What to look for in a curved monitor in 2022
There are several reasons why you might want a curved monitor. They offer an immersive viewing experience, help reduce eye strain, and have less reflection and glare than flat monitors. But before choosing one, it is good to understand a few things.
One of the main ways curved monitors differ from flat monitors is the curve. But the level of curvature may be different in different monitors. So, for example, some monitors have a softer curve, while others are more aggressive.
The level of curvature is determined by the radius of curvature, such as 1000R or 1500R. The “R” on this label stands for radius, and the previous number is the radius of the circle that will appear when the monitor is fully extended to form a full circle.
The lower the curvature radius, the more aggressively curved the monitor is. Thus, monitors with a lower curvature radius provide a more immersive experience at a typical seating distance of about one meter. When choosing a curved monitor, it is important to consider its curvature radius.
Aside from the curve radius, the usual features that are important for any monitor are also important for a curved monitor. So if you’re buying a monitor primarily for gaming, you’ll want variable refresh rate support, lower input lag, and faster response times. On the other hand, if you’re a creative professional, you’d prefer full coverage of different color spaces, such as sRGB, AdobeRGB, or DCI-P3, depending on what you’re creating.
Finally, your budget and available space to put the monitor are also very important. Even the best curved monitor won’t do you much good if you can’t fit it on your desk!
Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to dive into our recommendations.
Best Curved Monitor Overall: LG 40WP95C-W
- ✓ Fantastic color accuracy
- ✓ Full coverage of sRGB
- ✓ 5K2K resolution
- ✗ Low contrast ratio
- ✗ No local dimming
- ✗ Macs don’t have VRRs
The LG 40WP95C-W is an impressive curved display. Its 40-inch Nano IPS display delivers a vivid and vibrant picture and the 5K2K (5120×2160) resolution is great for multitasking. More importantly, the monitor has excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy as it comes calibrated at the factory. You get full coverage of sRGB and excellent coverage of AdobeRGB and DCI-P3 color spaces.
The monitor has a solid build quality and comes with ergonomically decent adjustment options. Also, the 2500R curve radius is soft and won’t be a huge adjustment even if you’re coming from a flat screen monitor.
LG has packed in plenty of connectivity options, including two Thunderbolt 4 ports, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and one DisplayPort 1.4. A single Thunderbolt port can also deliver 96W of power, which is enough to charge most USB-PD compatible laptops. There are also two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports on board.
While the 40WP95C-W is primarily intended for content creators, it’s also a decent choice for casual gaming due to its low input lag. In addition, the monitor natively supports AMD FreeSync and has a 72Hz refresh rate, so there is no screen tearing. But if you want a fast refresh rate, our best gaming monitor recommendation will serve you better.
Unfortunately, the contrast ratio of the LG monitor is low due to the IPS panel, and the company did not include native dimming. Also, it works great with both Windows and Mac computers, but you won’t be able to use the variable refresh rate feature on Mac.
If you find the LG 40WP95C-W too expensive for your budget, the company’s LG Ultragear 34GP950G-B is a great alternative. It has QHD resolution but offers a faster 180Hz refresh rate.
Best curved monitor overall
The LG 40WP95C-W is a fantastic curved monitor. It has a 40-inch Nano IPS panel, 5K2K resolution and excellent color accuracy.
Best budget curved monitor: Dell S3221QS
- ✓ 4K resolution
- ✓ Excellent contrast ratio
- ✓ Full coverage of the sRGB color space
- ✗ Poor ergonomics
- ✗ No USB-C input
Dell makes excellent monitors, and the company’s S3221QS is no exception. It’s a solid 4K monitor that’s perfect for people who don’t want to spend a lot of money. Its 32-inch VA panel is sharp and offers an excellent contrast ratio.
Creators will appreciate the monitor’s full coverage of the sRGB color space, as well as excellent coverage of AdobeRGB and DCI-P3.
The S3221QS includes two HDMI 2.0 ports and one DisplayPort 1.2 for video input. However, there is no USB-C connection for single cable operation. If that’s a deal breaker, you should look at another monitor.
Although the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz, the monitor supports AMD FreeSync for variable refresh rates. In addition, it also provides low input lag and fast response time for responsive gameplay.
It looks a little plain in terms of design, but that means it will suit most environments. The build quality of the monitor is also good and you get an 1800R curved radius.
Unfortunately, the Dell monitor has poor ergonomics. As a result, you’ll have limited adjustment options to achieve your preferred viewing position, and you’ll have to work around it. An adjustable stand can help if you need to raise the monitor.
The best budget curved monitor
If you want something affordable, the Dell S3221QS deserves to be on your short list with its bright 4K display and full coverage of the sRGB color space.
