Curved monitors are no longer a novelty in 2021, and neither are ultrawides that push the boundaries in terms of diagonal size. In fact, you can get a curved monitor for a very low price if you are not aiming too high in terms of resolution or refresh rate.
But what are they actually good for? We can all agree that a higher resolution makes for sharper images and that having a higher refresh rate makes the action appear smoother in video games. On the other hand, opinions are split on what curved monitors bring to the table in terms of real-world benefits.
Many people are also interested in getting a curved display for their office computers, usually in the hopes that it will help with productivity somehow. As it turns out, there is some merit to these claims. Let’s first take a look at the possible benefits of a curved monitor in the context of office work:
What are the Benefits of Using a Curved Monitor for Office Work?
- More screen real estate. Curved displays go hand-in-hand with ultrawide monitors, which is why they usually come with higher horizontal resolutions. You can definitely buy classic 1080p/1440p curved monitors as well, but only if you aim for something that’s 27 inches or above.
- You can get a bigger diagonal. While flat panels are usually limited to around 32 inches when it comes to office monitors, curved panels can be as wide as 49 inches, while still allowing you to fit the whole image into your field of view.
- It’s easier to keep an eye on multiple windows. Curved panels are designed to limit the amount of head movement needed to see the sides of the screen, which make them perfect when it comes to working with multiple windows side-by-side. The bigger the monitor, the more helpful the curvature becomes.
- Easier to set up than a dual monitor solution. Having a single ultrawide is definitely easier to set up than having to configure two regular monitors, especially if you are not particularly tech-savvy. In addition, it’s also simpler to adjust your workflow when you don’t have to split your windows between two separate displays.
- Less space required on your desk. Having a single, bigger curved monitor instead of two smaller ones also frees up a lot of space on your desk, since it only needs to accommodate one stand. On the other hand, these monitors usually take up a bit more space in the back, so keep that in mind if your desk is in front of a wall.
- Better for surround solutions. If desk space is not an issue, curved monitors also work much better when it comes to dual or triple monitor setups. The transition from one monitor to the other is much smoother than with flat panels, not to mention the fact that the bezels are also usually very thin on curved monitors.
- Pleasant aesthetics. While this is not applicable to everyone, many people find curved monitors to be much better-looking than regular displays. There’s definitely nothing wrong with picking a monitor for its looks, at least as long as you make sure the specs are up to your standards as well.
What Are the Drawbacks of Using a Curved Monitor for Office Work?
- Most models are designed for gaming. This is by far the most egregious drawback because most curved panels include gaming-specific features that increase their prices (with good reason). These include higher refresh rates, adaptive refresh rate technologies, low input lag, HDR support, and others. However, none of these features are required for office work, so you are technically paying more for stuff you are not going to use. You can also find office-specific models, but they are a bit rarer, and there are fewer options to choose from.
- They are not great for certain digital artists, photographers, and video editors. The distortion caused by the curved panel means that they make life more difficult for creatives, mainly because they have to account for the curvature while working with straight lines in vertical videos or portrait photos. This shouldn’t be an issue if you are mostly working with regular media, however.
- The viewing angles can be a problem. Unless you are sitting exactly in front of it and at the right height, a curved panel quickly succumbs to color shifting and contrast issues. If you constantly find yourself sharing the screen with your coworkers, this may prove to be a bit of an issue. On the other hand, this is mostly a problem if your job involves color accuracy.
- They are more prone to glare. Given the geometry of a curved display, it’s more difficult to avoid glares from various light sources, including light bulbs, windows, or other nearby monitors. Take a look at your work area and check if this could be a problem for you before making a purchase.
- They cannot be used in portrait mode. This one should be pretty obvious, but a curved monitor loses almost all of its benefits if you turn it 90 degrees. Hence, you are stuck in landscape mode, unless of course, you have a second monitor with a flat panel to do the job.
- They are more expensive. Even if they are much easier to manufacture than a few years ago, curved panels still come at a premium price. This is also because the majority of curved monitors are also ultrawides, so you are pretty much forced to buy a big display.
- Wall-mounting can be a problem. If you like to wall-mount your office monitor, then a curved display will look very weird next to a flat wall. They are not harder to set up this way by any means, especially since most of them come with standard VESA mounts anyway, so it’s mostly an aesthetics issue.
So are curved monitors good for office work or not? The simple answer is yes, they can indeed be a good choice for your office. This is mostly because they come in ultrawide aspect ratios, which helps a lot with productivity and multitasking. It’s actually pretty hard to find flat ultrawides, and those come with their own set of issues anyway.
On the other hand, you must keep in mind the fact that you are going to pay a lot more for a curved monitor versus a flat one – and it’s not always because they are curved. Instead, most of the extra cash will go toward gaming features that will largely go unused in an office environment.
We can only hope that curved office monitors are going to become more widespread in the future, especially since many people are very interested in purchasing one.
Are Curved Monitors Good for AutoCAD Work?
Since CAD software usually involves precision and many straight lines, curved monitors can introduce a few problems. You can still use them for this purpose if you are careful about how you position yourself in regards to the screen, but you may want to stick with a flat panel to avoid any extra headaches.
Are Curved Monitors Good for Excel?
Curved monitors do not affect Excel in any way in terms of functionality. On the other hand, you cannot use a curved panel in portrait mode, which can be a bit of a drawback if you are used to rotating your display to deal with long spreadsheets.
Is a 24-inch Curved Monitor Worth It?
Not really, no. The curvature is barely noticeable at that size, and you are also paying a lot more for it while receiving no benefits. A curved panel usually makes the most sense on ultrawide monitors.