What to Look For in a Curved Monitor in 2023
There are several reasons why you may want a curved monitor. They offer an immersive viewing experience, help reduce eye strain, and have fewer reflections and glare than flat monitors. But it’s good to understand a few things before picking one up.
One of the key ways in which curved monitors are different from flat monitors is, well, the curve. But the level of curvature can be different across different monitors. So, for example, some monitors have a gentler curve, whereas others are more aggressive.
The level of the curve is specified by the curvature radius, such as 1000R or 1500R. “R” in this label stands for radius, and the preceding number is the circle’s radius that would be formed if the monitor was extended all the way to form a full circle.
The lower the curvature radius, the more aggressively curved a monitor is. So, lower curvature radius monitors provide a more immersive experience at the typical sitting distance of around one meter. When picking a curved monitor, it’s essential to account for its curvature radius.
Apart from the curve radius, the usual features important for any monitor are also essential for a curved monitor. So if you are primarily buying a monitor for gaming, you would want variable refresh rate support, low input lag, and a faster response time. On the other hand, if you are a creative professional, you would prefer full coverage of different color spaces, such as sRGB, AdobeRGB, or DCI-P3, depending on what you create.
Lastly, your budget and available space to put a monitor are also crucial. Even the best curved monitor won’t be much use to you if you can’t fit it on your desk!
Now that we have gone through the basics, it’s time to dive into our recommendations.
Best Curved Monitor Overall: LG 40WP95C-W
- ✓ Fantastic color accuracy
- ✓ Full coverage of sRGB
- ✓ 5K2K resolution
- ✗ Low contrast ratio
- ✗ No local dimming
- ✗ No VRR on Macs
The LG 40WP95C-W is an impressive curved screen. Its 40-inch Nano IPS display offers a vivid and lifelike picture, and the 5K2K (5120×2160) resolution is great for multitasking. More importantly, the monitor has fantastic out-of-the-box color accuracy as it comes factory calibrated. You get full coverage of the sRGB and excellent coverage of AdobeRGB and DCI-P3 color spaces.
The monitor has a solid build quality and comes with a decent set of adjustment options in terms of ergonomics. In addition, the 2500R curve radius is gentle and won’t be a big adjustment even if you are coming from a flat-screen monitor.
LG has packed many connectivity options, including two Thunderbolt 4 ports, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and one DisplayPort 1.4. One Thunderbolt port can also deliver 96W of power, enough to keep most USB-PD compatible laptops charged. There are two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports onboard as well.
Although the 40WP95C-W is primarily targeted at content creators, it’s also a decent option for casual gaming because of its low input lag. In addition, the monitor natively supports AMD FreeSync and has a 72Hz refresh rate, so there is no screen tearing. But if you want a fast refresh rate, our best gaming monitor recommendation will better serve you.
Unfortunately, the contrast ratio of the LG monitor is low because of its IPS panel, and the company hasn’t included local dimming. Also, it works great with both Windows and Mac computers, but you won’t be able to use the variable refresh rate feature on Mac.
If you find the LG 40WP95C-W too expensive for your budget, the company’s LG Ultragear 34GP950G-B is an excellent alternative. It has a QHD resolution but offers a faster 180Hz refresh rate.
Best Curved Monitor Overall
The LG 40WP95C-W is a fantastic curved monitor. It boasts a 40-inch Nano IPS panel, 5K2K resolution, and excellent color accuracy.
Best Budget Curved Monitor: Dell S3221QS
- ✓ 4K resolution
- ✓ Excellent contrast ratio
- ✓ Full coverage of sRGB color space
- ✗ Poor ergonomics
- ✗ No USB-C input
Dell makes excellent monitors, and the company’s S3221QS is no exception. It’s a solid 4K monitor that’s perfect for people who don’t want to spend a lot. Its 32-inch VA panel is crisp and offers a great contrast ratio.
The creatives will appreciate the monitor’s complete coverage of the sRGB color space as well as great coverage of both AdobeRGB and DCI-P3.
The S3221QS includes two HDMI 2.0 ports and one DisplayPort 1.2 for video input. However, it lacks USB-C connectivity for single cable operation. If that’s a deal breaker, you’ll need to look into another monitor.
While the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz, the monitor supports AMD FreeSync for a variable refresh rate. In addition, it also provides low input lag and a fast response time for responsive gaming.
It’s a little plain looking as far as design is concerned, but that means it will fit in most surroundings. The monitor’s build quality is also good, and you get a 1800R curve radius.
Unfortunately, however, the Dell monitor has poor ergonomics. As a result, you’ll get limited adjustment options to reach your preferred viewing position and will need to work around it. An adjustable stand can help if you need to lift the monitor up.
Best Budget Curved Monitor
If you want something affordable, the Dell S3221QS deserves to be on your shortlist with its crisp 4K display and full coverage of the sRGB color space.
Best Curved Ultrawide Monitor: Samsung Odyssey Neo G9
- ✓ Excellent full-array local dimming
- ✓ 49-inch 5120x1440p screen is great for multitasking
- ✓ 240Hz refresh rate and VRR support
- ✗ Expensive
- ✗ Limited ergonomics
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 sits in a class of its own. It’s a super ultrawide curved monitor with some of the best monitor technologies Samsung has to offer. Its 49-inch VA panel produces deep blacks, which are further enhanced by the industry-leading full-array local dimming and Mini-LED backlighting integration.
