The 4 Best Curved Monitors of 2021

Make your gaming or movie-watching experience more immersive

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The Rundown
The display is large enough to easily fit three apps side by side or...a truly immersive gaming experience.
Best Budget:
BenQ EX3203R at Amazon
This display is packed full of features for the money.
Best Display:
Acer XR382CQK at Amazon
The colors are so accurate that video and photo editors can easily use it as a professional display.
Best for Small Spaces:
Samsung C27F398 at Amazon
While you’ll sacrifice some screen space...this slimline monitor is ideal for tight spaces and lightweight desks.

The best curved monitors can actually save you money. Sure, as an initial investment, they may be generally slightly steeper than flat equivalents, but a curved monitor can effectively replace multiple monitors in your desktop setup, ultimately costing you less. They're also great for immersing yourself in games and films, and the choices on our list offer the same great resolution, image quality, refresh rate, and other features of their top, flat counterparts. If you do prefer a less arched display, we also assembled a list of the best 27-inch LCD monitors. Otherwise, read on to see the best curved monitors to get.

Best Oversized: Samsung CHG90 49-inch QLED Monitor

Samsung 49 inch CHG90 Gaming Monitor
What We Like
  • Huge, high resolution screen

  • Freesync 2 and HDR s support

  • Excellent, immersive gaming

What We Don't Like
  • Heavy

  • Takes up a lot of desk space

  • 1080p resolution

Not content with the 34-inch display size of most curved monitors, or even the 38-inch 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.

Size: 49 inches | Panel Type: VA | Resolution: 3840x1080 | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | Aspect Ratio: 32:9

Best Budget: BenQ EX3203R Curved Monitor

BenQ EX3200R
What We Like
  • Affordable price for size

  • 144Hz refresh rate

  • Good contrast

  • FreeSync 2 and HDR 400 support

What We Don't Like
  • Fewer ports than other monitors

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.-inch EX3203R.

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. That said, you still get an excellent 32-inch 1440p panel, though 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.

Size: 32 inches | Panel Type: IPS | Resolution: 2560x1440 | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | Aspect Ratio: 16:9

Best Display: Acer XR382CQX Curved Gaming Monitor

Acer XR382CQK
What We Like
  • High resolution panel

  • Accurate colors

  • Durable and adjustable stand

  • Great for media and photo editing

What We Don't Like
  • Not quite 4K resolution

Not quite 4K, not quite 2K, Acer’s XR382CQX Curved Gaming Monitor adds a gorgeous display that’s close to perfect. Finding a middle ground between 1440p and 4K, the Acer’s 3840 x 1600 resolution scales well on its 37.5-inch display. Its metal legs are durable and sturdy and don’t require as much room as the monitor itself. The stand adds -5 to 35 degrees of tilt and up to 60 degrees of swivel to find the right viewing angle.

Built as a gaming monitor, the colors are so accurate that video and photo editors can easily use it as a professional display. The UltraWide QHD display tech adds 100% sRGB gamut 6-axis color adjustment. IPS technology helps viewing angles stay consistent along with providing excellent color reproduction. HDR technology adds deeper levels of blacks and white contrast for more lifelike colors. The 21:9 aspect ratio works well for movies providing a cinematic-like viewing experience.

To reduce eye fatigue, EyeProtect eliminates screen flickering and adds blue-light filtering. As a bonus, Acer built-in two 7W DTA sound speakers. 

Size: 37.5 inches | Panel Type: IPS | Resolution: 3840x1600 | Refresh Rate: 75Hz | Aspect Ratio: 21:9

Best for Small Spaces: Samsung C27F398 Curved LED Monitor

SAMSUNG C27F398 27 Inch Curved LED Monitor
What We Like
  • Affordable price

  • Reduced low light emissions

  • Small footprint for limited space

What We Don't Like
  • Lower resolution than others

  • Not as bright as it could be

  • Limited input options

Curved monitors typically come into their own at screen sizes of 30 inches 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.

Size: 27 inches | Panel Type: IPS | Resolution: 1920x1080 | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Final Verdict

Samsung's CHG90 (view at Office Depot) absolutely knocks it out of the park, with a huge, gorgeous curved monitor that produces brilliant images and supports HDR and Freesync for silky smooth gameplay. For a more budget option, we like the BenQ EX3203R (view at Amazon), it has a 1440p panel, supports FreeSync, and HDR and has a 144Hz refresh for gamers.

FAQs

Are curved monitors better than regular aspect ratios?

Curved monitors are a good way to get the benefits of a larger screen in terms of workspace without increased eye strain. Depending on curvature, curved monitors offer increased immersion, making it easier to see all parts of your screen without turning your head. The increased field of view allows for better multitasking and reduced distortion compared to flat monitors, especially around the edges.

Are curved monitors good for gaming?

Curved monitors are a great option for gaming. The improved field of view makes games more immersive, keeping the entire scene in focus without forcing you to run your head. This is great for all games but especially pays off in fast-paced first-person shooters and flight simulators, where you want to keep your screen and all your information in focus. The extra immersion is also tons of fun.

Is the higher price of a curved monitor worth it?

Curved monitors do tend to cost a premium compared to flat monitors, but there are good reasons for that. Aside from the improved comfort and field of view, most curved monitors are high-resolution panels, straddling the space between 2K and 4K. For gamers, they have features like high refresh rates for smooth and responsive gameplay, support for HDR, FreeSync, G-Sync, and other bells and whistles like LED lighting on the back and window management software.

What to Look for in a Curved Monitor

Screen Size

The first decision you’ll need to make when it comes to buying a desktop monitor is screen size. Most models come in a variety of sizes, though curved monitors are often larger than standard monitors, ranging from as small as 27 inches to 49 inches and wider (measured diagonally). The latter can fit about three apps side by side, if that’s important for your work. To help optimize your workflow, many monitors come with screen management software that lets you create multiple pre-arranged windows that you can drag and drop into specific areas.

Resolution

The higher the resolution of your screen, the better the picture will look. So if you’re a gamer or a designer, this spec will be especially vital. A 2560 x 1080 resolution should be adequate, but if you want to up the ante, look for a screen with 3440 x 1440 or 3840 x 2160 resolution. Most curved monitors straddle the space between 2K and 4K panels.

Design

The design of a monitor takes into account the material, stand structure, thickness, and more. Among curved monitors, it’s rarer to find ones that have adjustable heights and tilts, but you can snag one if you dig a little deeper. Since curved monitors tend to be on the larger side, you'll want to get one that has a sturdy stand or comes with VESA mounting options so you can mount it to your desk or wall.

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