Glass Cinema Displays?


On Tuesday, when Jobs announced the new iMac, he really made an effort to sell the new materials…aluminum and glass (which are two major components of the new iMac).

Glass is significantly more durable than the current material used in the LCD screens. It’s almost completely scratch resistant and has a much smaller chance of getting punctured in some way. Glass is also a lot easier to recycle.

Another thing Jobs mentioned was that they’ve had overwhelming feedback about the glossy displays on the MacBook and MacBook Pro.

So, those things being noted, do you think the next revision to their Cinema Display line with feature glass screens? I know I love the sharper colors on my glossy MBP screen. It’d be nice to see it on a larger scale (say…a 30″ display?).



You hit it on the head. I was ready, with cash in hand to buy a newly updated 24″ for my semi-pro uses until I saw they had no Matte option. Total bummer.


All you see in the glossy screen is your own reflection. It is terribly distracting for anyone, amateur or professional, who wants to do photo editing. I would buy the iMac in a second because it’s so beautiful, but the glossy screen is the deal-breaker. After spending an hour on the iMac at the Apple store, I left with my eyes throbbing me from the glare. Trying to “tune out” or see past reflections and glare puts a huge strain on the eyes because they have to continually refocus.

Billy K

I hope this glossy thing dies soon. I doubt it will, but I really hope it’s just a fad. I hate my MB screen, and the new glossy display is probably the only thing keeping me from updating my white plastic iMac to the new iMac.

I’m really baffled by Apple’s embrace of the glossy. It’s just so impractical. For all the flak Apple takes for being trendy and overly concerned with appearances, they’ve always made machines that actually work. This is the wrong path.


Two more thinks:

The GMA is no worse than the 9200.
Everything runs fine. Trust me: it’s my backup Computer.

The MacBook has a SerialATA controller.
It supports … Apple doesn’t want you to know: 4 GB of RAM …


And I want the faster SATA hard disks. The 20″ iMac was the perfect choice for me, before the change to glass. Maybe I can pick up a brand new old model cheap?


Thanks for the advice nfoo, but I don’t want the GMA integrated graphics adapter. Even my G4 mini has a proper video card.



Buy a MacBook, not pro, with a good external screen.
This setup is good for amateur/semi-pro foto work.
Or if you don’t need a Notebook pick the MacMini.

Don’t underestimate the difference between your G4 MacMini and the new CoreDuo.


I’m still waiting for them to just actually release new cinema displays. I didn’t order a new one in January amidst rumours that they were going to release new ones with iSight and HDMI support then, and now I’m not going to order one just because it’s been so long.

Surely some professionals, especially those working in film, broadcast and print, must be gagging for an update – I know I am.


Look, the iMac may not be targeted at the ‘pro’, but it’s not exactly a cheap machine, well not the one I wanted to buy anyway. I sure don’t feel great now, that for the amatuer photography work that I do, I have to skip the new iMac altogether because of the glossy screen. I can’t afford a Mac Pro, and cannot justify it (cos I’m not a pro!) and neither do I want a big metal case sitting on my desk. So what now? An intel mini to replace my G4 mini, and then choose my own matte DELL screen?

HUGE bummer. I feel that maybe a hackintosh is in my future.


It makes sense for the consumer. When LCDs started becoming popular back in the day, a real bummer was the lack of durability. I used to clean my CRT with windex and a paper towel. All of a sudden I was babying my monitor. With a glass-enclosed display, you’ll get more freedom with how much you abuse your monitor (family friendly).

I don’t think it was a bad idea for the iMac, but continuing that line of thought to the pro line doesn’t work for the aforementioned reasons.


I checked out the new imacs at the local Apple Store in Albuquerque last night. The glossy displays are a real deal killer for me. I don’t enjoy watching my self work and the reflection of the overhead lights was really really bad.

Richard Lomas

I notice that the new BenQ 24″ display announced today had HDMI. That’d sure be nice on a cinema display!

Richard Lomas

You hit it on the head. I was ready, with cash in hand to buy a newly updated 24″ for my semi-pro uses until I saw they had no Matte option. Total bummer.


Hi …

I have the feeling that Apple added the Glossy Screens to the iMacs because they are a too big competition for the Pro products.

The 24″ iMac was a wonderful machine for pros. For most people the quad-core MacPro is just overkill.
So a lot of professionals I know bought the 24″ iMac. It’s such a great value.

