When you face your PC toward the sun, you will get to see one of two things: a reflection of your surroundings on your PC screen, or the dull black screen of your PC. These differences are caused due to two different kinds of screens- glossy vs matte screen. The type of screen present in a monitor plays a big role in whether you want to invest in it or not. Image quality is perhaps the most major factor affected by the screen surface. The type of screen you choose and the kind of lighting provided by the PC can either make PC viewing a pleasurable experience or give you innumerable headaches.
Glossy vs Matte Monitor
Screens that are glossy have brighter, more vibrant colors with much better contrast, therefore giving you a better viewing experience in relatively darker surroundings. However, when you work in the sun (or any room lighting that is too bright), you can’t see your screen thanks to the reflections of your surroundings being cast on it. In matte screens, there are no reflection issues because of the anti-glare treatment. However, the improved screen visibility comes at a cost. The image quality of matte screens is much lower as compared to glossy screens.
So when you are getting a new monitor, it is essential to find the difference between glossy and matte screen. Let us look more deeply into those differences below:
Like its name suggests- a glossy screen is smooth to touch, with better color contrast. The outer surface of a glossy screen has a smooth layer known as the “outer polarising layer.” The function of this layer is to send back the ambient light that falls on it. A better color contrast means that bright colors appear brighter and dark colors appear deeper. The image quality increases when viewed on a glossy screen. These days, glossy screens are mostly treated to give an anti-reflective coating so that the amount of ambient light that is sent back is lesser than that of an untreated glossy screen.
A matte screen is the best option for anyone who works outdoors or in strongly lit areas every day. The “outer polarising layer” for such screens is made coarse using mechanical and other forms of processing. What a matte finish does to the screen is- it makes the screen diffuse ambient light instead of sending it back directly. The processing it undergoes makes it less like a mirror, reducing reflections in well-lit areas. The diffusion of ambient light may seem like a great solution, but it has its faults as well. Since the screen is processed, the light that emits from the monitor is also affected, giving you poor image quality. Moreover, the ambient light which is diffused and the light that is emitted from the monitor interferes with each other quite frequently, which makes the image appear hazy and not very sharply defined.
Difference Between Glossy and Matte Screen
|Glossy Screen||Matte Screen|
|It shows you more intense colors and better saturation||The glare is very less as compared to glossy monitors, which means these monitors give better visibility in well-lit and sunlit areas.|
|It gives you cleaner and more vibrant images without appearing grainy or hazy.||Your eyes stay healthy as they don’t have to strain to focus in bright areas. Even in an average environment, a matte screen is better for your eyes because the lesser amount of light is emitted from the monitor.|
|If the screen is kept clean, it provides greater aesthetic appeal.||You don’t have to worry about keeping your monitor spick and span because dirt and dust on a matte screen are less visible as compared to a glossy screen.|
Also, the glossy screens are easier to clean since dirt is more visible and does not penetrate the screen.
With all these advantages of glossy screens come a few disadvantages.
- When direct light is shone on these screens, it makes them pretty much unusable because of the strong reflections that are cast on the screen.
- When you work in strong light conditions, your eyes face a greater amount of strain, leading to headaches and bad eyesight later.
- Frequent cleaning is required for such screens since dirt is much more visible.
Just like every coin has two sides, matte screens also have a few disadvantages.
- It has a sharp decline in color contrast and color vibrancy when compared with glossy screens.
- The sharpness in such monitors is also very less due to the diffusion of ambient light.
- When showing light colors (especially white), these screens often have a grainy or hazy texture, thereby reducing image quality.
Which One is Better?
When everything’s said and discussed, it is still a tough decision to make when you’re choosing among glossy vs matte screen. The pros and cons go on and on, and ultimately it is simply a matter of personal preference and surrounding circumstances.
Neither of the two kinds of screens is perfect, and so these days we see many manufacturers coming up with hybrid options such as semi-glossy and light matte screen finish to achieve the perfect balance between image quality and eye-friendly. If you are looking for a gaming monitor, you will do very well with a matte screen monitor. However, if you are using your monitor just for everyday purposes, then the choice is entirely yours.