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iMac: Glossy or Matte - Which Would You Prefer?

Poll Results: Glossy or Matte Screen - What's your preference?

Poll expired: Sep 11, 2007  
  • 50% (49)
    Glossy
  • 49% (48)
    Matte
97 Total Votes  
post #1 of 125
Thread Starter 
I recently ordered a 24" iMac with a 2.8 GHz Core 2 Duo Extreme chip. It was scheduled to ship soon, but I will be canceling my order. Today I visited an Apple store and looked at the screen. My eyes were literally hurting and I was beginning to get a headache after spending only 15 minutes on the computer. Given that I spend nearly 3-4 hours/day on my iMac, it would create a major problem to have a glossy screen with so much glare.

For the current and potential iMac or Cinema Display buyers, which do you prefer? Glossy or matte? If Apple updates the Cinema Display lineup, do you want to see glossy displays offered?
post #2 of 125
Thread Starter 
I'm sure there are more than 16 people who have an opinion of glossy v matte.

C'mon guys, let's hear which you prefer. Apple thinks we like glossy displays and I'm curious to see if everyone here agrees.
post #3 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by southerndoc View Post

I'm sure there are more than 16 people who have an opinion of glossy v matte.

C'mon guys, let's hear which you prefer. Apple thinks we like glossy displays and I'm curious to see if everyone here agrees.

I hate to state obvious, but most of the people here aren't where Apple gets the majority or their customers from.

I prefer glossy, but Apple should just get over themselves and offer a CTO matte version.
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post #4 of 125
I'm pretty sure glossy screens cause eyeball cancer. By the time all you glossy fans realize your folly, it will far, far too late.
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post #5 of 125
well i've got a "glossy" macbook and haven't had any problems with glare...
post #6 of 125
For laptops I like Matte. All others I prefer glossy.
post #7 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by southerndoc View Post

I recently ordered a 24" iMac with a 2.8 GHz Core 2 Duo Extreme chip. It was scheduled to ship soon, but I will be canceling my order. Today I visited an Apple store and looked at the screen. My eyes were literally hurting and I was beginning to get a headache after spending only 15 minutes on the computer. Given that I spend nearly 3-4 hours/day on my iMac, it would create a major problem to have a glossy screen with so much glare.

For the current and potential iMac or Cinema Display buyers, which do you prefer? Glossy or matte? If Apple updates the Cinema Display lineup, do you want to see glossy displays offered?

This whole glossy glare issue has been WAY overblown in my opinion. Perhaps there is a problem in the stores or in classrooms but in my living room there is zero problem with glare. ZERO. My 20in iMac sitting beside my G4 iMac made me wonder how in the heck I put up with the dull matte screen for so long.

I can now say that I prefer glossy.
post #8 of 125
I just got a new 2.16GHz MBP with a matte screen. I like both glossy and matte but I'm glad I got the matte.
post #9 of 125
Glossy- Vibrant colours make me happy.
post #10 of 125
While I certainly prefer the matte screens for color accuracy and overall picture, this "headache" business is crap... Anyone who complains about getting headaches from a glossy screen must have never used any desktop computer in the last 25 years... these people are just whining on these forums to fit in or something. Side by side, previous iMac to new iMac, the new screen is richer, sharper and brighter... A matte version would look very nice but is not necessary in a desktop computer. You won't get headaches when you get it home and get over your whiney self.
post #11 of 125
Quote:
I'm pretty sure glossy screens cause eyeball cancer. By the time all you glossy fans realize your folly, it will far, far too late.

Well the CRT televisions we've been watching for 70 years and CRT computer screens before matte LCD screens were essentially glossy.

Quote:
My eyes were literally hurting and I was beginning to get a headache after spending only 15 minutes on the computer.

This is overblown. You have watched glossy screens long before anyone complained about them.
post #12 of 125
Before using the iMac my preference would have been for a matte screen, but having purchased one, and used it all week, I can now safely say that I prefer the glossy screen.

