Glossy vs matte screens: why the PC industry's out of touch

23 May 2011

The following charts neatly encapsulate exactly how out of touch the PC industry is on the issue of glossy vs matte screens.

We asked PC Pro readers which type of screen they prefer. They answered as follows:

And this is the type of screen used on the nine ultra-value laptops from our recent Labs in issue 200:

I could have reproduced exactly the same chart for our touchscreen PC labs in the current issue. And, of course, it's not only the PC makers who've fallen in love with glossy screens: Apple customers have formed an online protest demanding that matte screens are offered as an option in the iMac line-up. Some of those Mac fans claimed that glossy screens were such a turn-off that they'd been forced to migrate to Windows just to escape the glossy lock-in.

Why do people hate glossy screens so much? Reflections are undoubtedly a major source of anguish. Speaking as someone who use a glossy screen laptop every day, I'm constantly irritated by the reflections cast across my screen by the overhead strip lighting in the office and, worse still, the sunlight making my screen near unwatchable on the train to and from the office.

And anyone who has a glossy screen on their shared family PC will surely be overly familiar with the daily routine of wiping fingerprints from the display, no matter how many times you angrily demand they don't put their Marmite-sodden digits anywhere near the screen.

Let's hope the PC makers wake up to the degree of dissatisfaction with glossy displays and bring back the welcome matte.

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