Glossy panel experiences from those on the fence


Limp Gawd
Aug 3, 2008
I realize the slight absurdity of such a subjective question, but here goes. This is directed toward anyone who has purchased a glossy panel (like the Catleap or Auria) not because they prefer it, but because it's currently the most economical way to get a large IPS display.

If you had previously used matte/AG panels, and/or preferred some sort of AG coating, what are your thoughts after owning a glossy monitor? What is your environment like? Do you find you have to use curtains for any windows in the room and keep overhead lighting low during normal use?

I've been an adamant supporter of AG for years, but I'm running out of patience waiting for a bargain-bin alternative to the glossy panels already out there in my price range. My current screen is the SOYO 24" MVA from a few years back that can be described as "semi-gloss," with light, un-obtrusive AG (perfect, in my opinion). I'm set up in a room with overhead CFL bulbs in a ceiling fan, and a window at a 90° angle from my desk (no curtains, but can keep the blinds closed, obviously).

Since there's no way to purchase any of the sub-$400 27" displays locally and try them out in my home, I figure probing the minds of others that went through a similar dilemma is the next best thing.
My personal experience:

All my LCD displays until recently had matte coatings, most recently a 20" PVA panel with a medium-grain coating. I was looking for a better 30" or so matte panel to upgrade to, and was very interested in the higher DPI of the 27" displays.

I was able to see a NEC PA271W in person (uses the same panel as U2711, etc...), but the grain of the AG coating was so strong it was difficult to see details at the pixel level. After much deliberation I ordered one of the glossy Catleap displays.

Currently I'm using mine with a west-facing window to the side and slightly behind me, with the display calibrated to 160cd/m2 brightness. Other ceiling and desk lights are to the sides and overhead. Can I see my reflection in the display? Yes, but it's only noticeable in areas darker than med/dark grey. The reflection is more prominent in the afternoon (I close the shade to cut down on the light), but still invisible on lighter shades. Turning up the brightness should help with higher ambient light levels.

If your usage involves lots of black or nearly black colors some reflection will be visible almost regardless of the lighting. I would also avoid using lights directed toward things in front of the display (keyboard, desk top, yourself, etc...). With proper lighting control I don't find the reflection distracting in normal use.

Even with the lighting restrictions I'd never go back to using an AG coating. For me, switching to the glossy IPS panel from the older matte PVA was like removing a pair of dirty goggles, and the only way to see what the display is really capable of.
Great post, thanks for your thoughts. The only glossy IPS displays I've ever used for any length have been iMacs at work, whose tempered glass probably make the glare issue seem even worse than it would be with a Korean.

Feeling very tempted but sure wish I had a MC nearby to try before I buy.
Just for reference my Catleap is the non-tempered version. I don't point THAT hard at the screen.

If you do get one, please post back about what you think of it.
but the grain of the AG coating was so strong it was difficult to see details at the pixel level.

I think that is the main reason for not wanting to use ag coating.
There are more disadvantages that go hand in hand with this problem:
- the grainy AG makes any full color zone seem a bunch of pixels of different colors, due to the fact that the coating seems to be a curtain made of pixels of different colors.
- fonts will feel like they were hit by a very small carbine, with very tiny bullets, that will make a specific character that appear more then once on the screen, look like they are a different font.

However, avoid tempered glass, as the level of glossiness is just too much in my opinion. At home, I got a window in the back of the screen, and I got ceiling lights in the middle of the room. However, without tempered glass, the screen will not show any reflections unless I see the ceiling light itself from the angle I look at my screen, or if the screen is showing a very very dark image. However, keep in mind that your brain will only see this reflection as a full image if it can focus the entire image. This will not happen by mistake, as you need a huge amount of eye adjustment, that just doesn't happen unless you really consciously do it. If you do however use a matte screen, alternating eye focus from pixels to coating and back, happens 3 times per minute for me, making it impossible to read.
I've got a glossy Hazro HZ27WD (I think it's very similar to the Achieva Shimian in the USA) and the first thing you notice are the colours pop out so much more than on your typical Dell or HP IPS display. The whites seem brighter and the blacks seem darker. Having said that, if you are going to put this monitor into a room with a lot of windows then it is probably not the best idea.

My monitor currently sits in our front room on the 7th floor overlooking the Thames River in London. As a result of the view, we have about 50% of the room covered in windows from floor to ceiling. During the day if some of the blinds are not closed I have to turn up the backlight to 100% and can't really play a game very effectively because I can't see anything in the dark scenes. However, I hardly ever game during the day since that is the time I am at work so I am playing in the evenings and so long as the sun isn't shining into the room I can see every detail.

I won't go back to AG coated monitors after living with this. The colours just pop out so much more.
You can check out glossy 27" at walmart, just turn off the TV display and look at it - at least that's what I did.

Sure it's a different brand and case but you get a general idea of the size and glare.
I own a number of Dell Ultrasharp monitors - mainly U2311h and U2312hm monitors. I also have a tempered glass Catleap "2B" model I got as part of the original batch of overclockable monitors.

It's hard to compare, to be honest. The Catleap looks really nice when it's off. When it's on, it generally is good - except when the screen is dark. Then it looks terrible with reflections.

That being said, although I can control my lighting, I control my lighting in a fashion that doesn't make for a good glossy experience. I like my lights on, it's just so much nicer to be using my computer in decently lit room, and having a lit working area is essential to me. My older U2312hm is sitting next to the Catleap, and I use both about on an equal basis. If I switch often, I'll notice the slight graininess of the Dell for about 3-4 seconds; then I get used to it and it doesn't bother me. If I switch to the Catleap, I'll notice the reflections (regardless of monitor brightness) for a second or two, and then it goes away and it doesn't bother me.

I find that once I adjust to using the U2312hm, I never notice the AG unless someone points it out. I find that when using the Catleap, I always notice the reflections whenever a dark picture is on my monitor.

Given a choice, I'd much rather have an anti-glare coating on this monitor - it just works better. Granted, that AG coating would have to be on the level of a U2312hm or less - I haven't lived with a U2711 level AG, but I have my doubts about whether I can handle that :)
Yeah I am curious about comparisons to the Dell U2713HM "light" ag coating from someone with long term experience with both it and a korean full glare.

Though I cannot bring myself to drop $600+ on a monitor, yet.