Big curved monitor for office use - revisited

I’ve seen a few older posts regarding curved monitors, but I’d like to hear any recent experiences. I was just in a Best Buy and stood in front of a monster curved “gamer” monitor (45"? 49"?) and I was gobsmacked. Although it was connected to a PC, I had 4 windows open with plenty of room to work. I easily could have had more.

But, this is not for me. My wife works from home as an underwriter and she typically has 3-4 windows open at a time, although on 3 different monitors. It’s a mess. They’re different brands, models, and quality. I was able to attach two a desk edge-mounted stand, but even with that, the work area is still unwieldy, off-center, and overly cabled. I’m thinking that a big curved monitor will help quite a bit. She obviously can work with the set up as-is, but unlike me she is the “I’ll just deal with it” type.

Anyway, have you had the opportunity to change from multiple monitors to a single wide screen? If so, what’s the recommended screen for office use? I know many of these are geared towards high-refresh, fast-response, HDR needs of gaming, and I guess I don’t need to pay for features she won’t need - if that’s possible.

I love ultra wide, the only problem is I miss vertical space. My work setup has me aiming toward a 16/10 43-48” flanked by a portrait display and eventually a 12.9 iPad Pro for the home.

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I tried last year a 38in ultrawide with a resolution of 3840x1600. Despite a low PPI, it’s an awesome resolution for productivity because you get additional vertical pixels (the 16:10 of ultrawides if you will). I ended up returning it because I had a perfectly good 27in 4k monitor that work paid for. I couldn’t justify $900 at the time to keep it, but I really enjoyed using it for work. I never did figure out if BetterDisplay could have made it look better on Mac.

What I really want to try but absolutely cannot afford right now are the small number of 5120x2160 40in ultrawides which have the PPI of a 32in 4k display. There’s also the brand-new monster Samsung 57in mini-LED ultrawide that has a resolution of 7680x2160, that’s essentially two 4k 32in monitors. I think the 40in ultrawide would be the sweet spot for me if I ever have the funds to try it.

Edit: I’ll add that many of these higher-end ultrawides seem to have quality-control issues if you search on Reddit and read user reviews, especially the ones from LG. My Dell 27in 4k’s USB-C connection stopped working a little over a year into owning it too. Stuff like that makes me nervous to invest $1000+ into a monitor made by someone other than Apple.

I have a 34" curved gaming monitor hooked up to an older PC, but it’s a low resolution thing (1440 I believe), so it doesn’t get much use anymore. I prefer big monitors to dual screen, I like to spread everything around and not have to look at another monitor.

So yes, I like when I can spread things out, and I guess the curve is necessary when you get that wide, but like @hmurchison, I miss the vertical space on it. On a big spreadsheet I need to see more rows at once quite often, so that affects my use cases.

I have a Dell 32" 4k standard dimension monitor hooked up to my PC laptop and I greatly prefer that because it is big enough where I don’t feel I need an extra monitor and it has more vertical room. Since your wife has one screen vertical, she might feel the same way.

As to brand, I think you are safe with any of the big names, Samsung, LG, Dell (say what you will about their PCs, they make great monitors), etc.

Side note: Apple really needs an affordable 32" 5k monitor!

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I tried an LG 5K2K monitor, which is their 34" 5K display.

It’s a very nice display, but I found the text to be slightly less crisp than on my current Apple Studio Displays 5K screens, which I suppose is to be expected with a larger monitor and the same resolution. For now, at least, it’s inactive and probably going up for sale.

My biggest problem with this monitor is that I found that I was generally moving windows to the center to work on them because the larger size means that windows on the edges are enough farther away from me than windows in the center, and with my finely tuned progressive bifocals, that is a problem.

A curved monitor would presumable fix that issue, but I do a fair amount of photography work and am concerned that a curve monitor will create distortion in the images causing me to correct said distortion and wind up with distorted images when they move to a flat display or are printed.

I use 2 x Apple Studio Displays, one directly in front of me as my main monitor and one on a monitor arm to my right side where I have, at the far edge, message and calendar open, and on the near edge, Things along with any other reference windows I am actively using.

I tried using an older 27" 4K LG as a third monitor, and found the different resolutions very distracting, especially when moving a window to or from that monitor. I suspect most people would not be bothered by that, but it was annoying for me, and I decided to forgo a third monitor for now (buying another ASD doesn’t seem worth the cost for me right now).

I had an Ultra-wide monitor (I think it was a 49”) in my last role, it wasn’t curved but that didn’t affect my experience. I was working in Windows 10 then Windows 11 which is excellent at guiding you to place (snap) Windows/Applications where you want them. OS X still sadly lacks this built in capability.

For Spreadsheets, the UW is brilliant, it completely removes side to side scrolling and has plenty of vertical space to work.

For word processing (MAN that sounds old fashioned) the monitor was not tall enough, but that’s unlikely to be different from a “normal” widescreen (rather than ultrawide) as the height is the same and I wouldn’t have a Word document full screen on an UW.

