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Does Anyone Really Prefer Glossy Screens?

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the no-way-no-how dept.

Displays 646

An anonymous reader asked a question that I've been wondering about too: "I live in a small southern European country where natural light abounds. This may sound good, but it is a pain when it comes to using laptops that come with a glossy finish, making it impossible to work unless you are doing it in the dark. To make matters worse, since we are a small market, most manufacturers only offer a subset of their product line, and don't allow you to choose any options available in other countries (like matte screens). Buying abroad is not an option since we have our own very specific keyboard layout. Why are manufacturers doing this? Does anyone really prefer using glossy screens for day-to-day activities?"

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Yes (3, Interesting)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963808)

I like them a LOT more than flat screens. I think they are easier to read and more vibrant.

Re:Yes (1, Redundant)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963868)

-clarifying Flat = matte as in "not shiny".

Re:Yes (2, Informative)

theNetImp (190602) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963878)

I personally can't stand them. Can't sit in front of a window without the glare. Have to close the shades all the time, and if it's hot in the house the shades block the fan from blowing cool air in from outside. Glossy screens are simply a pain, you should have an option of which you want.

Re:Yes (1, Interesting)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963980)

Why don't you? They make matte/flat screens. Buy the one you like. If your vendor doesn't give you that choice....ditch the vendor and don't blame the product. I would have a problem if all my choices were matte. I find them dull and fuzzy to look at, and I say this from my work monitor, that others ooh and ahh over (because it is 25") while I would rather have a 22" glossy screen.

3M (5, Informative)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964104)

The sun may be shining, but I think that the ask slashdot folks must live in the dark... :-)

These are obvious. []

There are my favourites; the privacy polarized filter. No glare, and the fellow next to you in 12D quits craning his neck to read your Slashdot postings.

Re:Yes (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32963882)

Huh? what are you talking about?

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32963932)

No. I would much rather have a matte screen, but on laptops and netbooks I rarely get the choice with the computer/feature set I am looking for.

Re:Yes (1)

ihaddsl (772965) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963984)

Seconded, I was dubious at first, but I've come to love my glossy screen

didn't ask the right people (was: Re:Yes) (4, Insightful)

beh (4759) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964200)

if you ask people whether anyone likes guns at an NRA convention, you'll get one result -- if you ask at a pacifist convention, you're likely to get a strongly diverging result...

Many of the slashdot crowd will be people that work with a lot of text (source-codes, DB dumps, shells, ...) - for many of us, the matte screen is the better choice.

On the other hand - for many people primarily using their laptops to access Facebook, consuming multimedia content, ... the more vivid colours of the glossy screen have a higher appeal...

So - for the slashdot crowd, what split between those groups do you expect to find here?

Now look at the general population? I'll bet you, the split will be the other way around... And - for people not using computers quite as much, how much easier do you think it will be to sell them a computer with a 'vibrant'/'vivid' display?

What's right for most of us, may not be the right thing for most people out there...

What I found a bit surprising, though - for a professional photographer friend of mine, matte is the screen of choice as well - for less glossy, but apparently more accurate colour representation...

Re:didn't ask the right people (was: Re:Yes) (1, Interesting)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964272)

I like my glossy screen for the following:

Watching movies
putty/ssh administration (my matte screen at work makes putty look abysmal)
writing perl code

If you think text looks better on a matte screen you have not gotten yourself a good glossy screen and your contrast colors are off.

Re:Yes (1, Interesting)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963992)

Totally agree - After comparing the two, I chose glossy, and have never had a reason to go back. My laptop and my desktop both. Also - now that I think of it - my iPad and iPod Touch, both of which are in constant use.

Getting rid of the matte texture on the screen is like having a cleaner monitor, all the time.

I use my laptop in a jeep-style vehicle, lots of windows, no tinting. My desk space has one tall window behind be about two feet and to my left. No problems with reflections, and in fact, the one remaining matte display (on an old windows machine) is the only one that shows any effect, which is kind of a radial-whitish highlight from bottom left towards the center. It doesn't completely obscure the output, but it certainly isn't desirable. All the glossy monitors (three of them) are clean.