I was worried about reflections, but the screen is so bright and clear that it drowns out any reflections.
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post #13 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Well the CRT televisions we've been watching for 70 years and CRT computer screens before matte LCD screens were essentially glossy.



This is overblown. You have watched glossy screens long before anyone complained about them.

No it's not overblown. CRT's gave me a headache when staring at them for a long time, and in fact, I placed anti-glare filters on the CRT's that I've owned. CRT's were not as glossy as the current iMacs.

The headache was from the glare, and it's likely from the bright glare that is caused by the super lit Apple showroom.

It is well known that glare causes eye strain and headaches. Just ask any ophthalmologist.
post #14 of 125
Quote:
It is well known that glare causes eye strain and headaches. Just ask any ophthalmologist.

No I've never heard of glare causing headaches.
post #15 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

No I've never heard of glare causing headaches.

It is usually the programs I have to watch that cause the headaches...
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post #16 of 125
I also saw the iMacs at an Apple store, and there wasn't much glare. There was some glare when using the computer standing up, as would be expected at an Apple store, but if you adjust the screen and kneel-down to a more common computer usage position, no glare.

So, I prefer glossy. The glass is coated with anti-reflective coating, and affords a sharper, more vibrant picture.
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post #17 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

No I've never heard of glare causing headaches.

You should ask a physician, and if you are one, you should do a PubMed search.
post #18 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arantxa View Post

Glossy- Vibrant colours make me happy.

This is what I don't understand, how does placing a glossy surface over the same underlying LCD make the colors more vibrant?
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post #19 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Well the CRT televisions we've been watching for 70 years and CRT computer screens before matte LCD screens were essentially glossy.

The CRT television I've been watching for 70 years is beat to shit.
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post #20 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

No I've never heard of glare causing headaches.

Honestly, I am glad that people don't have issues with the glossy screen, it is beautiful, but for people like me who have glasses (and having to try harder to see around/through glare and reflections) it can cause headaches and eye strain. I may be in the extreme minority, but at least you have one example!

My verdict, the glossy iMac has beautiful screen and I don't fault Apple's choice, I just wish they had a matte option for us matte lovers.
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post #21 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Well the CRT televisions we've been watching for 70 years and CRT computer screens before matte LCD screens were essentially glossy.

Yea I have the same CRT and I always have to turn the end table lamps off so I can seen the screen and not look at reflection of a lamp.
post #22 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by southerndoc View Post

You should ask a physician, and if you are one, you should do a PubMed search.

PubMed turned up 9 results for headache + glare.
post #23 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPoster View Post

This is what I don't understand, how does placing a glossy surface over the same underlying LCD make the colors more vibrant?

The matte coating is basically sandblasted glass or polycarbonate. It diffuses light, and the glossy surface does not.
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post #24 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

The CRT television I've been watching for 70 years is beat to shit.

About time for a tube change...:
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post #25 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I hate to state obvious, but most of the people here aren't where Apple gets the majority or their customers from...

Never a truer word was ever said on this Forum.
post #26 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Well the CRT televisions we've been watching for 70 years and CRT computer screens before matte LCD screens were essentially glossy.

What total and utter rubbish! They were almost invariably given an anti-glare coating until recently. For very good reason. The worst cheap PC monitors which most certainly gave their users headaches were covered by ludicrous and ineffective "anti-radiation screens" in a fraudulent solution to the real problem.

Quote:
This is overblown. You have watched glossy screens long before anyone complained about them.

Not at all. These screens are very reflective, when the screen shows a darker background or image you can quite clearly see your own reflection in it. Any color work will be tainted by the colors of your clothes or background. Text will be hard to read when obscured by bright light sources in the room.

