Welcome to Creative Bloq’s guide to the best curved monitors, where we’ll help you find a curved display that brings you a natural field of view, but with no negative impact on image quality from going bendy rather than flat.
Curved screens have had a mixed recent history, with curved TV becoming all the rage for a while, then falling away as people decided they prefer flat TVs. But the idea has stuck with computer monitors, and is only growing in popularity, which makes sense when you consider the main advantage of a curved monitor: field of view.
The reason curved displays are tempting is that they can be extra large and fill your field of view, without being awkward or distorted, because every part of the screen is facing towards your face – rather than past your face, which is the case with big flat screens. A lot of curved monitors are ultrawide, because this really takes advantage of that fact – you can flick your eyes around a wider screen and see more clearly if it’s curved such that it’s still facing you even at the edges. Check out our round up of the best ultrawide monitors for more options.
Right now is a great time to grab one of the best curved monitors too, what with seasonal sales coming up. Be sure to bookmark our dedicated Amazon Prime Day 2020 article – event kicks off tomorrow and we'll update it with all the best monitor offers as they arrive.
The best curved monitors available now
Asus’ ProArt range is, shockingly, its range for professional artists. This IPS screen promises full coverage of the sRGB gamut, with an accuracy delta of less than 2 (which is indistinguishable by the human eye), HDR10 support and a 14-bit LUT.
It’s extremely well connected too, featuring two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports for extremely high bandwidth connections, plus two HDMI ports, DisplayPort and three regular USB 3.1 ports – it’s the ultimate connection hub, no matter what you need to hook up.
Height, tilt and swivel adjustments are all here too, so you get the perfect view (and ergonomics).
This is an alternative to having dual monitors, basically – keen mathematicians may note that its aspect ratio of 32:9 makes it literally two regular 16:9 monitors side-by-side, in one seamless screen.
That is an almost comedically large amount of working space to have around you, but it's also more comfortable to see all that, thanks to the impressive level of curve. It's so wide that it's a 5K display, but again with the caveat that the height corresponds more to QHD resolution.
It's really well equipped for connectivity, with 2x HDMI, DisplayPort and USB-C, plus three regular USB ports and even a Gigabit Ethernet port – it's a really good hub.
For colours, it promises 94% of DCI-P3 and 91% of Adobe RGB, with a delta of less than two. For brightness it hits around 450 nits. It may not be the first choice for the most demanding designers, but it all looks great in practice, and extra useful features such as a built-in KVM switch and webcam help make it the ultimate desk companion.
You've also got height adjustment, and some tilt and swivel. It's a colossal beast of a screen, but for sheer volume of working space in way that surprisingly easy on the eyes and does take up less room on the desk than two monitors, it's a winner.
This is an ultra-ultra-wide monitor, with its 32:9 aspect ratio again making it the equivalent of two normal 16:9 monitors side by side. And with it's strong 1800R curve, that means it's filling your vision so impressively before we get to Samsung's use of its Quantum Dot panel tech and incredible HDR1000 lighting.
Quantum Dot technology is mostly used in TVs, but some monitors use it too, and it's perfect for us, because the whole point is a wider colour gamut. With 125% sRGB gamut coverage and 95% DCI-P3, it does great in this regard. And then you throw in the 600 nit typical brightness and 1,000 nit peak brightness in HDR, and you have something even better for creative work as well as movies.
Its focus is on gaming as much as professionals, so these features are boosted by 120Hz support and AMD FreeSync.
Connectivity is a little more basic than some other options here – you've got one HDMI, two DisplayPort and four USB Type A – no USB-C/Thunderbolt 3. There is height, tilt and swivel support for viewing comfort.
It's big, it's the boldest screen here, and it's beautiful.
If you're looking for a slightly simpler monitor that focuses on lots of pixels for a great price, and with a good curve, Samsung has you covered here. It's a real 4K screen, meeting the UHD standard with a 3840x2160 resolution. At 32 inches, that resolution and size can be a bit overwhelming on a flat screen, but with one of the most dramatic curves on our list, this is more comfortable to look around.