I also take my laptop out for astrophotography -- red display, intention being to keep my night vision intact -- and glossy works fine for that as well.

Re:Yes (0)

SquarePixel (1851068) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964154)

Ah, slashdot, the place where people will jump in and start talking about their experience with a glossy screen in a dark room after a submitter says glossy screen doesn't work for them because of sunshine.

Re:Yes (4, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964212)

Ah, slashdot, the place where people will jump in and start talking about dark rooms when the parent poster specifically talked about being sat in front of a tall window.

Re:Yes (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964000)

I prefer them too. They have better colour reproduction, and better contrast and work better in bright lights.

If you take a matte screened laptop outside, the result is perpetual whiteout, as it reflects the sun diffusely all over. You just can't work like that.

If you take a glossy screened laptop outside, yes it reflects the sun as a specular dot, but you can angle the screen in such a way that it doesn't happen. That's not possible with a matte screen – they white out no matter what.

Re:Yes (2, Interesting)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964248)

Glossy is actually less accurate with color than matte. Matte is what people get for accurate colors, glossy is what people get for vivid colors.

Not to mention (4, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964050)

Not to mention that its easier to wipe the spunk off.

Matte doesn't have to be "matte" (2, Informative)

Nargg (1678106) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964070)

In the past, there were problems with matte screens and colors. Today, that's not so much so anymore. I think one of the best examples was the iPhone 3Gs screens. They were anti-reflective and anti-smudge, but they were not matte. We should see more of those types of screens. IMHO, there is no amount of color that's worth all of the reflection on a glossy screen.

Re:Yes (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964132)

They tend to have higher pixel densities as well, making for a sharper picture. It's near impossible to find a 100+dpi display with a matte finish, so if you're a pixel junkie or just want a high resolution display for a sharper image, then you're going to have to go with a glossy display.

And that's a question of physics... the matte finish blurs the image slightly (necessary to be able to disperse reflections/light), meaning that there's simply no point in having a higher pixel density behind a matte finish because you won't be able to take full advantage of it.

Personally I prefer glossy displays as well, also because they are sharper, more vibrant, and easier to read. Reflections are a problem in daylight, but I rarely use my laptop when I'm outside in direct sunlight, because I'm too busy enjoying being outside enjoying the sunlight.

Re:Yes (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32964276)

I think they are easier to read and more vibrant.

well, you are a fucking moron then.

Re:Yes (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964330)

It depends; if it's a PC I prefer the glossy; they do seem sharper. But I wish my netbook had a matte screen, as it would be easier to read outside. I'd rather see what I'm trying to read than my ugly mug staring back at me.

no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32963820)


Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32963822)


What is this "Day"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32963826)

Umm, glossy is the only way to go for night-to-night activities.

Glossy Screens Are Closed Source (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32963830)

By using closed source products you are supporting a system that does terrible things like "pay people for their time" and "produce products people want to use". This is orthogonal to the end goal of free software which is to have only creepy beardos be able to use and create technology products like some kind of society of badass techno-monks

Re:Glossy Screens Are Closed Source (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963964)

Where do I sign up for this society of "badass techno-monks"?

Plus one... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964042)

...because it's funny and true.

Speaking as both a creepy beardo PD software developer, and a commercial software developer. :o)

Yes. (4, Informative)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963832)

Yes, some of us do. I'm using a 27" iMac right now with one. My MacBook Pro also has a glossy screen. I probably use the combination of these two devices 10 or 12 hours per day, or more. Most of my time is spent indoors when working but I use it outdoors as well. Not a perfect solution but just get an anti-glare cover for the screen. Use that outside and take it off inside.

Re:Yes. (4, Informative)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964044)

I prefer my screen without an anti-glare coating outside. All an anti-glare coating does is turns a specular dot into a diffuse white out, the specular dot can be got rid of by angling the screen, the diffuse white out can't.

Re:Yes. (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964318)

I prefer my screen without an anti-glare coating outside. All an anti-glare coating does is turns a specular dot into a diffuse white out, the specular dot can be got rid of by angling the screen, the diffuse white out can't.

