My new NON-GLARE 27" iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by macaddiict, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Location:
    OKC & Lubbock, TX
    #1
    ... Well, as close as one can get to non-glare, anyway! :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    (Yes, unfortunately I have to spend a lot of time using Windows... but now at least I don't have to stare at my computer THROUGH a pane of window glass anymore!)

    What I did
    I removed the front glass cover using suction cups -- the screen is still glossy, but it has significantly less reflection without the glass cover.

    Then I cut a piece of black mat board and affixed it around the screen.

    I'm really happy with the results! I have been using the screen without the glass for a few days and love it, and it looks even better with the black border back. (You can see the info leading up to this hack here -- http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=868755 )

    Full disclosure
    Don't get me wrong - it is not a matte LCD with a diffuser panel, but it is a huge improvement over that low quality glass! If you are having trouble from a specific light source behind your computer, this may or may not help you much. My reflections were not from light sources in the room, but just from my shirt/face/etc. in front of the glass.

    Making the border
    I work in an office with a large cutting table and all the necessary stuff (huge rulers, x-acto knives, etc.), so I just did it myself. But if you want to try this yourself, I would have your local hobby lobby or craft store do it for you. Just measure the area you want covered and they can do it for a few bucks. If I were you, I'd do a 1" border top, left, and right and a .9" border on the bottom.

    Affixing the border
    The original glass just has some thin metal applied behind the black border, and there are permanently attached magnets on the edge of the iMac that hold on to the metal. Since the mat board does not have anything magnetic, I used a small bit of adhesive magnetic tape to hold on the mat board. I just cut little 1/3" strips of the magnetic material, remove the backing so the adhesive was uncovered, and put one piece on each magnet around the screen with the adhesive side pointing towards me. Then I carefully laid the black mat board on the screen and used pressure to make the mat board touch the adhesive on the magnets already on the computer.

    Obviously time will tell if this is a good way to adhere it.

    Caveats
    This worked perfectly for my needs -- I'm the only one using this computer, so it won't matter that it isn't a very well secured solution. I don't see the computer from the back, so it doesn't matter that I didn't round the top edges of the screen. Also, I am the only one who will be cleaning this screen, so I won't ever get any spray on the paper mat board (and since it is magnetic, I can remove it when I need to clean).

    Do this at your own risk
    Obviously, you could break about 100 things in the process of doing this... you cut your jugular removing the huge panel of NON SAFETY GLASS or your could slice off your finger trying to cut the mat board yourself. You could even knock the computer over trying to put the mat board on. Don't do it if you aren't willing to accept the risk - I'm definitely not recommending anyone do this at all, much less the way I did. I'm just sharing my personal success. So don't call me when you're bleeding on your new, broken iMac. :D

    Like I said, I'm really happy with the results. Mainly because it is awesome to be able to use my iMac without a headache! Since I cut mine myself, it is not 100% perfect -- but I think if you had a framing shop or craft store do yours, it would look great. I wouldn't recommend that 45-degree edge they sometimes do, but maybe it wouldn't look too bad.

    -Stephen
     
  2. macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    You also pretty much nix any chance of getting service on the machine under Applecare.
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #3
    you are braver than I am for doing this.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Location:
    OKC & Lubbock, TX
    #4
    I would just snap back on the original glass screen if the computer needed service or if I sold it down the line... And, I certainly wouldn't expect Apple to cover anything that might have been caused by removing the glass... but other than breaking something while I removed the glass, I can't think of any ramifications from doing this. (Fans still seem to be drawing a good amount of air, etc.)

    I was nervous, but spoke with other members on this forum before attempting it. Honestly, it was much easier than I would have thought. The glass comes off quite easily -- the hardest part by far was creating the new mat board bezel. If you have a 27" and are experiencing glare, you'll know it makes you do crazy things!
     
  5. Guest

    AAPLaday

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    #5
    Now if only Apple would sell matte versions for those who wanted them! :rolleyes:
     
  6. macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #6
    Now if only someone innovative enough could produce and sell some aluminum frames with some steel inserts on the back to attach to the magnets....

    The aluminum should be the same thickness as the glass. I'm sure this "person" would make a pretty damn good buck if you ask me ;).

    Looks great though OP. Nice work!
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    mtnDewFTW

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #7
    Holy crap! :eek: your black levels are amazing!
    Even my TV (that uses IPS technology) doesn't have blacks this deep.

    How did you do this?!
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    #8
    If you don't mind, could you post a short video? I think it would make it easier to see the glare (or lack of) moving across the screen. Thanks.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    jhero

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Not near an Apple Store
    #9
    Could you post your wall good sir?
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #10
    It'd be cool if a company came out with a less reflective replacement for the stock glass.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Location:
    OKC & Lubbock, TX
    #11
    I took that pic with my iPhone, so the black levels you see may be the result of how the camera "saw" things... the screen on the 27" is amazing, but don't base your opinion on black levels just off that photo...

    Sure -- see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsPIpLZ1fmg

    I wasn't sure exactly how to show a lack of reflections... but you can see with the computer asleep you still get some pretty intense reflection. But as soon as the monitor comes to life, they disappear, and I don't get any reflections that I used to see (such as of my clothes, my face, etc.) without the glass.

