Best Curved Monitors

Updated November 2021
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Buying guide for Best curved monitors

If you are a serious PC gamer, you understand that the ability to become immersed in a game makes the experience that much better.

While playing on a colorful 4K flatscreen works well for most people, those who have experienced the wraparound visuals of a quality curved monitor often do not want to go back to a flatscreen.

Curved monitors are comparable to standard widescreen and flat monitors. But, each side bends slightly inward, creating a curve that mirrors the curvature of your eyes.

Curved monitors are designed to take advantage of your peripheral vision. You take in more of the screen at once for a more immersive viewing experience.

With so many curved monitors on the market from high-end PC manufacturers like Dell, Acer, BenQ, and Samsung, it can be difficult to find the best one. It helps to know what you need from a curved monitor.

If you’re ready to take the plunge and pick up a curved monitor, there are a few key features to understand.

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Not all curved monitors have the same amount of curve. As you’re comparing different monitors, pay close attention to which models have too much curve for you and which have too little.

Curved vs. flat-screen monitors

Beyond the obvious curvature, curved computer monitors differ in some key ways from traditional flat-screen monitors.

Here’s what you need to know.

Curved monitors are designed to match the shape of the human eye.

If you are seated right in front of the display, the expanded curved sides remain in your peripheral vision. This is a big bonus for serious gamers who appreciate a wider field of view for their favorite first-person shooters.

Because IPS (In-Plane Switching) curved monitors are more expensive to make, they usually cost more than their flat-screen equivalents.

Flat-screen monitors are the gold standard of computer screens. 

Most are energy-efficient and designed for longevity. Flat-screen monitors are more affordable than curved monitors, but in theory, they require your eyes to move a lot more to take in all of the on-screen action. 

Many flat-screen monitors only support up to 1920 x 1080 resolution (also known as 1080p). This is great for streaming video apps but not sharp enough for serious work or the smoothest gaming possible.

Widescreen vs. ultra-widescreen monitors

There are two kinds of curved monitors: widescreen and ultra-widescreen.

Widescreen monitors are often designed with a 16 x 9 aspect ratio, also known as widescreen.

Widescreen format is the accepted standard for broadcast television and streaming media. Widescreen monitors are common and usually the most affordable.

Ultra-widescreen monitors are usually built with a 21 x 9 aspect ratio, sometimes referred to as CinemaScope, and have even more screen real estate than traditional widescreen monitors.

Ultra-widescreen monitors are perfect for situations where you need a landscape view. If you enjoy viewing the screens of two or more PCs on a single display — or the spacious display for gaming — an Ultra-widescreen monitor may be worth the investment.

It may surprise some buyers, but even the best ultrawide monitors are typically 30% to 40% more expensive than traditional monitors of a similar size.

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Did you know?
A curved monitor is much better at minimizing eye strain as opposed to a flatscreen monitor. Since the curved screen is directed at your eyes by default, viewers strain less to see the entire display.
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Features

Confused by all of the technical jargon around curved monitors? Here are the specifications that matter the most.

Screen size

The size of the computer monitor has the biggest impact on how much you appreciate it. Of course, the bigger, the better.

Curved monitors range in size from 22 inches to 49 inches or larger. This is measured diagonally.

The size of the monitor’s screen plays a major role in its price, so if you need a giant curved screen, be prepared to pay quite a bit more.

Resolution

While a Full-HD resolution is more than enough to enjoy quality gaming and video streaming on a brand-new curved monitor, you should not settle for anything less than 1080p.

If you are shopping for a curved monitor to provide a smooth and vibrant cinematic experience, look for a model with a 4K resolution or greater.
 

The benefits of curved monitors, such as reduced glare and an improved field of view, are best experienced on larger and more immersive screens. You will want to buy the biggest curved monitor you can afford or the biggest one your setup can tolerate.

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Refresh rate

In simple terms, a computer monitor’s refresh rate notes how smoothly motion is displayed on your screen.

