Curved displays will be the next big thing. With many companies showing off curved monitors at this year’s CES conference, you’ll see a lot of new computers with curved screens on store shelves later this year. This poses the question: is a curved screen a good buy, or are curved monitors no better than curved TVs, which were largely a gimmicky flop?
A Better Viewing Experience
Sitting the usual length away from a curved TV hasn’t been proven to provide viewers with a better view. This isn’t necessarily the case with a curved monitor. The proximity of screen to user is much closer when that screen is part of a computer, and that might be the main difference between a curved computer display and a curved TV screen.
Admittedly, companies that are currently creating curved monitors (HP, Dell, Samsung) have also noted that users will have to become comfortable with the new curved screens prior to purchasing. Familiarity, though, only takes a few minutes of working with a display model in a store. It’s also worth pointing out that the curves on the mentioned displays aren’t drastic, so you won’t be looking at a display that slopes like a skateboard ramp. These are subtle curves.
The Ideal Target
There might not be any real appeal to surfing the net using a curved screen, but that’s not what manufacturers of curved displays are aiming at. These displays seem to be more targeted towards professional designers, gamers, and users that will actually see a difference when sitting close to a screen with slight curves. The curves are, after all, there for a better viewing experience, so if you’re not viewing regularly, you may not want to purchase one of these displays.
There’s also the possibility of setting up a few curved displays with one right next to the other. The effect would be a continuous display that allows the natural eye to view every detail better with more flow. Anyone using more than one display may quickly see the benefit in setting up a few monitors that have curves in order to view a bigger picture better. Then again, you do have to factor in the price of these new and novel screens.
Pricey for Some
HP has the cheapest curved display option with the Z34C and Envy34C retailing for $999. Others are upwards of $1000. In some business settings, buying more than one curved screen to set up a sequence of screens will work, but the average computer user isn’t likely to spend more than $4000 on four screens. So, is it worth spending a ton of money on the newest and greatest screen technology to hit computers?
It will boil down to what you use your displays for. Stock trader? Probably. Gamer? Certainly. Graphic designer? Why not? Casual user checking emails? Maybe not. Unless, of course, you just like the look of the screen, then go for it. Otherwise, these screens seem to be reserved for a select few that will really benefit from a curved view.