Glossy vs Matte BS

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by wolfattack, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. wolfattack macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2008
    So, i feel like there is some BS going around on the whole glossy vs matte thing.

    People say the matte screen is more color accurate, but if you calibrate a glossy screen, how will it be any less accurate than a matte?

    If i am missing something, i hope someone can correct me, because I am a graphic designer who has been working on a glossy laptop (pc) for 2 years, and i've always thought it was fine if i calibrate my screen. I know macs are different, so i could be assuming too much, but I just ordered my first macbook pro, and picked the hi-res glossy screen, and will be doing 90% graphic design work on it. Can you not calibrate the screen or something?

    I am not trying to sound like a smartass or something, honestly i just don't know if something is flying over my head that I am not getting. I still have time to cancel and reorder the matte if so.

  2. Hls811 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 19, 2004
    New Jersey
    I don't think its so much an issue of color accuracy as much as it is color reality.

    I do agree that if you calibrate then the accuracy should be there, but I think the glossy adds an extra 'shine' to something that you don't see with the naked eye.

    Lets say you went outside and took a picture of a tree, and then looked at it on a properly calibrated Glossy and Matte screen, while the colors might both accurately represent the live tree outside the matte would look more realistic because you tend to see things a little flatter than glossier..

    I don't know if that makes sense - like I said its hard to explain. I'm not trying to knock glossy - I think it looks great, but I think matte has the ability to look more realistic.
  3. Chitoneus macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2008
    I'm really interested in this too. I plan to do a lot of photoshop work, and I've been looking at the MacBook Pro because people have been saying that I really need a matte screen. (I know having a cinema display is ideal, but I am too mobile for that to be practical.) It would be nice if I could save a few hundred dollars and just go with the MacBook.
  4. wolfattack thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2008
    Yeah, that makes sense. The matte is less pretty, more realistic? An ugly picture will look ugly on a matte screen, but may look a little nicer on a glossy, even though it isn't, right?

    I guess thats a valid point. I was just asking, because it seems like people just spit out that answer when someone says they do photography or design work.

    If anyone else has any input on the subject, i would really appreciate hearing what you have to say. thanks.
  5. durant0s macrumors regular


    Jan 9, 2008
    Houston, TX
    just bought a MBP yesterday, I was told by a photography professor who works part time at the apple store that the matte screen will give you more accurate color samples. I don't know if that is true or not, but I checked them side by side and from the side angles of both. If your using your laptop as a laptop then go with the matte, because there is zero glare, where as your gonna have a tree branch or whatever is right behind you on your screen if you get the glossy. I will be using mine a lot outside and in large rooms with light I cant control so it was a no brainer on the matte for me.
  6. jmmtn4aj macrumors member

    Feb 29, 2008
    So what if I'm a photographer who's editing pictures for glossy prints? :O
  7. Pees330 macrumors 6502

    May 26, 2006
    Las Vegas, NV
    haha good one :D
  8. theLimit macrumors 6502a


    Jan 30, 2007
    up tha holler, acrost tha crick
    The main reason I prefer matte to glossy is that I can't stand constantly seeing my ugly mug staring back at me from the screen. :)
  9. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003

    Listen this has been hashed and rehashed a million times. The clear consensus is that it comes down to personal preference.

    Like the glossy better? Great, get the glossy, it'll be fine for everything you want to do with it.

    Like the matte better? Great, get the matte, it'll be fine for everything you want to do with it.
  10. valvehead macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2008
    Actually the glossy vs matte debate applies to photographic prints in pretty much the same way. I do a little B&W as a hobby, and I compared glossy with pearl (semi-gloss) on a few shots. At first glance the glossy is definitely more striking with apparently deeper blacks. The pearl seemed to have a smoother range of grays. Upon closer inspection under a variety of different lighting conditions, there really isn't much difference. The choice I would make would depend upon the subject matter.

    So concerning LCD screens: until someone does a series of objective measurements, I will take all claims with a large grain of salt.

    edit: I went for matte because the glare on glossy bothers me.
  11. jmmtn4aj macrumors member

    Feb 29, 2008
    Ay. I believe the apparently difference isn't saturation or colours, it's sharpness. Because matte is rougher, the light isn't all reflected in the same direction, instead it's scattered, so matte looks a little hazier. For me the difference between two monitors calibrated to be roughly equal is the glossy's apparent sharpness
  12. cobbe1 macrumors member


    Feb 17, 2008
    what about other ppl touching your screen?

    that's my pet peeve. When you show people something on your computer and they just reach out and poke on the screen!

    What makes people think that they can touch other peoples monitor while it's totally inappropriate to do it in a social context. e.g.
    Mary: Hey look at my new blouse
    John: That's nice, like that print on the front, 'poke'
    Mary: 'SLAP' PERVER!

