Project: Spectrum | Types of Display Finishes


Hey everyone,

Displays are made up of many different layers that each influence the image and user experience. The backlight layer responsible for illuminating the screen and the LCD layer responsible for producing the image are well-known by many, but in this topic we’ll discuss a layer that most users see right through. Literally. The top layer of a display panel not only serves to protect the panel from its environment, it also greatly influences reflections and color performance.

Always on the lookout

Back when we were developing Spectrum, we heard the voices calling for a glossy display. And though we looked into the possibilities at the time, including options using cover glass, we were unable at the time to source a panel that did not have a matte anti-glare coating. It was our first foray into the monitor market, and manufacturers weren’t going to stop production lines that were pumping our hundreds of thousands of panels just to make a couple thousand special ones just for us.

Even though this was not an option at the time, we have not stopped asking our suppliers about future possibilities. Between the success of Spectrum and our continued requests, display supplier LG Display has reached out to us to participate in the development of a glossy display panel.


In general, glossy screens offer deeper darks, brighter whites, and richer colors compared to displays with a matte finish. However, their smoothness also introduces reflections. Room lights and windows mirrored in the screen surface can interfere with the image shown, and can even cause fatigue as your eyes strain to make out the intended picture. Because of this, glossy screens are much more common in TVs than in computer monitors: Light in a living room often is often much more controlled when you’re watching TV, reducing the impact of reflections.

The reduced reflections of a matte screen improve visibility of your content if your monitor is affected by strong direct or ambient light. This can increase comfort and reduce eye strain. As a downside, the diffusing nature of this matte layer will also diffuse the image from the monitor itself a little, causing a slight reduction in sharpness, and affecting color and contrast. Think of how frosted glass doesn’t reflect what’s on your side, but also doesn’t show you what’s on the other side as clearly.

The increased clarity of a glossy panel makes darks darker, lights lighter, and colors more vivid. Due to its reflective nature, it also mirrors its environment, especially bright lights. This can cause interference with the image shown. If you can control the environment, the picture will be amazing, but if the screen reflects strong lights it may be frustrating instead.

Your ideal top layer

What do you think – is the improved image quality worth a few reflections? Do you have good control over the light sources around your work or play space? What does your ideal display finish look like and why?



My ideal display is to be glossy. my room I don’t need to worry about reflections and lighting since i have good control over those. LG has new oled screens that are glossy that’s been certified to be glare free which should help reduce eye tiredness and fatigue. If Spectrum 2.0 should ever get the same panel. I’ll gladly purchase one!
New LG OLED TVs are ‘glare free’ – but does it matter? | TechRadar


I’m just waiting on the next firmware update, the HDR on the Xbox series X still needs work, is that something that’s being looked into or worked on?


I can see my own eyes + glasses in a glossy monitor. I always hated glossy ones. I can’t even watch a movie/play an immersive single player game in a dark room without losing immersion because the monitor emits lights which hits my face so I can see my own face in dark scenes or in spooky games.

The games lose all their… spookiness…

The hypothetical sharpness increase is just not worth it.


Glossy screen has wider market appeal… it is what the general mass users would expect, since practically all of their other devices have glossy screens.
Matte screen has a much narrower audience. I like it for work, but the EVE isn’t built to be solely a productivity machine. Some media consumption is expected.
There are ways to tackle a glossy screen being too reflective when that becomes an issue, but a matte screen is a one-way street (cannot physically make it any more glossy).


Very few things are as irritating as looking myself in the eye instead of seeing the cave I’m trying to loot.
It’s a matte finish for me dog


I just want to get mine already…. Been waiting since May of last year and paid May of this year and still haven’t received my monitor. I could let you know more if I actually had it in hand to see how well it performed.


I much prefer the finish on any display is actually shipped to me instead of magically leaving China months after I was promised it was en-route despite being an early backer.


Normal glass monitor please!

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Matte is my screen of choice on something with a portable display. My house has lots of windows and lights (I like it that way) and taking my laptop outdoors is commonplace. For a device that sits on a desk in the basement (or darkened room) I tolerate glossy.

I really hope this can be an optional part because each individual seems to strongly prefer one over the other. My observation is, those who like dark rooms or light desktop themes prefer glossy. Those of us who prefer dark theme’s in their apps get along better with Matte. Or maybe I’m just pushing my opinion.


I agree with the recommendation for a glare-free glossy screen and also an OLED panel. We’re starting to see OLED in laptops. Why not a 27 inch OLED monitor for version 2.0?

I use an LG CX 48 OLED as a gaming monitor but would also like a smaller 27 inch OLED. However, the are no OLED monitors! It also would need to get pricing under $700 given a 48" costs $1,200.


For me glossy since I almost always play in the dark


I would LOVE to have a Glossy screen on a monitor! Its not like I have a bunch of lights in my room!


I’ve always liked glossy displays like an iMac, MacBook and all other mobile devices.
It needs to be some sort of anti-reflective coating, like on MacBooks or iMacs, though…
As LG produces Apple screens, maybe this anti-reflective glossy coating is available for non-Apple devices like the Eve Spectrum?

Then yes - glossy all the way!


yeah the oled being glossy glare-free is nice. IMO is a win win for both sides.
LG is stepping away from LCD panels and are doubling down on OLED anyways. Might as well go for the Glare-free OLED.
LG has new production facility that will help decrease the cost of oled by 13%.
LG Display to end domestic LCD TV panel production by end of 2020 - FlatpanelsHD
Cheaper OLED TVs coming in bigger sizes, thanks to LG’s new factories | T3
yes the link is for big oled tv but the oled panels are becoming cheaper.

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I always prefer glossy. As a photographer I need the sharpest and brightest image available when I’m applying adjustments or editing, and glossy is much easier to work with.


I always buy glossy. It’s a shame most monitors on the market are matte. In the office there are a number of people who complain that their migraines are triggered harder by diffused overhead lights on their matte screens than their glossy Mac displays. Needless to say, glossy is preferred by my coworkers and myself.


All things considered: Anti-glare or matte.


I prefer glossy. When you use an iMac, MacBook Pro, etc it’s quite noticeably better for virtually everything. Most non-Apple screens are matte and they make text and other graphics blurrier and the sheen of light spreads in a nasty way over everything.


As I can control the lighting placement and use indirect lighting, as well, I would like to go with a gloss surface. The deeper colors are important for the photography work that I do. Plus, the writing I do makes it easier to see the words and for the moderation work I do for the streamers I support.