That is the big question, isn’t it? Curved monitors look great and have lots of things going for them, but are the advantages really enough to justify the higher price you’ll have to pay to get one?
Curved or flat monitors? That is another question
Curved monitors are much more advanced technologically and offer a high degree of curvature which makes the user experience more satisfying. The difference between a curved monitor and a flat monitor is basically their physical appearance, along with the way light is projected.
The curvature of these monitors is signified with an ‘R’, or radius, and that radius is measured in millimetres. Curved monitors today will have one of three common ‘R’ measurements: 1800R, 3000R, or 4000R. The lower the number, the greater the curve—a bit like how aperture works on an SLR camera (the lower the number, the wider the aperture). These aren’t all the measurements curved monitors come in, as you’ll find radius measurements that are in between those three numbers.
Curved monitors come as small as 24-inches, but it’s better to get a curved monitor in a larger screen size—32-inches and above, as the intended effect tends to diminish the smaller the screen gets.
When curved monitors were originally launched, there was a lot of confusion about which one was the best. Curved monitors are much easier on the eye and help reduce eye strain when watching movies or playing computer games for long periods of time. But there are other things to consider too, so let’s do a comparison.
Curved vs Flat Monitors
There is a measurable difference between a flat and curved display. For gaming, graphic design and extensive watching, a curved monitor is more immersive and allows for a wide user view.
The downside for curved monitor manufacturers is that many people feel that the additional cost of a curved monitor is not really worth it. This is because most people are comfortable using a flat-screen and may not feel like a curved monitor offers anything really different.
The main two differences between the two are on picture quality and level of immersive experience you get. Unlike flat monitors, you’ll likely need a bigger desk space to set up dual or multiple curved monitors due to the curvature. Of course, curved monitors placed next to each other look incredibly cool! It’s worth mentioning at this point that you can’t fix curved monitors to wall. Well, you can, but due to their shape, it doesn’t look good curving away from the wall, so best not to bother.
Curved monitors will come with an aspect ratio of 21:9 which is 33% more compared to the usual 16:9 aspect ratio featured in flat monitors. This feature adds to the field of view, making the view more immersive. Another feature is the presence of tilt and height controls.
If you like to have several windows when doing design or video work, then curved monitors are perfect – along with the colour gamut which provides brilliant colours without any distortion. When you’re looking at a curved monitor, all the areas of the screen are an equal distance away from you which means that the picture quality is uniform throughout. Some models have a more extreme curve radius, which make them even better for those detailed jobs or gaming sessions.
To get your money’s worth out of a curved monitor, you’ll want to go with a larger screen since the curved effect is diminished at smaller sizes. But you’ll take up less space on your desk with a flat monitor, regardless of the size, and flat monitors are much easier to wall mount.
Sum up the advantages of a curved monitor…
Curved monitors have been around for quite some time now which means they provide something different to flat screen monitors.
Here are some specifications to keep in mind when shopping for curved monitors – such as refresh rates, response time, display resolutions, ultra-wide aspect ratio and curvature of the screen.
- First, they feature a very thin bezel, hence increasing screen size.
- It will mimic your eyes peripheral vision, giving you an immersive feel
- Provides in-depth viewing
- Gives immersive gaming hence more realistic
- Provides a broader field of viewing for your eyes
- Less eye strain than in flat screens
- Curved displays are also ultrawide monitors that will help you do several tasks at once on your screen by bending it around your field of vision. Gaming monitors with a curved screen will help in creating an almost 3D effect and an immersive experience. Also, a widescreen will offer a higher resolution. The drawback is that not all curved monitors are ultrawide.
Curved monitors will help in reducing movements from one monitor to another whilst working or gaming. The bigger the screen size, the greater the curvature, so you’re always roughly the same distance from every part of the screen. The ‘surround’ effect cancels any distortion that you can get from flat screens where your eyes are actually working to view the picture which is not at an equal distance from you, as the sides of a flat screen will be further away from you.
More arrangement options in multiple setups
This is one of the advantages of this type of monitor. When creating multiple setups, curved monitors provide a smoother transition than flat monitors. Especially relevant, the curved monitor features very thin bezels which will make screens in this arrangement appear like one larger monitor.
What are the cons of a curved monitor?
Although a curved monitor has lots of benefits compared to a flat one, it also brings some slight negatives.
- If they were to be used as TV screens, only a few people would sit at optimal viewing places.
- Most people find the price of curved monitors high, although you can get them at a lower price if the refresh rate is not your primary concern.
- They don’t look impressive on wall mounts
- The user has to be at the centre of the display to get the perfect view
- To have the greatest impact, a curved screen need to be thirty inches or larger
- Even though curved monitors offer better colour consistency and viewing angles, they are not free from glare at certain angles. You’ll want to angle light sources away from your monitor and make sure the sun doesn’t shine directly on the screen from your window. Also, if you are looking for a monitor for both work and play, you might be better off going with a flat screen; if you are a designer and work with straight lines, curved monitors make such lines less than exact.
Which should you buy?
Curved monitors are excellent for individual productivity at different levels.
Most people won’t experience the immersion or the almost 3D effect. But, for gaming and graphic design, they are definitely the favourite. However, you should consider the issue of light reflections.
This doesn’t mean that flat screens do not suffer light glare although, for most of them, it’s easy to adjust and cancel the effect to the comfort of your eyes.
By weighing the benefits and limitations of curved screens, you can now decide which monitor to buy. Your budget will dictate the curved monitor that you will be able to get. It’s recommended to ‘go big’ if your budget can stretch that far. If you aren’t really concerned about the refresh rate, you can get a cheap one with a big ultra-wide display size for a more incredible experience.
Bigger screens have better curvature for a more natural feeling. Not all curved monitors are made the same. For instance, gaming monitors will need a tighter curvature for the best immersion experience.
FAQs: Here’s a quick round-up of the points we’ve covered above.
What is best – curved or flat monitor?
Curved displays utilise all three dimensions. Additionally, they enlarge the field of view. In comparison, flat monitors, which live up to their namesake by requiring no peripheral vision, provide a less immersive experience.
What is the main advantage of a curved monitor?
Because a curved monitor’s curvature physically matches the shape of the human eye, your eyes feel more relieved when you look at the screen from a close distance. Due to the curvature of the screen, the distance between your eyes and the screen remains constant.
Is a flat or a curved monitor better for gaming?
Curved monitors are more comfortable on the eyes and offer a more immersive viewing experience, as well as certain gaming advantages for those who prefer simulation titles. However, they are identical to flat screens in terms of performance and fundamental specifications such as refresh rate, response time, colour depth, and panel technology.
What is the difference between curved and flat monitor?
Simply put, flat screens direct their images in a straight line, both at and past their viewers’ sides. Curved screens, on the other hand, utilize their shape to direct everything toward the viewer, thereby minimising distortion.
We hope you’ve had a bit of food for thought and hopefully you’ll be more aware of what curved monitors provide. Check out Ebuyer’s full range of monitors here.