    That's why i go with matte, easier to clean off the finger prints :p
  13. PhotoBill macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2008
    I have both a MBP with a matte screen and a MacBook with the glossy screen. What I notice is that for some reason or another I tend to 'flatten' images when I process them on the glossy screen. I think there is visual trickery with the glossy screen. So my prints tend to have a little less 'punch' and contrast when I pp on the glossy screen. For the record, both are calibrated with the Spyder Express so it isn't an issue of 'accuracy'.

    I will agree with one of the previous posters...get what you like. If I were advising someone I would suggest they get the matte screen and tell them about my experiences, but at the end of the day, they offer both so you should get the one you like best!!

    Oh, and I tend to print on semi-gloss/luster paper maybe the medium you print on has some bearing as well :)

  14. e12a macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    a guy i work with has a SR MBP with a glossy screen. i asked him how he liked it and he said he wish he went with a matte.
  15. vocaro macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2004
    I don't know much about color calibration, but I don't see how it's possible to calibrate a glossy screen. The problem is that glossy screens are reflective, so their color depends on the image they're reflecting. Maybe if you calibrate a glossy screen in a pitch dark room and always use it in the dark, then okay. But under normal conditions, as soon as you calibrate it, any change in the environment, such as moving a lamp from one table to another, would cause different reflections. This could very well screw up the calibration.
  16. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    Ha ha. It will only get worst. Wait until the Multitouch is available on Macs. Multigrab will probably be next.
  17. Hls811 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 19, 2004
    New Jersey
    I wouldn't use a comparison the the MB glossy screen - I personally don't think its up to par with the glossy screen on the MBP. I look at them side by side in the Apple store and the MB screen was much more reflective.. I think the MBP Glossy screen has been "dulled down" a little bit.

    I know in the anandtech review he really disliked the MB screen and said that he didn't think it was the same as the MBP glossy either.
  18. harrison1000 macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2008
  19. digitalpencil macrumors 6502


    Jul 2, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    If you colour-correct your images properly using your info palette rather than your naked eye than the screen coating won't matter one bit. The problem is that in terms of color recreation, the gloss coat simply boosts the saturation and contrast of the display so you're losing some visual information in the darker and richer areas of the image (same as when you manually boost the sat/contrast). Also, this boost can throw off screen calibrators as it increasingly varies on angle but the LED screens cause enough trouble for my Spyder as it is :eek:
    The long and the short is this. Glossy screens produce, richer, more saturated images than matte at the cost of being less true. Some info can be lost in the contrast boost and it's more difficult to match for CMYK by eye.
    It's these reasons that high-end displays like the Cinema HD line don't come with a 'glossy' option.
    Apart from that, they look great and the smudges don't bother me as I have a 'touch my screen and i'll jab you with my pen' rule (no-one does it more than once) :p
  20. haner macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2008
    I don't know about you, but my vision tends to be a heck lot vibrant than what I see on a matte. What I see from my eyes ain't flat.

    Here's an analogy for the OP about glossy vs. matte:
    glossy = looking at a tree through your cleaned window
    matte = looking at a tree through your window screen.

    Which is more accurate?
  21. EricVT macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2008
    Your analogy isn't accurate at all, though.

    Do you even know what matte is? It certainly isn't anything like a window screen.
  22. aiterum macrumors 6502


    Nov 17, 2007
    United States
    glossy screens are just mirrors with DVI outputs
  23. Ryox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2007
    The colour and detail on screens will never 100% resemble what comes out of the printer.

    Ink and paper don't have the ability to show both the deep details and the bright highlights like the screens can It just doesn't have the range.
    People prefer to lose detail in the shadows than the highlights. So printers are made that way. So if you calibrate the screen, it shouldn't matter what you have.

    Professionals just prefer the matte screens because of the added contrast a glossy screen gives. This is like glossy prints, Glossy surfaces bounce more light off giving you greater contrast and vibrant colours.

    The only thing that bothers photographers is that this amount of contrast and colour you see on a glossy screen is out of your control and it sometimes changes with the image your displaying. This means if you edit a photo one way; than go on to edit a different but similar sort of photo just the same way, the results you get out from the printer can be way off what you saw on the screen, and for people who prefer to get everything as near perfect you need as much control over everything as possible.

    Its not an issue of accuracy, its an issue of control

    It doesn't matter if your printing on glossy or matte paper. (I prefer semi gloss :p)

    Glossy is better if you like looking at photos and watching movies, but if you like editing my choice is matte.

    Again its just comes down to personal preference, you cant go wrong with either screen.

    Go to an apple store and try them out.

    Neither screen is dull

    Hope this helps
  24. wolfattack thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2008
    thanks for all the help guys, I don't think i am gonna cancel my glossy mbp, hopefully I am okay. Everyone had lots of really great advice and explanations. Keep it coming if you have something else to say.

  25. Brendon Bauer macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2007
    Good 'ol USofA
    Glossy FTW :). Just my opinion. Matte is so... dull. And boring.

    Glossy makes me happy to use my computer :rolleyes:

    Also, the screen brightness on the latest mbp's goes up crazy high so reflections aren't much of a problem for me.

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