I think you mean a matte screen, not an anti-glare screen...

Anti-glare coating [] can be (and should be) a part of a gloss screen - it reduces glare by changing the reflective properties of the surface. More of the light passes through the monitor glass instead of being bounced off.

Personally, this time around I've stuck with matte screens - although a diffuse reflection is bound to white-out the screen to some extent in a bright environment, to me this still sounded like a better idea than having nearly mirror-like reflectivity on the screen... After all, the sun's not the only light source around, there's all the reflected environmental light as well. Getting a reflection of the grassy field surrounding me seems just as bad as getting the sun - either way, I can't read the screen. That said, I haven't tried glossy screens outdoors yet - It could be that the anti-reflective coatings are quite a lot better at eliminating this problem than I tend to think they are. I'll have to give it a try sometime with my wife's laptop before buying my next laptop or monitor...

Re:Yes. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32964204)

A mac user who likes shiny things. What a fucking surprise.

Re:Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32964298)

Oooh. that was original.

Re:Yes. (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964314)

While putting on an anti-glare screen cover may work, it sounds like an anathema to Apple's design principles. Hell, the idea reminds me of all the crappy monitor "accessories" people bought in the 80's and 90's.

Glossy screens work poorly outside (polarised sunglasses help, but only partially), they work poorly inside (office environments are rarely customisable, and home environments can be tricky), and they're hard to keep clean. So while end users (along with marketers and merchandisers) may appreciate the "vibrant colours", people who work in art departments seem to be complaining about those same colours not being true enough.

Glossy screen are, for better or worse, here to stay. All of Apple's products are now glossy. I believe you can order Macbooks with a matte finish, but what you end up getting is a laptop with the glass removed.

My hope is glossy screens turns out to be a fad, like the black lacquer furniture fad of the early 80's. In the meantime, I'll probably end up buying one like everyone else.

Television (1)

ettefrums (1857616) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963854)

As you hit on at the start of your question - it depends on your environment. I have a glossy 55" television set set up in a very dark room, and the colors are much more vivid than on the equivalent matte screen.

Get an anti-glare overlay (4, Informative)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963856)

You might be able to find an anti-glare overlay similar to the screen protectors used for handhelds.

tried software key mapping? (0, Offtopic)

magarity (164372) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963858)

we have our own very specific keyboard layout
You can use software to map a key to some character other than what is printed upon it. This isn't quite as nice as having it printed on but if you can remember then it's better than dealing with a glossy screen outdoors. Next problem?

Re:tried software key mapping? (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963974)

Most laptop's have a fairly easy to remove keyboard.

Why not call the supplier and ask how much a local keyboard retails for? Undo the screws, replace the keyboard and voila, your international laptop has been localised.

Re:tried software key mapping? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964082)

Most laptop's have a fairly easy to remove keyboard.

Why not call the supplier and ask how much a local keyboard retails for? Undo the screws, replace the keyboard and voila, your international laptop has been localised.


Re:tried software key mapping? (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964184)

On most laptops I've encountered it's a matter of two screws. Pop the original keyboard back on if you need service. I'm not suggesting it's ideal but it's effective and shouldn't be terribly expensive.

I can see no reason for manufacturers to offer a limited subset of a model unless the keyboard is actually a different shape (unlikely) and there's a resultant issue with manufacturing. Most international keyboards are the same shape and the switch should be trivial, especially at a build to order shop like Dell or HP.

Re:tried software key mapping? (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964046)

That only works if you're dealing with one keyboard layout AND can touch type. My sister can touch type, but she can only do so on a Swiss-French keyboard.

I can't touch type, but in a day, I have to do with at least three (easily up to five) different keyboard layouts. Alphanumeric isn't that bad, but every special symbol has a special place on every layout. Try switching from AZERTY to QWERTZ passing to QWERTY a few times a day and tell me for each where, for example the "!" key is.

I don't think you can...

Keyboard layouts are a bitch. They should all have standardized on QWERTY with US layout and *extensions* on those for national needs. The Alt-Gr button was invented for it. Of course, secretaries around the world would revolt if you do that, so better cope with the mess keyboard layouts are.

