Do you remember comparing the difference between CRT and LCD monitors? Talk about a throwback, right? Today, those shopping for a new gaming monitor are faced with a different decision: whether to buy a curved or flat monitor. If you’re wondering if investing in a curved gaming monitor is worth it, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of curved monitors, as well as potential drawbacks, so you can make the best decision for yourself. Here’s what you need to know!
What is a curved monitor?
Everybody enjoys the experience of watching a movie on the big screen in a movie theater. If you take a closer look, you’ll notice that these big screens aren’t flat. They actually have a curved surface. It is due to this arc-like design that people are able to see the screen well from almost anywhere in the theater.
In more recent years, this curved design is being applied to computer monitors, offering gamers an improved visual experience. The fundamental specs and technology are the same across curved and flat monitors. The only difference between the two is—you guessed it—the curvature of the screen.
The curvature of a monitor is labeled with an “R,” or radius, which is measured in millimeters. Curved monitors commonly have one of three “R” measurements: 1800R, 3000R, and 4000R. The lower the number, the greater the curve.
The benefits of curved monitors
Anecdotally, many gamers across the web claim they could never imagine going back to using a flat monitor after using a curved monitor. As with anything, however, there are pluses and minuses to curved monitors. Let’s cover the benefits first.
Picture yourself seated directly in front of a flat monitor. The distance from your eyes to the middle of the screen differs from the distance between your eyes and the side of the screen. The uneven distance causes objects at the far end of your vision to appear distorted. Now, picture yourself seated in front of a curved monitor. Both sides of the monitor slightly bend inwards, causing the viewing distance from your eyes to the center and sides of the screen to be the same.
The gentle curve of the screen brings the edges of the screen into your field of view, creating a 3D-like experience that mimics the human field of vision. This causes the image to remain accurate and uniform, even when sitting close to a large screen.
One of the top benefits of curved monitors is immersion. This common gaming term means that the visual experience of the game makes the user feel like they’re actually “there” in the world the game creates. It’s similar to how you feel when you’re watching a movie on a big, curved screen in a theater. Watching a movie in a movie theater feels much different than watching one on your TV, right? It’s more captivating, engaging, and exciting, and can even cause you to forget where you are for spans of time. A curved computer monitor has a similar effect, creating the illusion of peripheral vision which, in turn, makes the game feel more realistic.
Better color consistency and viewing angles
When using a flat monitor, you might notice that there are substantial color variations across the screen. Some edges might even appear blotchy or drained of color. A curved display, on the other hand, eliminates extreme viewing angles. This ensures that colors remain more consistent across the monitor, whether you’re looking at the edge or dead center.
Less eye strain
As any gamer knows, your eyes can start feeling tired, dry, and strained after a long gaming session. You might be surprised to learn that a curved monitor can help reduce these symptoms. One study showed that people using a curved monitor for a prolonged period reported less/no “eye pain” or “fatigue” compared to those using a flat monitor of the same size and specifications. Why might this be? The curvature brings the edges of the screen closer to you, improving your peripheral vision range. This allows you to see more of the screen at once without having to move your eyes as much which, in turn, improves eye comfort and reduces eye fatigue.
To further reduce eye strain, you can also invest in a pair of gaming glasses. GUNNAR gaming glasses use patented lens technology that combats digital eye strain symptoms to help you to perform better, in addition to protecting your eyes from the harmful effects of blue light. They reduce the occurrence of blurry eyes and glare—two things no gamer wants! The combination of a curved monitor and gaming glasses offers better visual performance as well as protection that will allow you to game for longer with less eye strain.
What are the downsides of curved monitors?
The most obvious downside of a curved monitor is the price. Curved monitors require more advanced manufacturing than their flat counterparts, as circuit boards, transistors, and LED layers must conform to an angled surface. This makes them a more expensive option.
The second potential downside is that they can have glare at certain angles. You’ll want to angle light sources away from your monitor to make sure the sun doesn’t shine directly on the screen from your windows.
Lastly, if you’ll be buying a curved monitor, it’s better to get one that has a screen that’s at least 32 inches. This is because the intended effect is diminished at smaller sizes and might not be worth it if it’s smaller than 32 inches.
Are curved monitors better for gaming?
So, what’s the verdict? Are curved monitors really better than flat monitors when it comes to gaming? Is it worth investing in one? Overall, we’d say that if a curved monitor is within your budget, investing in one is definitely worth it if you’re looking for a monitor that is 32 inches or larger. With their unique design, curved monitors come with many benefits that will make your gaming experience more enjoyable, immersive, and comfortable.