Matte and Glossy screen finish: almost the same and interchangeable

Matte and glossy screens are interchangeable, it is only up to your personal preferences which one to pick. The picture below illustrates the physical dissimilarities between the glossy and the matte screens installed on the same laptop:

Laptop screens with glossy and matte screens are entirely interchangeable since the difference lies only in the type of the screen surface finish.

Conventionally, laptop screens have had a matte, anti-glare finish, to scatter the reflected light. This characteristic, however, has a number of side effects, which include scattering the light from the display and increasing the blur. Additionally, it results in reduction of the contrast ratio, color intensity, and viewing angle.

Glossy screens use optical coating to reduce the amount of reflected external light. Their shiny surfaces reflect more light than matte displays, but they are less reflective than the uncoated glossy displays; reflections of external light sources are not diffused by glossy displays, so certain lighting conditions tend to favor a traditional, anti-glare screen. In controlled environments, such as darkened rooms, or rooms where all light sources are diffused, a glossy display may be more enjoyable for the viewer.

Glossy displays generate increasingly saturated colors, deeper blacks, brighter whites, and sharper images. This makes these types of displays more appropriate for general public use, which commonly uses laptops for viewing photos, watching movies, or browsing the web.

As a side note, in extremely bright conditions, where no direct light is facing the screen, such as outdoors, glossy displays can become more readable than matte displays due to their ability not to disperse the light around the screen.

Alternative glossy screen names by manufacturer

Each laptop manufacturer coined their glossy type screen monicker:

Acer - CrystalBrite
Acorn - Vybrio
AG Neovo - NeoV Optical Filter
Ahtec - Glare
Alienware - ClearView
Apple - Glossy
ASUS - ColorShine
Averatec - AveraBrite
Dell - TrueLife
Everex - DiamondBrite
Fujitsu - CrystalView, SuperFine
Gateway - UltraBrite
HP-Compaq BrightView
IBM-Lenovo VibrantView
LG - FineBrite
NEC OptiClear, SuperShine
Packard Bell - Diamond View
Sager - Super Clear
SONY - XBRITE, XBRITE-ECO, X-black, ClearBright, ClearPhoto LCD
Toshiba - Clear SuperView

last updated June 14, 2018