How jarring is a glossy/matte combo with dual monitors?
June 8, 2008 2:21 PM   Subscribe

For those of you with glossy laptop screens, do you use glossy external monitors, too?

I'm about to buy a MacBook (only comes in glossy) and an external monitor (which come in matte or glossy). Is it jarring to go back and forth between glossy and matte when sharing screen real estate? Thanks.
posted by 10ch to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not jarring, but if the cost were the same I'd get the glossy monitor. The whole purpose for connecting an external monitor to a laptop is to provide a better viewing area. I think the sharpness of newer LCDs is noticeable compared to the older dull ones.
posted by wfrgms at 2:29 PM on June 8, 2008

A lot of people don't like the glossy screens because they result in more glare from room or window lighting. I am one of these people. I have a glossy laptop screen and a matte external monitor, and definitely prefer the matte. Not at all jarring to go back and forth between them.
posted by DMan at 2:39 PM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

I got an iMac about a year ago, with a glossy screen. I hoped I would get used to it. I haven't.
posted by dmd at 2:48 PM on June 8, 2008

My laptop has a glossy screen, and I also use my girlfriend's matte screen laptop and other matte screens in the computer lab etc, and I haven't had any trouble switching between them, though I much prefer my glossy screen as it seems sharper and brighter. It's not a problem to use both for me though.
posted by pocketfluff at 3:06 PM on June 8, 2008

If you're relying on the external monitor for colour accuracy, get a matte screen. Even though the contrast is better on the glossy ones, the perceived dynamic range suffers because of it.

Eizo has a few good tutorials & faqs about screen technology. It's worth a read if you can find the link (I've misplaced it)

As to being annoyed at the different surfaces, it hasn't been an issue for me and my beloved Macbook whenever I'm using an additional (matte) screen.
posted by monocultured at 3:36 PM on June 8, 2008

I have a matte external monitor (a dell) and a (glossy) macbook, and I've never even thought about the fact that the two were different in this way until this question. The glossy one will probably pick up more glare if you have it positioned badly though -- I have my desk positioned so that neither will get any glare.
posted by advil at 3:43 PM on June 8, 2008

When both screens are on, you never notice the difference. I have a MacBook alongside dual matte screens and it is no problem at all.
posted by phatmonkey at 3:51 PM on June 8, 2008

Response by poster: Great advice, ya'll. Thanks.
posted by 10ch at 4:51 PM on June 8, 2008

I've got a glossy laptop screen, and specifically got a matte external display for photo editing. The difference isn't jarring at all.
posted by Tomorrowful at 5:56 PM on June 8, 2008

I have a glossy MacBook screen and a matte external monitor. The combination isn't jarring after a few days.

(It's more enjoyable reading on the glossy screen, but the matte screen is more accurate when calibrated (in my experience) even though there's some minor diffusion of the image. If you're in an arts field, I would tentatively recommend the matte screen for color-sensitive photo work. Honestly, you can do pro-level work on either.)
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:17 PM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Here's a side by side comparison of matte and glossy screens in normal lighting conditions.
posted by harwons at 6:28 AM on August 14, 2008

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