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Curved vs Flat Monitor – What’s the Difference (Simple Answer!)

by Lisa Hayden
Curved vs Flat Monitor

There are 2 main types of monitors – curved and flat. Each type has its own unique benefits that can make it the best choice for different types of users. Here, we’ll compare and contrast these two types of monitors so you can decide which is right for you.

Benefits of a Curved Monitor

Aesthetics – A curved monitor looks sleek and modern and can be a great addition to any home office or gaming setup.

Increased Immersion – A curved monitor wraps around your field of view, making you feel more immersed in whatever you’re watching or playing. This can be a great benefit for gamers or movie lovers.

Reduced Eye Strain – Because a curved monitor evenly distributes light across the screen, it can help reduce eye strain. This is especially beneficial for users who spend long hours in front of their computers.

Benefits of a Flat Monitor

Lower Price – Flat monitors are typically more affordable than curved monitors, making them a great option for budget-conscious shoppers.

More Available Options – There are more flat monitors on the market, so shoppers have a greater selection to choose from. This also means that there are more budget-friendly options available.

Greater Viewing Angle – A flat monitor can be viewed from a wider angle than a curved monitor without sacrificing image quality. This is ideal for users who need to share their screen with others or who have limited space on their desks.

Balancing Sizing with Budget

The most apparent factor we want to look at is the cost of the product. Since flat screens have been in the market for a reasonably long time, you can already find ones in the more affordable range with the cheapest options costing around $300. Curved monitors on the other hand are slowly becoming standard in the market with the most reasonable prices starting around the same price as the former. Here’s the kicker though – if you want the full experience a curve monitor can provide, you have to purchase one that’s at least 30 inches diagonally. Anything lower than that and you might as well buy a flat-screen monitor because there’s really no difference when it comes to the viewing experience.

So how does a 30-inch curved monitor fare compared to a 30-inch flat monitor in terms of price? Curved is a bit more costly, with a difference of around $150 to $200 depending on the brand.

Impact of the Curvature 

Curved vs Flat Monitor curvature

When checking out curved monitors, you’ll find specs like 4000R, 1800R, 1500R, and so on. This is not something you’d find with a flat monitor. This is because the numbers refer to the extent of the curve, specifically the radius of the screen. A small radius means that the curve is more pronounced. Today, the gold standard is set at 1800R so if you’re buying one, stick to this particular specification. The distinction with a flat-screen monitor becomes essential when considering the distance you will have between you and the PC screen. If it’s flat, the monitor can be a tad farther away. With a curved display, however, you’d want it a little closer to take full advantage of the benefits.

Impact on Eye Comfort

If you use the PC for long periods of time, the curved setup will be less taxing on the eyes. This is because the curvature is done to take advantage of the field of view of a person. After all, we don’t have a straight and flat view of the world – humans have a peripheral vision that naturally prompts a curved way of looking at things. This isn’t just some theory, however. Studies have been done and the conclusion is that a curved monitor is much more relaxing to the eyes as opposed to monitors that are set up side by side with each other.

Immersive Viewing

Curved vs Flat Monitor viewing

This is the main draw of curved monitors. Their position is such that it even engages your peripheral vision. It’s like being closed in a half-moon, giving you a 180-degree view of everything. Gamers who use curved monitors often find themselves forgetting that they’re actually playing on the PC. It’s that realistic – especially when coupled with excellent graphics.

What about Specifications?

The good news is that flat-screen and curved monitors come with modern features. By that, we’re talking about all the typical connections that come with a PC monitor. One significant change between the two would be the aspect ratio. Your standard flat screen monitor has a 16:9 aspect ratio. The curved however is a 21:9 which falls under the ultra-wide category. This is the kind of image you see when movies are filmed using a CinemaScope.

Angle and Positioning

The curvature of a monitor can be tough to place on an office desk. Unless you’ve got lots of space in there, you might find yourself having a hard time with the proper positioning. This is especially true if you’re using multiple monitors in the same area. It’s going to be tough to set them up side by side. Of course, there’s also the obvious issue that a curved monitor would be harder to mount.

Note that because a curved monitor puts a significant emphasis on mimicking the human eye line, you also need to be particular with how it is placed. You need to be dead center of the monitor so that the curvature is effectively spanning equal sides of your face. 

Glares and Reflections

Curved vs Flat Monitor glares

Flat-screen are more prone to glare, so it’s essential to find the perfect position for them in your room or work office. Curved types on the other hand are more resistant. Any glare coming from the sides is effectively shielded by the curvature of the monitor. Here’s the problem though – if the light does hit the monitor, it’s going to be incredibly obvious. 

Gaming Setup or Work Setup?

Ultimately, the question of whether you should get a flat or a curved monitor is answered by your primary use for it. You can compromise on the price if the monitor is going to be used primarily for work. If all you need it to do is appropriately showcase documents and web pages, then a flat screen would work perfectly – regardless of its size. Some people like curved monitors for work because it makes the process of multitasking easier – and you might find it has the same benefits for you.

Now, things are different if you’re going to use the monitor for gaming. Since they mimic the natural eye view of the individual, a curved screen will give you a better gaming experience. But what if you intend to do both using the monitor? If that’s the case, then go for the curved model, which should offer you the best of both worlds. It’s going to be a bit pricier, but you’ll be able to enjoy every dollar.

Curved monitors for Mac users

As a Mac user, you know that everything about your computer is designed to be sleek and stylish. So why not complete the look with a curved monitor?

Curved monitors offer a number of benefits over traditional flat-screen monitors. For one, they provide a wider field of view, which can be helpful when working on design projects or playing video games. Additionally, they often come with higher resolutions than flat-screen monitors, making for sharper visuals. And because they wrap around your line of sight, curved monitors can help reduce eye strain.

If you’re in the market for a new monitor, consider reading my article dedicated to the best curved monitors for Mac users.

Conclusion

All in all, there’s not much difference between a curved and a flat monitor. The decision depends on what you’re going to use it for, and once you’ve determined your priorities, you’re ready to make that purchase.

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