27" iMac Screen- too glossy?


macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 18, 2012
San Diego
Hi, I'm looking to buy a 27" iMac but a little hesitant because of the screen. I think the iMac I saw had a glossy screen. My coworker recently got a 27" HP screen but it's so glossy that she had to switch out for her old monitor. I saw it myself and when she uses photoshop, all she can see is a reflection of herself and everyone behind her. She said her eyes were so strained and she had a headache. Didn't even last a day. For those who have the 27" iMac and use photoshop, does it seem too glossy?

I'm not sure if it's the iMac or the display, but I've seen the matte version as well. Would you guys recommend that over the glossy display? To be honest, I don't mind glossy as long as it's not too much, like the HP one. Thanks guys!


macrumors 603
Jul 8, 2011
Real glossy. But I use mine in a dark environment so no reflections. If I were sitting in a well lit office I would most definitely have reflections, even when I put lights on where my iMac 27" is, I do not find it a problem. I have another iMac 20.5" that sits in an office type of environment and I still have no problem viewing. There are reflections though. But we are all different and know what we as individuals can tolerate. And as for it coming with a matte version, the answer is no. Unless there is a screen cover you can get to matte it down? I also use Photoshop CS6 a lot on both my macs without any real distraction from reflections.


macrumors 68040
Jun 13, 2004
While there's no noticeable difference in color saturation as I'd thought there would be, reflections are a problem for some. I really Apple offered a matte screen. That's one reason why I wouldn't get an Apple screen; just go another brand where at least you get options. Glossy doesn't offer any real advantage over matte besides a minor boost in color saturation, which for designers could be a bad thing.


macrumors 6502
Jan 27, 2008
I have the 24" Imac with the glossy screen and I really don't like using t edit photos. I have it connected to a Cinema Display with a matte screen, that I much prefer.


macrumors regular
Nov 10, 2011
all of the current iMacs, thunderbolt displays, and retina MBP are too glossy. it's a shame. otherwise id buy one.

i have an older matte cinema display in my office and it works well. i put my ipad next to it, cant even see whats on the ipad, its just a mirror.


macrumors 68030
May 25, 2007
Birmingham, UK
all of the current iMacs, thunderbolt displays, and retina MBP are too glossy. it's a shame. otherwise id buy one.
The Retina MBP is much better than current MBPs. Out of all the screens Apple produce I'd say the MBA's are the best for lack of reflections. Though they could be better.

The sooner Apple stop producing glass covered displays the better, not only are the reflections bad, but the dust that gets stuck under them is annoying.

(no doubt someone will post that it's my fault for having a badly arranged house and I should reposition windows and lights to fix it)


macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
I have used a 20" glossy screen iMac with no problems. I do however realize that my own head and body blocks out most possible glare and that a larger screen would probably not work very well unless it sat in a location where the lights can be controlled and the monitor tilted so as not to reflect light.

If one is doing colour sensitive work, iMac screens are really not the best choice but they are a reasonable choice. Yes, I am sure some will rush to defend Apple here but monitors such as those by NEC are vastly superior for serious work.

I use presently a Mini Server with a 3rd party calibrated monitor for photo work. The monitor is 24" which is ideal for my needs and I still would consider an iMac replacement for the Mini and end up with two screens which is a joy to work with. The iMac guts are pretty decent for the most part and hopefully the new iMacs will be flexible to handle 3rd party RAM upgrades up to at least 16 and better 32 gb.

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