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Displays Portables

Does Anyone Really Prefer Glossy Screens? 646

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the no-way-no-how dept.
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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Does Anyone Really Prefer Glossy Screens?

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  • Yes (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anarke_Incarnate (733529) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:17AM (#32963808)
    I like them a LOT more than flat screens. I think they are easier to read and more vibrant.
    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      -clarifying Flat = matte as in "not shiny".
      • Re:Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

        by trum4n (982031) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:58AM (#32964540)
        i freaking HATE the glossy screen on my netbook. i dont want to look at the lights on the ceiling, i want to see my screen.
        • Re:Yes (Score:5, Funny)

          by no1home (1271260) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @11:00AM (#32964592)

          But I love being able to see the hot girl at the table behind me without looking like I'm staring!

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          On a Netbook, a glossy screen is particularly stupid, as you are much more likely to use it outside.
          I got my first generation Aspire One (with SSD) for travelling, and was regularly annoyed by its
          screen that showed me my face clearer than the content under most lighting conditions - until I crushed
          it in an impressive bicycle accident.
          (At least I assume it was impressive, multiple people came immediately running to look if I was OK.)

          Replacing the screen cost about 2/3 of what I paid for the entire mach
        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @06:19PM (#32971530)

          I work for an LCD manufacturer so let me give you some pointers:

          First of all neither of them is best overall. It all depends on what you use it for. It is like having to decide on whether a fork, or a spoon is "best". Forks are great until you are served soup...
          The original poster asked for a screen that works in sunny conditions. In that case matte screens are best.
          Glossy is best in the dark.

          Let me try to explain why.
          Assume that you have a screen with 400 cd/m2 brightness and a 400:1 contrast ratio. That means that white shines with 400 cd/m2 and that the backlight bleeds through with 1 cd/m2 when showing black.
          What manufacturers will not tell you is that you only get a 400:1 contrast ratio in a completely dark room. This is not the intended use case of the display. It is like buying a car that is advertised to make 1000 miles to the gallon... but only in a downhill.

          If the room is even the slightest tiny bit dim your *viewing* contrast ratio will be degraded. The existing ambient light will be reflected from the display surface adding, lets say a mere 1 cd/m2 extra to both the white and black graphics. So now your viewing contrast ratio will be degraded to (white + reflected)/(black + reflected) = (400+1)/(1+1) = 200:1 even in a dimly lit room. When the brightness of the ambient reflected light is in the order of the display brightness itself, then your expensive 400:1 display is degraded to a (400+400)/(1+400) = 2:1 contrast ratio.

          Yeah, you may say, that is why I spent a boatload of money to get the TV with the advertised 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio so I am safe... But all the manufacturer needs to do, is to lower the blackness of the display from 1 cd/m2 to 0.0004 cd/m2 so he gets 400/0.0004 = 1000000:1 CR.
          But still... when the reflected ambient light reaches 400 cd/m2, your expensive 1000000:1 TV degrades to a measly (400+400)(0.0004+400) = 2:1 CR.

          There are only 3 ways to solve the problem
          1) Use only in a dark room
          2) Use a higher brightness backlight
          3) Get rid of the reflected light
          (or 4, get a transflective display like the pixel-qi, but at the cost of poor color graphics reproduction)

          Solution 1 does not apply to the original poster.
          Solution 2 works fine for desktop screens and TVs where you have electrical power available. A high luminosity screen on a laptop will drain your batteries like crazy and will need a fan to cool the display.

          Now to solution 3. There are actually 2 kinds of reflection: Specular and diffuse.
          To reduce the diffuse reflection you use an AR (Anti Reflection) treatment. That is commonly applied to eyeglasses and binoculars.
          To reduce the specular reflection you use an AG (Anti Glare) treatment

          A really good quality (and expensive) AR/AG will reflect only 0.5% of the ambient light. Plain glass reflects about 30% I think. So AR/AG is about 60 times better than glass.

