Last year we promised to take your views on matte screens straight to the laptop manufacturers. We did, and now Sony, Samsung and Dell have responded with their plans for anti-glare screens on their laptops.
Why are there so few options for people who want an affordable laptop without the annoying reflections?
That was the question we took to the manufacturers. Why? Because the majority of the comments made on our laptop screen Conversations expressed a clear preference for a matte option.
We’re missing matte screens
When we investigated the issue further in our labs, we found that there was no great difference in the quality of matte and glossy screens. So, the shininess – or not – of a laptop is entirely down to personal preference. And according to the polls and surveys we’ve done, there seems to be a good number of people who want matte.
What I couldn’t work out was why more manufacturers weren’t taking advantage of this and offering more matte screens on affordable models.
So, we sent our research and a selection of your comments to all of the major laptop manufacturers, including Samsung, Sony, Acer, Dell, Toshiba and Apple. We’ve also been meeting with some to discuss the situation further, asking them each to send a response.
Dell, Sony and Samsung respond
So far we’ve heard from Sony, Samsung and Dell – will they be introducing matte screen options to their laptops?
Dell was very interested in both our lab research and your comments, telling us that it would be sharing these findings with its product group team.
Although Dell currently offers a choice of matte and glossy screens on the majority of its small and medium business products, it admitted that in its consumer portfolio only the Dell XPS 17 comes with the option of having either a glossy or matte screen.
However, Dell did add that ‘we continually access out our product portfolio based on customer feedback, and we are exploring adding [a matte option] to future products’.
Sony told us that it decides on the type of screen for particular models according to their key usage. So, although Sony agreed that an anti-glare screen is preferred for on-the-go use, ‘glossy works well for mainly home usage to enjoy vibrant images’. For laptops that are used both indoors and outdoors, Sony has a display that is ‘the best of both worlds with our unique anti-reflective LCD’.
Sony also told us that its own customer surveys had shown that display quality is one of the top factors for their choice of PC, but that ‘there is more to a display than just the finish, particularly if a customer is looking for a high-quality display’. Sony hopes its Vaio displays offer this.
Great sales for Samsung’s matte laptops
Finally, we were very pleased when Samsung brought out its Series 3 laptops, which all came with matte screens. When we took our campaign to Samsung, it told us that it thinks anti-glare screens are best for people on-the-go as ‘it doesn’t reflect the image back and delivers an improved viewing experience in sunlight’. And its Series 3 laptops have performed very well:
‘All [Samsung Series 3 notebooks] sold out months before we had expected which means there is definitely a consumer demand for them that we expect to further increase as the benefits of matte become more widely acknowledged.’
Best of all, by April 2012, all of Samsung’s laptops will have matte screens!
So, what do you think of these manufacturer responses to our matte screen campaign (you can read the full responses here)? Do you think they’ve taken your views on board? And if you also feel passionately about having a matte option for laptop screens, tell us below.