Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Glossy vs. Matte Computer Screens


When purchasing a new computer screen, one of the major decision points is whether to get a glossy or matte screen, assuming both are of high quality (i.e. IPS).  Both have their pros and cons, which I'll detail below.

Glossy Screen:

Pros: Glossy screens have a sexier look to them.  Colors appear brighter, and the display is very sharp, especially in the Apple iMacs and Apple Cinema Displays.

Cons: The glare is the most distracting thing about a glossy screen.  If your main light source is behind the screen, it can mitigate the glare, but if the main light source is in front of the screen or behind you, forget it.  Given the mentioned positives, the glare seems to be the deciding factor for most go who matte instead of glossy.  Also, it's difficult to color calibrate a glossy screen... it can be done, but you're much safer doing color editing on matte.


Matte Screen:

Pros: Little to no glare, and a matte screen is the professional industry standard for all serious photo/video editing. 

Cons: Looks plain and not as flashy as the glossy screen.  The glossy screen, especially in the new Apple displays, looks and feels high quality with the glass front.  The matte looks more dull.


Verdict: 

It just depends on what you value.  If you can stand the glare (or minimize it to be bearable), and you don't do much color editing work in your photos and videos, glossy could work for you.  However, if you're a professional who needs a high-quality monitor, then matte is the best option.

135 comments:

Bal said...

For my desktop glossy is a must for me since I do lots of web design/photoshop. I do believe that more laptops should have matte screens available since they're primarily used in office environments (fluorescent lighting) or outdoors. Great post!

Joey Lazlo said...

Yo mate! I prefer a matte screen as well. Good layout and a pleasure to read as always!

Splash87 said...

Matte always matte, I hate glare it is so distracting.

infostation said...

I agree it actually is a decision that most people take for granted. Your screen experience is very important for how you experience your computer. Very informative post.

Rezden said...

I went from a glossy to matte without realizing it. I love my matte screen now. :)

Zyphbork said...

Matte computer screens with the specifications as glossy ones are the best.

momo said...

i have always prefered glossy

Kikino said...

I rather mate screens. I find them easier to clean LOL

Chris said...

I'd probably go with matte if I had to choose, although, the glossy look does seem to increase the value of it's appearance.

Muhunty said...

i have a glossy laptop :D

The Angry Vegetarian said...

I had to take this into consideration when getting my first MBP. I'm in interior design, so the extra vibrancy you get from a glossy screen was a dream to me.

Acou said...

matte screens ftw. glossy screens are really the main reason apple fails for me; they look HORRIBLE and perform TERRIBLY

TSFan said...

i vote for the matte

gamefreak3335 said...

i vote matte

D.A.B. said...

I'm not sure what kind of screen I have on my laptop. I know when I check out things on the GFs mac the colors are much better and far richer.

Browser Mc Mouser said...

>if you're a professional
>who needs a high-quality monitor
Going for the 2nd, like a boss.

november17 said...

I prefer glossy, but that's just me.

Jackie said...

This is some great stuff, keep it up !

Ashley Asthenia said...

I've always been one for the glossy screens but after reading this I may go for matted next time. Mainly for video editing purposes. Thanks :D

Steven said...

well i need to change my screen

aGas said...

yeah, this is always an issue. personally, i like matte more, but i know people who only like that glossy crap :F

Unreal said...

Matte is better for your eyes. Seriously.

crose0689 said...

people have the same conflict with pictures. i believe mat is always better. especially for comp screens its also not as much strain on your eyes at night ive found. not that i suggest you sit in the dark on your comp

The special one. said...

Nice stuff here..

BunnySMG said...

Definitely matte. Glare is the devil.

But I'm probably the last person to ask. I'm still using a CRT from an old SGI workstation.

promaster said...

No glare as a gamer is key, so i would chose the matte screen any day. great post

Quinn Electronics said...

I prefer glossy because that typically means they are hard screens that take damage less than matte

ShredGuitar said...

Nice!

jrep said...

Matte all the way!

zman said...

gotta go with matte

Drackar said...

Matte is the best answer.

Savage Nugget said...

Glossy Desktop and Matte Laptop. :D

Walther said...

Cool post ^^

Visit my blog(s) please :)

Applelove said...

I have a matte screen. The only problem is smudges, the bastards never go away.

Dan Smelter said...

I prefer glossy, it seems nicer :)

jj_srk said...

if its always indoor, glossy every day
matte just looks so rough when it gets dirty

zidane4571 said...

Matte Screen: hate glare mover my liveing room around to prevent this krap

The Square Circle said...

definitely going with the matte.

HonBlogger said...

Actual good info! thanks

comradejoker.blogspot.com/ said...

Definitely matte, no fucking glare and it looks professional xD keep the posts coming!

Mr delivery said...

i get my mac this month

cant wait for my glossy screen!!

MetalliBoy said...

i prefer matte screen

dⒶvid said...

ive got a matte because i have so many open windows around my place glare fucks shit up
informative post thank you

Ohelig said...

Matte > Glossy imo.

Hidden Blogger said...

I've always liked matte much better personally.

Nigma said...

i do some photoshop work and matte > glossy any day

problem.question said...

i like to have half my screen glossy and half matte

Biff Tanner said...

This is great thanks, and keep up the good work.
Cheers

stocald said...

I hate the glare from my laptop, but the colors look so crisp. How do colors on matte screens look like?

Chad said...

Great read!

AnbuJustin said...

i hate glare. +9001 to matte

Nailgun said...

I'm rocking the matte

lf52 said...

good points... but I definatly prefer glossy

Slumph said...

have matte, kind of like glossy for some strange reason but don't think I could stick it if mine was.. not sure.

matte ftw =D

Tweeks Coffee said...

