Somewhere in 2001 or 02, I bought a hp pavilion f1723 (17", 1280x1024, no pivot unfortunately) for some 350€, in order to replace my old, bulky cathode-ray monitor (also 17" and 1280x1024, but which had cost 600€ years before); some 6 years ago, I bought a second hp pavilion f1723 from ebay (30€, no pivot either then, but I wanted them to be assorted), and these last 6 years, I always used these 2 screens together, "angled" around 25 degrees, the gap being in front of me, and me slightly turning my head for either screen.
I found this very convenient, the fact that this way none of the screens faced my chest in parallel position never bothered me; the only problem for me (except for the fact that I couldn't read pdf's without scrolling 1024 pix being insufficient height) was that I "needed" 1280 pix' width each for my respective main application (left screen, the direction more natural for me, cf. "The Brain" (David Niven), Gérard Oury 1969), and for my respective helper application (right screen), which left no room for some additional perhaps 300 pix screen width somewhere, for some super-tree (always-visible file manager / launcher list / file favorites and the like); hadn't it been for my finally-unnecessary "need" for symmetry, I'd better had bought a larger screen as my main screen, I admit that (my graphics card would have allowed up to 1600 pix).
So that was that. Now, I finally treated myself with an i7700 (16 giga), since XP being fine for me, I'd been too much left behind by current developments in software, and I judged it adequate to also buy a new main screen, so it's been an HP again, E272q, 27", 2560x1444, and again this was 350€ - that's progress, isn't it?
You can imagine how pleased I've been that all of its millions of pix seem to run fine for the moment, and yes, photos and videos are a joy to watch, and its PLS technology (no FN anymore) is looking-angle-insensitive, as promised, so all should be well. (One of my old screens's now for additional trees, lists, whatever's needed or helpful, the big screen stands in front of me, the "little" one on its side, angled at some 35, 40 degrees.)
Aside: I had also considered buying 2 (identical) screens instead and with 1920x1200 pix each, and to position them in my traditional way, angled and with the gap in front of me, but then I had thought both my old screens were always good for additional things, and perhaps it would be nice to have my main screen in front of me, like most people do, and perhaps there was a reason they do, and I'd like the additional 240 pix' height a lot, anyway (1440 against 1200 only).
It's interesting to see that 1920x1024 screens are much (!) cheaper than 1920x1200 screens, but it seems crazy to me to have to pivot a 1920x1024 screen - if pivoting it is possible to begin with, which isn't possible with the cheaper models most of the time, or then they go back to TN which is really bad when angled view is involved - in order to read "A4" pages without scrolling... for the U.S. / G.B. formats, even 1200, and even 1440, seem to be a little limit.
The ideal format, from my point of view, would come with a height of 1600 pix, but all of those screens are incredibly overpriced, they literally ripp of those who need them, and dissuade anybody who just would love to have some.
Also, my screen, 2560x1440 as said, isn't as high as I had expected; today's (?) pix obviously aren't square (anymore?), so how come there isn't distortion to be seen (in some pic, people's faces squeezed from hair to chin)?
Why not have bought some "4K" monitor instead? For two reasons. First, I (perhaps wrongly) suspect them to be better suited for viewing pics and vids than for doing work, and then, there's always the problem with "old" software's screen (text) output not being that readable then anymore.
There's also curved monitors now: As with the "4K" variety, in the stores, they invariably run with pics-and-vids, so you never really can be sure that they're really apt for real work except if you buy one, trial it, then send it back again if your local laws permit you to do so.
Now back to my problem. Please imagine a rectangle with the corners A, B, C, D, and with a straight line in the middle, from x to y:
A x B
C y D
Let's assume all these 6 points lie in the same 0-depth layer (it's a flat screen, ha, ha).