Re:tried software key mapping? (1)

Gertlex (722812) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964140)

Better yet, order the keyboard separately. Dell was about $30 when I had a some keys break on my laptop. Might be worth it to you.

I hate glossy (2, Insightful)

DeadlyFoez (1371901) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963874)

I prefer matte. Glossy is just such a pain with dirt and finger prints and scratches show up easier.

Re:I hate glossy (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963928)

It's also nice to see what's being displayed, not fingerprints or a reflection of your face.

Re:I hate glossy (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964026)

easier to scratch a plastic matte. I love my glossy Toshiba wide-screen laptop, I keep it clean and there's no scratches though its four years old. care and carefulness with equipment!

Glossy is mostly worse, but not totally (1)

Swarley (1795754) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963880)

My take on glossy screens is that they look worse than matte in most real world lighting conditions, but noticeably (though not significantly) better in ideal light conditions. I find the the "matte-ness" of a matte screen diffuses the light enough to wash out blacks a tiny bit under ideal light. Matte wins in 95% of situations.

Re:Glossy is mostly worse, but not totally (2, Insightful)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964034)

Which makes glossy a better sell in your nice well lighted Best Buy store.

Re:Glossy is mostly worse, but not totally (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964218)

Find me a matte-finish laptop display with 140dpi, please. That's what I have on my glossy laptop. :)

Hungarians (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32963884)

Can I Ask Slashdot why Hungarians always refer to a vague "European Country" and never just say they're fucking Hungarian? Do they think we're too stupid to figure it out? Do they think we care? I mean, we're American, we hate all Europeans equally (except for that special status reserved for the damn Frenchies), there's no need to be afraid you'll be discriminated any more because you're Hungarian.

Re:Hungarians (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964002)

Perhaps they don't like to be blamed for Microsoft's coding style, so they prefer to remain anonymous.

Re:Hungarians (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964008)

what makes you think they are Hungarian? They could just as easily be Romanian, Czech, Slovakian, Serb, etc.

Re:Hungarians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32964014)

if you lived in a toilet, would you admit it?

Re:Hungarians (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964100)

Can I Ask Slashdot why Hungarians always refer to a vague "European Country"
What does this have to do with anything in this topic, since Hungary is central, not southern, and medium sized, not small.
I think the questioner is probably a Cretan.

Re:Hungarians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32964170)

Or maybe portuguese

Mom & pop buy too many glossy screens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32963892)

Geeks love anti-glare, but we are out-spent by mom & pop buying the "ooh pretty" screens.

check out the lenovo blog about thinkpads ::

doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32963908)

It's been my experience that in natural light, glossy or matte, doesn't make a whole lot of difference. If you're in direct sunlight, forget both. Glossy usually just involves turning the display angle ever so slightly to avoid annoying reflections. You still need some shade for either to work worth a flip.

It probably depends on where you use them (5, Informative)

jfoobaz (1844794) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963912)

I can't stand them, but I actually take my laptop with me all the time and can't always pick where I'm sitting in order to reduce glare. If you're constantly at a desk, and have control over the lighting and other environmental factors, they might be fine, but they generally look crappy to me even in controlled setttings.

Re:It probably depends on where you use them (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964066)

If you're constantly at a desk, and have control over the lighting and other environmental factors

In other words, the complete opposite of cubical-land. At two places I've worked we had to shut off the overhead lights and go strictly window lighting to cut down on the glare.

Absolutely (4, Interesting)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963916)

I specifically ordered the glossy display on my MacBook Pro; the colors are far more vibrant and the screen brighter. I have not had any issues with glare, though I don't take it outside in the direct sunlight and use it in a room with dim lighting.

I much prefer it to the matte screens, that always seem dull and fuzzy to me; I had a previous laptop with a matte screen and I always thought it seemed like it was out of focus.

Glossy looks cool in the display line in the store (5, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963918)

Almost all the TVs and Laptop screens and monitors are all use factory defaults that make it look brighter and more colorful than the monitor sitting next to it in the display line in the stores. True color rendition is secondary to them. Ability to work staring at that thing is not in their list of priorities.

