Any way to degloss the 27" thunderbolt monitor?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by therealseebs, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. therealseebs macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010
    The thunderbolt monitor looks awesome, except for the part where it's glossy and I hate glossy.

    Anyone had any luck with crazy thoughts like screen-covers that reduce glare?
  2. mohsy90 macrumors 65816


    Feb 4, 2011
    New York
    They have anti-glare film you can purchase. I've never tried it, but here is a link:

    Check youtube, probably some videos on it
  3. therealseebs, Jun 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012

    therealseebs thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010
    Woah. Following links on that, I found a claim that, on the 27" display, the glossy surface is just glass -- you can remove it (it's just held on by magnets) and then you have a nice 27" matte display.

    Can anyone confirm/deny that? I'm not about to try that on a $1k display without confirmation. :p

    (Reading around, it seems like some people think the underlying display is glossy, others think it's matte. Luck of the draw, maybe?)
  4. eron macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2008
    Try tilting it down or up to reduce glare. Or increase the brightness.
  5. JayMBP macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2011
    Surrey, BC
    Is there a patent issue with the TBD's glass?

    I'm surprised that with all the demand out there, there hasn't been anyone that come up with a good matte glass replacement.
  6. unamused macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2009
    It's called the U2711.

    It uses the same panel found in the ACD and iMac 27" however it is CFL back-light vs LEDs which are used in the Apple products. Because of this, the dell actually has a wider color gamut. It also has WAY more connectivity. USB, HDMI, VGA, MiniDISP, etc.

    I know it doesn't look as sleek and doesn't charge your MBP but in terms of functionality, its a better choice. You can also get deals where it goes down to around 800 bucks.
  7. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I use the Dell U2711 at work because I need the connectivity for both a MBA and a PC. At home, I use the ATD for my MBA. Soon (I hope), I'll also be using the ATD as a second monitor for my new (unannounced 2012) iMac.

    Overall, I prefer the ATD over the U2711. Everything seems more crisp to me.

    I can control my lighting pretty well... so that is a factor as well.

  8. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    While its true the glass is held by magnets, removing the glass does NOT make it a matte display. Thats like saying if I just attach 2 more cylinders to my V6, I now have a V8. It doesn't work that way.
  9. McGilli macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2008
    it's easy to de-gloss the monitors if you have the right parts. I recommend using two children, age four.

    Have them eat their food with their hands, and then tell them they can play with the monitor. They should eat chicken nuggets. That will coat their fingers with grease, but it won't be too thick. I don't recommend any sauces like Ketchup or BBQ sauce.

    Pretty soon you'll have a matte looking monitor because their hands and fingers have left a thin residue on your monitor that takes the gloss away.

    It will still look great, jut not glossy.

    If you have children, you know this is true and works great.
  10. therealseebs thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010
    The claim was that the LCD's surface was matte, and the gloss was all the glass in front of it. That may not be true, but it is pretty obvious that if you took a matte LCD, and put glass in front of it, it would suddenly look glossy.

    That said, it sounds like the display isn't really matte, just the sort of semi-gloss that you see on, say, the Air. Which is glossier than I like.


    Neither of those comes even close to providing a glare-free experience. I am not looking for "glare slightly less obvious". I want a display that does not show clear reflections of its environment.


    Yeah, I've been looking at that (and the 3011). Thing is, the Thunderbolt display also provides missing ports (ethernet/firewire). Imagine that I were to get one of the new macs -- there'd be no way to drive that display at full resolution (which needs a thunderbolt port), continue using firewire hardware (which needs a thunderbolt port) and have decent network speed (which needs a thunderbolt port). The thunderbolt display is magical, but Apple's continued insistence on glossy displays makes it unusable for me. Gah.
  11. wagsrules macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2011
    The lcd panel itself is not matte. It is a glossy panel. The imac is the same way. I took the glass off my imac 21.5 and used it that way. The panel is still glossy but you don't have near as much reflection once you take off the glass panel.
  12. jsolares macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2011
    Land of eternal Spring
    Only if you get the new retina macbook pro which has 2 thunderbolt ports and an hdmi one as well, otherwise you could get the belkin docking station when it comes out and connect the display there, but it's a bit pricey.
  13. therealseebs thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010
    Unfortunately, Belkin's a sort of non-option after the time they shipped routers with built-in malware, and their atrocious handling when people complained.

    But Matrox isn't including FireWire in theirs. So basically I'm out of luck unless Apple decides to make a matte version of the thunderbolt display, and given their recent trends, I'm guessing matte monitors are a thing of the past anyway for them. (I assume this is because people finally did surveys and found that most users prefer them; Think Different, in this case, means "don't make anything that more than half of your customers would likely prefer.")
  14. MNT macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2010
    It's not that hard to do it yourself, just a couple of steps:

    1. Use two (or more) suction cups to carefully remove the top glass from the display (it's held on by magnets, so just give it a gentle tug).

