Tag Archives: screen

Do You Prefer Matte or Glossy Screens?

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I prefer matte screens, largely to cut down on glare. I hate having to position my screen so that I can actually see it. In relation to touch – I cannot stand fingerprints. I use a screen protector that helps to eliminate both of these problems.

When I bought the MacBook Pro (courtesy of PC Pitstop), I chose to go with a glossy finish since I don’t touch the screen on it. However, I get tired of having to move the screen around to get a “good” viewing angle that cuts out glare and reflection of my surroundings.

For my iPhone and other touch devices, I always use a matte finish or screen protector. As I said, it cuts way down on debris, dust and fingerprints. It also eliminates the glare problem nearly completely… at least, a GOOD screen protector should do that. If it doesn’t, it comes off of my device and I get something that works.

What type of finish do you prefer on your screens – and why?

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Pixel Qi Screens Work Outdoors

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Imagine being able to combine the Laptop, Tablet and e-reader into one convertible device, then having a screen technology that enables you to take it outside in the sun! Geeks outdoors in the sun, how cool is that going to be? Imagine also being able to turn off the backlight, increase up to 5x the battery runtime of your Tablet compared to for example the iPad.

At Computex 2010, Pixel Qi is finally releasing the 3Qi screen, here demonstrating 10″ capacitive touch screen support and with half a dozen or more major partners.

Here are some details from Mary Lou Jepsen, CTO of Pixel Qi, about the current status of the mass manufacturing of this technology.

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How to Make a Glossy Screen Matte

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When I ordered my new MacBook Pro not long ago, I decided to go with the glossy screen. I’m a matte fan, but I don’t like the way that Apple does those on their notebooks. The device isn’t all black with the matte screen, and it ends up getting a lot of gunk and debris around it. My friends over at RadTech happened to see the unboxing video, and sent along their ClearCal for me to use.

Before applying the screen protector, you have to make sure the screen is absolutely clean. There should be no smudges, dirt or debris anywhere on the surface. Always have a can of air and some scotch tape handy to help you get rid of anything unwanted. I use Monster iClean spray to get rid of any smudges. You’ll also want to have a credit card ready to help smooth out any air bubbles.

The ClearCal reduces glare coming from the pretty glossy screens on your devices. It also protects them from gathering fingerprints, dust and various little pieces of debris. Installing any brand of these is not an easy task. I’m happy to report that this one actually goes on much easier than any I’ve tried in the past.

ClearCal’s hardened surface resists scratches and abrasions and is easy to clean. In addition to glare reduction, ClearCal provides a level of impact protection and minimizes the appearance of oils or streaking if the display is touched.

Now that I spent all of this time putting this sucker on right, it’s never coming off! I’m very happy with my new matte screen. Thanks, RadTech!

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LED and LCD Monitor Questions and Answers

Graham Walters has a series of monitor questions (some of which are near impossible for anybody to answer with objectivity):

Do you think Eyefinity will be released for the Mac Pro anytime soon?

I don’t think I can answer that question. You’d have to ask AMD / ATI.

What aspect ratio is best for eyefinity? (two 24in monitors)

According to AMD’s Shane Parfitt: “ATI Eyefinity technology is incredibly flexible in its setup options. We can support a wide variety of aspect ratios and resolutions. For the best experience, we recommend widescreen monitors. For gaming, the most popular display configuration is three widescreen monitors in a 3×1 landscape configuration. In this configuration, we can support individual display resolutions up to 2560×1600, for a total resolution of 7680×1600 (a 48×10 aspect ratio). We’re seeing many people choose 1920×1200 or 1920×1080 displays for budget reasons – this also works very well, and looks great.”

Is $300 – $350 a good price range? (Apple LED Cinema display is $900)

“Good” is relative. Apple’s displays are (indeed) wonderful, but you’d likely be paying ~$100 more for the brand on that particular piece of hardware. It’s more accurate to compare their Cinema Display to something in the $800 range. If your budget is in the $300 range, you’ll still get a decent monitor, but it may not have a high optimal resolution, decent response time, or DPI.

Are LED-backlit displays worth the money? (seem to cost twice as much)

Depends on what you want from a screen. Looking for a wider color gamut, better illumination, longer display life, better power efficiency, etc. – go for an LED backlit display. If your needs are meager, LED-backlit displays aren’t worth the money. If you favor quality, spend the money.

Do you have any other monitors in mind?

I’m looking at one right now. Is that what you mean? 🙂

Do you have any advice on buying LED monitors? (specs you look for)

Yes. Do your research! Read reviews from a variety of sites, try to observe the exact model in person, and be wary when a sale sounds too good to be true. That, and you know I set up http://coupons.lockergnome.com/ to help you save money on anything you happen to buy online.

I’ve never had the problem of having a dead pixel; how obvious are they?

Sometimes, painfully obvious. Other times, hardly noticeable. Understand that a dead pixel (a point on the screen which will never illuminate) is different from a stuck pixel (a pixel which is stuck on a single color). I suggest reading more about it on the Wikipedia page for defective pixels.