The ten seconds a prospective customer looks at it before the sale is given million times more weight that the several hundred hours the actual customer spends staring at it after the sale.

NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32963920)

I hate them for the same reason. Sure the colors may appear brighter, but glare form any other light source is far too annoying to be of any use.

Glossy screens with polarized glasses are ideal (3, Informative)

kriston (7886) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963924)

Matte actually has an opaque effect when the reflection is bright enough. Oddly enough, the same lighting is not opaque on a glossy screen surface. What's great about glossy is that if you have polarized glasses the reflection can be cancelled out if you're lucky.

What we really need is a pair of untinted, polarized glasses that allow you to rotate the lenses to cancel out the reflections on that glossy screen, much like a polarized filter on a camera lens can do.

Re:Glossy screens with polarized glasses are ideal (4, Interesting)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964138)

With my polarized sunglasses on I have to tilt my head at just the right angle to read my car stereo's display or see the screen on my phone. Are there standards for CE LCD polarization or specially polarized glasses intended for this purpose? If not, I'd think there would be some advantage for LCD manufacturers to come up with a common polarization angle so that glasses would work without going through contortions.

Re:Glossy screens with polarized glasses are ideal (3, Informative)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964144)

What we really need is a pair of untinted, polarized glasses that allow you to rotate the lenses to cancel out the reflections on that glossy screen, much like a polarized filter on a camera lens can do.

You do know that LCDs are based on polarization, and using polarized glasses will seriously screw up your view?

Re:Glossy screens with polarized glasses are ideal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32964220)

I think his point is that there is no standard for polarization. some displays are vertically polarized and other are horizontally. one way you can see the screen fine, the other way the screen appears dark unless u take the glasses off or tilt your head 90 degrees

Re:Glossy screens with polarized glasses are ideal (1)

chronosan (1109639) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964326)

If you tilt your head enough wearing polarized glasses, you can see all the dust specks on your monitor, but nothing else.

Work or play? (2, Insightful)

HideyoshiJP (1392619) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963936)

For me, it depends on what I'm doing with it. I think it looks fantastic in a dark room when you're playing games. It even gives the monitor a slightly classy, if overdone look. When it comes to getting things done, though, I'll take a matte monitor any day of the week. I'm glad my Latitude has a matte screen because I feel that office lighting would completely ruin the experience with the glare it causes.

No (1, Interesting)

Tet (2721) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963938)

I personally detest glossy screens. They're much harder to read, particularly for those of us with a preference for light text on a dark background. But it seems increasingly all screens are going that way, be it monitors, laptops or televisions. The world sucks sometimes :-(

Classic issue (3, Insightful)

mattdm (1931) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963946)

It looks impressive at the store. That's enough to sway the mass market. Long-term usability is the concern of a few nerds, and the manufacturers don't really care as long as stuff sells.

This same issue shows up in software user interfaces. Testing -- and reviews -- are based on quick impressions. "Scientific" usability tests try to get subjects with no biasing prior experience, and then measure task performance with a new and unfamiliar UI.

Unfortunately, interfaces which have a great immediate discoverability are not necessarily the best for long-term use. That's a lot harder to get right -- and if a long-term usability improvement would come at the cost of those at-the-store decision makers, it loses out.

I HATE GLOSSY!!!!! (2, Insightful)

Nargg (1678106) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963962)

I recall the original arguments on some of the laptop forums that pushed for the overtake of all high end laptop screens to be glossy. Still makes me sick. The last thing I want to see when computing is my face. It's distracting as all hell. And, sure I'm not that pretty either. I have 20/20 vision, and do NOT get bothered by the matte covering on non-reflective screens. I even try to buy TV's with matte screens. Glossy in a big living room reflects so much stuff you can barely watch the show. Heck! Even movie theater screens are matte!!!! All this B.S. about glossy is so incorrect, it's amazing.

Re:I HATE GLOSSY!!!!! (1)

Lvdata (1214190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964164)

Add another me too to the glossy haters club. I think Apple started it as their form over function design criteria, and when you look at one in the store it would stand out.