- ✓ Excellent full-row local dimming
- ✓ The 49-inch 5120x1440p display is great for multitasking
- ✓ 240Hz refresh rate and VRR support
- ✗ Expensive
- ✗ Limited ergonomics
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 sits in a class of its own. This is a super ultra-wide curved monitor with the best monitor technologies that Samsung has to offer. Its 49-inch VA panel produces deep blacks that are further enhanced by industry-leading full-series local dimming and Mini-LED backlight integration.
The 1000R curve radius of the monitor is very similar to the field of view of the human eye. As a result, whether you’re playing a game or watching a movie, you get a deeply immersive experience. However, due to the monitor’s 32:9 aspect ratio, you’ll have to deal with black bars when watching movies or TV shows in full-screen mode.
The Odyssey Neo G9 also has a high peak brightness, which helps reduce glare in bright rooms and improves the monitor’s HDR performance. Speaking of HDR, the G9 supports the HDR10+ format, which is not often found in monitors.
Among other features, you get a fast 240Hz refresh rate with DisplayPort sources, but the maximum refresh rate is limited to 144Hz with HDMI 2.1 inputs and 60Hz with HDMI 2.0. The monitor also supports AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and is certified for Nvidia G-Sync compatibility. In addition, gamers will be pleased to know that the G9 has very low input lag and a fast response time.
Ports include two HDMI 2.1, one DisplayPort 1.4 and two USB 3.2 Gen 2. But there’s no USB-C port, which is a shame for a monitor that’s compatible with almost anything.
Also, keep in mind that this 49-inch monitor takes up a lot of space on your desk, and its large size limits ergonomics. But you can still adjust the height, tilt, or swivel a bit, so if you have the room, you’ll be able to get a good viewing angle.
The best curved ultra-wide monitor
Samsung Odyssey Neo G9
With a 1000R curved radius, the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 offers a truly immersive viewing experience. In addition, the image quality of the monitor is excellent.
Best curved ultra-wide monitor under $500: AOC CU34G2X
- ✓ 144Hz refresh rate
- ✓ VRR works flawlessly
- ✓ Almost full coverage of sRGB
- ✗ Poor HDR performance
- ✗ There is no USB-C port
From a 144Hz refresh rate to excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy, the AOC CU34G2X has a lot going for it. Its 34-inch WQHD screen offers enough room to open multiple windows side-by-side, and the VA panel provides an excellent local contrast ratio.
The monitor officially supports VESA’s Adaptive Sync VRR technology, but is not certified for Nvidia G-Sync or AMD FreeSync. However, the monitor has no problem working with dual VRR technology.
While gamers will appreciate the monitor’s low input lag and fast response time, content creators will appreciate the nearly full coverage of sRGB and impressive coverage of the AdobeRGB and DCI-P3 color spaces.
The CU34G2X has tons of ports, including two DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0, and four USB 3.2 Gen 1. However, you don’t get any USB-C for single-cable operation.
In addition, AOC’s monitor has a slim design and good build quality. There is also a relatively aggressive 1500R bend radius. But even though the monitor supports HDR, it is not bright enough to provide HDR performance. For a monitor at this price point, cuts had to be made somewhere!
The best curved ultrawide monitor under $500
The AOC CU34G2X is a feature-rich yet affordable curved ultra-wide monitor. It packs a WQHD display, VRR support and HDR capability.
- ✓ Stunning picture quality
- ✓ Fast 175Hz refresh rate
- ✓ Wide color gamut
- ✓ Compatible with Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync
- ✗ Sensitive to burning
- ✗ Large footprint
The Dell Alienware AW3423DW is the first monitor equipped with the new QD-OLED panel. This Samsung Display-made panel offers perfect blacks and vivid colors. It’s also brighter than the W-OLED panels traditionally used in OLED TVs and monitors. So you can expect stunning visuals for a great gaming experience.
The monitor is also packed with tons of gaming-related features like a fast 175Hz refresh rate, native support for Nvidia G-Sync, AMD FreeSync compatibility, and an FPS counter. In addition, the AW3423DW’s fast response time and low input lag give the monitor a responsive gaming experience.
Among other features, there is HDR support, and thanks to the monitor’s wide color gamut and decent brightness, HDR content, including games, is a pleasure to watch.
Ports include one DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0 and four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports. In addition, you can use the USB-A ports to connect various peripheral devices. First of all, you need a place to put the monitor on your desk, and this Alienware monitor is not small.
As is typical for OLED panels, the Alienware AW3423DW is unfortunately susceptible to burn-in. But Dell has included several features to reduce the chances of this happening, and also offers a three-year burn-in replacement warranty.