While the actual curved technology first appeared in 1952 as a giant Cinerama screen, it was only in the last several years that curved monitors began competing with the trusted flat monitors we’ve been using for decades.
The biggest reason curved monitors are popular is that they fill up more of your peripheral vision, allowing you to focus on work instead of being distracted by other things around you. Curved and flat have their own pros, like when you’re considering both for different fields of view, but here are more reasons to buy the curved one.
Pros of Curved Monitors
Curved monitors are designed specifically so that the user’s eyes are drawn to the shape of the monitor to create a sense of immersion. In the case of curved monitors, manufacturers use the ocular perception, wherein we see everything around us in 3D (via its length, width or height). Curved monitors expand a person’s peripheral vision by taking advantage of these 3 dimensions.
- Better Field of View – The most widely known benefit of a curved monitor is its ability to cover a wider field of view than flat monitors. As I explained above, you’re able to take in a larger field of view thanks to almost 99% of the light directed towards your eyes, which in turn makes the monitor feel larger and the images more vivid.
- Work more naturally with your eyes and reduce eye strain – A human’s eye is spherical, absorbing light and sending signals to the brain and retina to be processed. Curve monitors were designed specifically to work with the physiology of our eyes, so not only that it feels more natural, but working on a curved monitor also reduces eye strain.
- Better image quality – In the world of screens, 90 degrees remain the best viewing angle. Curved monitors ensure you don’t experience bad angles similar to how you tilt your smartphone and view distorted images. If you sit in the middle of a curved monitor, you’d feel the images wrap around you.
- Prevents distortion – Compared to flat monitors that blast images in a straight line, directly at the viewer and on his/her side, curved screens have the advantage of the shape and use light projection to aim the entire image at the viewer and nowhere else. This limits the distortion as little as possible.
Cons of Curved Monitors
Like most gadgets, curved monitors are not perfect. For the entire “curved display” to work, you should invest in a bigger-sized display. Getting a 24-inch curved monitor won’t give you the benefits above quite yet, which means you’re going to spend more than what you probably committed to buying.
Here are some of the downsides of a curved display:
- More expensive – Like anything new, curved monitors are more expensive than flat monitors. While the resolution, display size, built-in features and other factors will still affect the tag price of a monitor, curved monitors will still cost higher compared to their flat-screen counterparts.
- Presence of glare – Glare is an issue I would be most concerned about, especially if your job requires you to be typing a ton of text, editing, or coding. When viewed at certain angles, flat monitors project light at only a single uniformed angle. In contrast, curved monitors project at dozens of angles. The good news is you can solve this simply by turning your light sources away from the screen.
Other minor disadvantages of a curved monitor include:
- No wall mounting – Obviously, the shape and size of a curved monitor means you cannot mount it to your wall. If you’re set with a particular look for your home computer setup, consider this factor when choosing between a flat and curved screen. Do note that there are mounts available, but not as varied and easy-to-install as the ones designed for flat displays.
Just as you can’t mount a curved monitor as easily as flat monitors, you also can’t position a curved display vertically.
If your curved monitor gets broken or begins to act funny, it will be more challenging to find someone to fix your display. As with other devices with new technologies, technicians have yet to master curved monitors. Expect to pay a premium fee when you do hire one.
Should You Buy One?
Curved monitors are all the rage because not only do they look exceptionally nice on a gaming rig (or any other work setup), they also instantly provide additional space for any user regardless of profession or reason for buying this monitor. Who doesn’t want additional workspace, right?
But if you’re on a budget, the significant increase in cost from flat screen to curved monitor of the same size and resolution can be a turn-off to most people. However, if you’re a serious gamer and programmer, photographer, and even just someone who is building an entertainment system, a curved monitor can be a tempting option.