Choosing the Best Programming Monitor: Curved VS Flat Programming Monitor

person coding with portable laptop monitor

Coding has grown in popularity as not only one of the latest tech hobbies, but also as one of the most reliable job markets. Naturally, that means a lot of people, including you, probably want to get into the field.  

However, there's one little detail you might be wondering about: which type of monitor should you be using? Whether you're using curved monitors or flat monitors, a second screen can provide huge benefits for your programming endeavors.

Let’s compare your two choices to see which is best for you.

flat programming monitor on desk

Using a Curved VS Flat Monitor for Programming

Believe it or not, the monitor you use for programming can affect your productivity and the quality of your work. Both flat and curved monitors have their own benefits and drawbacks. Let’s do a side-by-side comparison.

Curved Monitor for Programming

A curved monitor for programming probably isn’t something you’ve heard about unless you’re really up-to-date with your tech, or if you’re a hardcore PC gamer. Flat monitors have been dominating the industry for decades, and curved options are relatively new. However, the new technology can bring some advantages to the table.

curved programming monitor on desk

Benefits of Using a Curved Monitor for Programming

First, a curved monitor is better for immersion. The curve of the monitor plays with your eyes and draws you in a bit deeper than a flat monitor. With programming, however, immersion isn’t much of a concern. However, it can improve the versatility of your monitor for entertainment use. Do you ever play any games? A curved screen can draw you in during those much-needed breaks from your programming efforts. Movies? That’s the same situation. They simply pull you into the content more effectively.

On top of that, there is less distortion and more image depth. Let's tackle these separately. First, with a flat screen, it's a little hard to depict 3D images with a lot of curves. It's kind of like the depiction of the globe on a paper map – things have to be stretched here and there to fit. If you’re only using your monitor for programming, this benefit won’t affect you since most of the images you’ll display will be 2D.

Curved monitors also offer more image depth, which is a great benefit for gaming and other entertainment uses. With a curved monitor, the overall 3D viewing experience is improved. You get more depth, and you don't have to worry about the image being distorted.

Drawbacks of Using a Curved Monitor for Programming

There are some downsides to curved monitors, though. First, and most noticeably, they’re more expensive. In fact, they cost quite a bit more on average. The specific programming benefits that come from curved monitors are slim, so it may not be worth the extra money unless you’re planning on using the monitor for professional gaming.

They also require you to use your screen from a single viewing angle directly in the center of the monitor. If you want to lean to the side or stand up while you’re working, the curvature of the screen makes it difficult to see clearly. Depending on where you’re viewing the screen, there can be an extreme glare.

Additionally, you might have problems traveling with it as the curve is more complicated to pack. There is a higher likelihood that the screen could be damaged during transit, and curved monitors also tend to be a bit larger than flat ones. If you’re planning on traveling and programming at the same time, a curved monitor can make it more difficult to complete your work on the go.

Flat Monitor for Programming

Flat monitors have no curvature in the screen as curved monitors do. These monitors tend to be more common and are used more often for practical tasks like viewing documents or browsing the web. This classic option does have some drawbacks compared to the curved monitor, but it also provides many benefits, making it the most popular type of monitor.

flat monitor for programming on desk

Benefits of Using a Flat Monitor for Programming

First, flat monitors are generally cheaper than curved monitors since the technology has been around longer. This means you can purchase high-quality, reliable hardware without the extra cost of a curved screen.  

Second, it's easier to store since you don't have to worry about storing a curved, fragile screen. Flat monitors tend to be more portable in general, and choosing a flat monitor opens up the possibility of purchasing a portable laptop monitor.

Additionally, flat monitors have less glare since there's no curve to "catch" the light in the room. Plus, you can view most modern flat screens from almost any practical angle without losing too much image quality. This is a great benefit if you prefer to work from an adjustable desk and don’t want to be confined to one sitting position while working.

Drawbacks of Using a Flat Monitor for Programming

There are a few downsides to using flat monitors, though. The solely 2D image causes distortion and loss of depth if you’re trying to view detailed 3D images during activities like live gameplay, animation, or film viewing. If you’re looking at spreadsheets, documents, or code, this drawback won’t affect you much. However, it could result in a loss of detail if you’re testing a program with a lot of 3D image detail.

Also, the flat screen can limit your field of view. This is especially true if you use a larger monitor, and you’ll have to sacrifice the image depth and immersion that we highlighted in the curved monitor section above.

Which is Better: Curved or Flat Monitors for Programming

The monitor you choose depends on your specific situation. If you're traveling a lot, using a smaller monitor, and need to save some cash, a flat monitor might be better for you. If you're mostly programming at home or in the office and your work requires viewing detailed 3D images, a curved monitor may be the better option.

If you want to be able to take your monitor anywhere without sacrificing quality, consider the Trio Max. The Trio Max is the perfect portable second screen for laptops that allows you to take your monitor anywhere and attach it to your laptop in seconds. If you’re traveling, like to change up your workspace often, or don’t have the space to dedicate to a desktop setup, the Trio Max can combine the best of both worlds into one simple package.

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