Curved screens; you’ve seen them before in malls and an energetic salesman probably even tried to entice you into buying one, sparking a curved screens vs flat screens discussion. But these days, it’s often hard to trust marketing buzzwords and aggressive sales methods. So we’re here to help you settle that debate and even choose.
Flat screens, when they came out, triggered a revolution in the display industry and they practically killed the old cubic CRT monitors. With the advent and increasing popularity for curved screens, it’s hard not to wonder how much it will affect your immersion, productivity, or quality-of-life.
Hence, for you to choose properly, here’s an experience-based listing of reasons on why you should choose one over the other (since it’s janky to combine both) in the curved screens vs flat screens debate.
Why Pick Curved Screens?
Curved screens were introduced to the consumer market sometime around 2013 and since then, they’ve also extended their prominence to desktop monitors.
They tend to be more expensive for TVs since the curvature means it needs to be wider than the usual flat screen. But for monitors, the manufacturers can get away with pricing them lower since they could just use a less expensive VA panel instead of an IPS panel. More on those monitor specifications here.
Here are the advantages of curved screens over flat screens.
They Offer Better Focus and Immersion
Since curved screens tend to be wider, and they also simulate your cone of vision better, they can provide a more focused and more engaged conveying of visual information.
Your peripheral vision won’t be as distracted and it’s easier to see the edges of the screen without moving your eyes or your neck too much.
This not only helps in leisure but also in work especially if you have multiple windows and applications open. But don’t count on them for increased productivity.
Less color shift on large screens
For flat screens, color shift is somewhat noticeable the further you see from the center since you’re practically viewing the edges at a different angle.
Curved screens don’t have this issue since you’re viewing all parts of the screen at the same angle no matter how large or wide it is. This results in more accurate screen colors and color contrast. Glare is also minimized since it’s more pronounced on flat screens.
Why Pick Flat Screens?
Flat screens are still the standard these days after they replaced those bulky CRT monitors decades prior and they’re still some of the most advantageous displays.
Here’s why you’ll want to pick them over curved screens.
They’re Better Space Savers
Curved screens, no matter the package, are no doubt bulky and are starting to emulate the space consumption of older CRT monitors, which is ironic as it feels like display tech is regressing.
Flat screens are still undoubtedly superior since you can just slap them on walls and not worry about snagging their corners or bumping into them. Flat-screen monitors, likewise, are excellent for planning out the space economics of your desk.
You Don’t Have To Be Centered for Optimal Viewing
The major drawback of curved screens, particularly monitors, is that they’re made with only one person in mind. Let’s say you want to watch a movie on your curved TV or monitor, any person who isn’t in the center will have a less-ideal viewing angle.
This issue doesn’t exist with flat screens. You can move around in your chair or sit anywhere and your viewing experience won’t change much, as long as the panel is IPS.
There’s no fussing whether you’re at the dead center of the display with flat screens.
Bottomline, It Depends on Your Use Case
There’s no clear winner here and curved screens won’t really replace flat screens any time soon or at all.
However, there are certain pointers that you might want to consider in picking curved screens vs flat screens. Because curved screens are:
- Better for gaming and immersion
- Better for ultrawide displays and resolutions
- Better for VA panels
If you’re using, for example, an ultrawide curved screen monitor dominantly for gaming, then by all means, go ahead and indulge with the curved screens.
But for a mix of work and gaming or strictly work, then you might want to stick to flat screens. A lot of cheap curved screens come with VA panels that have poor viewing angles, meaning they’ll only be catered to those in the center of the screen.
Also do note that you can combine dual or triple curved monitors for an even more encompassing and absorbing experience though that’s a little too indulgent.