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February 6, 2011


Glossy Screens on Laptops Suck

I understand why glossy screens have completely overtaken matte screens; glossies look a lot sexier on display at the store.  Images and videos are shown in vivid, eye-catching color and contrast that matte screens cannot achieve.  However, the flaw of the glossy screen is easily overlooked at the store display.

I purchased a glossy screen model several years ago, when they were just becoming popular.  It was not long before I noticed how much glare these screens pick up.  They reflect light like a mirrored surface!  In certain light conditions glossy screens are completely unusable, where a matte screen would be acceptable.  I found myself often adjusting the screen, tilting it, turning it, to minimize the glare.  It became a constant annoyance.

Now I’ve gone laptop shopping once again, and my local Best Buy no longer carries a single matte screen model.  Glossies have completely overtaken.  Where is the consumer choice?  I realize that the colors on matte screens don’t “pop” like they do on glossies, but that’s a sacrifice I’d make to be rid of the annoying glare problem.

The few matte screen laptops I’ve found for sale online tend to be Thinkpads and other business-focused models.  If I were to limit myself to matte screens only, my selection would be pretty thin.  I guess I’ll likely suck it up and reluctantly go with a glossy.

UPDATE: what a sad, yet prescient comment (from 2006!) I came across on this topic:

The glare is terrible and you can’t use the laptop outside at all. The side viewing angle is totally destroyed because looking at the screen from the side looks just like a mirror.

What in the world were they thinking? I sure hope that this does not become a major trend.

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  1. Feb 23 2011

    Dell Vostro 3700 come with matte screens as an optional extra but you pay for the better visuals with a pain in the ass fan noise which drones in and out every three seconds (could just be my machine)


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