Seems the ill-informed opinions of the ignorant will over-rule wiser heads as Apple drifts away from experienced users into the arms of those who simply can't tell the difference and in the case of PC converts who are used to crap anyway.
post #27 of 125
Quote:
Honestly, I am glad that people don't have issues with the glossy screen, it is beautiful, but for people like me who have glasses (and having to try harder to see around/through glare and reflections) it can cause headaches and eye strain. I may be in the extreme minority, but at least you have one example!

I'm not trying to begrudge anyone's right to dislike the glossy screen. I just thought the reasoning was getting out of hand.

Quote:
What total and utter rubbish! They were almost invariably given an anti-glare coating until recently.

There is an anti-glare layer but it does not completely eliminated the natural reflectivity of glass. A light source in front of a CRT screen and you see an almost perfect reflection. The screen is also curved which makes it even more difficult to escape. I agree CRT screens not quite as reflective as the iMac screens. But they certainly are not matte.

Quote:
These screens are very reflective, when the screen shows a darker background or image you can quite clearly see your own reflection in it. Any color work will be tainted by the colors of your clothes or background.Text will be hard to read when obscured by bright light sources in the room.

That's not true in general it depends on the color of the text and its background. Still my point is that very reflective screens have been around far longer than matte screens. People still prefer to do color work on CRT screens which are reflective. To compensate they set up an environment that does not shine light directly onto the screen. This is nothing new.

Quote:
Seems the ill-informed opinions of the ignorant will over-rule wiser heads as Apple drifts away from experienced users into the arms of those who simply can't tell the difference and in the case of PC converts who are used to crap anyway.

Not sure what you are getting at with this. But you don't know me or what I do to so fragrantly throw around words like ill-informed or ignorant. I would prefer to stay civil but if you would like to throw credentials and insults on the table we can go there too.
post #28 of 125
I think it's time somebody invents a non-glare glossy screen.

Then everybody would stop arguing over something that isn't all that important in the whole scheme of life.
post #29 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I'm not trying to begrudge anyone's right to dislike the glossy screen. I just thought the reasoning was getting out of hand.

Not at all when this product decision cripples the workability of the new iMacs. There are people who depend on these things for a living.

Quote:
But they certainly are not matte.

They are also not made of monosodiumglutamate, under the influence of the doctrine of non-transcention of the body indivisable nor artifacts of ancient Peruvian science. Which neither I nor others also claimed.

Quote:
That's not true in general it depends on the color of the text and its background. Still my point is that very reflective screens have been around far longer than matte screens. People still prefer to do color work on CRT screens which are reflective. To compensate they set up an environment that does not shine light directly onto the screen. This is nothing new.

Time to start wearing the black burkas in the darkened basement laboratories and avoid anything but white backgrounds on the screen. Should cause no problems! There will be a slight problem with editing anything dark on screen but we'll just avoid those as we move to an industry based on images which don't have reflexion problems or the letter "R" in them.

Quote:
Not sure what you are getting at with this. But you don't know me or what I do to so fragrantly throw around words like ill-informed or ignorant. I would prefer to stay civil but if you would like to throw credentials and insults on the table we can go there too.

None so blind as those who can not see. Hope your labrador copes better with the on screen glare problems!
post #30 of 125
gastroboy: if you're going to vent your spleen, vent at Apple. There's nothing we can do about it.

With that said, I've had glossy screen laptops for years, and it hasn't been a problem. The iMac panel is less-glarey than those laptops. In fact, barring usage in direct light it's not glarey at all. Using a matte-finished screen in direct light washes out the picture, so it's not like, all of the sudden, we can't use our screens in direct light. Take a step back and look at your posts. It looks like you're running on some kind of personal vendetta. Give it a rest, or simply don't buy an iMac if it's such a big deal to you.
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post #31 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

gastroboy: if you're going to vent your spleen, vent at Apple. There's nothing we can do about it.

Apple blocks criticism of products on their Forums, even though plenty of users picked up on this. All you can do is use the feedback forms which is basically yelling into the void.