          So comparing a hypothetical display with a plain glass surface, with a good AR/AG display we get the following calculations:
          1) Reference glass display with 400:1 CR that under some hypothetical lighting conditions reflects 400 cd/m2:
          CR = (400+400)/(1+400) = 2:1

          2) AR/AG display that is 60 times better at avoiding reflections:
          CR = (400+400/60)/(1+400/60) = 406.6/7.6 = 53:1

          The difference can be seen here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Glossy-Matte-394-S1.png

          ***The conclusion is simple: To get best results in high ambient light conditions you must buy a matte display.***

          The reason why laptop manufacturers use glossy screens is the following.
          1) Good Anti Glare screens are more expensive to produce.
          2) Anti Glare is a thin film applied to the screen. If you pick an anti glare film up and try to look through it, you will notice that it is hazy. This means that applying an AG/AR will lose you some Distinctness Of Image (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distinctness_of_image)
          This is the reason that manufacturers will claim, in order to justify the choice of glossy screen. Sure it *does

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            A couple more things that I forgot to mention:

            Regarding loss of distinctness of image.
            Back in the day, ordinary scotch tape was transparent and glossy, so using tape to glue something to a paper would immediately show in the light. Now we have scotch tape that is matte. Notice how it appears hazy when you try to look through it, but once you apply it to a paper it becomes transparent, with some slight loss of distinctness of image. So although hazy, nobody would argue that it makes text unreadable... The ha

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by theNetImp (190602)

      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: (Score:2, Interesting)

        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.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        The trick is to angle them so that you're not looking directly at them. Take a mirror and place it in the same place that you use your laptop. At the right angle, you're going to blind yourself with the mirror. Tilt the mirror down and all the back light will hit you in the chest.

        Once I realized this I had no problems with my glossy MacBookPro and I can't stand going back to matte as it looks like the whole screen is dirty.

        It doesn't take much just a few degrees and it only doesn't affect how the screen loo

        • Re:Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

          by cream wobbly (1102689) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @11:06AM (#32964704)

          Fine. Until you realize you're playing with two ideal viewing angles: one for the mirror, and one for the LCD underneath. As you say, it doesn't take much, just a few degrees, but on the contrary, it does absolutely affect how the screen looks:

          If you have a light source behind you, you need to tilt the screen upward farther than the hinge will travel. If the light source is above you, your only option is to tilt the screen downward, whereby you see your fingers reflected.

          But as someone else said: if the option isn't offered, then don't buy from that manufacturer. Or buy some sandpaper.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by dintech (998802)

          I can't stand going back to matte as it looks like the whole screen is dirty.

          I can't understand this. Every Desktop LCD I've ever used is matte and it doesn't look dirty. Why should this apply to laptops?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by fyngyrz (762201)

      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

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      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: (Score:3, Interesting)

        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.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by fyngyrz (762201)

          That's nonsense. Accuracy is about the dynamic range and color gamut of the pixels. Spooging a matte surface over the screen reduces both. That's why glossy screens are more vivid -- blacks are darker (no reflected diffusion from the surface) and bright colors are brighter (no diffusion on the way to the eye.)

          If you want an accurate and optimally capable monitor, then when dynamic range and color gamut are equal, the glossy display will be superior every time.

          • by pizzach (1011925)

            An image is not accurate no matter how much you shake your stick when you have reflections super imposed on top of the image. It is a bit like you added a completely unrelated 20% visible layer on top of an image in Photoshop. It's the exact opposite of accuracy.

            Now, I recently switched to a Matte screen from Glossy. I see no saturation difference with my present LED screen verses the old glossy. Marketing crap is marketing crap and it has to stop.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by nmg196 (184961)

            > If you want an accurate and optimally capable monitor, then when dynamic range and color gamut are equal,
            > the glossy display will be superior every time.

            Unless of course, there's any light in the room - in which case the *matte* display will be superior every time due to it's far superior anti-reflective properties over a glossy display.

