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Is the $500 nano-texture finish worth it on the 27-inch iMac?

Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

Among other new features, the recently refreshed 27-inch iMac offers a Nano Texture display finish for the first time. But is it worth the $500 price of admission?

Here's what you should know about the new matte display option, and whether you really need to upgrade when buying your own 27-inch iMac.

What is a Nano Texture display finish?

Previously only seen on the Pro Display XDR, the nano-texture finish is an anti-reflective option for the 27-inch iMac.

Instead of adding an anti-reflective coating to the display glass, Apple has taken a different approach with the nano-texture. The glass itself is precisely etched for a finely textured surface.

What that means is that ambient or direct light doesn't have a single surface to bounce back from. That will significantly cut down on glare and reflectivity, without any significant increase in haze or contrast compared to traditional anti-reflective coatings.

Pros and cons of the Nano Texture display

An illustration of how the Nano Texture finish diffuses light. Credit: Apple
An illustration of how the Nano Texture finish diffuses light. Credit: Apple

The primary upside of the Nano Texture finish is that it makes the viewing experience much more enjoyable, particularly in environments with bright light.

You're not going to see as much glare or reflectivity on the matte finish display, meaning that lights and reflections on the screen won't be a distraction to your workflow.

Compared to anti-reflective coatings or screen protectors, you're certainly not going to see any much haze or lowered contrast, either.

There are a couple of downsides to the display, however. For one, the matte finish commands a $500 premium, which isn't a cheap upgrade.

Also, images and text won't be quite as sharp as on a traditional glossy screen. Unless you have the two displays side-by-side, the difference isn't significant. It is noticeable, however.

The Nano Texture Matte Finish is fairly delicate, so Apple recommends that you only clean it with its own cleaning cloth. There's one included in the box, and you can purchase more from Apple's website.

Should you get the Nano Texture finish on an iMac?

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple

Really, the Nano Texture finish is an option for specific users working in specific circumstances. Particularly those in environments with challenging lighting conditions who can't afford the distraction of glare or reflectivity on their screens.

For the average user, controlling glare and reflectivity isn't too much of a concern. But the Nano Texture finish is an excellent option for professionals who don't or can't work in an office with controlled lighting.

There is a personal preference aspect to this, of course. Some people like the look of a matte display, and if those people are willing to shell out an additional $500 for the finish, then it's an option here.

But for most people buying a 27-inch iMac for professional or creative purposes, it really comes down to work environment and circumstance. Those that need a high-quality, matte finish display already know that they do.

Deals on the new 27-inch iMac

Apple's new iMac is already on sale, with exclusive coupon discounts on models with standard glass or nano-texture glass.

Check out the AppleInsider 27-inch iMac Guide for the lowest prices on a variety of models with standard glass.

For deals on nano-texture configs, use coupon code appleinsider at Expercom to grab bonus triple-digit savings of up to $447 off.