• Nick Thomas

Curved monitors

So I built 2 new complete systems last week for customers and in these builds was a question as to whether to include new curved monitors that are starting to become quite reasonably priced. I was warned off them, so I decided to do a little research on my own. In short: The general consensus is (and I agree now), ultra wide (32:9) curved monitors have their place, but anything below 30" or with a (standard) wide screen ratio of 16:9 and either you won't see enough of a difference to justify the price or you'll see increased image distortion for your troubles. For the full guff, read on. Image distortion: Sometimes referred to as 'bow-tie' distortion - is the slight stretching of an image at the corners of a screen. All flat screens have this, and it can be quite visible if you're playing a game with the field of view turned up to 90 degrees, some games will actually do this on purpose to simulate elongating associated with high speed. Curved monitors are purported to fix this issue, but it doesn't actually need to be fixed. When you take a photo of something, you take a photo with a flat image sensor - this creates distortion in the image, similar to how road markings, when seen from the side, look elongated (but look perfectly fine when viewed from the front), now that distorted image is presented onto another flat screen and this cancels out the distortion to an extent that we don't notice it any more. This is a more indepth explanation of this here:

https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/221682-the-flawed-math-behind-curved-monitors/ Additionally, curved monitors appear to be less forgiving (distortion-wise) when viewed from off-centere positions.

Ultra-wide support: some games do not have support for ultra-wide monitors, leaving a large black band down each side of the screen Glare / Reflection: due to the nature of the flat screen, there's less chance for glare and reflections than flat monitors on the whole, however, if you hit a sweet spot, the curved nature can actually magnify the effects.

More immersive 3D: For those games that DO have support for ultra-wide monitors, the curved monitors can actually give a much more immersive gameplay experience and can even give a psuedo 3D depth without all the headaches that come with a proper 3D monitor. How this will compare against VR or AR (Virtual / Augmented Reality) as it becomes more mainstream is up in the air though.

Photoshoppers, engineers, gamers: for folk that spend large amounts of their time infront of their PCs either designing large structures or editing large photos or simply utilising multiple full screen windows at once, the ultra-wide curved monitors have their place - it provides sufficient space for multiple full-screened windows to open simultaneously without the break from using 2 smaller monitors side by side and rules out the distortion from the very far ends on sufficiently large monitors (30" and above).

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