Just tilt it down. (1)

jonxor (1841382) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963966)

I used to have a laptop with a glossy screen, and used it outside frequently. These screens change the amount of reflection into an all-or-nothing case, rather than mostly washed out, or just slightly washed out of normal LCD's. A few tips to make it slightly less annoying: -Don't sit with anythign brightly colored, reflective and/or sunlit behind you (Bright green grass, bright white sheets, the sun, etc -Tilt it down, It's similar to a one-way-mirror. Reflections will angle down, but the backlight will still pass through normally. Glossy screens aren't really better or worse at managing reflections, they just reflect it all in one direction, rather than diffusing it everywhere. I'm no scientist, so I couldn't tell you the math behind it, but all of the above has worked for me in real-world scenarios.

Only a Laptop Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32963968)

Sounds like you wouldn't have a problem with a desktop..

Only stupid people (0, Troll)

fnj (64210) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963978)

Only stupid people THINK they like glossy, because they are too dumb to realize it is crippling their experience.

Anyone with an ounce of brains will ONLY stand for matte.


antiglare = dispersed glare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32963982)

It took me a while to accept... but in bright light environments where there are many light sources... glossy screens have far less glare than anti-glare screens.

Take a glossy screen outside alongside an anti-glare screen. The readability difference is obvious. In offices with a lot of lights you can see the same effect.

Anti-glare screens disperse glare... which is fantastic when you only have a little.

Purchased new LCD because it was Glossy (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32963988)

For my desktop, I prefer glossy. It provides a more dynamic contrast ratio and makes the colors "pop" with vibrance. Looking at a matte screen reminds me of looking through wax paper in comparison

Only downside to glossy is that you don't want bright light reflecting off of it. So if you have windows in your home/office, you might prefer matte instead.

Glossy is better in sunlight (IMHO) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32963994)

I find glossy display better in direct sunlight than matte displays. A glossy display has a sharp small reflection of the sun that goes away if you turn the screen just a little. A matte display smears the sun's reflection over the entire display and you can't just get rid of it by rotating by a few degrees. Also, I find that glossy displays in direct sunlight behave ever so slightly like transflective displays, which is what I wish they would offer as an option.

Depends on the circumstances (2, Insightful)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964030)

Laptops are invariably used in areas with bad lighting, glare, etc. Glossy screens are less than ideal in those situations.

My TV or desktop computers, on the other hand, are in controlled environments. I can eliminate glare, so I'll take the better apparent saturation that glossy gives me in those cases. (If I have a choice, that is)

No (1)

chihowa (366380) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964036)

I guess the blacks look deeper with a glossy screen or something, but the annoyance of the glare completely removes any value that they have for me. Even in a normally lit room, the glare can be overwhelmingly distracting. I think it has something to do with having an image that you can focus on at a different depth than the text you're trying to read. I got a matte film for my screen and it's wonderful. Bright lights behind you will still make a reflection, but you can't focus on it so it isn't really that annoying.

Yes, I do. (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964040)

Matte finishes are slightly diffuse and that makes the colors a little less intense and reduces sharpness a bit. I love the clarity and color of glossy displays but I generally work away from windows, or when I'm near them, I'm facing them so glare isn't a problem. There has only been a handful of times in the 4 years I've owned my shiny-screen MacBook that I've thought "man, this glare is a pain"--usually it's not a problem at all or a small adjustment in position makes it go away. I'd imagine most people agree, or else they just say "ooh, shiny!" and that's what sells, which is of course all that matters. Sorry to hear about your situation but it looks like you'll be stuck dealing with what the rest of the market wants.

People are dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32964054)

They look sexier in the store and most computer buyers are in fact idiots who don't comprehend what they are buying or what impact the different features will really have.
How many times have you heard "Derrr I want the fastest thing they have! Email and Facebook is serious business!" Person spends 3k+ buying a laptop that could easily be replaced with an Atom based system.

I have been wondering too (1)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964076)

It looks like the laptop screens look much better indoors (and if you don't have a direct light source pointing at your screen).

