Unlike curved TVs, curved gaming monitors have an appeal that goes beyond novelty. One advantage of a curved gaming monitor is that it creates an immersive gaming experience, putting you right in the middle of the action. If you have a larger monitor, making it curved allows you to see more of the screen without turning your head or darting your eyes back and forth.
The major drawback with curved TVs is that, unless you’re sitting right in front of the screen, your view can become distorted or disrupted by glare. This can be an issue for get-togethers, where people might be sitting at different places in the room. But it’s less of an issue with a gaming monitor, which is likely to be used by just one person at a time, who is sitting directly in front of the screen. That means that most of the drawbacks of a curved TV aren’t prevalent in a curved gaming monitor.
If you’re choosing a curved monitor, it’s understandable that one of the first factors to consider is the curvature itself. The curvature can be informed by the size of the monitor, but purpose and preference factor in, too. Curvature can vary widely, but the standardized system makes it easier to find what you’re looking for when shopping online. Typically, you’ll see a number followed by the letter R, such as 1800R. A lower number means the monitor is more curved, whereas a higher number means it’s flatter. It might seem counterintuitive, but you can think about it the same way you think of degrees on a protractor — 90 degrees is more sharply angled than 120 degrees. When it comes to monitors, 1000R is generally the most curved option that’s widely available.
Pros and Cons of a Curved Monitor
Curved monitors are great for gaming because they create an immersive, enveloping experience. Curved monitors can also be useful for creatives, too. But there are a few potential caveats to consider when shopping for a curved monitor. For one thing, it may be less practical for general web functions like reading articles. Also, you’ll need considerable desk space for your curved monitor — the smallest curved gaming monitors tend to be around 24″, but they’re generally substantially bigger than that. There are even some options that can give your TV a run for its money. But if you have the space for it (and the cash), a curved monitor can be an excellent addition to your gaming setup.
These are some of the best ones to buy.
1. MSI 34″ MPG ARTYMIS 343CQR
The MSI Artymis 343CQR has a sizeable 34″ screen that our review called a “transcendent gaming experience,” especially when playing first-person shooters. The thin bezels and 1000R curvature put you right in the middle of the action, and the vibrant colors enhance your gaming and viewing experience.
2. Acer Predator X38 2300R Curved 37.5″ UltraWide QHD+
If you want to go really wide with your curved gaming monitor, the Acer Predator X38 has a 37.5″ screen and a less severe 2300R curvature. NVIDIA G-SYNC and up to a 175Hz refresh rate help create a smooth and responsive experience. The sleek, angular stand adds to the futuristic visual look of this monitor.
3. ASUS ROG Strix XG32VC 31.5” Curved Gaming Monitor
For those looking for a (slightly) smaller screen, ASUS ROG Strix has a 31.5″ display with a 1800R curvature. The smooth display has a 1ms response time and adaptive sync to keep the picture looking sharp. It’s also compatible with NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards. It’s highly adjustable to find your ideal viewing angle — you can easily adjust the height and tilt of the display, and the base also swivels.
4. Samsung 48.8″ Odyssey G9
You’re going to need a bigger desk. The Odyssey G9 from Samsung has a whopping 48.8″ screen, with a 32:9 ratio. The curved gaming monitor has a 1000R curvature, meaning you’ll be right in the middle of the action. The adjustable base allows you to tilt, swivel or raise and lower the monitor. The monitor boasts a 1 ms response time, 240 Hz refresh rate, and NVIDIA G-SYNC compatibility.
5. Dell 27″ Curved Gaming Monitor
A 27″ screen isn’t small by most standards, but it’s certainly smaller than the majority of curved monitors. That makes it a better option if desk space is limited. Plus, by sizing down, you get a more affordable monitor. The monitor is NVIDIA G-SYNC compatible and has AMD FreeSync to reduce stuttering and tearing.
6. MSI Optix 24″ LED Curved FHD FreeSync Monitor
BEST SMALL MONITOR
If you’re looking to save space (and money) while still enjoying the benefits a curved gaming monitor brings, then consider this option from MSI. Its 24″ screen makes it a manageable size for most desks. It has a sleek look with a red base. The monitor has a 1 ms response time and a 144Hz refresh rate.
7. LG Ultragear 34GN85B-B
Even though it’s more established as a brand in the TV space, LG actually has a curved gaming monitor that’s worth a look. This 34-inch UltraWide QHD (3440×1440) curved gaming monitor not only offers exceptional detail and clarity thanks to its Nano IPS panel for wider color gamut, but also for the 1-millisecond response that minimizes afterimage and ghosting. That’s great news when you’re in the heat of battle, because the last thing you want are distractions when your eyes are focused on something on-screen. Ghosting can be an annoyance when it’s too prevalent, or when there’s a lot of action happening. There’s also added utility for gamers built into the monitor, such as two HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, and USB ports to connect other peripherals to it.