Glossy or standard screen for best graphics?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by covisio, May 26, 2008.

  1. covisio macrumors 6502


    Aug 22, 2007
    I'm considering replacing my aging PowerBook G4 (which is now coming up to 5 years old) with a new MacBook Pro.
    Question is, which is the most colour-accurate screen, the glossy or the standard?
    I don't want over-saturation if it is not 'true'.
  2. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
    This, as in many things, is a compromise. You'll get plenty of folks who will swear that one is 'better' than the other, but they won't necessarily agree on which :p

    The only way to be sure you're buying the right thing is to go do the comparison for yourself - the difference isn't really about 'over-saturation', but contrast.
  3. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Search these forums for the word glossy in the thread title, and you'll find many threads giving information about the tradeoff.
  4. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    There's a reason why the Pro is the only one with the matte option. :p
  5. covisio thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 22, 2007
    Glossy or Matte

    Thanks for the answers. It would seem matte is definitely the one to go for.
  6. wheezy macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Alpine, UT
    Matte for sure, glossy is nice, but the reflection gets annoying in some places, and... there's a reason why top displays offered by Apple, Dell, etc are matte finished.
  7. mariotheotaku macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2008
    Yes, go for the matte one, I heard that the glossy screen doesn't give proper color accuracy for graphics
  8. tomoisyourgod macrumors regular

    May 3, 2007
    Liverpool, UK
    I got the matte screen MBP... loads of threads on this site about. It's the one to go for, especially designers.
  9. dasmb macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2007
    Games, movies and images do LOOK nicer on a glossy display. Much nicer, actually.

    But glossy is going to make colors appear "richer" by making blacks blacker and this is sort of a problem if you do any production work. It's pretty difficult to profile a glossy monitor. On the other hand, I find that the LED backlit Matte displays are among the easiest to profile I've ever used (indeed, the default was servicabley close to what I needed) and are very stable corner to center. Besides you need to position it very carefully to avoid glare and, what's worse, reflections.

    I did a little photo work on my wife's MB and kept wondering what these wierd black rings were on all my photos. Until I hit a dark shot, and realized they were my glasses, reflected from the display.

    I find it harder to read on a glossy display as well, but not by much.
  10. ruskiwi macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2006
    Nelson, NZ
    Definitely matte. Even looking at the glossy screens on the iMacs puts me off when I think about trying to edit photos with some reflection distracting me. I upgraded from a G4 powerbook to a MBP and the screen is way brighter with great contrast, and I love the matte screen.
  11. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    Personally, I prefer a matt screen. But speaking as a interaction designer, there's a school of thought that with the ever increasing popularity of glossy screens, then designers perhaps need to consider having access to a glossy in addition to a matt screen as part of their developmental process.
  12. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2007
    das Fort
    I have a glossy screen at home (24" iMac) and two matte screens at work (20" ViewSonics on a Mac Pro) and I prefer the glossy. It really is just a personal preference, though, because in the end your color management should be done by proofing prints, not hoping your monitor's color is perfect (it never is).

    I say, go to the Apple store and play with both and just pick the one you like the best. If, after a week or so, you decide you've made a mistake, return it for the other option.
  13. CMD is me macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    Matte is better for print and glossy is better for web/multimedia. Matte is also far better for a room with lighting in front of the screen (behind your head).
  14. RainForRent macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2006
    Greenville, SC
    A wise man said on MR forums...

    Aptly said, friend.
  15. NeXTCube macrumors member

    May 14, 2002
    Upstate NY
    Casting a vote for matte as well

    Having access to machines with both matte and glossy screens (iMacs, Dell laptops, Viewsonic monitors, iBook, etc.) I would have to (personally) go the matte route, especially if getting a laptop. While you can usually set your office up to minimize glare on a glossy desktop screen, I find that the crazy lighting conditions (in airports, conference rooms, etc.) under which I usually find myself using my laptops give me glare problems with the glossy screen Dells. Matte screen iBook and Thinkpad hold up better!
  16. donmei macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2007
    I purchased a glossy 17" MBP with the LED backlighting.

    For what i use it for, I am happy. I've got a couple of mid range Samsung 19" monitors that are matte, I also compared the Matte MBP at an apple store.

    Here are my observations.

    1) blacks are much blacker on a glossy screen - startlingly so.
    2) the glossy is much more reflective. If you have an office with a window opposite the monitor, glossy will kill you.

    I like to use a computer in a somewhat dimmed room. So my use case generally doesnt have a glare problem. Also, I am not a designer, I'm a stqndard business user.

    My Mac is also more of a recreational machine. Overall I'm pleased with my choice. Like someone above stated, evrything is a tradeoff.

    If this was my business notebook, and I had to use it in places where I couldnt control the lighting I would definitely go matte.

    Maybe get a glossy MBP and a matte external monitor? or vice versa?

  17. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Glossy screen are best for people who play meadia. That is watch DVD movies, web surf, games and so on. Mat screens are best for people who create media, Photographers, graphic artists, video editors and so on.

    Aside from the glare issues that can be controlled by dimming the room lights the glossy screens boost color contrast and saturation. Many consummers like this but people trying to color balance a photo need accurate, not punchy color.
  18. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2007
    das Fort
    I disagree. The only way to color match anything is to proof it. Glossy or matte, your screen is never going to look exactly like what is printed.

    Some people will (obviously) tell you that "real" designers ONLY use matte screens, but this real designer is telling you to just go with what you prefer. In the end, it is strictly a matter of personal preference.

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