Whether you should buy a curved monitor or a flat monitor? The market is already filled with flat widescreen monitors as well as curved monitors and buying decision gets a bit confusing for an ultimate user. A curved monitor has a bend in the screen while flat screens are traditional flat screens that we are already used to. Curved monitors are getting better and better which makes them a viable choice for those who seek immersive viewing experience.
So if you are finding yourself in the dilemma of curved vs flat monitors, here we are going to discuss each and everything about it.
What makes this debate interesting is the element of curvature in the curved screen. Before digging deeper into Curved vs Flat monitors, you should be aware of the curvature in the curved display and how it makes all the difference.
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What is Curvature in Curved Monitor?
The curvature in a curved monitor is denoted by ‘R’ followed by a number like 800R, 1000R, 1500R, 1800R etc. Each number before ‘R’ means the radius in millimeters. It also means the optimum distance from the screen to the eyes for the best viewing experience and immersion.
For example, if you are watching at a curved screen having 1500R curvature, that means, there should be a 1.5m distance between your eyes and the screen for the highest immersion. Anything less or more than 1.5 meters will ruin the viewing angles and immersion.
The lower the number followed by ‘R’, the more aggressive the curve would be and the more would be the immersion. The human eye has a field of view of 1000R which means, if you are watching a curved screen with 1000R curvature, you would experience natural viewing angles without any distortion at the edges or blurry vision on the side. This is because your eye is covering 100% field of view.
This immersive viewing is only looking good and ideal when you are watching at large screen ultrawide monitors like 34-inch or even 49-inch ultrawide monitors. There is no immersion in small screen monitors like 24-inch or even 27-inch monitors.
The latest curved monitors like LG 45GR95QE-B, which is a 45-inch ultrawide OLED monitor, have 800R of curvature that touches the extreme level of curvature for maximum immersion while gaming. It makes you feel like you are in the game.
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The market is also coming up with a completely new concept of bendable monitors like CORSAIR XENEON FLEX that is bendable using dedicated motors from a completely flat screen to up to 800R curvature as per the requirement. You can also bend the screen to 1000R, 1500R, and 1800R.
So, the curvature is one of the basic things you should be looking at before considering a curved monitor. The lower the Curvature number, aggressive the curve would be. Aggressive curvature of 1000R or 800R is only preferred on large-screen ultrawide monitors.
Curved Vs Flat Monitor: Which One to Buy?
Now that you have an idea of curvature in the curved monitor, it would be easier to compare both screens.
A curved monitor is well suited for big ultrawide monitors like 34-inch or 49-inch monitors having an aspect ratio of 21:9 or 32:9. A flat-screen ultrawide monitor and even a widescreen flat monitor will give blurry edges, distortion at the corner, eye strain, and fatigue while a curved monitor gives more immersion and natural, comfortable viewing angles.
The flat screen monitors, on the other hand, are preferred for small-screen monitors like 24-inch, 27-inch or even 32-inch monitors. There is no point in getting a curved monitor as a small screen already covers the field of view of the human eye and it would be easy to look at a flat screen.
The small screen will also fail to provide the immersion that you might be expecting from a curved display because the human eye will not be able to cover 100% field of view of the screen and thus you will not find any difference between a flat or curved screen when the screen size is smaller.
There is another perceptive that must be taken into account and that is the purpose of monitoring and the number of users.
Most Ultrawide monitors are preferred for gaming, watching movies, videos, programming and coding, and other daily tasks. Ultrawide monitors are also preferred when there is only one person right at the front of the screen. Curved monitors are not meant to enjoy when there are many people in the room simply because each person will get a different viewing experience, and color from different sides of the room.
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If you are going to use a monitor as a media center for more than 1 person, a flat-screen is preferred instead of a curved monitor. A flat-screen covers more field of view for multiple eyeballs and offers a similar viewing experience to every person.
So, when to buy a curved monitor?
First, when the monitor falls in the ‘Ultrawide monitor’ category having a screen size more than or equal to 34 inches and having a 21:9 or 32:9 aspect ratio.
Second, the monitor is meant to be used by 1 person, sitting right at the front of the monitor. There should not be many people looking at curved screens from different angles. It is not ideal and preferred for a satisfactory viewing experience.
Third, when the curved monitor is meant to be used for entertainment, writing work, gaming and casual daily usage. Curved monitors are not preferred for graphic designing, 3D modeling or any other creative task where you need precision.
When to buy a Flat screen monitor?
When you are considering a widescreen monitor having an aspect ratio of 16:9 and when the monitor’s screen size is equal to or less than 32 inches. Curvature on the small screen is not even noticeable and it would not deliver the viewing experience and immersion that you might be expecting.
