The 7 Best Curved Monitors to Buy in 2018

Make your gaming or movie-watching experience more immersive

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Curved monitors are becoming increasingly popular, with prices dropping and specifications improving noticeably from early models. While still a relatively niche product, nothing compares to an ultrawide, curved display for an immersive movie-watching and gaming experience. With so many different model numbers and acronyms, though, it’s not easy to separate the great from the merely good. The good news is that whether you’re on a budget, looking for the biggest and best, or just want a multi-purpose display that does a good job of everything, we’ve got you covered when it comes to buying one. So read on to see our picks for the best curved monitors to buy right now, across a range of categories.

Our Top Picks

Best Multipurpose: LG 34UC79G

If you’re after a good, multi-purpose curved display that won’t break the bank, look no further than the LG 34UC79G. Equally good for editing spreadsheets, watching your favorite show or playing action games, it’s a monitor with the perfect balance of specifications and price.

It’s height-adjustable and attractively designed, is only three inches thick and has the usual selection of HDMI, DisplayPort, USB and audio ports. Plus, you get both an HDMI and DisplayPort cable in the box.

The 21:9 ratio has become increasingly common for large curved monitors like these, and while the 2560 x 1080 resolution isn’t the highest, it also means you don’t need the very latest high-powered graphics card to get good gaming performance.

The wide refresh rate range (50-144Hz) lets the FreeSync technology work its magic, meaning fewer mid-game display glitches, and the contrast ratio is some of the highest of any IPS display, curved or otherwise.

Best Budget: BenQ EX3200R

If you’re looking for a curved monitor but don’t want to spend more than a few hundred dollars on it, good options have typically been few and far between. Taiwanese manufacturer BenQ is trying to change that with its 31.5" EX3200R.

This display is packed full of features for the money, with an understated design, high 144Hz refresh rate, good contrast and height adjustability. It even includes FreeSync support, making this a surprisingly-good choice for gamers.

Of course, you’re not going to get every premium feature in a budget-priced display. Most noticeably, the 1080p resolution is relatively low by current standards and color range leaves a little to be desired for graphics professionals. You’ll get fewer ports than on most other monitors, as well.

At under half the price of high-end displays, though, those limitations are understandable​ and aren’t major issues. The EX3200R is an awful lot of monitor for not much money, easily making it our top budget pick.

Best for Movies: LG 34UC98-W

LG is one of the big names in curved monitors, and the 34UC98 is one of its most highly-regarded models. The IPS 3440 x 1440 display comes almost perfectly-calibrated from the factory, with several presets for quickly switching between gaming, theater, work and other modes.

With over 99 percent sRGB coverage, the accurate colors are valuable for avid movie watchers and graphics professionals alike. The addition of two seven-watt speakers lets the monitor produce impressive sound to go along with its quality display, and turns it into a top-notch entertainment platform.

Other useful extras include a USB 3.0 port with fast-charging support for many smartphones, plus two HDMI ports, two Thunderbolt 2 ports,and a DisplayPort. You’re not short of connectivity options for either Mac or Windows machines. The display is also adjustable for both height and tilt, a feature often left out of even high-end curved monitors like this.

Best 4K: AOC C4008VU8

4K displays have become popular with graphic designers and other professionals in recent years, but while most wide-screen curved monitors give plenty of room to move, few of them hit true 4K (3840+ pixels wide) resolution. If high resolution matters most to you, check out the AOC C4008VU8 instead.

This monitor still isn’t small — at 40", it’s one of the largest on the market — and for the size and features, it’s relatively affordable. The 3840 x 2160 display is impressive, with high contrast and rich, accurate colors, and is at its best when you’re working and watching shows. That said, it handles demanding games fairly well given the lack of FreeSync support.

With two HDMI ports, two DisplayPorts, a VGA port and four USB ports, you’re not short of connection options. You can display up to four sources simultaneously on the screen or a single picture-in-picture.

Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best 4K monitors can help you find what you're looking for.

Best for Small Spaces: Samsung C27F398

Curved monitors typically come into their own at screen sizes of 30" or wider, but not everyone has that much spare space on their desk or cash in their wallet. But Samsung’s C27F398 has both things covered.

While you’ll sacrifice some screen space, brightness (250 nits) and resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels, 60Hz), this slimline monitor is ideal for tight spaces and lightweight desks. Samsung includes the "EyeSaver" technology from its pricier displays, which cuts down on blue light emissions and flicker, along with an automatic brightness sensor to save power and eye strain.

There are no built-in speakers, but a standard 3.5mm jack lets you plug headphones in directly to the monitor. Input options are limited to 1 HDMI and 1 Displayport socket, with a six-foot HDMI cable included in the box.

Best for Gaming: ASUS ROG SWIFT PG348Q

Asus has been putting out high-end gaming gear under its Republic of Gaming (ROG) brand for several years, and the SWIFT PG348Q is no exception.

There’s nothing subtle about the monitor, from its size and industrial-style accents to the red logo that projects down from the base onto the desk below. The screen curve isn’t as pronounced as some other displays, but it’s still enough to fill your peripheral vision, and the viewing angles are excellent.

Refresh rates, contrast ratios and color saturation and accuracy are all excellent, as you’d expect from a monitor at this price point. G-SYNC compatibility also comes standard, meaning no screen tearing or display stutter if you’re using an NVIDIA graphics card. If the game you’re playing natively supports the panel’s 21:9 ratio, this 3440 x 1440 panel gives one of the best gaming experiences you’re likely to have.

Navigating the menu options is done via a joystick on the back right of the monitor, and is a much simpler process than the endless button mashing favored by other manufacturers. The only real weak point is the two-watt speakers — most people will replace them with beefier versions or headphones.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best high-end gaming monitors

Best Oversized: Samsung 49” CHG90

Not content with the 34" display size of most curved monitors, or even the 38" version pushed by a few manufacturers, Samsung has produced an absolutely giant screen that’s far larger than anything else on the market.

At a remarkable 49", the CHG90 display is large enough to easily fit three apps side by side or to fill your peripheral vision for a truly immersive gaming experience. Samsung promotes the monitor mainly for entertainment, with a speedy 1ms response time, FreeSync 2 technology, High Dynamic Range (HDR) support and other gaming-specific features.

It’s not quite as impressive when displaying text, however — on a screen this size, even the 3840 x 1080 resolution isn’t quite enough for pin-sharp fonts. For those gamers and movie lovers who want serious screen real estate, and have a desk that can handle the 34-pound heft of this monster display, however, there’s simply nothing else that compares.