But now … with the glossy display there is no use for it anymore. Because of the screens twisting the color too much.

I think it’s a forced difference between consumer and pro models:
Look at MacBook: it’s as fast as the Pro and the internal Graphics are no big con. But you can not use it without an external display, because the display is not only bad, but also glossy.

You can like a glossy display, I understand that but make no mistake: Glossy display are most of the time just a way to sell you bad display by tuning them a little with the higher contrast. The MacBook’s display would be horros without the gloss.

It’s so sad that there’s no more gloss-free iMac. And I think it’s a dirty trick.

Greetings …


of course it should just be an option. for me, glossy is the only way to go. except for my black and white photography maybe which looks more dynamic on matte.

i think it’s really silly that there doesn’t seem to be a non-glossy version of the iMac, as it is now (especially with better graphics and the firewire 800 port) aiming to get a share in the pro business of apple.

Richard Lomas

I can’t echo this enough…
Any sort of “glossy” on a Cinema Display must ONLY be an option, as it’s a professional monitor, meant for design and graphics work where color accuracy and performance are FAR more important than having it “look cool” for movie watching and games.
Apple will completely lose the huge professional base of Cinema Display users if they leave us nothing but a big shiny 30″ mirror that doesn’t lets us do our work as we need to.


That’s exactly what I thought when I first saw the special event.
I would also love glass. I don’t own an LCD nor a TFT for that reason. No glass. My main screen is a classical one, though quite modern and still a lot better than most LCDs out there. And I, too, love my MBPs glossy one ;]

So I strongly hope that the next gen cinema’s will feature glass.


My previous monitor was the standard Dell matte screen, and yeah, games and movies do look nice on it. Even though I have had my MacBook for a good couple of months now, I only truly saw how awesome glossy was for games when a friend with an Alienware laptop came down to visit.

Even though we both could play WoW full-settings, his screen had so much more niceness than mine.

To be honest, for what the iMac is marketed for (or supposed to be marketed for) glossy screens are perfect.


Games and movies do look nice on the glossy screens. But it’s not like they look bad on the matte screens. In fact, I think games and movies look pretty darn good on my matte screen!


Video looks amazing on my MacBook’s glossy screen. Reflections aren’t too big a problem. I only have trouble seeing the screen outside when its really bright.

I’ve actually just order a 22-inch glossy screen monitor for my desktop PC. Looks great for games!

Matt Radel

Noooo!!! Glossy displays are nice for awhile, but become a real pain real quick. I REALLY hope they don’t move to the glossy displays.

BUT if they did, I bet I could score a deal on the current generation.


As previously mentioned, anyone working on colour critical work can’t use the new iMac display. Those ‘sharper colors’ are over staurated and innacurate, the glass overlay makes it harder to calibrate.

I hope the cinema displays have (at least optional) matte screens forever.

Stephanie Guertin

Please, please, please, no glossy cinema displays! Or at least only as an option. I had to argue with the Apple salesdude to get a matte MBP, and a bigger, more expensive reflection field would be impossible to work on.

Brandon Eley

I have two MBP’s, one with a glossy screen and one matte. Both have benefits, but I think I like the matte display better, actually. Glossy is fine on my iPhone but the bigger the screen, the bigger the reflections. I can’t imagine not having glare in a 30″ glass screen!

Richard Lomas

I actually need to get work done Apple, and I can’t see a glossy screen in my work environment!


Yeah, from what I’ve heard from colleagues and read online, the matte finish still has a large following, especially among graphics and video pros (or really anyone who stares at their screen 10+ hours a day). I personally find the matte finish less fatiguing.

I don’t mind the gloss on the little MacBooks, it looks fine. But it seems to me that the larger the screen, the more distracting it gets. I didn’t like it at all on the 17-inch MacBook Pro, so I ordered mine with matte.


I think the fact they still offer matte displays for MacBook Pros speaks loudly that while Apple might think people love their glossy displays, there are still working professionals who cannot be forced to work around reflections in their work.

No matter how much crisper the display might look because Apple doesn’t have to coat it (in the case of the new iMacs) with protective overlays, matte displays work better when detail counts.

I don’t mind the MacBook’s display, but I ordered my MBP with a matte display, and while the glossy might provide clearer movies, the matte is what I need to work.


Will they ever update the ACDs? I’d buy one, but I would need an HDMI input for my DirecTV HD receiver.

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