Over the past few years, curved monitors have gone from being rarities to familiar, if not commonplace, sights. They tend to be panels for gaming and professional design and content-creation use, but some general-purpose home and business monitors have adopted a curved design, too. And while they’re stylish, for sure, their appeal goes beyond mere appearance

The experience of using a curved display is often described as "immersive." It draws you into the scene, lending a feeling of dimensionality, which you don’t get with a flat panel. Many recent ultrawide monitors, including all of the 49-inch gaming and business monitors we have reviewed, are sharply curved, which gives the user a wider field of view with a minimum of distortion at the edges

Below, we'll get into everything you need to know about buying a curved display. Look below for a breakout of our top tested picks, followed by a buyer's guide and detailed specs on our choices. Let's dig in

A few years back, when I needed to upgrade my old VGA monitor to one that supported HDMI, I stopped by a local Staples and looked at the dozen or so general-purpose and productivity monitors on display. Among them, one stood out: The HP 27 Curved Display had a screen whose ends seemed to flex toward the viewer in a gentle concave arc, while the other displays all had flat screens. I examined them all—they each showed the same image, like in any typical showroom—and ended up buying the HP. I am viewing the words that you see here on it as I type

The image quality of the panel I bought seemed fine, but something else was also at work. The display had a not-so-secret weapon: Call itappeal, snazziness, or pizzazz. With the glut of more recent curved monitors, it no longer stands out, but it has served me well

I relate that experience to say: It's a good idea to take a look at one of these panels, if you can, in person. Ideally, view it alongside a selection of like-sized flat panels to see if a curved model is what you are after. You may well find that it grabs you in the same intangible way that it struck me, and in a way that a mere description on a web site can't

## Understanding Degree of Curvature
Not all curved monitors are curved the same amount. My HP 27 model, for one, is gently curved—as are most similar, general-purpose arc displays—while gaming and ultrawide productivity monitors tend to be more tightly curved


Among curved monitors, the degree of curvature is a measurable stat. Those highly curved monitors often have what is dubbed "1800R" curvature. This means that if you were to place enough of these monitors side by side to form a circle, its radius would be 1,800mm—that's 1.8 meters, or 5.9 feet. And if you were positioned that far from the screen, the center, the right edge, and the left edge all would be equidistant from your eyes

Few viewers would normally be that far from the screen, except perhaps when watching movies in a group. When you do move closer, especially with a large ultrawide monitor, the curve makes for a panoramic, immersive experience as the screen’s edges almost seem to wrap partway around you. This creates a three-dimensional effect (which a flat panel can’t provide) and is often said to reduce eyestrain

## What Resolution and Ports Should I Seek in a Curved Monitor?
Curved monitors tend to be large. A 24-incher is the smallest such display I have encountered. Most have 27-inch or larger screens (measured diagonally), with clusters at 30 inches, 34 inches, 35 inches, and 49 inches

Often, curved monitors are also ultrawide panels, defined by having 21:9 or 32:9 aspect ratios. The former tend to have WQHD (3,440-by-1,440-pixel) native resolution, while the 32:9 monitors—which include all the 49-inchers we have reviewed—have native resolutions of either 5,120 by 1,440 pixels or 3,840 by 1,080 pixels

As for ergonomics, height and tilt adjustment are common, swivel control less so (it’s seldom seen on the really wide monitors), and pivot control—allowing you to rotate the monitor from landscape to portrait orientation and back—is basically nonexistent. (For obvious reasons, the curvature doesn't make sense in a vertical orientation.)
Ports on these displays tend to face downward in back, which is less than ideal considering that most of these are large, heavy, and unwieldy monitors. It’s a good idea to connect any cables you might ever want to use during the initial setup process

Whether they are gaming, productivity, or professional monitors, curved displays commonly have a DisplayPort connector and at least one HDMI port; an upstream USB port (for connection to your computer) and several downstream USB ports (for flash drives and other peripherals); and an audio-out jack to connect to a headset or external speakers. Some have built-in speakers, but they can vary widely in quality

The controls to navigate the onscreen display (OSD) on general-purpose curved monitors tend to consist of small buttons, while those on gaming and some professional monitors are often four-way mini-joystick controllers, which are easier to use than buttons. (See how we test monitors.)
## Factors for Artists, Gamers, and Multitaskers

If you look beyond general-purpose use, you can lump curved monitors into three categories: for multitasking (productivity work with several apps or windows at once), for professional use, and for gaming

With a curved, large-screen productivity monitor, you can have several documents (or one gigantic spreadsheet) open in full-size windows at once, and view them with a minimum of eyestrain. A few monitor makers provide software to let you easily size, tile, and configure windows. You could even take this multitasking to another level by adding a second identical monitor for a dual-monitor setup

That said, you'll want to look with care at the size of the bezels and the degree of curvature if you are considering pairing up more than one curved panel in a multipanel display. You'll need a big, wide desk with adequate front-to-back clearance to allow for the natural curve to align across two of these panels. Also, thick side bezels could mean a big black bar in the center of your sightline with two panels

As for graphic designers, photographers, and other creative professionals, they could have several illustrations or photos open side-by-side on a curved monitor. This would provide more natural viewing angles than on a flat monitor, so that the artist could examine, say, three images at once without the outside ones appearing stretched

Gamers get a more three-dimensional view with a curved monitor than with a flat panel. Curved gaming displays are particularly good for racing games and flight simulators, and other games (particularly non-shooters) that provide panoramic views. One thing to note, though, is that some older AAA games don’t support the ultrawide aspect ratios typical of curved gaming panels

## So, Which Curved Monitor Should I Buy?
Curved monitors aren’t for everyone. They are a mixed bag for gamers, and they don’t provide practical advantages at small sizes, which is why you don't see them as much in panel sizes smaller than 30 inches. Apart from their aesthetic appeal, what sets curved displays apart from other computer monitors is that the edges of the screen face you, which isn’t the case with a flat panel. This provides a more panoramic view with less distortion, which can be a boon to gamers, graphic artists, and multitaskers alike

Now that you know the basics of curved displays, you’re ready to dig into the details of some of our best-reviewed models. You can also find more information in our roundups of the best ultrawide monitors, gaming monitors, and 4K monitors we’ve tested. And below is a spec breakout of our curved favorites that have been outlined above

 Where To Buy

- Best for Deep-Pocketed HDR-Loving Ultrawide GamersAsus ROG Swift PG35VQ
- Sports Car-Inspired GamingPorsche Design Agon by AOC PD27
- Bleeding-Edge OLED PC GamersAlienware 34 QD-OLED (AW3423DW)
- Creative Pros, Serious GamersAsus ProArt PA34VC Professional Curved Monitor
- Extreme MultitaskersLG 49WL95C-W
- Best for Ultrawide Gamers on a BudgetMSI Optix MPG341CQR
- Dell UltraSharp 34 Curved USB-C Monitor (U3419W)
- Best Gaming Monitor For 4K EnthusiastsSamsung Odyssey Ark
- Best for Deep-Pocketed Fans of Flight Sims and Racing GamesSamsung Odyssey G9 Gaming Monitor
- ViewSonic VP3481
- Best for General-Purpose Use in Home or OfficePhilips 272E1CA Curved Frameless Monitor