        • Re:Yes (Score:4, Informative)

          by pushing-robot (1037830) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @11:09AM (#32964776)

          What, pray tell, makes glossy screens "less accurate"? A matte panel is a LCD with a piece of pitted glass in front. A glossy panel is a LCD with a piece of unpitted glass in front. The pitted glass reduces contrast since it tends to scatter light. Other than that, it's all in the calibration.

          I suspect this myth came about because glossy screens are often used on consumer PCs which are coincidentally tuned for vivid, unrealistic color. Heck, I just ran across a HP whose graphics drivers came preset for "digital vibrance" that made the screen look like a Leroy Neiman painting.

          But claiming that "glossy is less accurate than matte" is about like saying that a frosted glass filter on your camera gives you more accurate pictures.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by LordVader717 (888547)

          With matte screens you can better distinguish pixels and compare one pixel with another. That's why people like them for graphics work. As for colour accuracy all LCDs are limited and will look totally different from film or print. In light of this, many are happy to trade in a little contrast and saturation for the consistency of the image.

    • Not to mention (Score:5, Informative)

      by Chrisq (894406) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:28AM (#32964050)
      Not to mention that its easier to wipe the spunk off.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by recoiledsnake (879048)

        Is that what the OP meant when he said this:

        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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

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

        I'm not sure what I find more entertaining: This comment, or the fact that it's modded +4 informative

  • Yes. (Score:5, Informative)

    by NetJunkie (56134) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (hsan.nosaj)> on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:18AM (#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. (Score:5, Informative)

      by beelsebob (529313) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:28AM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Solandri (704621)
      Certainly some people prefer glossy screens. But nearly every poll on the subject [google.com] I've found with Google shows matte being slightly or strongly preferred over glossy. The truth is, manufacturers are moving to glossy screens because they're cheaper, not because they're preferred.
  • by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:19AM (#32963856)
    You might be able to find an anti-glare overlay similar to the screen protectors used for handhelds.
  • I hate glossy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DeadlyFoez (1371901)
    I prefer matte. Glossy is just such a pain with dirt and finger prints and scratches show up easier.
    • by jaymz666 (34050)

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

    • by rubycodez (864176)

      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!

  • by jfoobaz (1844794) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:21AM (#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.

  • Absolutely (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wandazulu (265281) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:22AM (#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.

    • Re:Absolutely (Score:4, Insightful)

      by HBoar (1642149) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @07:03PM (#32972076)

      It really sounds like most of the people posting here are comparing apples to oranges -- i.e. comparing two different panels, one that happens to be glossy and one that happens to be matte. Unless you are comparing two identical panels, one with a glossy coating, the other matte, you can't draw any conclusions about which is 'better'. Personally, I have a laptop with a glossy screen and a desktop with matte screens. The laptop screen has a dull and washed out look to it, while the desktop monitors have a crisp and vibrant look to them, but this has nothing to do with the fact that one is glossy and the other matte -- the laptop panel is just rubbish.

      I will say that given the choice, I'd always go with a matte panel -- even if it does reduce vibrancy or brightness (of which I am skeptical), I very much value the ability to work in poor lighting conditions without angling the screen. I presume Apple's screens are among the best glossy panels available (you'd hope so for the price...) but I still hate using my girlfriend's macbook pro in a bright environment....

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:22AM (#32963918) Journal
    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.

  • by kriston (7886) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:22AM (#32963924) Homepage Journal

    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.

    • by ajlitt (19055) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:33AM (#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.

    • by TeknoHog (164938) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:33AM (#32964144) Homepage Journal

      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?

      • by c++0xFF (1758032) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @12:42PM (#32966428)

        My mom went to the gas station once back when the digital pay-at-the-pump systems first came out. But ... the thing simply wouldn't work. After pushing every button she could, she went to the attendant for help.

        Of course, when they went back, everything was working fine.

        It turned out she was wearing polarized sun glasses, which she then took off when she went inside to talk to the clerk.

    • by Sockatume (732728) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:55AM (#32964500)

      You can't make untinted polarized glasses: blocking most of the polarised light from passing through necessarily makes them dark.