When you have multiple documents in use, the UW is great for having reference material on either side with your “working window” in the middle.

I found the UW distracting though when I was working on a single document or application as it just seemed to be marooned in the middle of the screen.

I think that my ultimate setup would be 3 monitors with the middle one 24”, then smaller screens at either side. For some reason separate screens are easier to tune out for me than empty space on the monitor I’m using.

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I have some spreadsheets at work that would disagree with that statement. :wink:

Interesting we have the opposite opinion on this. Depends on what I am working with, if it’s just a heap of raw data that I am doing mass changes on, an UW is ok. A lot of my personal financial stuff I want to see more rows at once and an UW starts feeling cramped.

Everything that would make everyone happy can’t be built in. The Moom app, once you get the hang of it, is a good way to go for window management.

Why not both? I have an ultrawide, a portrait monitor to the left of the ultrawide and a landscape monitor to the right. It’s glorious, although it is an overkill!

To be perfectly honest, I only use the other two monitors for reference, at-a-glance type - for example, for glancing at Things, MPU, Whatsapp, Slack, Mastodon. But when I am actually replying to a MPU or Slack, I will do a Keyboard Maestro shortcut to move the window to the ultrawide. The main reason is typing with your head turned to the left will cause neck pain :slight_smile:

For glancing at information, and hopefully, in the future I can put widgets (I am still on Ventura), the two monitors are a blessing.

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Everything that would make everyone happy can’t be built in.

Pointing out macOS’s inadequate window management is a fair criticism, as is the lack of any effective means for managing menubar icons, especially in the age of the notch. Third-party utilities are great, but the base OS should do both of those things better.

macOS is currently my favorite desktop OS for a number of reasons, but it’s certainly not beyond reproach.

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Never said it was beyond reproach. But unless you only use the stock apps and capabilities that Apple provides, isn’t every third-party app that you purchase reflective of some personal need or want that Apple is not meeting for you?

It was a couple of years ago, but at another forum I visited we had a PC user switch to Mac and he was asking question and critiquing macOS. Almost everything he mentioned the Mac users were telling him to download this or that app. His reply was that he shouldn’t have to download apps for basic functionality. Which I agree with, but the 3rd party apps are often a lot better than Apple where there is overlap.

I have been using Windows 11 a lot more lately and it really has come a long way. It took me a year to get rid of all the little annoyances of Microsoft trying to force MSN and OneDrive down my throat, but once I got those turned off, it’s been an enjoyable experience. Its Window management is well done, if not slightly basic (it’s not at Moom’s level). Apple really should be copying them.

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I think you might get a difference of opinion from Apple’s independent software developers.

Sure, we all buy Macs to run our favorite apps and utilities, but I don’t think @geoffaire meant that “everything that would make everyone happy” can or should be built in.

macOS doesn’t need to include all the features of Moom or Bartender, but it would be reasonable for a modern level of window and menubar management functionality to be included with the operating system.

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Microsoft also provides something called Power Toys, which are a suite of apps to enhance the base install of windows. Power Toys windows management is truly excellent. And Microsoft keep on adding new toys over the years. How’s that for first party support?

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Can we just pause for a moment and enjoy seeing a little bit of clutter under your screens. I feel I may have discovered a kindred spirit. My desk always has that appearance.

I have a 49" Dell (U4919DW) with a 5120 x 1440 resolution that I use for my work setup at home. It’s slightly curved, but pretty minimally compared to immersive gaming monitors. When I have a project that takes advantage of the entire screen–like writing documentation when I want to have one big window for editing, one for source material, and one for reference material, or having to work with a ridiculously wide spreadsheet–it’s wonderful, and using a different setup has become painful for me. When I’m working on a task that doesn’t require so much screen real estate, though, I find myself only using part of the screen, mostly parking my chat application to one side and using 2/3 of the display for most of my needs. The window management on an ultrawide can also be challenging, and so I bought a Stream Deck to make it easier.

I also have a 34" for one of my personal setups, and I’ve found that to be a good size for my needs–it’s enough space for me to arrange two large windows side by side, and in the rare event I need more space, I can temporarily plug into the 49" monitor.

I’ve developed a real aversion to side by side monitors, and my workplace deploys two 21.5" monitors for each desk. For me, that’s the worst possible setup–I don’t need a huge monitor to be productive, but I’d gladly take a single 27" over two small ones.

I find that my current 22" Samsung flat screen increases fatigue from eye gaze movement. Not sure that having a curved screen especially one that is more than double the size of my current monitor would be helpful and healthy.

That said my dream machine would be a fully decked out Mac Pro (max memory, max storage) with the maximum number of supported Apple Pro Display XDR driven off the back of it. Need to win a major lottery prize to afford that setup.

I swear, when I first read this, I thought you meant the dock in its default position. :joy: I always keep it hidden

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Sorry my friend. Just my weird British and Australian humour. I see so many pristine work areas featured in posts. Mine always looks like a storm has blown across my desk so it was a relief to see some bits of paper hanging around.

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