Curved monitors are the newest trend in PCs. You’ll see images of them sitting perfectly at home on high-end gaming PCs and sleek offices. Although, they aren’t so popular yet that they’ve become a common sight in offices and homes.
If you’re looking to replace your monitor, you’ll likely be weighing up whether you really need a curved screen, or if a flat monitor is going to be good enough for now. It can be difficult to know which one you should choose. Which monitor you should get is going to depend on what your needs and budget are for a monitor, but curved and flat are both worth considering whether you’re going high end or opting for a cheaper monitor.
Curved or flat monitors have a lot in common. However, the differences are actually more substantial than just ‘one is curved’. That curve in your screen makes quite the difference in the way you interact with it. From giving you a more immersive and wider field of view to eye strain, your choice of monitor is going to have a big effect on you.
We’ve broken down what is unique about each type of monitor and what type of user is going to get the most out of each of them. Weighing up the pros and cons of each should help you chose which is right for you.
Curved or Flat Monitor
Curved monitors have a few unique properties compared to the flat monitor. The most obvious being that they’ve got that whole curved thing going on. This does give it a whole different set of properties though, and it changes how you interact with it.
A curved monitor is a lot more immersive. They allow you to perceive a greater sense of the size and scope of whatever it is that you’re viewing. When you’re watching a video or playing a game, this is a big improvement. Of course, it is a curved monitor and not a VR headset. You shouldn’t expect the total immersion you would get from that. However, you also won’t get any of that pesky motion sickness.
A curved monitor also has the benefit of presenting a clearer image. With their shape, the distortion that typically happens at the edges or fringes of your screen is dulled. This renders what you’re looking at clearer without interfering with any visual effects.
A curved monitor might actually be better for your eyes. Being able to survey a screen with curvature appeals more to your eye’s natural movement than to pan around a flat image. This is the way that we actually view the world, so it is natural to find it easier to view screens in this way too. This gives you the benefit of not straining your eyes as much over a long session. This wider field of view can also be really important for gaming. A FOV slider can make a game more immersive, or help you get an edge in multiplayer games.
These are the benefits of a curved monitor, but a lot of your decision is going to come down to your experience and what you need a monitor for. Curved monitors are great for recreational use in videos and games, along with helping out your eyes.
- Less Eye Strain
- Less Distortion
- Wider Field of View
- More Glare
- More Expensive
Curved monitors have a lot of going in their favour, but what about flat monitors? Well, these have been the standard since the monitor was invented and there is actually very little wrong with them.
A flat-monitor will get the job done. If you’re using your PC to work rather than for general use and play, then a flat monitor is going to meet your requirements. They are also usually cheaper. This does mean you can get a higher quality flat monitor for the same price as a curved monitor.
If you don’t specifically have a need for a curved monitor, sticking with flat is probably the choice for you.
- Less Glare
- Less Expensive
- No Adjustment to New Viewing Angles
- Less Immersive
- Less Field of View
- Smaller Area
Curved Monitors or Multiple Monitors?
Another option compared with curved or flat monitors is to use a combination of monitors. This is a move that gives you a greater field of view, greater surface area, and all while keeping the aspects of a flat monitor that might be appealing,
This solution can be a good compromise. However, as far as compromises go it isn’t the most cost-effective. Two high-quality monitors are going to cost as much as a larger curved monitor. If you want some of the advantages like a great area to view but without the extra glare or immersion, then this can be a good choice.
- Greater Area of Display
- Better Field of View
- Great for Multitasking
- Not Much Cheaper than a Curved Monitor
- Less Immersive
- Glare and Seams Between Monitors can be Distracting
Curved or Flat monitors – Which Should You Choose?
Those are the main pros and cons of both curved and flat monitors. However, which monitor is right for you is going to depend on your specific needs, and why you’re using your PC.
If you’re building a gaming PC, then a curved monitor has some major advantages. You get a much wider field of view, more immersion, and you can see more of the action without having to pan around or glance between screens. Compared with using multiple monitors, you get a more natural field of view effect (which helps with the queasiness that often comes from a large FOV). All of this makes a curved monitor a great choice for you.
If you’re mainly using your PC for video, a curved monitor also offers some advantages. You get a bigger surface area for your screen, a better resolution comes with this extra area. You also have the immersion factor working for you. On top of this, you’ll get less distortion in your image. A curved image is a great choice if you watch a lot of video on your monitor.
If you’re primarily using your pc for work, then a curved monitor might be overkill. If you need more area to work in, two monitors have some advantages for you. A curved monitor won’t be giving you any specifics cons though, so if you want to use a curved monitor for the times you do use your PC for gaming or to watch things, it won’t make things any worse while working.
Which you should choose from a curved or flat monitor depends on how you use your PC. Think about your needs, and you should be able to figure out what monitor you need.