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What Is an Anti-Glare Computer Screen?

Reducing glare on a laptop screen makes viewing easier on the eyes.
A CRT computer monitor with an anti-glare screen.
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  • Written By: R. Kayne
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 07 April 2014
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An anti-glare computer screen is designed to cut down on the amount of light that reflects off the display. Reflected light or glare can be very fatiguing to the eyes and reduces the contrast, colors and sharpness of the display. An anti-glare computer screen makes viewing a display more pleasant for most people, and reduces eyestrain.

Most LCD monitors have an anti-glare screen, though there are two types that have different advantages. The most common type is the matte finish display. This anti-glare computer screen works by using the rough matte surface of the display to scatter light, rather than allowing it to reflect off a smooth surface.

The matte finish anti-glare computer screen also has a disadvantage: It scatters the light coming out of the display, resulting in a slightly less-crisp image for the viewer. The matte finish mutes clarity, color and contrast. Compared to a smooth-surface screen, the image is slightly blurred, which may itself be fatiguing to the eyes.

The other type of anti-glare computer screen uses a chemical coating over a smooth surface to cut down glare. All else being equal, this type of anti-glare computer screen delivers a crisper image with better colors and contrast than a matte finish. It can't cut glare to the same degree the matte finish can, however.

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A good way to choose between anti-glare computer screens is to consider the environment in which you will be using the computer. A chemical-treated smooth anti-glare computer screen is probably well-suited for home use, where there is mostly ambient light that you can control. In the workplace, where harsh overhead lighting is common, it may be less fatiguing to cut more glare with a matte finish than to maintain a crisper picture with a smooth surface display that will reflect more light.

Some cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors also come with an anti-glare screen. If not, aftermarket anti-glare screens can be purchased that block not only glare, but also harmful ultra-violet (UV) radiation. Radiation is not a problem with LCD screens.

If you'd like an aftermarket anti-glare computer screen for your LCD monitor, these are also available. Many come in the form of a sheet of plastic that clings to the screen. These are also called anti-reflective screens and are designed to improve contrast and protect the display from scratches.

Aftermarket anti-glare computer screens are available virtually everywhere computers are sold. Be sure to choose the right size for your display, and if buying for a CRT monitor, look for 100% UV blockage along with anti-glare properties.

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Discuss this Article

anon232061
Post 17

I live in Australia and I really wanted to take my laptop into the sun. It took me like four hours to finally track an antiglare screen down that was affordable and actually fit my laptop.

When I did find what I was looking for, it was NuShield screen protectors.

Pros: Antiglare/ antireflective

After searching for hours, I paid $30 for mine and now I can take my computer into the sun, study, read, research whatever and get a tan at the same time. The protective film doesn't allow for scratching and it's super easy to install. It's also really cheap. You can't even tell you have added a layer of film to the computer screen and the website is all automatically linked, so whatever type of computer, laptop, gameboy ipod, ipad etc., you have just find it, click on it, and they will send you the correct film size pronto.

If you're thinking about getting one: get it!

anon158025
Post 15

Finally, a solution!

anon155891
Post 14

bought a viewguard and is is good. no more eye pain.

anon142433
Post 12

@Anon141561: I am not sure why you would want to block out the light on your computer but when I was reviewing the tech specs online for the ViewGuard Anti-Glare Matte Screen Protector, I did notice that the ViewGuard Privacy Filter blocks out 30 percent of light due to tinting. That might be an option for whatever you are doing. -Bob

anon141561
Post 11

Do you know the name of the screen u can use to block the computer light? I turn own the brightness of the light on my computer but i think I'm going to still need the computer screen block as well. Please help me.

anon138348
Post 10

Where can I find the ViewGuard Anti-Glare Matte Screen Protector?

anon137669
Post 9

#8: Thanks for the recommendation. I was able to find a ViewGuard anti-glare screen protector for my desktop monitor. Thanks, Satish

anon137099
Post 8

My eyes were hurting from using my new HP laptop with a glossy screen so I bought the ViewGuard Anti-Glare Matte Screen Protector and it helps tremendously. It was only $14.99.

anon114200
Post 7

I only can find chemical coating anti-glare screens. anybody know where to find old school matte monitors?

Thank you.

anon113339
Post 6

i have cataracts and the computer is affecting my eyes. would an anti-glare screen help?

anon46790
Post 5

I guess you could say I'm in the "matte camp" when it comes to my type of LCD monitor. I'm not ready to take the plunge yet, at least monitor-purchasing wise, so yeah, that's about where it's at right now with someone like me!

anon43361
Post 4

Laptop Burka is an anti glare tool and as funny as the name is, it *really* works. Good to go anywhere there's glare. Who cares what anyone else thinks if what you're looking to do is work on your laptop seriously without the glare. I see the advertising possibilites. You could have disney, NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA teams or players on all of the exterior of the Laptop Burka.

anon28681
Post 3

I use sunglasses/clip-on sunglasses to reduce the strain on my eyes. It sounds bad, however it is the most portable method that I can think of. Please share your opinions.

anon27320
Post 2

I have a matte finish (anti glare) old laptop and a newer smooth surface lcd laptop. The smooth surface display has very crisp display but I'm getting quite tired of looking for the ideal lighted location to operate it in... very taxing on the eyes if you do a lot of reading on-screen.

My matte finish older laptop is so easy on the eyes I still love to read on it.

I'm going to have to buy one of those plastic anti-glare things for my newer pc.

Hope this helps.

mexicana
Post 1

I'd like to hear from people if anyone has found anti-glare screens to be really useful because I'm trying to decide whether I should get one or not.

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