Mac Desktops forum

General discussion

New iMacs difficult to view: Screen way too reflective.

by MacPCConsultant / November 19, 2009 2:34 PM PST

The glossy highly reflective surface of the 21.5 and 27" iMacs are a real drawback. The reflections interfere with normal use, and Apple Stores do not sell any 27" laminates.

Photo-editors and graphic artists are especially annoyed by even normal room lighting reflecting off the very glossy monitor surface and have declined purchasing these otherwise fine units.

Any comments ?

Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: New iMacs difficult to view: Screen way too reflective.
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: New iMacs difficult to view: Screen way too reflective.
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Normal room lighting
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 20, 2009 3:39 AM PST

does not have any noticable effect on mine. It faces away from the window and the room light is behind it.

It's all to do with location, location, location.


Collapse -
Lucky you !
by MacPCConsultant / November 20, 2009 7:25 AM PST
In reply to: Normal room lighting

Not everyone can elect the location you have.

Try turning it 180 degrees so that the window and/or room lighting is behind you. What do you feel are the advantages of the glossy screen ?

The intense distraction is very apparent in any Apple Store, yet the store is where one would think they would want to optimize viewing and eliminate reflections.

Have you compared it to the matte MacBooks or Cinema displays ?

Collapse -
You asked for comments,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 20, 2009 8:07 AM PST
In reply to: Lucky you !

don't get upset when you get one!

My machine is located where I need it to be.

Yes, I have compared it to the Cinema displays, the one on the other side of the room looks dull in comparison.

I agree that it is a little strange that you would put the glossy screen under such a bright light in the store.


Collapse -
I won't be getting one so I won't be upset
by MacPCConsultant / November 21, 2009 12:52 AM PST

I will not be getting any of these units, nor recommending them, because too many people find the glossy light reflections intolerable.

I'd didn't find the blacks blacker, nor the image sharpen, by the glossy screen compared to the matte finish non-reflective surface.

You seem to strangely like the glossy reflective surface. Did you buy the unit because you liked the machine or liked the reflective surface and matte was unavailable ?

The Cinema display and the iMac and two different display technologies, so an exact comparison is unfair.

Collapse -
Screens are a matter of personal taste,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 21, 2009 3:51 AM PST

I have no problem with the glossy screen, while you seem to strangely dislike the glossy.

You asked for a comparison with the iMac and the Cinema display, I told you what I saw.

I also note that the iMacs with the LED backlights are even brighter and more vibrant than the original, 24" ones


Collapse -
Two corrections
by MacPCConsultant / November 21, 2009 4:11 AM PST

Strangely dislike ? No. Dislike for good cause.

I dislike it ? No. Many do.

Anyone found a good 27" Anti-glare and anti-reflective laminate to rectify this problem ?

Collapse -
A bit late...
by R_Giskard_Reventlov / November 22, 2009 6:58 AM PST
In reply to: Two corrections

You're late to the party. Some have complained about the glossy screens for a number of years now, both in the iMac and Macbooks. After all the tirades Apple has not yet given in and probably never will. A matte option is available only for one of the Macbook Pro models.

Apple offers what it offers and doesn't really care what you want. If you think you can influence them by refusing to buy or recommend Macs you are sorely mistaken. They don't care what you do or say and the last few years of explosive growth in Macs sales vindicates their decisions. I have a 2008 24" iMac with the glossy screen and it's not a problem. I love it just the way it is.

Collapse -
Not a bit late; Squeaky wheel gets the grease
by MacPCConsultant / November 22, 2009 7:27 AM PST
In reply to: A bit late...

Pleased to report that I was not late to the party, and there is some beneficial movement thanks to especially the graphic artists and photo-editors. Squeaky wheels do get greased. This "matte movement" was started over a year ago.

Many sections of Apple ARE consumer-responsive.

Collapse -
I agree with lkrupp
by macnerd10 / November 22, 2009 12:57 PM PST

The complaints started more than a year ago because the glossy screens have been introduced before that time. It all depends on lighting in the room. Lkrupp is right that Apple does not listen much. The upshot is that these glossy screens are definitely brighter, with more vibrant colors; this is why some people sacrifice the glare for brightness. Proper lighting should do the trick, especially, if you are a professional graphic artist. I personally am on your side and my MBP has a matte screen. Good luck in your crusade, I would only welcome your victory. But you have been warned too!

Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions

CNET Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for great gifts under $100?

Trendy tech gifts don't require a hefty price tag. Choose from these CNET-recommended useful and high-quality gadgets.