Refresh rate is measured in Hertz, or Hz. While 60Hz is more than acceptable for slow-paced games, anyone who plays high-action online games will want a refresh rate of 240Hz. This gives a superior response time and lag-free gameplay.

Connectivity

The best curved monitors feature a suite of ports for connecting your other devices.

For example, some monitors include three or four USB 3.0 ports to help you connect essential peripherals such as a thumb drive, mouse, or keyboard. Other monitors may have built-in speakers that also include a headphone jack so you can plug directly in to enjoy sound via wired headphones.

Other useful ports include Thunderbolt, HDMi, VGA, and DisplayPort. This is especially true if you are considering one of Dell’s curved monitors.

Pricing

You can expect to pay between $180 and $1,000 for a curved monitor.

Not sure how much to spend? Here’s what you get for your money.

Inexpensive: From the low-end range of $180 and $349 , you will find simple curved monitors that are great for streaming video and basic gaming but not much else.

Curved monitors in this price range are usually smaller with fewer features than their larger counterparts. But, if you’re serious about getting all of the benefits you can from a curved monitor, it is worth spending a little more.

Mid-range: From $350 and $699, you’ll find the best value options: curved monitors that come in larger sizes, higher resolutions, and in some cases, the coveted ultra-widescreen form factor.

Whether you’re buying a new monitor for your home office or as the centerpiece to your high-end gaming rig, there is plenty to choose from in this range.

Expensive: In the $700 and $1,000+ price range, you’ll encounter curved monitors with giant screens that are optimized for buttery-smooth gaming.

Screen size alone will go a long way to drive the price of a curved monitor to the higher end. But an ultrawide monitor is worth it for power users who want to get the most out of their PC.

Most people have a hard time justifying a 40-inch monitor, but if you’re a digital artist, a devoted movie buff, or someone who needs a premium gaming experience, paying top dollar is worth the pixel-perfect color accuracy, deep contrast ratio, and premium image quality.

While most monitors look good out of the box, fine-tuning the settings will deliver a much better picture that is adjusted for the light conditions of your room.

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Tips

  • Gamers should keep an eye out for high-end technologies. While terms such as AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync (both of these technologies eliminate frame tearing and stuttering while you play) may seem like nonsense buzzwords to the average consumer, it is worth your time to learn about and seek out curved monitors that utilize the latest visual innovations if you enjoy playing PC games.
  • Adjust the height of your monitor to avoid a sore back. For ideal ergonomics, your monitor should be situated so that your eyes line up with the center of the screen. You should not have to tilt your neck upward or downward. A monitor at the wrong height can cause back pain in the short term and posture problems over the long term. Take the time to set up your monitor at the proper height.
  • Spend some time adjusting the color settings when you set up your monitor. All monitors have built-in settings that allow you to change things like brightness, tint, or color saturation for better picture quality.
Large curved monitor on a desk
Owning a curved monitor with a wide variety of ports makes it more versatile and useful. It is worth looking for a model with a few extra connectivity options.

FAQ

Q. Can I use a curved monitor as a TV?

A. Yes. But you’ll need a solution for sound. Most curved monitors have HDMI inputs, which are the standard for connecting cable boxes, Blu-ray players, streaming boxes, and a variety of other media sources. If you plan on using a curved monitor for watching TV and movies, make a plan for the audio, whether that’s by connecting a soundbar or a quality set of computer speakers.

Q. Do curved monitors require any special cables or software to use?

A. No. Like most monitors, curved monitors are designed to be “plug and play,” so you can start using one as soon as you’ve plugged it into your computer and an AC outlet.

Q. Can I mount a curved monitor to a wall or to a monitor stand?

A. Yes. Most curved monitors are VESA compatible, which means they adhere to the same mounting standards that traditional models use.

When you are comparing different curved monitors, pay attention to which VESA size each one uses. If you are planning on mounting one, buy a VESA mount that supports that monitor’s VESA dimensions.

 

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