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FIRST LOOK: Apple’s New Nano-Textured Glass – Is it Worth It?

Apple's nano-textured display's light relection simulation

This is how Apple describes its new nano-textured glass. Sounds impressive, right? We thought so too and decided to take it one step further to pull the screen off and show what it looks like directly on top of an iMac without the new technology.

I’ll have to admit that I didn’t even know this was being done in our studio Until I received this email from our Lead Photographer, Tom Voegeli:


I just photographed the Nano-texture display on top of an iMac with ordinary glass. The glass is really dark, absorbing light like velvet. It’s darker than its own shadow. Unlike previous matte screens, this does not have a frosty look that washes out dark tone, mutes highlights, or softens the image. The image looks razor-sharp, and with zero reflections of non-light sources, it’s almost surreal. To the touch, it has a barely perceptible texture, perhaps like black anodized aluminum. Working on this screen in a windowed patio or a room with skylights should be no problem. You can probably work with this screen outdoors.

See attached photos.

This screen makes me want to buy a new iMac for myself. Plotting how to afford this $500 option is easy — just don’t buy Apple’s RAM upgrades.

Stay safe,

Tom Voegeli
Lead Photographer

What the frick? He’s completely correct. Fantastic description (and a very smooth way to plug OWC memory at the end).

Apple's new nano-textured glass laying on top of the standard 2020 iMax 27" to contrast the difference.
Apple’s new nano-textured glass laying on top of the standard iMac 27″ to contrast the difference.

Side-by-side, you can actually see the reflective differences between the two screens. The best part of this photo? The “right?” look on Matt’s face…

OWC Mark C
the authorOWC Mark C
Content Marketing Manager
A creative by nature, Mark is a writer, programmer, web developer, musician, culinary craftsman, and interpersonal artisan. He loves the outdoors because greenspace is to the soul as whitespace is to the written word. He does not like Diophantine geometry or mosquitos. Most everything else is okay. Oh yeah, he is also the managing editor of the Rocket Yard blog.
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  • Max makes an interesting observation – this new glass clearly displays images with many colors as richer, deeper, probably more vibrant colors, but how does it show small text? That’s the true test of detail. Let’s see a demonstration of that, please.

  • The biggest down side I have found is cleaning the screen. The surface will easily scratch. Make sure you use the special cleaning cloth from Apple. As a person who is visually impaired, there is a slight reduction in sharpness of text and pictures,

  • Hah! – looks really very good – the photograph makes the case!
    And yeah, nice plug slide-in for OWC memory (of which I have 128Mb in my Mac Pro 2013)

  • Neither image is labeled , as in, left with the original, right with the nano. But the angle of viewer, the camera, does affect what might get reflected. The iMac on the left is closer to the normal, straight-on, compared to the iMac on the right.

  • This is sure, to increase the price, but how much of a difference, will it really make? It’s like how buying an expensive Plasma TV, before everything went LCD, basically got you a more expensive TV, but was it better, than an LCD TV? NOT.

    • If you think any lcd under $30,000 looks better than plasma, I would stop commenting on display technology right now. If I could get a kuro to hit 1000 nit P3 i would never have bought an oled. If you don’t want glare, draw the drapes. You might actually be able to make accurate colour judgements as well then.

    • Plasma was not only superior to LCD when you bought this tv, but it most cases it’s superior to 98% of LCD tv’s being produced today. What you said may have sounded good, but it has no substance in fact.

  • Check out:

    iMac’s Nano-Textured Glass
    Curiously, trustworthy German IT publisher Heise reports a noticeable reduction in sharpness. That contradicts the glowing report here.


    Google Translate or first link above:

    iMac 2020 in the first test: Fast processors, matt display
    For a surcharge of 600 euros, Apple offers an anti-glare version of the excellent, integrated 5K screen with a “nano-texture” – similar to the expensive Pro Display XDR. Although the matte finish ensures significantly less reflection, it is noticeably less sharp, especially when it comes to the display of text, as the detailed test of the iMacs 2020 showed.

    Is that true? Is the nano-texture glass of Apple displaus noticeably less sharp, especially when it comes to the display of text? That is critical! Thanks.