The best curved monitors for 2020
The best curved monitors for 2020
By Tyler Lacoma February 15, 2020
While curved TV screens seem like more of a fad than anything else, curved monitors really do provide some utility. After reviewing dozens of the latest monitors on the market, we’re ready to recommend several of our favorites. The BenQ EX3501R is an excellent all-around model, while the Samsung CF791 provides incredible color accuracy.
We do have some other great recommendations too, though. All of them help with immersion and can lend new excitement to your gaming, especially the larger ones.
At a glance
The best curved monitor overall: BenQ EX3501R
Why should you buy this: It’s an excellent monitor for color and brightness, perfect for viewing images and video.
Who’s it for: Everyone, but with a special focus on gamers and those who use their computer for entertainment
A great middle of the road option for curved ultra-wides.
Why we picked the BenQ EX3501R:
The BenQ EX3501R combines a large, 35-inch monitor with a very affordable price for such a high-end ultrawide. It comes with HDR support, BenQ’s EyeCare settings for reducing eye strain, 100Hz refresh rate, and FreeSync. We were especially impressed with the brightness and color accuracy of this screen (100% of sRGB and 82% of AdobeRGB), which offers vivid images for gaming and videos — and, of course, any work you might be doing on the monitor. Ports include USB-C, HDMI, DisplayPort, and two USB-A ports, enough for all your connection needs. It’s a great ultrawide that’s made for everyone, and an easy recommendation if you’re not sure where to turn.
The best professional curved monitor: Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW
Why should you buy this: It’s a durable, versatile monitor with an extra-wide screen and great color.
Who’s it for: People looking for one of the biggest monitors available, or like strong monitor controls.
Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW
Dell’s giant model gives you all the screen you could want.
Why we picked the Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW:
Dell’s hefty monitor comes with some extra size, a particularly large, 38-inch WQHD+ ultrawide that won’t wobble on your desk, assuming you’ve made enough room for it (VESA mount options are also included). It offers a 3,840 x 1,600 resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, and easy, on-model buttons/joystick on the underside that make it simple to switch between modes. Ports include two HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C. We also noted that the model comes with a wide color gamut, albeit with a just so-so contrast ratio. There is no FreeSync, making this giant better suited for work tasks than gaming.
The monitor with best color accuracy: Samsung CF791
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Why should you buy this: This Samsung monitor is easily one of the best ultra-wides we’ve ever seen.
Who’s it for: People who like big curves and lots of color accuracy.
Samsung’s model has unparalleled image quality for a monitor this size.
Why we picked the Samsung CF791:
Samsung’s excellent 34-inch model brings an incredible contrast ratio, 100Hz refresh rate, 4ms response time, and 3,440 x 1,440 resolution. Samsung’s quantum dot technology adds extra sharpness to the display, and color accuracy meets 100% of sRGB and 85% of AdobeRGB—in other words, the color looks great.
We were also fans of the elegant design, easy-access ports, and the clear, detailed menu controls for adjusting color and switching between different modes. Ports include two HDMI 2.0 ports, a DisplayPort 1.4, and two USB connections. If you want one of the best pictures that a curved ultrawide can provide, this Samsung is worth saving up for. However, note that it’s a bit more friendly with games than with streaming services, which can struggle to fit properly to the outsized screen and its somewhat unusual resolution.
The best gaming curved monitor: Alienware AW3418DW
Rich Shibley/Digital Trends
Why should you buy this: Alienware’s unique monitor pushes the limits with an overclockable screen.
Who’s it for: Gamers, PC builders, and those with big desktop dreams
An Alienware monitor with G-Sync for the gamers.
Why we picked the Alienware AW3418DW:
You can expect an Alienware monitor to be good at games, and this 34-inch curved monitor does impress, with an overclockable to 120Hz refresh rate, G-Sync, and an expansive menu system with plenty of different modes and color control options (as well as a handy, four-mode dark stabilizer). Color accuracy is excellent and brightness is so impressive you’ll probably have to turn it down for most games. Ports include USB 3.0, USB with power charging, HDMI, and DisplayPort, but alas, no USB-C. For those who need G-Sync and want a curved ultrawide for the best gaming experience, this Alienware monitor is one of the best options available!
The best Best affordable curved monitor: BenQ EX3200R
Tomas Patlan/Digital Trends
Why should you buy this: It’s an affordable monitor that offers great features despite its low price tag.
Who’s it for: Those looking to save, gamers on a budget, people who don’t mind 1080p.
BenQ EX3200R 31.5" Curved Monitor 1080p 144Hz FreeSync Low Blue Light Flicker-Free HDMI
An extra affordable monitor that is still very impressive.
Why we picked the BenQ EX3200R:
Let’s say you want some of these great monitor features like a curved screen and extra-large monitor, but your budget is a bit more limited. The BenQ EX3200R comes to your rescue with a low price tag but a robust feature set that pulls absolutely everything it can out of its 1080p resolution. The 32-inch screen comes with a 144Hz refresh rate, an incredible 2060:1 contrast ratio according to our own testing. While color accuracy is just average, there is a full set of control options and presets to play with. Ports include two HDMI 2.0, a DisplayPort 1.4, and a USB port. If you’re looking for low-cost monitors, put this one on your list.
The best combination of size and price: LG 38UC99
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Why should you buy this: This enormous monitor lets you wrap yourself in a display that has lots of connectivity options.
Who’s it for: People with plenty of desk room and big ambitions
LG 38UC99-W 38" 21:9 Curved UltraWide QHD+ IPS Monitor
An extra-large ultrawide with FreeSync and much more.
Why we picked the LG 38UC99:
LG’s extra-large 38-inch monitor comes with a full feature set that includes a 75Hz refresh rate, 3,840 x 1,600 resolution, and FreeSync technology. Color accuracy reaches 100% sRGB and 78% AdobeRGB, while brightness is at 332 lux — numbers that are quite robust while falling a little short of some of our other top options. Connectivity, however, is impressive with ports that include two USB-A, a USB-C, DisplayPort 1.2, and two HDMI 2.0. It’s a giant monitor that offers a lot, but make sure you have enough room for it!