The monitor’s 1000R curved radius closely matches the human eye’s field of view. As a result, you get a deeply immersive experience whether you are playing games or watching a movie. However, you will have to deal with black bars while watching movies or TV shows in the full-screen mode because of the monitor’s 32:9 aspect ratio.
The Odyssey Neo G9 also has a high peak brightness, which helps counter glare in bright rooms and improves the monitor’s HDR performance. Speaking of HDR, the G9 supports HDR10+ format, which isn’t very common in monitors.
Among other features, you get a fast 240Hz refresh rate with DisplayPort sources, but the maximum refresh rate gets limited to 144Hz with HDMI 2.1 inputs and 60Hz with HDMI 2.0. The monitor also supports AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and is certified Nvidia G-Sync compatible. Additionally, gamers will be happy to know that the G9 has a very low input lag and fast response time.
Ports include two HDMI 2.1, one DisplayPort 1.4, and two USB 3.2 Gen 2. But there is no USB-C input, which is a shame for a monitor that has nearly everything else going for it.
Also, keep in mind that this 49-inch monitor needs quite a bit of room on your desk, and its enormous size limits ergonomics. But you can still adjust the height, tilt, or swivel a bit, so if you have the room, you’ll be able to get a good viewing angle.
Best Curved Ultrawide Monitor
Samsung Odyssey Neo G9
With its 1000R curve radius, the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 offers a truly immersive viewing experience. In addition, the monitor's picture quality is superb.
Best Curved Ultrawide Monitor Under $500: AOC CU34G2X
- ✓ 144Hz refresh rate
- ✓ VRR works flawlessly
- ✓ Near-full coverage of sRGB
- ✗ Poor HDR performance
- ✗ No USB-C port
From 144Hz refresh rate to excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy, the AOC CU34G2X has a lot going for it. Its 34-inch WQHD screen gives you enough space to open multiple windows side-by-side, and the VA panel provides an excellent native contrast ratio.
The monitor officially supports VESA’s Adaptive Sync VRR technology but isn’t certified for either Nvidia G-Sync or AMD FreeSync. However, the monitor has no trouble working with the two VRR technologies.
While gamers will appreciate the monitor’s low input lag and quick response time, content creators will like the near-complete coverage of sRGB and impressive coverage of AdobeRGB and DCI-P3 color spaces.
The CU34G2X has tons of ports, including two DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0, and four USB 3.2 Gen 1. However, you don’t get any USB-C for single cable operation.
Additionally, AOC’s monitor has a subtle design and good build quality. There’s also the relatively aggressive 1500R curve radius. But while the monitor supports HDR, it doesn’t get bright enough to provide satisfying HDR performance. For a monitor at this price point, cuts had to be made somewhere!
Best Curved Ultrawide Monitor Under $500
The AOC CU34G2X is a feature-rich but affordable curved ultrawide monitor. It packs a WQHD screen, VRR support, and HDR capability.
Best Curved Gaming Monitor: Dell Alienware AW3423DW
- ✓ Stunning picture quality
- ✓ Fast 175Hz refresh rate
- ✓ Wide color gamut
- ✓ Compatible with Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync
- ✗ Susceptive to burn-in
- ✗ Large footprint
The Dell Alienware AW3423DW is the first monitor to ship with the new QD-OLED panel. This Samsung Display-made panel offers perfect blacks and lifelike colors. It also gets brighter than the W-OLED panels traditionally used in OLED TVs and monitors. So you can expect stunning visuals for a great gaming experience.
The monitor is also filled with tons of gaming-related features, such as a fast 175Hz refresh rate, native support for Nvidia G-Sync, AMD FreeSync compatibility, and an FPS counter. Additionally, gaming on the monitor feels responsive thanks to AW3423DW’s quick response time and low input lag.
Among other features, HDR support is present, and thanks to the monitor’s wide color gamut and decent brightness, the HDR content is a treat to watch, including in games.
Ports include one DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0, and four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports. In addition, you can use the USB-A ports to connect a wide variety of peripherals. You just need the space to put the monitor on your desk in the first place, ad this Alienware monitor isn’t small.
As is typical for OLED panels, the Alienware AW3423DW is sadly susceptible to burn-in. But Dell has included several features to reduce the chances of that happening and also offers a three-year replacement warranty for burn-in.
Best Curved Gaming Monitor
Dell Alienware AW3423DW
Thanks to the QD-OLED panel, the Dell Alienware AW3423DW offers a stunning picture quality. In addition, the monitor has everything that modern gamers want.
The Best Ultrawide Monitors of 2023
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Best Budget Ultrawide Monitor
Best Curved Ultrawide Monitor
Alienware 34 Curved QD-OLED Monitor
Best Ultrawide Gaming Monitor
Acer Predator X38
Best Ultrawide Monitor For Productivity
Dell UltraSharp U4021QW
Best 4K Ultrawide Monitor