The downside is that it's more limited in the colour and brightness stakes: it achieves 103% of sRGB, 76% of Adobe RGB and has a typical brightness of 250 nits. If you're looking for a big space to work without the stretch of an ultrawide, and want lots of detail but don't mind so much about perfect colours, it fits the bill perfectly.
It has tilt adjustment, but no height or swivel. Connectivity is limited to HDMI and DisplayPort, with no USB hub, not that we'd expect one for the price.
The cheapest monitor here is a reasonable 27 inches in size, and with a resepctable level of curve despite its low price. The panel is QHD resolution, so isn't very detailed for this size of screen, but whether that's a problem depends on your needs.
With a typical brightness of 250 nits and 89% Adobe RGB gamut coverage, it's not the most designer-focused screen, but expect solid colour accuracy overall. And it has some other bonuses to give you for its price, including a 144Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync, as well a generous four USB Type-A ports, along with two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort connection.
You've also got height, tilt and swivel adjustment to make it comfortable for working.
This display is bettered in individual areas by some others here, but as a package, it's a really strong choice. It can run over a single USB-C cable, delivering power back to the laptop, making it a great choice for Apple laptop users. With multiple USB ports and HDMI inputs, it makes a good hub for connectivity.
Colour accuracy is also excellent out of the box, making it a real plug-and-play option, though the gamut is not as wide as we'd like at around 99% sRGB and 78% DCI-P3 – good for more casual use, but not necessarily for pro design. However, the resolution is one of the better options for the size we've seen, delivering 4K width and better-than-QHD height.
It's also really well built, and has height, tile and swivel adjustments. It's fairly expensive for its feature-set, but we like how much stuff it does well, in a very boring way – another screen here may work best for your needs, but as an overall package that gives you fuss-free colour accuracy, a good level of detail, loads of space to work and one-cable connectivity, it's a really good buy.
Best curved monitors: what to look for
The main thing to look out for when hunting specifically for curved monitors is how curved they are. This will be depicted as a number followed by an ‘R’, and you’ll generally be looking at monitors between 1000R and 4000R, with the lower the number meaning it has more of a curve.
The reason why you’ll be looking at 1000R as the lowest is that this is said to perfectly match the curve of our eyes, so you might consider it the ‘optimal’ curve for low distortion. However, there are very few screens that manage this (it’s quite hard on the ol’ pixels), so you’ll typically end up looking at more like 1800R for a great screen that does the job.
The other thing to look out for in curved monitors specifically is whether you want an ultra-wide screen – we already mentioned that a big advantage of going curved is that you can see what’s on wider screens more clearly. So if you’re going curved, why not give yourself more working space? (Or vice versa: if you want an ultra-wide for the extra room for multitasking, maybe it should be curved.)
Beyond that, what you should look for in a curved monitor are the same things as in any other monitor: what kind of colour gamut and accuracy do you need, what connections do you want, how bright does it need to be, how high a resolution do you need, and so on.
One consideration for ultrawide monitors especially is that that most (including in our round-up) will actually support displaying images from two different inputs at once. With the double-width monitors in particular, this means you can have two entirely different desktops side-by-side on one screen, at full usability.
Are curved monitors better?
No, they’re just different. We’ve mentioned their advantage for viewing angles in bigger screens, which can be a boon for seeing colour accuracy across a large display – you’re on-axis for every pixel you look at, so you should be getting great uniform colours. And for long sessions of creative work, many people swear by them as being better for eye strain.
However, they’re harder to produce than flat screens, which means you’ll often pay more – you’ll notice this most obviously with resolution. Broadly speaking, high-end curved monitors offer lower pixel density than a flat screen of equivalent diagonal size and price.
There is also the fact that, while being curved helps to reduce some kinds of distortion, if you’re working on designs where seeing straight lines as being definitively straight is important, a curved screen may be something of a hindrance…
And while we mentioned colour accuracy as a potential bonus, uniformity of the backlight is something you’ll need to keep an eye on, because again going curved certainly creates the possibility of a more even lighting than a simple flat screen. Our top picks are all great in this area of course – just keep it in mind if you look at other options.