I have noticed how many shops pay attention and try not to place the glossy screens under a direct source of light, giving sometimes the impression that the screen looks much better.
And indeed, when compared "in low light" they look MUCH better. Right now I have an old matte thinkpad next to a new glossy 22'' monitor and the thinkpad screen looks rather pale compared to the glossy screen next to it. But thats only because I'm in a rather dark room right now.

IMHO when speaking of laptops you can NOT assure which one is better (glossy or matte), because it depends on your use case. I understand how glossy screens are better sometimes, but I don't understand how there is NO FRICKIN WAY of getting a matte screen nowadays. Especially for laptops, there should always be both options!

I can't even compare today's matte screens with today's glossy screens, because most matte screens are like 5 or 6 years old.

I am about to get a 13'' MBP and don't know how they would compare, I can't even go to the damn shop and see the difference for myself :(

Anonymous Coward. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32964086)

Manufacturers make glossy screen to cheat with contrast ratio, this why colors seems more vibrant. For television it's great, not if you code all days long.

Deeper blacks, more vivid colors (1)

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964088)

At my desk I greatly prefer glossy. The blacks look deeper and the whole display seems more vibrant, setting a matte screen next to it looks rather dull by comparison. On something I will actually be using outdoors matte is definitely preferred though. To get the benefits of a glossy screen you need to be in a low-glare environment.

Monitors have been getting worse... (1)

Gazoogleheimer (1466831) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964092)

I've reached a quandary. I prefer 4:3, and I also prefer matte. I also prefer Super-IPS panels. I have a Dell 2001FP for my desktop (notably, not a dell) back when they were 20" 1600x1200 IPS panels by LG. My X61t Thinkpad has a 12.1" 4:3 S-IPS 1400x1050 screen...and yet, there is no way I can replace my desktop monitor without buying a professional monitor costing upwards of $900 now (lest I run the gauntlet of the IPS/MVA lottery) and there is literally no laptop offered with the pixel density for the same size as my Thinkpad. What do I do? I want another 20" S-IPS monitor, but I can't find one that is reasonably affordable...and what do I do when I want to replace my laptop? I think 16:9 is horrid for actual computing.

Re:Monitors have been getting worse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32964150)

What do you do? Ever heard of compromise? Get over your obsession with 4:3.

Glossy is good (1)

ibrewster (1849758) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964102)

Yep. I love the glossy screen on my iMac, as opposed to the non-glosy screen on my computer at work. Granted, I watch a lot of DVD and movies on it, so perhaps this makes a difference. While there might be occasional issues with glossy screens in certain circumstances, I really fail to see why some people hate them. It's obviously just a vocal minority,however, given the prevalence of glossy screens being sold.

Does anyone really prefer 16x9 instead of 16x10? (1)

ScottSwanson (526619) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964106)

I hate glossy screens, too. But I hate 16x9 computer displays even more.

Why would a corporate notebook PC or desktop LCD/LED monitor need to be 16x9 instead of 16x10?

Does everyone just watch movies all day, every day?

Good luck,


Re:Does anyone really prefer 16x9 instead of 16x10 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32964312)

Yeah, you mean 4:3 (which is 16:12). I love these screens for the extra vertical space that you need when reading webpages or documents. The whole industry has moved towards the widescreen. I suspect this has to do with production volumes and economy of scale. I find that widescreens are better for sizes 21" and above, where you can put two applications side by side. For laptops that 12 or 13", going with widescreen makes no sense, in my opinion. Too bad the industry thinks otherwise! I had to buy an out of production Thinkpad X61, because all the new one ultra-compacts are widescreen. Share your pain.

Glossy is a bad name (4, Interesting)

rnelsonee (98732) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964158)

It's easier to frame it as a "Glossy vs. Matte" debate, but no one goes out to make a glossy screen. Rather, the high amount of reflections is a side effect of the LCD surface treatment that allows for better color, brighter whites, and darker blacks [] .

So really it should be "Good-looking-screen-but-with-reflections vs. Not-as-good-looking-without-as-many-reflections"

Love glossy screens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32964162)

They make doing makeup so much easier.

