The ViewSonic VX2718-2KPC-MHD has consistently proven to be one of our most popular curved monitors in Q4, packed with all the features gamers expect, and with glowing reviews from customers, we find out why we think it’s the best 27 inch curved monitor on the market right now. We will also take a look at the rise in popularity of the curved monitor, starting with its origins and elementary growth thanks to the top manufacturers.
I remember a conversation with a friend of mine, who thought curved TVs and monitors were a “fad” and would not catch on. Flat panel monitor technology has now been developed by monitor manufacturers to allow viewing from different angles, with IPS making it possible to see the contrast ratios at viewing angles of 178° horizontal and 178° vertical. Gamers, however, still expect just a little more from their displays.
A Brief History Of Curved Screens
(or skip to the best selling monitor bit...)
The first curved screen came as early as 1952, with the Cinerama – a screen designed to correct the image distortions that came with super-wide formats like 23:9 CinemaScope. As far as consumer products, the first real curved monitor was the 43-inch CRVD curved display by Ostendo Technologies, which had all the trappings of a potentially awesome product for gamers and those who required a wide format workspace. With a 90° viewing angle, and 2880x900px resolution, and 32:10 aspect ratio, this early spec curved monitor was a showstopper.
Ostendo Technologies CRVD 43" Curved Display
Problems with this monitor were exactly what you’d expect. The price was around $6500 back in 2008 - 2009, which made it slightly more than the average gamer wanted to spend. The footprint also required quite a bit of space. Here’s the view of the Ostendo from the top:
Ostendo Technologies CRVD 43" Curved Display
Although this chunky curved monitor did have a place in the market, it was very narrow. In the early 2000’s, Samsung and LG were already under way with plasma and LCD technology leaps, meaning the price of a slimline, lightweight monitor was already coming down. In 2007, LCD sales had already surpassed the weightier plasma screens, so it was clear people were happier with the leaner, sleeker monitors. The Ostendo would remain a small dot in the history of display devices, with flat screen technology leaving it in the dust.
The World’s First Curved 21:9 Monitor
LG have been known for a few “World’s First” products, including a curved OLED 4K TV and ultrawide monitors in 2014. They are also credited with the World’s First 21:9 curved LCD monitor. The monitor had gamers in mind, with 144Hz refresh rate and LG’s Dynamic Action Sync (DAS) Mode to reduce input lag.
The LG 34UC97 was an instant hit but came with a price tag of around £1200 that meant only the deepest pockets could enjoy curved screen gaming.
LG 34UC97 curved monitor - world's first curved monitor
The Samsung Takeover
LG did their part to further LCD and LED technology, but we look to Samsung for the real giant bounds ahead as far as display monitors.
While interest in curved TVs did actually fade in the last few years, curved gaming monitors were always growing in popularity, and Samsung were right there with technological improvements to match the demand. The most significant monitor in Samsung’s history came in 2017 with the Samsung C27HG70 27 inch curved monitor, which claimed the accolade as being the World’s First HDR Curved Monitor.
From this moment on, gamers were enamoured with Samsung, owing to the settings that were primarily designed for them, with FreeSync supported, 144Hz for great framerates, and excellent HDR performance in games.
Since 2017, Samsung have remained at the top of the pile when looking at high-performance gaming curved monitors.
Samsung’s Curved Monitor Market Share
Samsung sold around 1.09 million curved monitors in Q2 2021, which translates to about 32% total market share.MSI, AOC/Phillips and Dell sharing the rest of the top end of the market with 12%, 10% and 8% respective market shares.
Curved monitors are readily available from the top manufacturers, but Samsung continue to take this type of display to the far reaches of capability. They are getting bigger, and the spec continues to read like War and Peace. The Samsung Odyssey range of monitors are a good example of how to read your market perfectly, as these ultra-wide displays are absolutely dominating the marketplace as best in class.
ViewSonic - The Quiet Behemoth
So where do ViewSonic factor in?
According to market research firm, FutureSource, in their Quarter 3 2021 World Interactive Displays Report, ViewSonic recorded a significant year-over-year growth of 87%, which is around 10x higher than the industry average of 7.9%. Interactive displays such as ViewBoard whiteboards in education and enterprise have given the company a foothold that puts their brand in front of millions of potential customers for their home PC products.
“The education market is huge,” ViewSonic founder, James Chu told Commonwealth Magazine, “We spent some time building up our endurance and strength as we needed to map out a path that sets us apart from others.”
ViewSonic's smart electronic whiteboards account for 25% of the company’s annual revenue and in 2018, ViewSonic smart interactive whiteboards held third place in the U.S. market alone.
James Chu - ViewSonic Founder
It doesn't stop there for the company, though. They have established themselves in the DLP market, too, becoming the number one brand in Digital Light Processing projectors globally by sales volume. No mean feat when you consider they were third in line to the throne in 2020, behind the likes of BenQ.
With all of this success in important sectors, the company was in a position to develop displays with Japanese manufacturer partner Matsushita, and penetrate the home & gaming market with relative ease. Their price point is extremely attractive, and time-tested reliability assured, which makes them an obvious choice for PC gamers who are constantly watching their bottom line fatten thanks to CPU and GPU market swings.
“The key to ViewSonic’s continual reinvention is its business philosophy ‘See the Difference’,” said Chu, in a press release from ViewSonic. “To keep up with the digital transformation trends around the world, ViewSonic extends and diversifies its business with its expertise in visual technology in educational, enterprise, consumer, and professional display markets. We are happy to see that our efforts bring fruitful results, rendering the fulfillment of our mission: ‘To inspire the world to see the difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary by providing innovative visual solutions for work, play and learning that integrate hardware, software and service seamlessly’.”
CCL’s Best-Selling 27 Inch Curved Monitor
The best selling curved VA display for October through December 2021, and constistently being a best seller in 2022 so far, the ViewSonic VX2718-2KPC-MHD, has a specification that matches its gaming monitor competitors - Samsung & ASUS - but easily beats them on price. Certain features are expected by gamers, and ViewSonic deliver - the VA panel & 165Hz refresh rate is perfect for fast-paced gaming, and Adaptive/FreeSync support means framerates won't drop if the GPU is running at full tilt.
At twice the resolution of a traditional 1080 screen, the QHD display provides extremely clear & crisp visuals without distortion.
The VX2718-2KPC-MHD also allows for customisation, with built-in mode selection for things like gaming, web or movie content, all delivered with Flicker-Free technology and a Blue Light Filter.
- 2560 x 1440 Resolution
- 1ms Response Time
- 250cd/m2 Brightness
- 165Hz Refresh Rate
- VA Panel
- Adaptive/FreeSync Support
- Inputs: 2x HDMI and 1x Display Port
ViewSonic VX2718-2KPC-MHD Reviews
Price & Conclusion
The ViewSonic VX2718-2KPC-MHD is priced extremely well, and with enviable pedigree in gaming & professional situations, ViewSonic have clearly shed the shackles of being a 'budget' brand.
When you are looking at under £200 or under £100, monitors becomes attractive in multi-display setups, and ideal for any gaming battlestation - including those who need a display to play E-Sports at a professional level.
The premium features at mid-tier price are testament to ViewSonic's continuing vision and mission, and will hopefully assure their increased growth into 2022 and beyond.