Quote:
With that said, I've had glossy screen laptops for years, and it hasn't been a problem. The iMac panel is less-glarey than those laptops. In fact, barring usage in direct light it's not glarey at all.

Not true. For a start these screen are massive compared with laptops and perched up on their stands seem to pick up specular highlights to the left and right of you. The glass is only tinted and is full gloss. Also you tend to look down on a laptop which means your reflected view is low as well.

Quote:
Using a matte-finished screen in direct light washes out the picture, so it's not like, all of the sudden, we can't use our screens in direct light.

Since you are attached to a power chord it is unlikely you will be out in direct sunlight using these which only muddies the issue. What you will be doing is dealing with open bright windows or ceiling lights which these screens pick up brilliantly.

Quote:
Take a step back and look at your posts. It looks like you're running on some kind of personal vendetta. Give it a rest, or simply don't buy an iMac if it's such a big deal to you.

Take a look at your own posts. Many Mac users think they are on a crusade to protect Apple from ANY criticsm no matter how well founded. Thanks to them Apple has continued to get away with the "Apple knows best" tactics that drives away most PC users and keeps persistent Mac users such as myself in often untenable positions.

Apple seems hell bent on shaking off its critical professional base in favor of the newly suckered in, easily duped amateurs it now targets. Essentially it wants a more manipulatable consumer who is attracted to the superficial and will buy into a cycle of "fashion statements" and get rid of them when they don't look "Hot" anymore.

In otherwords the same "Junk" computing as PCs.

Ofcourse I am not going to buy these models, despite I have waited cash-in-hand for them for over 12 months.
post #32 of 125
Pathetic degeneration of a rather interesting thread.

I believe the question was something like, "Which do you prefer, matte or glossy?"

In two days using a new iMac 20" my wife has slightly changed the positioning of hers on her desk and declared that this is the best Mac she's ever used (by the way, she loves the new keyboard, which I thought she'd hate because it was different). I have not gotten my own 24" yet-- still waiting on China--but I'll keep you posted.

On the general issue, I found the matte better for me on my laptop-- I have a MBP duo 15" from school (gotten just a month before the core 2's came out last fall) with glossy and while I love the way DVDs play on it, it does reflect back a lot in the situations one encounters on campus.

When I bought my own MDP core2 duo 17" in the latest iteration, I chose matte, and it has been everything I hoped for. i do a lot of work with Japanese language on screen and web sites and materials/documents in kanji, so clarity and ease of magnification in all lights are a big issue. Besides, I got a bag that protects it and I can dispense with all kinds of other stuff on flights to Japan-- I never work with the machine on those flights, but can keep it safely tucked away in my carry-on--but do not have to load up on extras that used to fill up my bags with my previous PowerBooks. (OK, got off track here... Time to wrap things up!)
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post #33 of 125
Quote:
Many Mac users think they are on a crusade to protect Apple from ANY criticsm no matter how well founded. Thanks to them Apple has continued to get away with the "Apple knows best" tactics that drives away most PC users and keeps persistent Mac users such as myself in often untenable positions.

I don't see any of us protecting Apple from anything. Apple is not above the market. The market ultimately decides if Apple is offering what people want at a price they are willing to pay. Based on this criteria for the past couple of years Apple has been headed in a very good direction.

Quote:
Time to start wearing the black burkas in the darkened basement laboratories and avoid anything but white backgrounds on the screen.

You are so dramatic. The iMac won't change anything. There already are specials rooms set up for critical color work. Note the use of CRT monitors in darkened rooms. I wonder why they would do that?





post #34 of 125
Are these photos supposed to be a revellation?

Most people who do even non-critical color work do not want to set up and spend the day inside the equivalent of a dark room just to avoid glare problems.

Most people have no choice about their work environment, so if there are flourescent tubes over your shoulder or open windows in line of sight, glossy is bad full stop.

