More often than not, manufacturing companies misrepresent their product and they are poorly understood by consumers. One monitor attribute is discussed by users pretty often – screen surface. Unlike CRT monitors from the past, modern monitors are not restricted by reflective glass surfaces.
The matte screen has an outer polarizing layer that is coarsened with mechanical and chemical processing. Very often manufacturers use multilayer sputtering or several passes of deep coating followed by surface treatment with chemicals. I will not get into production methods in this article as we are more interested in the end results.
The matte screen finish is created to diffuse ambient light instead of reflecting it back to the viewer. The outer surface is something like a mirror. Since glare is reduced we often call this as anti-glare. This optical property has its drawback since this surface works both ways – light emitted from the monitor is also affected.
– Reduced glare improves visibility
– Potentially less eyestrain
– Dust and dirt less visible
– Reduced contrast and color vibrancy
– Reduction of sharpness
– More difficult to clean
Glossy screen has a smooth outer polarising layer. Rather than defusing, their surface tends to reflect back ambient light causing unwanted glare and reflection. On a positive side, light emitted from the monitor is not interfered with by the finishing process so colors appear to be richer and more vibrant.
The latest computer monitors are treated with an anti-reflective chemical coating that absorbs ambient light. Therefore, you may see that manufacturers call their models: Dell TrueBright, HP BrightView, Sony Xbrite, ASUS ColorShine, etc. By knowing this, you will understand what method is used to reduce glaring.
No matter what technology is behind creating anti-reflecting coating, glossy screens tend to reflect ambient light. In order to compensate this, users push the brightness of their monitor to the maximum. Even though reflection of ambient light is reduced, the anti-reflecting coating can not eliminate this effect.
– Reduced reflection in certain conditions
– Easier cleaning
– Better aesthetic appeal
– Cleaner image
– Direct light causes reflection
– Strong ambient light causes reflection
– Potentially increased eyestrain
– Dust and dirt more visible