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Matte vs Glossy Screen – Which Should I Choose?

by Lisa Hayden
Matte vs Glossy Screen – Which Should I Choose

Have you ever had trouble knowing what’s on your screen when it’s too bright outside? Or did you experience putting your screen’s brightness at max just so you can see your screen clearly?

This is one of the problems with a glossy screen. Most phones and laptop screens are made of glossy LCD displays which make it hard for you to see what’s on the display when you’re in a bright room. Luckily, there’s what you call matte screens.

What Are Matte Screens And How Are They Different From Glossy Screens?

what is the difference matte and glossy

Matte screens’ main difference with a glossy screen is that the former has an anti-glare feature. The “matte-ness” of it eliminates the glare caused by the reflection of light. However, contrary to popular opinion, matte screens do not have additional material between the LCD panel and the surface.

Here’s the thing. Even if matte feels like a new invention, it’s not. It just sounds like it. However, matte screens actually just removed the extra material used in glossy screens. If you didn’t know it yet, glossy screens have an extra panel in front of the LCD. This extra panel is meant to diffuse the reflection using an anti-reflective treatment.

Apart from the existence of an additional panel, the texture of the screen is very different. Instead of the squeaky-clean finish, the matte screen feels rather smooth. It’s easy to glide your fingers through it. All these are well and good, but matte screens also have their fair share of flaws.

The anti-glare feature comes with a price. A matte screen is duller, and it doesn’t often give a very bright appearance to the display. It’s like a grainy and subdued version. Obviously, if you love high-definition displays, the matte screen is not for you.

With that said, is it still worth buying a matte screen? Or are glossy screens still the better choice? If you’re having a hard time deciding, maybe these factors will help you out.

Matte vs Glossy Screen : Factors to Consider!

factors to consider for matte and glossy tv

1. Where You Will Use It

First thing to consider is where you will use it. If your laptop will be brought outdoors most of the time, then it’s better to buy a matte screen. You wouldn’t want to adjust to the reflection all the time. Besides, it hurts the eyes.

On the other hand, if you will always use it in controlled environments where there’s not much sunlight, then a glossy screen is an option. Since the main reason for not using a glossy screen is the glare, then if you take away what causes the glare, then that fixes the problem, right?

If you are going to use the laptop in a well-lit room and indoors, then the chances of having glare reflected on the screen are minimal.

2. What You Will Use it For

The second thing to consider is the purpose of your buying the screen/laptop/phone. Are you going to use it for admin work, games, or arts?

Most of the time, if you only plan to use it for emails or for writing notes, books and the like, a glossy screen would not matter given that you stay in a controlled environment. In fact, even a matte display will also be a good choice because you won’t need an HD screen if you’re just answering an email.

If you want to play games, then your priority must be the graphics. After all, you can see things better when the screen is high definition. In this case, a glossy screen would be better for you. You just have to make sure that you play indoors or away from the natural light because then you would expect to receive glare from your screen.

The opposite is true for the arts. While some argue that it is better to have a bright and highly contrasted version of your artwork, this is not always better.

In fact, glossy screens can artificially deepen the colour, making it look like it’s already bright. And when you transfer that to a matte screen, you realize that they’re really not that bright.

Most artists would recommend having a matte screen, so you see the true contrast and colour of your artwork.

3. Personal Preference

Finally, there’s a personal preference. At the end of the day, even if all the pros and cons are laid out, your preference will always win. If you’re an artist who prefers a bright screen, then a matte screen won’t be on your list even if it’s said to be better at showing the real colours of your artwork.

Some people naturally like a matte screen while some want the “glossiness” of a screen. Either way, it really ends with your personal preference.

So Is a Matte Screen Worth It?

is a matte screen worth it?

Let’s say you decided to buy a matte screen because you don’t want to get those glares a glossy screen gives. Is it worth it? Well, in reality, you can only tell if a product is worth it if it was able to solve your problem. If you don’t get those glares anymore and you are more comfortable using your laptop even under the sun, then it’s worth it.

The same is true if you bought a glossy screen for the sake of watching high-definition videos. If you can enjoy the display on the screen due to its bright and high-contrast quality, then it’s also worth it. A glossy screen might be a little more expensive, but it’s also worth it given the brightness it provides.

The bummer here is that you can’t have a switch between a matte and a glossy screen. If there were any, then everyone would have gotten it. But sadly, that’s not the case for now. The only solution now is to use a matte screen protector on your phone and laptop, and you just remove it if you want the glossy version. Still, it’s not as easy as just switching from one type of screen to another.

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1 comment

Jon May 9, 2020 - 11:43 pm

As an architect who works across a broad spectrum of uses for my laptop; design, art, spreadsheets, word document etc etc I can comfortably say that matte screens are a huge no no if you’re looking for true colour accuracy.

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