Should be a great market for "anti-radiation screens" to hang over your iMacs. If you're dumb enough to buy the line that the glare wasn't a problem in the first place you'll be equally dumb enough to buy a fake "solution".
post #35 of 125
Stop being such a little bitch and get on with life. the glossy vs. matte argument isn't really that big a deal to most of us, for good reason. I don't think you're going to bring anyone into your anti-glossy jihad. If you want to build a reasonable discussion, put substance into your argument instead of subjective claims. Having been a user of glossy and matte screens for some time, I just don't have the problems you seem to cite. You're going to need to do better if you want to prove a point.
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post #36 of 125
Hi everybody,

In my office, 30% screen are glossy. All our IT team agree with the fact that there is glare but for most of us, It has taken less than a week to get use to it. For all the other (included me) we went back to our "old" matte screen.
I think you don't buy an iMac because it has a glossy screen, however Apple took the risk to postpone some sales because of it. That's true for me. I'won't buy an iMac until I'll find a better solution than this one http://210.157.201.118/~kodawarisan/imac_2007_mid/imac_2007_mid_01.html to get rid of this glossy screen.

Stephane
post #37 of 125
Linky broken 'stephane'
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post #38 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

Stop being such a little bitch and get on with life. the glossy vs. matte argument isn't really that big a deal to most of us, for good reason. I don't think you're going to bring anyone into your anti-glossy jihad. If you want to build a reasonable discussion, put substance into your argument instead of subjective claims. Having been a user of glossy and matte screens for some time, I just don't have the problems you seem to cite. You're going to need to do better if you want to prove a point.

I can attest to being upset about the glossy displays but that is only because I am in the minority of poor professionals (at the moment) and I cannot edit photos all day on a glossy screen, BUT I agree this is getting way out of hand. I was upset but I've come to choose between a refurb 24in or a new 20in + 2nd LCD (matte).

While I don't appreciate the seemingly forced hand by SJ (and every Apple Store Genius who says I need one) directing us designers to buy a $3,500 MacPro setup, I can understand that they are now targeting Joe Consumer who loves to show the family photos at gatherings. And from what I've read, Apple is going to do very well with this model so I don't see any changes in the near future.
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post #39 of 125
Thread Starter 
I visited the Apple Store again today, this time with the intention of buying a MacBook Pro. Seeing the glossy display next to the matte display on the two MacBooks Pro, I could definitely tell that the glossy display had more vibrant colors and was very nice to look at. However, I couldn't get past the glare that was bouncing off the glossy display.

The iMac's display is sharp and full of color, which I like. However, I could not get accustomed to the glare.

I wish Apple offered users a choice between glossy and matte, or at least made the glossy display with less glare.
post #40 of 125
Howdy All,

To be up front, I think the "glossy-only" move is a bad one on the iMac (and MacBook). That said, I like the idea of a glass cover but I am not sure how they can do a matte iMac with glass cover that sits in front of the screen (apparently a non-reflective coating in this situation wouldn't work too well).

From what I can remember, Steve J. has never said that the glossy screens are better, he's always said things along the lines of "we've listened to our customers and they love these glossy screens" or "these glossy screens are just gorgeous" (they can be gorgeous but still a pain to work with).

Of course it is only one person, but I would like to know what Steve's preference is. I'd be willing to bet that he uses (or would choose for his next personal machine) a matte MacBook Pro (although he probably has new iMacs around as well). Of course, the Cinema displays haven't gone glossy yet either (not even an option).

I think all the logic and evidence over the years has shown that matte is the best solution (less distracting reflections, truer colours, and less glare), except perhaps for viewing outdoors (although that said, I thought the recent matte screens did a pretty good job outside since they were a lot brigher).

I also tend to discount people's opinion a little when they have bought an expensive computer with a glossy screen and then exclaim that the glossy screen is not too bad or even great. It takes a brave person to announce that they made the wrong decision, or go to all the extra effort of returning it or selling it.

I am happy for people to buy what they want, but please Apple give us the option.

Cheers,
Ashley.
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