Curved vs Flat Monitors – Which should you go for?

Curved monitors are one of the newest trends when it comes to PCs. You’ll see images of them sitting perfectly at home matched up with high-end gaming PCs, or sometimes being uses in sleek offices.

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 cheap monitor. So, let’s look at the differences between the two.

Curved vs Flat Monitors

Curved and flat monitors actually 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 potentially reducing eye strain, your choice of monitor is going to have a big effect on you. But, that doesn’t really explain the difference between curved screens and flat screens.

In a nutshell, a curved monitor is going to give a much more immersive experience than a flat monitor, and possibly less eye strain too. A flat monitor is going to be the cheaper of the two, and they also tend to suffer less with glare as well.

Though these are just the basic differences between the different types of monitors. Let’s look at both in more detail to see which would be a better choice for your needs.

Curved Monitors

curved

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 over a simple flat monitor.

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, a monitor will take up more of your peripheral vision. This means you can see more of the display at the same time, which is important.

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.

How curved monitors are measured

Most people that are looking for a display with a curved screen are looking for a gaming monitor. But the amount of curve in a gaming monitor also matters, as there are different styles that suit some people more than others.

Monitors with a little curve in them can provide a wide field of view, and are perfect for larger displays. The maximum curvature you’ll common see is around 4000R, with the R standing for Radius – it’s just measured by the curvature of a circle.

The greater the number, the less curve the monitor has and the further away from it you should sit. Small monitors may only be 1500R or 1800R, which means you’ll want to sit up close to them, directly in front of it. This gives a narrow field of view, and makes for more immersive gameplay.

The curvature of your monitor can have a big effect on your gaming experience, so it’s definitely something you’ll want to think about before deciding on one.

Pros

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 choose which is right for you.

Allows you to immerse yourself into the entertainment.
Using curved screens tends to result in less eye strain.
Less distortion when you’re looking at a curved display.
Wider field of view enables you to see more of the screen in your peripheral vision.

Cons

They suffer from more glare.
As well as this, they’re also more expensive.
Not really much use on smaller screens (less than 32 inches generally).

Flat Monitors

flat

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. So although you may have a flat screen, you may be able to get a faster refresh rate and better monitor setup overall for the same price.

If you don’t specifically have a need for a curved monitor, sticking with flat is probably the choice for you. Here’s a couple of reasons why you may want to stick with a flat screen.

Pros

They definitely suffer less when it comes to glare.
You can find them for a cheaper price than a curved monitor.
No adjustment to new viewing angles.

Cons

They are less immersive.
Less field of view

Curved vs Flat Monitor vs 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.

Pros

Greater area of display
Better field of view
Great for multitasking

Cons

Can be really expensive
Takes up a whole lot of space
Can get confusing for those that want simplicity

Conclusion

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.

Although, they aren’t so popular yet that they’ve become a common sight in offices and homes.

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.

About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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