Is a Curved Monitor Better? The Pros Vs. The Cons.
Computer monitors have come a long way. Color, resolution, refresh rate and nearly every other image metric have reached incredible heights. This means that monitor manufacturers must come up with new features to encourage users to buy their products. Curved monitors are one such option, but is a curved monitor really better or is it just a pointless gimmick?
We can tell you straight away that curved monitors actually have quite a few significant benefits, but they also come with some noticeable costs. Let’s take a look at why some people fuss over curved monitors and why they charge the same prices as they do.
Didn’t We Just Get Flat Screens?
Traditional LCD panel or OLED panel is flat. In fact, as you may recall, flat panel displays have been the holy grail for many years. Cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors have a concave curve that distorts the image around the edges. By the end of their life, CRTs have become flat.
If a distortion-free flat screen is such a valuable feature, why would people even need a curved monitor at all? What is the difference between a curved monitor?
This is due to the type of curvature. Unlike curved CRTs, curved flat panels are bent evenly along one axis. Image distortion is inevitable, of course, but curved monitors are designed to minimize this. At least for the person sitting on the supposed observation deck.
What’s The Point Of a Curved Monitor?
Curved monitors reach out to us with several key claims about why they are better.
Immersion is the main reason and that is why these monitors are also made for people who love video games. It’s a way to mimic peripheral vision, because of course we don’t see the world as a flat image with well-defined edges. Instead, we have a soft-edged field of view that spans more or less 180 degrees horizontally.
While a curved monitor won’t fill your peripheral vision, it will definitely fill it more than a flat monitor. This means you can get more immersed in games like first person shooters.
On very large or very wide monitors, colors may shift if you look at the pixels off-axis. Thus, a curved monitor can provide more accurate color reproduction. It does this by ensuring that each pixel is tilted to the optimum angle towards you. In theory, this means you’ll get a better picture overall, but modern LCD panels already minimize off-axis color misalignment, so the overall benefit of this may be debatable.
While not all curved monitors are flat, they are not all curved to the same degree. Literally.
Each monitor will have an “R” rating. Such as 1800R, 2300R, 3000R and 4000R. The number is the total number of millimeters of radius you would get if you rotated the monitor to a full circle. So, if you take multiple 1800R screens and arrange them in a circle, the radius of the circle is 1800mm.
The lower the number, the more curved the monitor. According to what we have read, the human visual field arc is about 1000R. This means that a 1000R screen, provided it was wide enough, would properly fill your peripheral vision.
Such “super curved” screens have only recently appeared on the market. The Samsung T55 series of monitors are the first 1000R monitors that consumers can buy.
As a general rule of thumb, you should also not sit further away from the screen than its radius rating. So, for a 1000R screen, the maximum recommended viewing distance is 1 meter.
Bigger Is Better
Although you can find curved monitors as small as 24 inches, the curvature effect decreases as you select a smaller size. To get any real effect from a small curved screen, you need to bring it closer to your face than you feel comfortable with.
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Screen curvature also makes more sense if the monitor has a wider aspect ratio. Ultra-wide or wide aspect ratios work well with curved designs because they help put the entire image in your field of view. Smaller screens with subtle curvature will not affect your immersive experience, but may be beneficial in terms of color consistency.
It’s a One-Viewer Device
Because a curved monitor is set to display each pixel at its optimal angle to the viewer, it also means that other viewers are not getting a good view. This is one of the main reasons large curved TVs more or less fail. Since televisions are designed to be viewed by groups of people, narrowing down the optimal viewing position is not a good idea.
Therefore, if you need a screen on which you need to show something to colleagues or clients, you may need to reconsider the use of the curved model. For better or worse, a curved screen is best used as a single-image viewing device.
It’s More Expensive
Considering two monitors that are otherwise listed the same, you’ll pay more for a curved screen. This means that you will either have to live with lower stats in other areas, or pay more money specifically for curvature if you are not willing to compromise.
What trade-offs will you have to make to stay on budget? Lower resolution, smaller panel size, lower refresh rate, lack of HDR and low-quality panel technology are the main points when you can cut corners.
Space Can Be An Issue
Curved monitors take up less space than flat monitors. It may not be a big difference depending on model and curvature, but on most desks, space matters a lot.
You may also be unable to mount a curved monitor on a wall or on a monitor arm. Curved monitors that support VESA mounts usually require an adapter to allow the monitor to be mounted on flat VESA mounts.
It’s a Personal Choice
So what’s the best curved monitor? Perhaps this is one of the most subjective choices in the computer world. It is very important that you actually test using a curved monitor before deciding. Not everyone will perceive curved monitors the same way. For some people, this may be distracting; for others, it may not seem more exciting.
If you buy from the right retailer, you can usually just return the monitor within days of purchase if you don’t like it. No amount of information about the benefits might make you fall in love with curved monitors, but it’s definitely more than a gimmick. Hopefully, you now have a clear idea of â€‹â€‹what curved monitors are good for and whether it will make any difference to you.
Is a Curved Monitor Better? The Pros Vs. The Cons
Is a Curved Monitor Better? The Pros Vs. The Cons