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I've heard a lot of people say to get a monitor with a glass front. What are the advantages? Is it more expensive? Is glass another option like matte or glossy, or can glass monitors be matte/glossy themselves? What laptop screens have glass monitors?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Generally, glossy screens have better color contrast at the cost of increased glare. Newer, better glossy screens (like Sony VAIO Z) try to reduce glare while keeping the brilliant contrast.

I've heard a lot of people say to get a monitor with a glass front.

All I have seen are basically transparent plastics. Probably they mean "glossy."
Update: apparently, there are some glossy displays (like the new iMac) that use glass as the exterior coating material. I'm not sure if the glass is an extra layer of coating or it's the LCD coating but anyway, it doesn't really matter what they are using for manufacturing. You should really compare picture qualities. The new glass displays might provide a better quality. And by the way, glass displays are not matte.

What are the advantages? Is it more expensive?

Crisp pictures. No, the cost should be similar. Some manufacturers might choose to provide one kind only. Others might choose to charge (a small amount) more for a kind but the manufacturing cost shouldn't be different.

What laptop screens have glass monitors?

Most laptops currently on market feature "glossy" (not glass) screens by default. I don't know the glass ones but it should be visible in their marketing materials.

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Newer iMacs have glass in front of the screen. I have one at home :-) – John Fouhy Aug 27 '09 at 2:50
Glass is harder to scratch. That's probably the only difference between a plastic glossy display and a glass one. – alex Aug 27 '09 at 5:51

It's an aesthetic thing as much as anything. The glass on the front can extend beyond the edges of the LCD, to the edge of the case. It makes it look more seamless.

It is very reflective. You'll find working hard if you are in direct sunlight, even if the screen itself is not.

They're also easier to clean – you can rub smudges out with a cloth.

Apple MacBooks come with glass displays. Here's an example. I don't know about PC manufacturers, but you'll probably see them on high-end laptops soon, if not now.

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Try one before you buy!!! Don't only check it out in the store you need to check it out near a window. The glare is a deal breaker for me! I borrowed a friends to try it out and I didn't even use it a whole day. If you will be using it anywhere you cannot control the lighting it's aggravating at best.

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The glass screen looks really impressive, at least with my Dell it's bright and beautiful - and if you've looked at a newer Mac, they have beautiful glossy screens.

The downside of glossy is more glare when viewing at an angle.

When it comes down to it, it's a personal preference - you should check them out for yourself.

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Well in my case, I find glass screens more resistant to my children poking at them with fingers and things.

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