$10 solution. (1)

Zeek40 (1017978) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964166)

Buy a pair of polarized sunglasses. Problem solved.

Huh? (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964190)

How about somebody first tells what the hell a "glossy screen" is?

Perfect material for this job? (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964194)

I've sometimes heard how matte screens 'spread' the reflectivity over the surface, so instead of a few really potentially bright areas, you get an averaged opaqeness to the screen.

I wonder if it's possible in theory to remove the reflections altogether. Perhaps there's a material that can divert the light out of visual range. Or maybe one where light can travel through one way (towards you), but not the other way (and so disperses as heat).

Pros and Cons (2, Insightful)

proxima (165692) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964196)

I remember the first time I saw a glossy screen on a laptop (it was an otherwise completely hideous Sony). Colors looked so vibrant, but you could tell that glare would be a real issue. Absent direct light sources, they really do look better to me.

Glare can be a real issue, though, which is one reason why there's a market for iPad anti-glare sheets. The iPad screen is glass, though, so glossy was the obvious choice. The glossy IPS screen is quite striking next to a TN matte laptop screen.

What really irks me though is the predominance of glossy plastic bezels. Walk into any computer store these days and you're bombarded with shiny black plastic on nearly every laptop, monitor, and TV. Here there is no functional advantage - it simply shows fingerprints more and even can distract from the screen itself. But it's the latest trend in computer/tv "fashion" (remember when silver plastic was in?). I gave in when shopping for an mid-sized TV, as Samsung (my preferred LCD manufacturer) had all glossy bezels. It's fine so long as I don't touch it, but a glossy HP laptop was a magnet for fingerprints.

Do not like glossy screens. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32964202)

Truly do not like working with glossy screens. I want to see what is on the screen, not what is reflected behind me.

The only reason I bought my laptop from Lenovo is because they offered matte screens as a choice (hope they still do). I had no choice there but to get windows. I was planning to buy a custom built laptop, lots of good upgrades, pre-installed with Linux, all very nice and a bit expensive. But that company (forget the name) did not offer matte screens, so no sale.

I understand that people have different views, but I wish we had more choice.

My conspiracy theory on the whole matter, is that it makes the product (laptops, TVs, etc.) look more "shiny" in the store. My TV even has a black glossy reflective border going around the outside of screen. There is no benefit to me to be distracted by the reflections in the border while trying to watch what is on the screen. The only purpose I can see, is that it is "shiny" and the marketing must have thought it would sell more. Note, the reason I bought this particular TV (a Sony), is that it had the least reflective screen.

Don't sit with your back to the window (3, Informative)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964222)

Unless you've got a house where three walls are all glass ( in which case stfu and stop moaning already ) just simply turn by 45 degrees, if this doesn't work then turn again. Continue this until you find a place which works.

It's what I did in my office, and now I never get screen glare, as the sun rises and sets to the right of me. (*Can't be bothered to figure out what direction I am facing).

Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32964286)

Wear a black shirt and tilt your screen down.

The reasons firms do this ... (2, Interesting)

Netssansfrontieres (214626) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964306)

There are two reasons firms do this:
1. The devices look prettier. This is the triumph of "industrial design" over function, similar to the way (it seems) Apple's industrial designers over-ruled the antenna / RF designers on the iPhone4. Same consequence: it's less easily usable, you have to learn to use the screen despite its failings.
2. Specsmanship. Glossy screens (called in the industry "glare screens", which really summarizes the issue) have higher contrast ratios - if the contrast ratio is measured in a perfectly dark room. Colors look nicely saturated. That way the vendors get to put very high contrast ratios on their specs and it's an arms race. Gottaproblemwiththat? Sit in a dark room, silly.

Of course, the only screens designed for reading (e-Ink, Pixel Qi, Sipix) do NOT use glare / glossy screens.


Auroch (1403671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964308)

Import one. Then buy a replacement keyboard, they're usually 0-screw 1-plug replacements.

No. (1)

ddillman (267710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32964320)

I've always wondered why the market suddenly switched to glossy screens. I know the argument about more vibrant images, but the glare factor more than nullifies this for me.
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