    • by Rhys (96510) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @11:21AM (#32964972) Homepage

      You don't own polarized sunglasses, do you? Nor does anyone who rated you up. LCDs are already polarized light -- that's how they are able to turn pixels on and off. Two polarizations 90 deg out of phase = no light transmission. Put on polarized (sun)glasses and suddenly you have a entirely black LCD from certain angles. Not every angle mind you -- I can see my landscape display just fine, but the portrait one next to it goes jet black with them on.

      Now, I'll admit it lets you see dust and dirt on the display very clearly when you can't see the display itself. That's not really a great selling point...

      Now on an OLED or plasma display you might have something -- problem is you have to match the polarization orientations. So if you tilt your head, suddenly you can't see your screen.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by wowbagger (69688)

        "LCDs are already polarized light -- that's how they are able to turn pixels on and off. "

        True so far, but...

        "Two polarizations 90 deg out of phase = no light transmission."

        Not completely true. There are 2 ways light can be polarized: planar or circular. In planar polarized light (which is what you are speaking of) the electric field will move in one fixed plane, and the magnetic field in a plane at 90 degrees. In circular polarized light, the E and H fields corkscrew through space in either a clockwise or

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I really think this is a great suggestion. However, keep in mind that there are no truly "untinted" polarized glasses, because every polarizer takes away 50% of light (when the light has random polarization like ambient light usually does).
  • Work or play? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by HideyoshiJP (1392619)
    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 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Tet (2721)
    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 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mattdm (1931) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:23AM (#32963946) Homepage

    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!!!!! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Nargg (1678106)
    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!
  • 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.

  • by swordgeek (112599) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:27AM (#32964030) Journal

    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)

  • by chihowa (366380)

    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

  • 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

  • Glossy is a bad name (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rnelsonee (98732) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:34AM (#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 [screentekinc.com].

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

  • Pros and Cons (Score:3, Insightful)

    by proxima (165692) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:36AM (#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.

  • by djsmiley (752149) <djsmiley2k@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:38AM (#32964222) Homepage Journal

    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).

    • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @11:06AM (#32964702) Journal

      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.

      You rotate your desk 180 degrees over the course of the day?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by dotancohen (1015143)

      ...the sun rises and sets to the right of me. (*Can't be bothered to figure out what direction I am facing)...

      You are facing North in the morning, and South in the evening. Nice.

  • by Auroch (1403671) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:43AM (#32964308)
    Import one. Then buy a replacement keyboard, they're usually 0-screw 1-plug replacements.
  • by KonoWatakushi (910213) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:52AM (#32964454)

    Neither are optimal, and people should not be so polarized on the issue; there is a better option. It is called an anti reflective film, and you will find one on every piece of quality camera optics or eyeglasses. The goal of this film is to make lenses invisible, in order to transmit as much of the light as possible. (Which is more or less the antithesis of glossy. Matte is also reflective, it merely diffuses the light, though still degrades the image.)

    Anyway, the default state of my glossy MacBook was nearly intolerable. Fortunately, I came across an aftermarket AR film, the Nushield DayVue. It is less than ideal and painful to install properly, but it is a clear improvement. (For best results, there must be an AR film stack on each surface, but the interior surfaces are not accessible in this case.)

  • Agree (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MBGMorden (803437) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:54AM (#32964480)

    I agree with the submitter. Not sure what the hell is going on in the monitor market. We had to deal with glares for years on CRTs, and then we finally move to LCD's which eliminates the problem entirely. I figured screen glare was dead for all eternity - and then someone decides "HEY GUYS - we figured out how to make the LCD screens glare too!".

    To me it seems as beneficial as introducing a charging cord that you can connect to your wireless mouse at all times so that the battery never dies. It's truly one of those /facepalm things I can't believe someone actually did.

