When the curved monitors launched about a decade ago, it was all the rage and everyone was dying to get one. Then the demand for them fizzled, but curved monitors are still around. So if you’re wondering if curved monitors are good and you’re interested in buying one specifically for enlarged field of view, then read this comparison between flat and curved displays.
What is a Curved Monitor?
A curved monitor is just like any kind of monitor, except it has a curvature to the screen design instead of being completely flat. This curve results in:
- Better immersion. Anyone who uses this would enjoy a more immersive experience since it brings out the world’s three-dimensionality perfectly. Curved monitors are able to “show” you a wider field of view and sense of depth that cannot be found on flat screens.
- No distortion. Light project and the curved display’s curvature work in reducing or removing distortion completely. In flat screens, the light is projected in a straight line away from your screen and directed past your head. Meanwhile, in curved screens, the light is projected directly at you, which reduces none-distorted images.
- Less eye strain. Because curved monitors fill more of your peripheral vision, they are generally gentler for your eyes. Your eyes do not need to adjust to the images too much as you would on a flat-screen monitor.
Curved monitors are not perfect though. They do have some issues, such as:
- Glare. This is the most common problem of curved monitors mainly due to their shape and background lighting. To resolve this, you could either get anti-glare filters, work in dark rooms, or consider the lighting around your screen and move it around.
- Limited viewing angles. One reason why curved TVs didn’t make it big is that a family or group of people watching on the same TV is almost impossible. Only the people at the center of the screen will be able to enjoy the 3D views. Other people on the side would be having difficulties seeing what’s happening on the screen. However, if used solo for your computer, limited viewing angles on a curved monitor shouldn’t be an issue.
- The aspect ratio can be an issue. This is especially true if you’re going to use the curved monitor for gaming consoles. Playstation 5 and Xbox X still don’t support the curved monitor’s 21:9 aspect ratio, so you can’t really play with game consoles.
Lastly, if you’re planning to mount your monitor to your wall or any other spot, you probably can’t or would have difficulties doing so. The curvature would be sticking out to the sides and wouldn’t look good.
Differences between a Curved and Flat Monitor
A flat-screened monitor uses a thin panel design and liquid crystal display (LCD) to light up the pixels on the screen. It’s the most popular type of monitor even today.
Aside from the curvature, there really isn’t much difference between the technology and hardware of a flat and curved monitor.
Curved and flat monitors are both available in:
- IPS and VA panel types
- Different refresh rate options
- Almost identical picture quality and color depth
- Similar response times
As I mentioned earlier, curved screens have a 21:9 screen ratio (while flat monitors have a 16:9 screen ratio). This means a curved screen would be about 2.3 times wider than its counterpart flat screen monitor. This is a notable difference and a good reason to visit the store and compare how they actually look in person.
Curved monitors also come with R (radius) numbers with common ones in 1500R, 1800R, 4000R. Simply put, the smaller this R number, the greater curve a monitor has.
Should You Buy a Curved Monitor?
So should you buy one? Not everyone can appreciate a curved monitor, especially if you’re going to use it for work. However, it could be the perfect choice for the following applications:
- Gaming – A curved monitor can show off all the three-dimensional goodness of a PC-based game. Not for gaming consoles though.
- Entertainment – If you love watching videos alone or with another person, the curved monitor can offer you a fantastic viewing experience.
People who are used to multi-monitor setup could find it hard to adjust to curved screens. The general consensus in buying curved monitors is that you have to go big in order to take advantage of all the benefits we’ve listed above. If you can’t, either save up until you’re able to buy a large curved monitor or stick to flat-screen monitors for now.
As usual, with anything tech-related, the choice you make should be entirely based on how you’ll be using the device. Choosing between a curved and flat monitor is a personal decision for the end-user, so take your time in weighing your options.