Do you know of any websites which accept returns if there is a dead pixel?

That’ll vary from OEM to OEM, vendor to vendor, etc. Again, do your research. I appreciate you reaching out to me to nudge you in the right direction, but unless you’re going to pay me to be your personal shopper, this is where I tip my hat and send you on your merry way.

How to Record Better Webcam Videos

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Have you ever seen those videos online where the subject looks fantastic? But behind them, you see an unmade bed, or laundry that isn’t clean? You have to be cognizant of everything in your video, including your background. Behind me happens to be a nylon green sheet that is surrounded by a wire that allows you to easily collapse it and carry it around.

A WebAround can help you keep the focus on the subject of the video, instead of what may be lurking behind you. The WebAround is a collapsible webcam back drop that was designed and built recognizing the need for more privacy in a busy environment. Users instantly feel more comfortable using a webcam in a public or private.

The WebAround works best when the webcam is close to you (or your subject), and not so great when it’s far away. It works very well if you care to block what’s behind you. If you take this out in public, you might get embarassed carrying it around, but that’s just me. There’s now no need to clean up your room before you start to record!

I found it easier to set the WebAround behind me. It even comes with instructions on how to smooth out the wrinkles. My suggestion to WebAround is to make a cloth version. The nylon will cast a shadow, and needs to be less translucent. Hopefully they’ll take heed, and come out with something even better!

The video I made to demonstrate the WebAround was shot using my Macbook Pro, which sits at very close range. It worked perfectly, which is all I could ask for. Thanks to the people at WebAround for sending me this to review!

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One Big Monitor or Two Smaller Screens

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The first time I ever plugged a second monitor into my system, it was interesting. Of course, issues arose… as is usually the case with anything new. Having two monitors in many cases is better than one. I had an email the other day, asking me if I would suggest using one large monitor… or two smaller ones.

I would go with two separate monitors any day, over one large one. Having two monitors can cause issues, as I said. Some of your software may run differently. Your computer may need to have minor configurations made to it. It can be a headache to get correct… but it’s well worth it. On one monitor, I have my email and work open. On the other monitor, I have all my “widgets”… for IRC, IMs, RSS feeds, etc. It makes it a lot easier for me to keep things organized, and be more efficient with my work.

You’ll actually have more “screen real estate” within two 17″ monitors side-by-side than what you would have with one huge screen. As I said, this can help you stay much more organized. Having one monitor made things too cramped, and too jumbled. I had to search for things, or keep them hidden when running.

What do you all think? Is dual cool? Or is it better to stick with one monitor?


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LCD Screen Brightness

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Every day brings new viewers to our live chat. A recent visitor asked about her new laptop screen not being bright enough. She has reportedly changed her settings in the laptop control panel, with no luck. She wrote in to ask my advice, so let’s see what we can do to help Tifferz!

Every laptop brand is different in some ways from the other. They may have different hardware, they could have slightly different configurations. Just as they vary in these ways, they also can have different levels of brightness to the screen.

There are unfortunately only a couple of things you can do to adjust the brightness on your laptop. One method is discussed in this video, and again on Yahoo! Answers. Each laptop should have a small button with the letters fn. The letters on that key can vary by manufacturer. Usually you can find this button on the lower left corner of your keyboard. Pushing this button along with the one that has a picture of a small screen and an up arrow (found on the F4 key usually) simultaneously will adjust your brightness.

Another nifty little trick is to simply plug the laptop in to a power source. Many laptop screens will become a bit brighter when the machine is plugged in. If these two options fail you, make sure your video drivers are updated, and try moving the screen to a different angle.

There are several tips and tricks found right on Lockergnome.com that can help you get your LCD monitor adjusted to your comfort and convenience.

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LCD Monitor Reviews and Opinions

I have two monitors plugged into my system right now – a 1600×1200 SyncMaster 213T, and a 1680×1050 Gateway. I like the Gateway as a secondary monitor, “largely” because of its various input options – and the integrated USB hub is a wonderful bonus. However, there are a few windows I’d much rather rearrange on my primary screen – and so I’m thinking about one of the following, and am largely interested in everybody’s experiences with them (if you have one):

  • Dell’s 3007WFP-HC
  • HP’s LP3065
  • Samsung’s SyncMaster 305T
  • Apple’s 30″ Cinema HD

2560×1600 plus the 1680×1050 sounds nice, but (then again) I might wind up doing two Gateway FPD2485W’s (2x 1920×1200 for 3840×1200^2) for cheaper, and wind up getting more desktop real estate. It boils down to price and options, I think. I could get the HP LP3065 for ~$1,600, the Dell 3007WFP-HC for $1,699, the Samsung 305T for $1,999, or Apple’s Cinema HD for $1,999. Or, again, two Gateway monitors for $680 apiece.

I sit in front of the computer screen for a living. There’s nothing wrong with what’s here now, mind you – but I could certainly go for more vertical and horizontal playspace. The second monitor is great for IM conversations, extra windows I need open but can’t pay attention to, etc. Decisions, decisions!