Something is wrong with our Notebook LCD screens, part 3

And now, following Parts 1 and 2, here is the last installment…

These days, more and more Notebooks come with displays branded by the makers as VibrantView, or CrystaslBrite, or OptiClear… exciting names indeed. What they all refers to is glossy LCD screens, which would be much better described as GlareMirror, or UglyReflector, or maybe just RazzleDazzle

Glossy screen on a Notebook computer

Photo source: Marco Wessel, under Creative Commons license.

The underlying idea is to remove the matte anti-glare layer on the older screens, a change which results in better definition and more vibrant colors, plus better outdoors visibility. All commendable attributes, except that the price you pay is a mirror-like surface that reflects windows, light fixtures and other bright objects, a problem that motivated the original matte layer to begin with. Solutions? Work in a totally dark room, or try to yank the screen around until you find a reflection-free angle. Note that the last works for a single viewer – these screens are most annoying when someone shows you something on their screen: maybe they found the glare-free position, but you, looking from the side or over their shoulder, will get the full blast of annoying reflections.

Now if the matte screens were bad – if their colors really sucked, or their focus was totally fuzzy, I can see the possible value of a trade-off; but TFT LCD’s have reached maturity years ago, and are a delight to use. So what got into the vendors’ heads, to throw in the glossy finish – not as a  rare option, but as a mainstream technology?

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