Or why only apple monitors are glossy? This have anything to do with color fidelity?

Do applying anti-glare film reduces image quality and color spectrum?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to photo stack exchange. Unfortunately these "which is better" questions are difficult if not impossible to answer using the stack exchange model here. We prefer questions that can have a "best" answer. Could you edit your question to ask a question that can have a definitive answer? \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Oct 7, 2011 at 16:48
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Any good pros and cons list is a definitive answer and will be accepted. \$\endgroup\$
    – ariel
    Oct 7, 2011 at 17:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ While the question has a peripheral relation to photography, this is more of a computer hardware question and not really a photography question. There is also no particularly good "answer" to this question, as a significant part of choosing a glossy/anti-glare screen is personal preference. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Oct 8, 2011 at 4:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Choosing a good monitor is quite important for photography workflow, and has been well accepted by community before. Unfortunately glossy/non-glossy has not been discussed in that old question, hence a reopen vote for this one from me. As a generic computer hardware question, it would ignore the specific needs of image processing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Imre
    Oct 10, 2011 at 6:32

1 Answer 1


Apple is not the only manufacturer who provides the option of glossy monitors. Because you see rows of iMacs in the Apple store with glossy monitors does not mean Apple is the only manufacturer who provides them. Also, not all Apple monitors are glossy.

Pros for Glossy Monitors

  • Higher perceived contrast and saturation. This is a two-edged sword. The increase in contrast is wonderful when working on images and just working with applications; however, people viewing your image may have anti-glare displays and they will not see the same saturation and contrast you do.
  • Increased perceived sharpness. Again, wonderful when you are working on your images and with your applications, but be aware that anyone using an anti-glare monitor may not see things as razor-sharp as you do.

Cons Against Glossy Monitors

  • The obvious problem with glossy monitors is that they reflect whatever objects are in the room. The greater the ambient light, the worse this problem can be.
  • As stated above, people with anti-glare displays may not perceive your images as you do.
  • Fingerprinting. Any smudges and fingerprinting (and sneezing and cat paw marks) are very obvious on a glossy screen, whereas you can get away with it longer on an anti-glare surface.

Personal Notes

I prefer a glossy monitor for my main working display. I have an anti-glare as my secondary monitor, so I do have a chance to preview the images somewhat as others will see them. These are both Apple displays. Both are color calibrated and I have not been disappointed with either. On my laptops, I have been far more pleased with the glossy display than the anti-glare, primarily because when I show images to others on the laptop, they display to better effect. Many prefer an anti-glare display on a laptop because you cannot control the lighting around where you use one, but I've been pleased with the added perceived brightness and besides, I don't do any final post processing on a laptop.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure that Apple currently sells any non-glossy monitors. The only two non-refurb standalone monitors for sale on the Apple website are the Apple Thunderbolt Display (27-inch) and the Apple LED Cinema Display (27" flat panel), both described as glossy. The built-in iMac displays are also described as glossy. \$\endgroup\$
    – coneslayer
    Oct 7, 2011 at 18:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ You're right! Ackkkk! Apple has gone exclusively to glossy. Well, I guess that means most of my clients will be on similar devices, but I'm hanging onto my Cinema Display with anti-glare for now as a secondary monitor. \$\endgroup\$
    – Steve Ross
    Oct 7, 2011 at 18:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ My 2011 MBP (laptop) is non-glosss, as is my Samsung 24" LCD ($300 when I bought it!). \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael H.
    Oct 7, 2011 at 19:12

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