/ Technology

Samsung goes back to matte with new laptops

Just one in ten Which? Convo readers prefer glossy screens, so it’s clear there’s an appetite for matte screens. Samsung has answered that need by announcing a range of non-reflective, anti-glare laptops. Tempted?

Samsung has today announced that its new Chronos range of laptops will feature non-reflective, anti-glare – or otherwise known as matte – screens. The new line up,  including the Samsung Series 7 Chronos 700Z,  will launch later this year in the UK.

It’s about time a major manufacturer pulled back from today’s glossy obsession. It’s doubly impressive that Samsung is the one to make the first move, as I previously saw it as the shiniest product maker of them all.

The desire for a matte option

Finding a laptop with a matte screen is nigh on impossible these days, as you’ve clearly noticed. In our poll of 1,667 Which? Convo readers, 89% said they preferred matte screens to glossy. This result, along with the following comments, has spurred us on to take this issue straight to the manufacturers:

‘I am absolutely fed up of glossy screens invading every piece of technology. So you definitely have my vote … go for it Which!’ encouraged Louis

‘Oh please, please lobby for the return of matte screens. I CAN’T STAND GLOSSY. It’s cheap looking and reflects the light too much,’ argued Kathy

And Jim weighed in with a bit of humour:

‘As a keen photographer I love matte screens as they display my pictures for critical inspection without me having to mentally subtract my own (distractingly gorgeous) reflection from the image.’

We heard a similar story when we took the question to 1,345 Which? members – of those who gave a preference, almost half said they favoured matte, and just one in ten picked glossy.

Tempted by Samsung’s matte laptops?

So, here at Which?, we’re all enamoured with Samsung’s decision to release a range of matte laptops – I’m sure you will be too. And really, it’s all about choice. No one’s asking for every single laptop to be matte, as we know glossy screens can offer picture benefits, like more vibrant colours. We just want choice.

Which? members agree – around six in ten think manufacturers should offer products with both glossy and matte screens so that consumers can choose the right one for them.

So with Samsung’s announcement, there’s finally some choice on store shelves. And we’ll be encouraging other manufacturers to respond with their own matte options. The question is whether Samsung’s new anti-glare range will sell better or worse than its glossy cousins.

Are you delighted by the Korean manufacturer’s matte move, and will you invest in one of its anti-glare laptops?

The Samsung Series 7 700Z, which you can see in our exclusive Which? Tech Daily hands-on, will cost around £800 and will be out in mid-October, along with other anti-glare laptops from Samsung’s new range.


As a photographer I’ve been searching for a laptop with a matte screen for ages. I thought that I was in the minority so was pleased to come across this site. You have my vote for getting matte screens back on the market.

Dude…the ThinkPad series only has matte screens.

Sorry, I can’t help commenting on the photo: aaaaww!

(But agreed, matte is better; I didn’t realise how much until I bought my new laptop with a glossy screen. I hadn’t given it a thought until then and it seemed all right at the shop. I’ll learn to live with it, it isn’t what I would call hugely inconvenient, but I think I’ll buy matte next time.)

…..and just as I was on the cusp of buying a Dell Vostro Laptop which come with anti glare screens….

Let’s hope Which will feature the Dell Vostro and Samsung machines with their matte screens in future reports, especially the Dell as I can’t see it in my local megastore.

What a pity that mat and glossy screens are not offered as options. People might say they prefer a mat screen but I would not be surprised if computers with a glossy screen were more popular.

Steve T says:
1 September 2011

I’m a Mac laptop user and, when I upgraded to MacBook Pro recently, opted for the Matte screen (which was standard on my old Powerbook) as I could see a major disadvantage with a glossy screen when, for example, working on the train with sunlight shining through the windows. For the Matte screen (which is additionally higher definition) I had to pay an extra £150 or so.

Unless there is a higher manufacturing cost, definitely not.

For the Matte screen (which is additionally higher definition) ….

Glossy screens are often criticised for reflections but glossy screens are usually regarded as giving higher definition where reflections are not a problem.

You are absolutely right but images on a glossy screen appear to have a higher resolution, in the same way that prints on glossy photographic paper look better.

Apple charge an extra £40 for the antiglare (mat) screen of the same resolution on the MacBook Pro. I have no idea why they do not offer this option for the cheaper, lower resolution version of the 15″ MBP.

It looks like viewfinders are going to return, so perhaps we will see a choice of screens for computers and laptops. I’d love to know whether mat or glossy is more popular if these are offered as alternatives at the same price.