And, when there is more than 1 person who is going to watch the content on the screen.
What Type of Curved Monitor Should You Pick?
As we already discussed above, a curved monitor in 2023 starts from 800R and goes up to 1800R. Curved TV was a thing in 2016-17 but in 2023, no one actually preferred to have Curved TV having 3000R or 4000R curvature.
If you are looking to buy a curved TV, just don’t. Get a flat-screen TV that fits your budget and fulfills your requirement. For the best viewing experience, get an OLED TV. If you are confused about whether should you buy a TV or a monitor, here is detailed TV vs Monitor comparison.
Back to curved monitors, Most of the curved monitors in 2023 have curvatures ranging from 800R to 1800R curved monitors. The lesser the number, aggressive the curved would be, and vice-versa.
If your purpose is gaming, you can go for an aggressive 800R (LG 45GR95QE-B) or 1000R (Samsung Odyssey G7) curved gaming monitor that will give you the most immersive gaming experience. It will make you feel like you are in the game which is mostly adored by gamers.
On the other hand, if you want a monitor for daily tasks, web browsing, watching movies and videos, 1500R or 1800R curvature is good to go.
This curvature is also suitable for professionals who spend most of their time working in front of a monitor. The curvature will provide a comfortable viewing experience and also helps in preventing eye strain and fatigue. According to research conducted by Harvard Medical School, ‘Eyes Feel Discomfort’ and ‘General Discomfort’ is more in Flat screen monitor than Curved monitor.
So according to that, if you need a screen for work, a 1500R or 1800R curvature is good to go. For immersive gaming and entertainment, consider an 800R or 1000R curved monitor. In either case, just make sure you are buying an ultrawide monitor with a large screen size. See here for a large screen tablets.
Advantages of Curved Monitor
The biggest advantages of the curved monitor are an immersive viewing experience, better-viewing angles, less eye fatigue and distortion in the edges.
The ultrawide monitors having a 21:9 or 32:9 aspect ratio give the most accurate viewing experience. The 34-inch or bigger flat screen doesn’t cover the peripheral view of the human eye and thus leads to distorted edges but a curved monitor brings those screen edges closer to the eyes and keeps it under the peripheral view of the human eye that ultimately leads to a comfortable viewing experience without any strain, fatigue in the eyes.
An ultrawide curved monitor is the most natural way for the human eye to see things on the screen.
Design-wise, curved monitors also look good especially if you have a monitor with aggressive curvature. If you are someone who seeks an aesthetically appealing gaming desk, a curved monitor can do wonders for your desk.
Another good thing about curved monitors is, they are not expensive in nature. The price of Curved monitors is equivalent to flat-screen monitors.
Disadvantages of Curved Monitor
The biggest disadvantage of curved monitors is the sitting position required for an ideal viewing experience. You cannot sit to the extreme left or right and expect satisfactory picture quality. This point gets even stronger if the curvature is too aggressive like 1000R or even 800R. For the ideal and the best viewing experience, a person is required to sit at the front of the monitor facing the screen from the center only.
That means if there are multiple people in the room, watching something on a curved monitor, there is a high chance that each person will see different colors and picture quality from different angles.
Another negative thing about curved monitors is its panel. If you are in the market looking for a curved monitor, you have either a VA panel or an OLED panel. There is no IPS panel in the curved monitor because of the build and properties of IPS panels. That makes curved monitors not suitable for tasks where you need the color accuracy of an IPS panel.
Although OLED panels are better than IPS panel in many ways but it is still expensive when compared to any IPS or VA monitor. If you are curious to know about OLED and IPS, here is more about OLED vs IPS.
Curved Vs Flat Monitor – Final Verdict
Now all this ends with this final verdict, whether you should get a Curved monitor or a flat monitor? Both types of screens are good in their own manner and buying decision depends on the user.
A curved monitor definitely gives an immersive gaming and overall viewing experience but it is not suitable when there are more than 1 or 2 people watching the screen. There should be an optimum space between the screen and the eyes. Moreover, an ideal viewing experience also required the person to face the screen from the center.
A curved monitor also makes sense if you need a screen for gaming, web browsing, reading, and writing emails but is not suitable for creative professional tasks like 3D modeling, graphic designing, and similar tasks by Animators, architects, or anyone dealing with 3D modeling software, graphic designing software etc.
If you are considering a 34-inch or bigger ultrawide monitor for gaming, you should definitely go for a curved monitor but if you are looking to get a sober 32-inch, 27 inch or 24-inch widescreen monitor for any task, don’t go for a Curved monitor instead get a good IPS monitor having 4K, QHD, Full HD resolution respectively.