September 24, 2021
Best Curved Monitor Buying Guide
Learn more about curved monitors and their benefits so you can find the perfect device for your needs.
Curved monitors are quickly becoming a popular choice for PC users, from professionals to gamers and everyone in between. Switching to a curved monitor can be a refreshing change of pace, especially when spending long hours at your computer. While some curved options can be more expensive than their straight counterparts, there are many variations available at all manner of price points. Specifications for curved monitors are nearly identical to standard monitors and can be used to compare the many options available to you. Learn more about curved monitors and their benefits so you can find the perfect device for your needs.
What is a Curved Monitor?
The main defining features of a curved monitor are the shape of the screen and viewing angle. Curved screens work by filling your field of view to create the most immersive viewing experience possible. Curved monitors can also reduce desk space by eliminating the need for multiple displays. The extra size of curved monitors allows them to run multiple apps or windows at the same time. With the proper mounting solution, curved monitors can be some of the most space-efficient displays for work or play.
Connections to these screens function identically to those of standard displays so they can be easily integrated into any existing or new computer setup. While some might consider curved monitors more expensive, that is not always the case. High-end features may be more costly on curved displays compared to straight monitors. However, there are also many affordable curved monitors on the market today.
Curved Monitors vs. Straight Displays
The most important things to pay attention to are screen size and viewing angle.
- Screen Size: For curved monitors to be effective, they need to have a screen size of around 30” or larger. This allows the display to wrap around the user and create the immersive feel the devices are known for. Size minimums are less important for straight display monitors.
- Viewing Angle: The viewing angle directly correlates to screen size and should be carefully considered before finalizing a purchase. The larger the curve of a screen, the wider the viewing angle will be. Because of the curve, viewing angles are actually larger when compared to flat displays, with more room for adjustment before colors and contrast begin to fade. That said, for the best experience, you will need to sit at the center of any curved display. For that reason, using multiple curved monitors is not ideal. If screen space is what you need most, you will need the largest screen size possible for your curved monitor.
Curved Monitor Specifications
Like their straight counterparts, there are several specifications you can use to compare curved monitors. Depending on your intended use for the device, some specifications may be more important to you than others. Remember that factors such as the graphics card you use can also play a major part in which monitors are viable for you. Read below for more detailed explanations of each specification and how they affect curved displays.
As mentioned earlier, curved monitors are required to be larger than standard displays to function properly. The extra size allows the screen to wrap around the user, which elevates immersion and provides the many other benefits of curved displays. Smaller curved displays are available, but many struggle to provide the same benefits as their larger counterparts. Larger screen size does come with increased costs but is a must-have for those looking to maximize efficiency or emulate a dual display with a curved monitor.
Viewing Angle / Monitor Curvature
Arguably the most crucial thing to consider when comparing curved monitors is their viewing angle and monitor curvature. These specifications determine the proper viewing distance and angle for the display. Curvature ratings will be designated as a number, such as 1800R or 3000R. These numbers directly correlate to viewing distance in millimeters. That means that a display with a curvature of 1800R will have an optimum viewing angle of straight-on at 1800mm. The larger the number, the less intense the curve, and the further away the monitor will need to be from the user to be viewed properly.
While resolution is standard across all screens, there are some minor differences when it comes to curved monitors compared to straight displays. 4K resolutions are ideal but can come with a hefty price tag and require an appropriately powered graphics card to function. For most users, a 1440P or 1080P resolution will be more than adequate and can help reduce costs. An added benefit to curved displays is that they often come with a broader range of colors, crisper images, and deeper black values. When compared to similar 1080P displays, it is common for curved monitors to outshine their straight counterparts.
Like with resolution, the refresh rate for curved monitors works the same as with straight displays. Most will come with a 60Hz refresh rate, which is a business standard and more than enough for most users. Higher refresh rates, such as 144Hz or more, can be necessary for specific industries or high-end gamers but often come with a substantial price tag.
Depending on how you wish to use your display, the refresh rate may be more important than resolution or vice versa. Typically, as one specification goes up, the other goes down. That’s why it’s common to find 4K displays at 60Hz and 1080P displays at 144Hz or higher. The most popular choice for gaming is 1440P, 144hz monitors, because they provide highly detailed images that move across the screen as smoothly as possible. Like with resolution, higher frame rates require more powerful PC components.
Why Use a Curved Monitor?
There are many reasons to consider making the switch to a curved monitor. For gamers specifically, they can create an incredibly immersive experience that rivals any modern display. For all users, one of the biggest benefits is the reduction of eye strain. This is possible because curved monitors have less distortion and wider viewing angles than straight monitors. When looking at a curved monitor, your eyes can see the whole display at once, which makes your eyes work less and feel better after extended use. For these reasons, curved monitors are ideal for professionals or gamers who spend long hours at the computer. If you are experiencing eye strain, headaches, or dry eyes, you should try switching to a curved monitor.
Curved Monitors and Gaming
Curved monitors are an excellent choice for gaming. No matter what type of game you like to play, there are benefits you can gain from making the switch to a curved display. Specific genres require different specifications, which is true for both straight and curved gaming monitors. For games such as RPGs or narrative-driven single-player experiences, curved monitors are fantastic and can add a level of immersion not possible with straight displays. The added space on the screen can also provide areas for resources such as maps, guides, or voice chat programs. For FPS titles or games requiring rapid reaction times, refresh rate is the most important, and 144Hz curved displays can show even the smallest details moving across wide areas with ease. The only drawback to using a curved monitor for gaming is that top-of-line devices may come with a substantial price tag.
Tips to Remember
Purchasing a curved monitor, like any piece of technology, can be a stressful task. Use guides like this one to learn more about products before making a purchase. The most important thing is to consider how you will use the display, because that will directly affect the type of device you should buy. Read below for a list of quick tips to help you with your next curved monitor purchase.
- Curved monitors work best as single display setups.
- The larger the screen, the more effective the curved monitor.
- The angle of the curve is directly related to the optimum viewing distance.
- Curved monitors are typically more expensive than straight monitors with comparable features.
- If you are experiencing eye strain or headaches after PC use, curved monitors are a viable solution.
- The large screens of curved monitors can require more than average desk space.
- Specifications, such as resolution and refresh rate, function the same with straight and curved monitors.
While they may be more expensive than straight monitors with comparable features, there are many affordable curved monitors available today as well. By switching to a curved monitor, you can upgrade your viewing experience, improve productivity, and reduce eye strain. Specifications of curved monitors are similar to those of straight displays, with the exception of curvature and viewing angle. These specifications will tell you the optimum viewing location for any monitor and can be incredibly valuable when making a decision. Remember to carefully consider your workspace because curved monitors can take up more space than expected. No matter how you like to use your computer, there are benefits to be gained from switching to a curved monitor.