    It wouldn't be so bad except that all the budget laptops are doing it. Seems if you want a matte version you're going to have to pay extra. Given how little I use my laptop, I ended up going with the gloss version there (and just suffer with having to turn out ever friggen light in the hotel room while use the computer). On my desktop though I did specifically track down a matte display - I couldn't take the gloss on a daily basis.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LordVader717 (888547)

      It's personal preference I guess. You could just attach tracing paper to a CRT or glossy LCD.
      I personally can't understand why some people like to brag about picture quality and how CRTs do better blacks and buy matte LCDs.

  • GPS on Motorcycle (Score:3, Informative)

    by clyde_cadiddlehopper (1052112) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @11:10AM (#32964792)
    I had the same issue using a GPS on my bike ... the glossy screen was a pain in outdoor light. Solution: matte-finish film applied to the glass. Cost was under $10, probably a lot more for a 15" (38 cm) laptop display.
  • Deal killer (Score:5, Informative)

    by massysett (910130) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @11:15AM (#32964884) Homepage

    For me a glossy screen is an absolute deal-killer. I once had a MacBook (the white, plastic one.) There were things about it that took some getting used to--I am accustomed to PC hardware running Linux. I could get used to the one-button mouse, the different keyboard shortcuts, and differences in the software like no X11 (at least, not ordinarily) and the Finder. I rather liked the idea of a PC running Unix without having to futz with installing an OS not supported by the OEM.

    But what drove me to sell the thing on eBay was the glossy screen. Gloss makes it absolutely impossible to do any work with any bright light source over my shoulder. I do a lot of work in a terminal, and a black background is just impossible to read. So I switched them to a light background. That actually wasn't easy because the Terminal in OS X at the time (10.4, I think) made it really hard to switch colors--I had to download some sort of plugin to do something that X11 terminals have been capable of for years. Even with a light background, though, it was hard to do work if there was a lamp behind me and impossible to do work if there was a window behind me.

    I complained of this, and some people said "well, just close the blinds" or "sit somewhere else." I now laugh when Steve Jobs said that if you phone is dropping calls when you hold it a certain way, don't hold it that way. Seems responses like that are common amongst the Apple set.

    This was so bad that I sold the thing and now I won't buy a laptop with a glossy screen. That pretty much limits me to enterprise models as nearly all the consumer models have the glossy screen. I think Apple used to have a very expensive MacBook Pro that gave you a choice between glossy and matte but I don't think they have that choice anymore. No more Apple hardware for me.

    • Re:Deal killer (Score:4, Informative)

      by One Louder (595430) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @11:59AM (#32965572)
      I just bought a MacBook Pro last week - not only do they offer a matte display, but it also has a higher pixel resolution (1680x1050) than the glossy one on the same model.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by quacking duck (607555)

      But what drove me to sell the thing on eBay was the glossy screen. Gloss makes it absolutely impossible to do any work with any bright light source over my shoulder. I do a lot of work in a terminal, and a black background is just impossible to read. So I switched them to a light background. That actually wasn't easy because the Terminal in OS X at the time (10.4, I think) made it really hard to switch colors--I had to download some sort of plugin to do something that X11 terminals have been capable of for years. Even with a light background, though, it was hard to do work if there was a lamp behind me and impossible to do work if there was a window behind me.

      I don't get it, I've had my Terminal as black text on white (translucent) background since OSX 10.0, almost a decade ago. What were you trying to do that required a plug-in?

  • by itomato (91092) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @01:09PM (#32966866)

    Diminishing refraction requires a smooth surface (i learned something reading that amateur telescope making book)

    Glossy surfaces reflect higher intensity light sources more readily.

    Polarize or coat the damned things already, so the light inside can come out, but these exterior sources are diffused across the surface.

    Matte has drawbacks, but deepness of black and 'poppy' RGB aren't why I bought my computer. Neither is HD video playback, dammit. If I wanted an entertainment device with a keyboard, I would invent one.

    I have a 'laptop computer' which I use to 'compute' on my 'lap', and I want about 2 million gloss-free, color-accurate pixels to do it with.

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman

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