Typical! My old pc had seen better days but was still functional and had served me well until 3 weeks ago when the blue screen of death arrived and occurred again even after the pc doctor had resusitated it. So, I bought a new acer laptop which suited my needs and was highly recommended by Which. The glossy screen is driving my eyes mad with reflections and I can’t believe that manufacturers have been able to get away with this! Would so much prefer matt but am now stuck with glossy. Is there anything which can be bought to put over the screen to overcome this?

Jayne says:
6 September 2011

When I was forced into early retirement over a year ago, after many years of using IBM then Lenovo ThinkPads, I spent weeks searching for a laptop with a matte screen, only to conclude that Lenovo Thinkpads were the only ones available to consumers. This was a no-brainer for me as I refuse to put up with the glare of a shiny screen but it was very hard to find out the information at the time. Manufacturers presumably only supply shiny screens because they make films and games look better and assume that’s all we want to do on them! Anyone who has used a laptop in a business environment and wants to continue to use one seriously will know that only a matte screen will do. I will support any campaign to change manufacturers’ mindsets in our favour.

Great to see matte screens coming in, I’ve been wanting a new laptop for ages but the (matte screen) choice is very limited.

I’m so glad to see Samsung make this move, other manufacturers need to follow. I’ve been looking for a 17″ laptop with matt screen for a long time, but haven’t been able to find anything at a suitable price level as most matt screen laptops these days are pitched for business use and thus are much more expensive than their glossy consumer counterparts. I spend most of my time on my laptop reading text and my eyes are sensitive to glare, thus the glare and reflections from a glossy screen make reading very uncomfortable for me.

Another move I want to see is for manufacturers to offer choice in native screen resolutions like Dell do. I find teeny tiny text very hard on the eyes, and thus reading text on high-def screen resolution laptops (as most of them are now) makes a very uncomfortable experience for me. Some people might spend a lot of time watching blue-ray movies on their laptops, but I’m sure most people like me spend most of the time reading text. Manufacturers should offer a choice i.e. to offer a native resolution of less than 1000 horizontal lines for those who prefer not to look at miniscule sized text all day, as well as up to the 1800 horizonal lines offered by hi-def displays for those who really want it.

I would like to see Which? campaign for this screen resolution issue as well. Glossy screens and Hi-Def resolutions are a night-mare for people with various vision disablilities.

Flavio says:
11 November 2012

I have bought this great Computer a week ago.

The GOOD ones
It has a good design is lightweight (4 a 17″ Laptop)
Aluminum design is also great looking
Battery last almost the 6 promoted hours,
Bright is OK
Multi touch pad works fine.
Sound is also OK.
Great Battery life extender feature in BIOS.

The BAD ones

For this kind of “high range” computer, I really do not understand why max RAM was designed up to 8Gb.

Battery is not removable (not even a switch to turn it off).

Boot from Pen drive not available in BIOS boot options.

No Blue ray reader.

No button to eject discs from reader, you can eject disc only from windows. (Not even an eject hole) so if you don’t have Windows running… there is no way to take a disc out.

A lot of Samsung proprietary software must be loaded to get this machine full working,

Several features are software dependent, like for example, keyboard backlight, controlled by Fn + F9 F10, so u have to wait till complete windows + driver properly loaded, to have this feature available.

I you are on a non-dark environment then every time you wish the keyboard backlight ON, you will receive a warning telling you that you can just turn in ON only in dark environment.
(In the other hand I tried to disable Light sensor from control Panel >Sensor but it didn’t works. So the solution I have found for this issue was covering the sensor with a coin or piece of tape. Really amazing!)

But what I really hate, (and this seems not only belongs to Samsung laptops, but for most of suppliers) is all the garbage software pre-installed on a new machine.
I buy a new laptop every year, and all I wish is a CLEAN computer installed just with SO + DRV.
I spent almost a day cleaning it in order to get the machine working without all these pre-installed software. Because in this process, sometimes uninstall some vital soft, and as
Re-installing doesn’t works properly, the only solution is perform a complete recovery then start again with the task.

I would prefer my windows 7 working at full range just with my applications instead to waste resources with all the Samsung resident softs that degrades my machine’s performance.
But this kind of practice seems to be normal for all the laptop suppliers.
Could we (the customers) do something to change it?

Model NP700Z7C-S03US
SN / HUY691DC800028
Purchased on oct 30 2012 Tiger direct Miami, FL

Best regards for everybody.