As implied above, I display some application between A, x, C and y (left half of the screen, area 1), and another one between x, B, y and D (right half of the screen, area 2). The visible surface of the screen is 60x33,5 cm, my viewing distance is around 50-60 cm (for full-screen videos, that would be nearer 1m10 indeed): that's the distance I don't have wear glasses (yet).
I currently don't use the free tool MaxTo for these "half-screen" applications yet, and which would be for "maximizing" (the Windows command) these applications within and onto those coordinates axCy and xByD, respectively; such a tool will probably not be necessary anymore in Win10, I'll see.
Geographists learn a lot about so-called "projections" - see the title of this thread -: All map-making is about them, the bigger the scale, the bigger the distortion problems, and when then even the politically-correct people jump in, you'll really have fun. Be that as it may, cathode ray tubes replicated many of those problems, perfectly unnecessarily from a user's, just wanting to do text processing, number crunching or other intrinsically flat from start on tasks, point of view, and even count in our venerable Church for all things, still just some centuries ago (wikipedia: "Flat Earth"), so they decidedly had no problems whatsoever with map-making in those jolly pre-screen times, screens curved or not.
Anyway, I swear that on my HP E272q, the text in area 1 falls down to the middle, while the text in area 2 does likewise, so here, the lines go up to the right... oh, but wait, just one hour ago, my (1) text lines rose, weil the (2) ones fell! (We write from left to right here in Europe, for the time being.)
In any case, points A, B, C, D are positioned some 10, 12 mm behind points x and y (those in the middle), and also, the latter are some 5, 6 mm behind the central point of my screen, and that's about like it was that one hour ago, so if you imagine my screen as part of a balloon screen with a diametre of some 12 m or so, that would be probably near regular as in "to be expected", and yes, x isn't in a line of A and B, while y isn't in a line with C and D, but I cannot decide if they're both down or both up - well, in this very moment, they're both up, decidedly, even the black task line is neatly curved, every ruler will confirm that.
Or then, in fact not, as you will have guessed since long; of course, I've applied a ruler, not as long as my screen's broad, but one that measures 50 cm all the same, and if I move backwards some 30 cm, all this remains as described, my eyes constantly play pranks on me.
So we've got an important lesson here, when your eyes aren't young anymore and distort your vision - which is my case, and for driving, I wear corrective glasses accordingly - some wide screen very unfortunately can expose and even over-emphasize such defects of yours to yourself, and to the point of becoming very annoying, when with a more classic setup,
I've not got a headache yet, I've got 11 more days to return the screen if needed... but I would like to get some tidy, comfy replacement in case, even two times the current price (i.e. up to 700€) if necessary, but I'd abhor wearing screen glasses, and I'm not ready for surgery yet (cataract's slowly progressing anyway, so that'll come at some point).
Presumably, an even larger screen's not the solution, despite the fact that its pixel size will be bigger. Regular pix size being around 0.27 mm, for those screens like mine now it's around 0.245 only (while for 19" 1280x1024 screens, it's about 0.29), for "4K" it's even less, and while some 30" screen with my current solution would have bigger, "better" pixels, my viewing distance (to at least significant parts of the screen) would be greater, at it seems that I should remain relatively close by my screen(s) in order to not wrongly perceive such distortions.
I suppose the ideal solution for me would be a set up with two 1600x1200 screens, angled like my previous 1200x1024 had been, but that would be two times 700€: they ask a fortune for that format. Or then, and if I cannot learn to live with my current screen, two screens 1920x1200, an then not using the outer areas.
Or then there would be just one current, acceptable curved monitor 2560x1440, 31.5", from 750€) (there's just another one, 27", same price) - theoretically, I could order it immediately, while the current's still there, in order to compare, then send back one of them: But would that be reasonable a) price-wise, b) task-wise: Is curved (concave here, not the feigned-convex described above) any good for real work or couldn't trying that drive people nuts instead?
And what about curved plus 4K then? They're in the range 37-40", a VA-Philips being less than 700€, an IPS-Acer the double of that, no much choice anyway...