    (Also note the brightness was very low -- it seems to me the lower the brightness was, the more reflections I had been getting before. So you had to choose between seeing yourself and a low/good brightness, or eye-blinding brightness and less reflections. Now I can have both.)

    If you can think of a better way to test it, I'll be glad to do a different video...

    What do you mean?
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    mtnDewFTW

    Joined:
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    Location:
    California
    #12
     
  13. Guest

    AAPLaday

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    #13
    Think he means wallpaper
     
  14. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Location:
    OKC & Lubbock, TX
    #14
    Oh, duh! Thanks. Here's a link to the wallpaper background... it's just a motion blurred image of downtown Oklahoma City; you could make your own of your town very easily if you'd prefer.

    Download link
     
  15. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    #15
    Sweet! I've been wanting to do this to mine as well. It's not matte, but I hear it looks much much better. With the glass on, I feel like I'm trying to stare at a diamond ring behind a glass counter. It's just not the same with the additional sheet of glass on top.

    I don't see how this would void the warranty. The glass can be put back on in about 2 seconds, and Apple would never be able to tell it was removed.

    Do you think these computers can be calibrated easier without the glass?

    aaron
     
  16. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Location:
    OKC & Lubbock, TX
    #16
    I'm not sure -- although I do graphics work, I have never attempted to calibrate my displays before. I can't imagine that it would be good to have glass + air between the calibrator unit and your LCD, though ...

    This is not a perfect solution by any means, but I am very happy with it for my purposes. Apple should just offer a matte screen! :rolleyes:
     
  17. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    #17
    Apple Mirror Screens

    I too hate the new mirror screens Apple is forcing us to use (if we want to stay within the Mac world). I have experimented with a number of possibilities including removing the front panel (which is not glass by the way, but some sort of acrylic material instead), which reduces the overall glare significantly (my guess by about 40%).
    I have tried different films applied to the outside panel (terrible results with little improvement with low anti-glare films to awful red sparkles with the high anti-glare films (photodon films). I have tried applying the various films to the surface of the LCD itself. This has had better effects, and I settled on the MXH film from Photodon. This reduced glare slightly without any noticeable loss of graphic clarity. I would consider the higher rated MXT film if I had to do it over again. The red pixeling you see when film is applied to the outside panel does not exist with the MXH when applied to the LCD. I doubt even the MXT would be a problem if applied directly to the LCD itself. The film was much easier to apply than I suspected it would be and I completed the job w/o any bubbles at all.
    I also had a piece of museum glass cut to size and replaced the front panel. I painted the outside edges black to cover up the hardware underneath, and are using it as I type this. From the outside it looks exactly like the original panel. The museum glass cuts down the reflection/glare by about 50% over the original Apple panel. I have contacted a fabricator to apply some metal strips on the glass to hold it tight in place and are confident it will be a very workable and attractive solution. Mind you, the film on the LCD and the museum glass in front together do not reduce reflection/glare to the level of our beloved matte screens, but it gets about half way there. I suspect it would achieve another 10% to 20% with a higher rated anti-glare film, but still not what Apple achieved with their old monitors.
    Costs
    The film from Photodon (which I had custom cut, and they did a great job) was about $45 or $50. The museum glass was about $125. The custom corner grinding was $15. I simply taped the glass once it was cut and shaped and spray painted the 1" outside edges with a black paint. I am still working to get some metal strips attached to the glass so that it is held firm. Overall, I expect to have some $275 to $300 invested in my new panel. It should be indistinguishable from the original once complete.
    Overall, I'd say I've got about a 50% reduction in reflectivity and a 10% matte appearance on my monitor. If I had gone with the MXT film instead of the MXH, I think my overall performance would have been closer to 60% to 65% improvement.
    I am also investigating other materials for the outside panel. Museum glass is good if you don't ship or move your machine much, but it would be a real breakage hazard if you did.
    You can see my work and pictures at: http://www.photoworks.com/slideshow/album/A24A3933AAB4?c=pw59560&CS_003=4433951
     
  18. macrumors member

    .Max.

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    United Kindom
    #18
    Would a Matte screen protector not work?? :D
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    #19
    I'm considering doing this. How did you measure/ cut the mat board so it fit so perfectly?
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    InuNacho

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Location:
    In that one place
    #20
    Whenever I get a new 27 inch I'm totally doing this. The only problem I see is storing a 27 inch piece glass without anything happening to it.
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    Eduardo1971

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Location:
    Lost Angeles, Ca. usa
    #21
    Wow, talk about DIY! Kudos to you good sir.

    I love my glossy screens, but I totally respect your ability to make things work for your benefit.
     
  22. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    #22
    Are you still running your iMac without the glass? Any problems?

    Is it easy to get a good color profile without the glass on?

    I plan on buying a 27" iMac this weekend.

    Thanks!
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    #23
    Could have stenciled the glass and taken the stencil to a Glass cutting store and have them cut you a matte piece the same size.
    Don't get me wrong what you did is good but leaving the screen exposed to the elements and cleaning it isn't the best of ideas.
     
  24. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #24
    Or, close the blinds
     
  25. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    #25

    Why isn't it? Any matte screen is exposed and is cleaned in the same manner.
     

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