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Samsung CHG90 Review: No More Dual-Monitor Gaming

Debating a multi-screen setup? This bad boy can replace two 27-inch 16:9 monitors.

Conclusion

Short of strapping on a high-end set of VR goggles, a curved ultra-wide monitor is the best way to enjoy your favorite games. We’ve reviewed quite a few impressive displays that range in size from 30 to 38 inches with curves both subtle and extreme. All have offered an enhanced experience in our suite of games to the point where going back to a flat 16:9 panel just isn’t fun. Some users have added extra screens to increase their field of view. It's those gamers that the CHG90 targets.

The gaming experience on this monitor is like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Its 1,800R curve is tight enough that at a 3-foot viewing distance, the gaming environment completely filled our peripheral vision. There’s nothing like enjoying a wide field of view without the dividing lines of using 2 monitors. Once you’ve played on the CHG90 , it’ll be hard to go back.

That said, this amazing display is not without flaws. We wouldn't want to game on a 27-inch 16:9 FHD monitor, and that’s exactly what this panel’s pixel density represents. At a little over 13 inches high, it’s the same size as 2 such monitors placed side-by-side. That might be forgiven when considering the CHG90’s excellent contrast. With SDR material, you’ll enjoy around 3000:1, which is higher than any TN or IPS panel and better than some VA screens we’ve reviewed.

HDR support is impressive as well. With its zone-dimming edge backlight, we saw over 13,000:1 contrast at a peak output of nearly 600 nits. It’s only bettered by the Dell UP2718Q, which is in no way a gaming monitor. So, among gaming-focused displays, the CHG90 has few equals when it comes to overall image depth and quality. We're also impressed by its HDR color accuracy. Many monitors have a somewhat random approach to color tracking within the Rec.2020 container, but Samsung has nailed this metric better than any other HDR monitor we’ve measured.

And since it is marketed as a gaming monitor, a 144Hz refresh rate coupled with FreeSync 2 makes for a smooth experience free of tearing or excessive motion blur. Input lag is second only to the 200Hz Acer Z301CT among ultra-wides, so even skilled competitors should do well with the CHG90.

After using this monitor in every conceivable way, we conclude that it is by far at its best when gaming. For movie-watching, it is less competent, thanks to a lack of proper aspect ratio modes and vertical resolution. And for productivity, that low pixel density might be an issue for some.

Update November 20, 2019: Since we published this review in August 2018, we've reviewed a number of similarly sized ultrawide monitors with higher pixel density and vertical resolution. There's the Philips 436M6VBPAB Momentum (42.5 inches, 3840 x 2160). We've also checked out the Dell UltraSharp U4919DW (49 inches 5120 x 1440), but that's a professional display with a 60Hz refresh rate not targeted at gaming. Our favorite ultrawide monitor, listed on our best gaming monitors page currently, is the LG 24GK950F, but the screen size is just 24 inches (3440 x 1440) 

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Christian Eberle
Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.