Most of the screens that we interact with daily use some form of glossy finish. Take modern TVs, laptops, phones, smart watches – they all rock a display with a glossy coating or cover glass (usually treated with an anti-reflective solution) to achieve higher contrast ratios and better image clarity. In the gaming monitor industry on the other hand, conventional wisdom dictates that people want matte displays only. We are here to challenge that!
We’ve received something cool that’ll let us put the assumptions aside and approach the topic with a clear head and actual comparisons. If there is enough interest for us to pursue this direction, it could shape the future of gaming monitors, but someone has to take the first step. That’s why we need your help!
As a reminder, almost all surfaces reflect light. When most people think of reflections, they think of specular (mirror-like) reflection. Glare occurs when reflections are so intense that they interfere with the image on the screen. Haze is a method that spreads reflections over a wider surface, blurring the reflection and reducing its brightest points to make the reflection less apparent. There are also other methods of reducing reflections, and their effectiveness and price varies greatly. Common trade-offs for anti-glare and anti-reflective techniques include loss of contrast, brightness, color accuracy, and sharpness. You can learn more about this in our previous topic.
The current Spectrum models use an anti-glare coating with a matte finish. As we mentioned before, our partner LG Display has reached out to us about glossy polarizers. They have now provided us with samples for testing. That means we can get hands on!
This screen boasts an anti-reflection layer that reduces the reflection rate to 2% (down from the 6% of our existing panel). 25% haze counteracts glare by taking care of remaining highlights. And as a welcome side-effect, contrast ratio measurements improved by 8%.
We’ll share some pictures along with our experiences. We’ve also sent one sample unit to a YouTuber for a third-party hands-on opinion. That should kickstart the conversation about what could be the world’s first ever glossy 4K gaming monitor!
Even at first glance, blacks are noticeably darker. But it’s not all about the deeper blacks: even in more balanced content the image seems less grainy, and colors are crisp and clear.
As the above images show, reflections are visible when the monitor is not in use or is displaying dark content. It does depend on the lighting, and the more well-lit the environment, the more these reflections are visible. As soon as the image on the screen lights up even a little, though, glare is reduced significantly. In daily use, our bright panel easily beats outside light sources, and we rarely notice glare.
Before we dive deeper into testing and explore the possibilities we should make sure we’re not the only ones who are excited by the prospects. So what do you think, is this something you folks are interested in?
- Yes, I’d like to see a glossy 4K gaming monitor
- No, I’d rather keep my monitors matte
If you want to be kept up to date on what could be the development of the world’s first glossy 4K gaming monitor, you can subscribe to our dedicated Glossy Gaming Monitor newsletter!