a significant increase for serious gamers. And if you’re happy with 240hz, then the 1440p 240hz options available are notably better.

This isn’t just true in terms of resolution/refresh rate, our top 3 picks also have IPS panels, very high-nits, and great color accuracy. This Acer XF250Q model isn’t bad in these areas (certainly superior to similarly price picks), but it runs on a TN panel and will not give the same premium picture you can expect from our top picks.

With all that said, if this price-point is the furthest your wallet can stretch, then know we included this great option for a reason, it is easily the best choice for those after the highest refresh rate monitor on a budget.

Highest Hz Monitor under $200: LG UltraGear 24GL600F-B

To round off our list, we wanted to include another commendable budget pick for those after the highest refresh rate monitor at a very low price.

This LG offering strikes an incredible balance; not much more expensive than the cheapest 60hz monitors we would recommend, it somehow manages to run 1080p 144hz with a 1ms response time.

This really is very impressive for the price-point. Of course, don’t expect gameplay close to as smooth/sharp as the picks above, but we’re still floored by what they’ve managed to pack in here.

Running on a TN panel (as you’d expect at this price-point) the monitor still has serviceable colors/brightness and is Radeon Freesync compatible.

The build quality is decent for the budget too, with some decent adjustability. The screen-to-body ratio isn’t quite as nice as our other picks, but really at this price-point, we’d be amazed if it was!

While we’d love to recommend our top picks to everybody after the best monitor for gaming and esports, we appreciate that isn’t feasible for every budget.

Luckily for those tight wallets, LG’s option here is not just the highest Hz monitor available at this budget, but we’d argue it’s the best gaming monitor under $200 in any category.

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