You’ve seen that curved computer monitor at the store. The sleek design, the luxury of owning one—it calls to you. Until you see the price tag. Then, you have to regroup and ask yourself, is it worth it to dig deep into your pockets and spend hundreds of dollars on a curved screen? Sure, the curved monitor has some benefits, but is some enough to offset that hefty price?
Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of the curved monitor and when and why it would be a good idea to purchase one. Then, ask yourself: are curved monitors worth it?
Is it Truly Immersive?
According to David Zhang, who does a superb job breaking down complex calculations, the answer to this is dependent on curve radius, monitor size, viewing distance, and what you plan to use your monitor for.
With a curved monitor, you’ll have a wider range of vision than a flat screen of the same size. In other words, a curved monitor emulates the display size of a larger flat display.
Curve radii with smaller values translate to curvier monitors, and who doesn’t want a monitor with more curves. For example, a 3800mm curve radius offers less visual benefits than the curvier 1800mm curve radius.
The farther you sit from a curved monitor, however, the less impressive the effect. When you’re sitting 5-10 ft. away, a curved TV of at least 65-70 inches is required to experience true immersion, which translates to a larger expense. In the words CNET’s David Katzmaier, “you’ll have trouble with the curve”.
On the other hand, visibility for smaller, personal curved monitors is typically 2 ft, allowing the curved edges to wrap nicely around your visual field, making it drastically superior to flat computer monitors. And the best part is that it won’t break the bank.
If you wanted to experience this level of immersion in your living room, you’ll need to fork over thousands of dollars for a large screen curved TV.
Makes Gaming Easier
For gamers who spend a lot of time in front of their computer screens, it’s worth making the investment in a nice sturdy monitor. A curved monitor can definitely enhance your level of gameplay.
Whether you’re playing old school DOOM or new school Destiny, or perennial favorites Overwatch and League of Legends, a curved screen can help enhance visuals by subtly creating more depth within the screen, and transporting you to whatever stage, arena, battlefield or rift you land in.
Though as a gamer, it might seem scary to change your computer monitor upfront, the benefits you’ll reap in terms of eye strain, pleasure, and immersion. Once you change to a curved screen, you’ll wonder why you ever went with a flat one in the first place.
Uniform Picture Quality
For the best optimal visual angle, you will need to be as perpendicular to the screen as possible; your body (or more specifically, your eyes) must be at a right angle to the screen.
The center of flat screen displays follows this perpendicular rule. The problem, however, is the edges, which make visual viewing difficult.
The result: edges of flat screens have a decrease in picture quality as the screens get larger.
With the curved monitors, all parts of the monitor will be the same distance and perpendicular to your eyes. This is the ideal scenario for uniform picture quality throughout the entire span of the monitor. The curve directs emitted light towards you even at its edges, so contrast and color remain beautiful whether you watch from the center or a few degrees to the sides.
Gamers will LOVE this
The curved monitor is a gamer’s paradise. According to The Verge’s Vlad Savov, it’s the “biggest upgrade you can make to your gaming PC.”
The data for your environment can comfortably spread out over a wider space instead of crammed onto a flat screen. Couple this with the digital immersion and gamers will be transported to their favorite games full of lush HD graphics.
Will It Reduce Eye Strain?
Curved monitors follow the curve of your eyes for a more natural visual experience. This reduces eye strain and allows you to watch movies or play games longer, because let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to have a lazy day in front of their monitor?
Is It Aesthetically Pleasing?
Just look at it! Nothing says cutting edge luxury as much as a curved monitor.
Two People Viewing
If you’re single and watch movies by yourself, the curved TVs will be ideal for you. If you’re not, stay far away. For the best experience, you will need to sit directly in front of the curve’s center. If you’re at or beyond 35° from the center, the images will appear warped.
Eagle eyed computer users will notice that curved monitors come with a subtle bow-like distortion at the very edges of the monitor. It should be noted however, that these imperfections are very slight, and something that you’ll have to look very closely to see, and aren’t noticeable from a standard viewing distance.
Most curved monitors are on the pricier side of the spectrum, but if you have the resources available to upgrade your monitor setup, you should.
So, Should you Buy it or Not…
Curved screens are fantastic for single viewers, making it ideal for computer monitors or personal TVs in your bedroom. As the size of a curved monitor increases, the price skyrockets, negating and reducing the strengths of its benefits. When it comes to your family room, a large traditional flat screen TV is most cost effective and comfortable for everyone to watch at once.
In other words, gamers and avid PC users will love the immersive and quality upgrade afforded by the curved monitors. Large families, on the other hand, will end up fighting for a curved TV’s sweet spot on movie nights.
If you’re looking to buy, I’d recommend Viotek’s NB27C 27″ Curved Monitor or GN32C 32″ Curved Monitor for picture quality, multiple rig connections, and an anti-glare screen. Both come with a generous 1800mm curve for full on immersion at a reasonable price.