    2. Lay the glass down on a soft t-shirt.

    3. Using a fine grit sandpaper, sand down the entire surface of the glass. Be sure to do it evenly.

    4. Reinstall the top glass by lining the posts on the glass up with the holes around the edges of the display.

    5. Boom! I guarantee you'll never notice reflections on your Thunderbolt Display again.
  15. iMacFarlane macrumors 65816


    Apr 5, 2012
    Adrift in a sea of possibilities
  16. Joseph Farrugia macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2011
    Malta (EU)
    watch this space⎯⎯⎯⎯>

    they already do ones for the iMac, 27" Display version (TB & non) are on the way:

    I am not affiliated to this company, I just found it through a google search.

    Being a seasoned pro photographer for over 2 decades & now owning a 27" ACD, I can tell you that the glare/reflection/mirror comments are way, way overhyped;
    to the point of being bullcrap in 99.999% of cases; most of the people are just regurgitating what they read; they have no clue of what they are talking about.

    You never want a light source behind your display (that would be plain stupid!), especially if it is matte display!
    Matte displays like the Dell u2711 are atrocious with their sparkle effect & their dispersing reflections throughout the whole display area (instead of showing a pinpoint lightsource) thus creating a hazy image that lowers contrast & kills tonal & colour gradations; I should know because that is what I tried before going for an ACD.

    The lack of a large light source behind the display combined with a hood will ensure accurate colour & a smooth gradation in tones;
    of course paired up with a hardware based profiling & calibration of the display.

    These 3 proper procedures & their careful implementation are way more important than if the display is gloss or matte.

    For a real pro monitor check out Eizo………note that they come with a hood (& insist that you use it, otherwise their customer support can't & will not help you as regards to profiling issues); as well as hardware calibration.

    Let's also dispel some wide gamut myths: not just for the fact that 99% of advanced photographers (let alone non-knowledgeable users) will never ever be able to take advantage of a true higher-bit wider gamut display like an Eizo (the Dell 27" doesn't fit that category, do a deep google);
    ie: switching back & forth from using a wider/normal gamut display will have no effect whatsoever, none, nada, zero, zilch in their workflow;

    but also that so many people will be using their monitors in abyssmal condition without proper profiling/calibration & shielding (hood),
    and the fact that most advanced photographers (read: 99% of the self-professed photogs on dpreview,, POTN, etc) , let alone non-imaging power-users, will have absolutely no clue how to implement a wide gamut complete workflow……let alone use it.

    Try to find a good place for your monitor setup & go for the Thunderbolt if you prefer it, it has more connections than the Dell other than extra display port options which
    a) you will not & can not be using at the same time
    b) you don't really need if you have a mac.

  17. therealseebs thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010
    Happened to come back to this thread, since this issue is coming up for me again.

    While I am using a Mac, I am using more than one machine, and indeed, not all of those machines are Macs, so I really do want DVI options if at all possible.

    I think you're talking about something entirely unrelated to what I'm talking about. I really don't care about calibration. Heck, I'm running f.lux which adjusts the heck out of color depending on time of day. I am not complaining about glare because I think it's wrecking my perfectly-calibrated display, and I don't prefer matte because I believe it is magically completely unaffected by light.

    I prefer matte displays because glossy displays give me headaches and cramps as I constantly adjust to try to get rid of the glare.

    So my goal is "best display I can get that isn't glossy", not "most accurate display no matter what form that takes". Stuff like hoods is completely out of scope for my purposes.
  18. dmax35 macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2012
    I can vouch the kids method works. :eek:
  19. flatairbag macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2011
    Interesting reading this thread.

    Ive had very tired eyes and pulsing eye muscles since getting my 27 inch screen. Gloss is just yuck and I fail to see in any way how it is nice to have.

    I tried the kids method, but the lack of sleep was getting to me so I gave them back. Ive also tried sand blasting the screen. Next Im going to blackboard paint to see if it dulls it down a bit.... I tend to like dark websites anyhow.

    PS: just clipped my macbook on the edge of the glass one day whilst removing it off the desk. Took quite a chunk of chipped glass off the screen surround.. with only a gentle knock.. so its safe to say that as well as glossy, its delicate!
  20. Giuly macrumors 68040


    Yes, but unless you find a company that manufactures an aluminum frame around the display akin to the matte MBPs, it'll won't look that good.

    Or you wait for the updated Thunderbolt Display, which most likely will have a construction similar to the 27" iMac with one pane of glass less and the less glare that comes with it. That, or get a Dell UltraSharp U2713HM instead.

Share This Page