Some years ago, somebody mentioned his setup of then in this forum: 4 portrait screens (each 1280x2024, supposedly, since anything else probably would have got much too big) in angled lineup around his keyboard, and in there's two matches at least with my former half-of-that (but "landscape") setup which will have to be considered separately, and of which the relative impact's probably quite distinct:
First, while it's true that on a 1280 x whatever, I cannot read the lines from edge to edge - and there should not be any text lines so large to begin with - the frame of the screen serves as some psychological frame: what's within that frame is self-contained, is some "unit(y)" - my subconscious doesn't try to "read", to become aware of neighboring contents which furthermore are on surfaces clearly angled with respect to the current surface, the current content set, but everything which is within that 1280 x whatever-it-heigh frame, is included within my immediate perception, be it really readable (without eye movement) or not. We've got clear separation of concepts, no subconscious interference with further "offerings" - the retina is a part of the brain, so whatever you see plays its role, no "decisions" (to discard) involved here (possible discardings are made in further processing only, albeit often very effectively). So, probably with some vertical, black, 100 or 150 pix wide bar to sacrifice from your screen real estate and between your applications...?
Second, and that could probably be the much more important factor here, when you've got several but not-so-large, individual screens (I'm not speaking of walls of individual screens in some monitor room, obviously), your viewing angle for anything, anywhere on those screens is either 90 degrees or at least in the vicinity.
Not so with large screens when not curved (and that curving should arise other, new problems I fear): Either you move your whole chest a lot (and then tilt your head quite considerably), or your average viewing angle diverges quite a lot from those 90-110 degrees which might be the only really safe range, psychologically.
Remember how they depict people and objects in photos, in paintings: strong vanishing lines are rare, face-on's the rule. So why do you think that now, with IPS - which, yeah, renders at least readable vanishing texts -, characters very perceptively fleeing from you, will suddenly become entirely tamed and inoffensive when it comes to their cognitive processing ? (Again, the retina is part of the brain itself, not some usb-connected device operating independently, then sending just bits over the wire, the tonality of how it sees something deeply influences any further processing.)
That could be, btw, the reason why people with (very) large screens usually don't divide them into dedicated regions but juggle with and between multiple "windows", in multiple partial overlay, a substantial part of their screens being left unused or allocated as scrap area: Subconsciously, they may be trying to always minimize the deviation from the 90 degree angle, and that'd reduce the large-screen concept to absurdity for textual and similar applications (while it'd remain valid for anything "entertainment", for the overall view in pics, vids, maps, graphics in general, and of course for spreadsheets, and there in spite of the drawbacks but for spreadsheets' special requirements): Multiplicity of tinier, angled-positioned, all user-oriented screens (with narrow edges, but which should probably remain very distinctive? see my first point of musings) - and with probably a better resolution than the traditional 0.27 mm pixel width! -, could probably be the much better solution, physiologically, or then, curved screens indeed?
IPS just being another pseudo-solution to a problem not resolved yet? And gamers and video freaks raving of curved screens (cf. curved screens in cinemas, but what their individual effect in the different rows in the room?): These are precisely the people who can't (or more correctly: who, understandably, are not willing to) cope with some "active", tinier window nearby so that its ideal 90-100 degree angle is preserved, so they want the same condition be met by other means.
Uh? It's all about de luxe demands, you say? And if there's a real need beyond those, for proper, non-disturbed, efficient info processing? Cf. games and their crucial reaction times: Thus, is there some thesis around already proving - or invalidating? but I'd bet my a** not! - my theory that the same persons will be more successful gamers in front of a curved screen (once they will have become accustomed to it that is)? (Don't show this thread to your children. Or then, do justify your own necessary expenses towards your wife by this thread.)
Ideas/arguments/experiences welcome. Did I say my screen dives in the middle and has wings, just like a fan or druther like a dove in the very moment it gracefully touches down onto the sea?