Choosing a Screen Type for your Product

Laptops have a variety of different uses and applications, and are designed from the start to reflect their purpose. This isn’t only true for internal hardware however; the screen itself is designed with either a transmissive, reflective, or transflective screen surface, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.


Transmissive LCD displays are best for use indoors; all light for the screen is produced by the backlight, making it ideal in dim ambient lighting. Conversely, in direct sunlight the LCD display will appear washed out and dim when surrounded by an abundance of ambient light.


Displays with reflective surfaces are panels with an additional reflective coating applied behind the LCD to act as a mirror for ambient light. This requires the ambient light to travel through the display, reflect off the mirror, and travel again through the display resulting in a marginally poorer quality.

As reflective LCD displays have no backlight, they are best suited for well lit areas regardless of indoor or outdoor.



Transflective LCD displays are a combination of transmissive and reflective; a partially reflective surface is applied between the LCD display and the backlight on a transmissive display. This provides a wide range of applications due to the high visibility and high clarity indoors and outdoors.

Inside, illumination for the screen stems from the backlight to allow for good visibility in dimly lit environments. Outdoors, transflective LCD displays use external light to illuminate the screen. Heavy external lighting can cause problems in situations in which the partially-reflective surface and the backlight together are unable to appear bright in contrast to the light coming in.



SmarterGlass provides a variety of enhancements to displays, ranging from LED Backlighting to Screen-Type enhancements, enabling you to find the perfect model for your product.

Having trouble finding the right panel for you?

Contact our sales team at or give us a call at 978-465-6190.