There is an endless debate among technophiles when it comes to screens. Some prefer the sharp, crisp vibrancy of the glossy LCDs, where others prefer the practicality of the light diffusing matte or anti-glare LCDs. It really comes down to a matter of environment and personal preference.
Glossy monitors are exactly that – shiny, spiffy, and glossy. They display color with rich texture and are capable of sharper display than their matte counterparts, lending themselves very well to DVD playing and movie streaming, as well as gaming and overall appearance. However on the flip side of these benefits, you will have to deal with a monitor that is light reflective, which can ruin whatever you are looking at with a bright spot of light reflecting into your eye. With desktops however, this isn’t that great of concern since you can more easily position your monitor away from light sources, preventing any problems with reflection.
Glossy monitors are also infamous for holding smudges and fingerprints. Being such a smooth and highly reflective surface is basically like wearing a completely white outfit. Every smudge, nick, scratch, or whatever else will show up, so these monitors require a lot more care and attention in cleaning.
Matte screens are more suited to laptops or business machines due to their non-reflective nature. Laptops are mobile devices, always on the move with their owners, and that exposes them to a number of different lighting environments. Office machines are typically under direct lighting from above, which makes glossy screens less than ideal. In both cases, matte displays are a perfect fit. Matte screens however are by definition slightly rougher surfaces than glossy screens, which causes them to somewhat diffuse light leaving the monitor as well. This is why matte monitor displays are slightly less sharp than those on glossy monitors, and the colors less pronounced. However, it’s the kind of difference you would typically only notice if you had the two screens side by side.
When it comes down to it, the battle between glossy and matte screens is up to you. Whatever fits your personality and the type of computer you’re using is what is best. Glossy is great for rich movie and DVD viewing, but is best left to stationary machines away from light, whereas matte is great for travel and business and offers more practicality at a minimal impact on display quality.