Great post! Following your blog!

The photographer said...

good to know

The photographer said...

lol wat?

Touch and Feel said...

Very good comparison.

tortacular said...

Great post. Keep it coming.

Naj said...

glossy! use it only in dark rooms! lol

pixel said...

matte for me

Sage said...

I like matte screens better. Glossy screens glare too much!

OC-STEVEN said...

i like glossy better... i always preferred tvs with a glossy screen and use my laptop to watch movies frequently

dolan duck said...

Thanks this has defiantly helped my decision on what computer to buy.

Donkote said...

hmmm i'm no professional but I work on Photoshop a lot so i'll probably get a Matte screen next. thanks for the tips

godmodeus said...

mate for life

Eferhilda said...

Thank you for the informative post. Never even knew there was a difference between screens and such.

Koniworld said...

those matte screens are the best..

Igloo said...

id have to go with matte screens!

alex said...

lmao i only just realised there was matte and glossy screens...informative post, just like mine :P

AnnoNeuvo said...

Prefer matte, any day!

The Blind Prophet said...

I have matte. -_-

PlantPictures265 said...

Glossy

infinitewithin said...

Depends on your style, most people prefer the glossy screens though.

Willow said...

Matte most definatly.

Fox said...

I love glossy, but probably because I've never really ever had any glare trouble. I'm sure if I was constantly working somewhere with a lot of sunlight I would prefer matte.

MikeNeuman said...

Ugh, I feel so dumb. I always opt for the glossy option. Basically didn't know the other one existed anymore.

Cowbellrocker said...

Im hardly ever using my laptop outside, so I prefer glossy.

Bernard said...

my monitor is matte :) no glare wins

Javier said...

I kind of want one now

milanoac said...

its funny with all the screen types coming out... I recently built my wife a pc and implemented a Gvision touch screen (from work)... maybe one day they will have affordable touch screens that combine a gloss screen

Mesty said...

I like glossy like my lip gloss!
Mesty =)

Longkid said...

Glossy..looks...so nice though :P

melinko said...

glossy all the way. matte is liek a paint job on the car when you just stop at the primer coat

Allen said...

Glossy all the way. So much more aesthetically pleasing.

Atheos_Cirno said...

Matte

Aaron said...

I have a HD Glossy monitor, no matter how nice the picture is the glare gets me every time... Grrrr

RandomlyRated said...

glossy all the way

Ownage tastes like chicken said...

Matte for desktop (when I'm gaming etc) and Glossy for laptop.

KillerKun said...

As a digital painter i choose matte all the way

ashleyspace said...

matte all the way

zG Chris said...

I like matte!

Wozza said...

I think I prefer matte, the glare is too much of a problem for me

Habadasher99 said...

Matte all the way.

Paul said...

never really thought about the difference, but now i kinda want a matte screen :/

jeanjean said...

matte all the way, I don't give a F... about look

izmeer said...

I like matte more

Sykefu said...

thanks for the great infos, keep it up

gypsycore said...

Matte all the way, hides my fingerprints better :P

Mc Uncool said...

aw man im on macsite again :(
matte is better imo!

richie said...

I want a Matte screen.
What is IPS though??

tonyman33 said...

ive got glossy, its better imo because it also keeps all the nosy people from looking at my screen

phaserware said...

I'll never go back to glossy! Too much reflection

Zerron said...

my votes on the matte, the glare on the glossy screens gives me intense headaches.

Max Steel said...

Broke it down pretty nicely

Crammarc said...

my windows give me some bad glare problems

Galwarrior said...

Nice post, keep updating :]

Sebastian said...

glossy +1

Ultimate Banana said...

Glossy for me

Fayan said...

I like the glossy screens for movies as well. I dont like glare however...hmmm

nick said...

black gloss all the way

Unreal said...

Matte is better for you and looks smexy. BUTTT glossy does have a clearer view imo

Barnacle said...

I hate when you're unable to see what's on the screen because its light in the room

Kevorkian said...

It's kinda the same to me :>

Bart said...

derp

Mike said...

thanks for the analysis, will definitely remember this when it comes time to buy a new monitor.

Mike,
Lifehack's guide on how to draw the human body, out now!

beck said...

thanks for the info, i quite like my glossy screen since i usually use the computer at night when its darker

mandellameats said...

glare is really annoying for gaming.

Mez said...

matte matte matte

Randy Weezner said...

glossy scratches too easy

Flav said...

I'd just rather not have glare..
Would be cool if you could change between them though... but maybe too much of a hassle

daniel. said...

i like matte. much better.

tortacular said...

lol goodstuff!

snoobyy said...

i much prefer glossy.

the grim said...

Matte, definatly matte

TechnoMac said...

matte all the way

Knox said...

mine's is matte and i have no problem with it when around a source of light

i_love_weed said...

always go with matt

you cant use a glossy screen if you have even the slightest direct sun light

Ian said...

i dont think ive ever even seen a matte screen lol.

loloriz0r said...

i still love glossy

Pandor42 said...

vote for matte, glare is too much of an issue. Also glossy shows dirt much easier.

Chuckles said...

i have glossy never tried matte

BökChöd said...

Yeah, the glare is annoying on the glossies. You have to been in a very carefully lit environment so that there aren't many reflections, but... I like the glass-covered OLEDs that Apple uses now. I need the color brilliance.

Mark said...

I prefer glossy. Shinier, better colors and stereograms work better if you can see a reflection. lol

Erroneous Maximus said...

Matte makes me happy glossy makes me squint.

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