17″ Macbook Pro – Glossy vs. Matte

Macbook Pro - Glossy vs Matte

When Apple first announced that they were moving all of their displays to glossy, I was, in a word, horrified. I’ve always preferred the matte displays and I didn’t like this move at all.

When Apple announced the new 17″ Macbook Pro at Macworld 2009, they said we would actually still have the choice on this model to go with glossy (default) or matte finish (now called “anti-glare”). I jumped for joy because I buy the 17″ model anyway, so this meant I could keep using the matte display.

While I was at Macworld I had a chance to view both screens side-by-side, and even though I’ve always preferred matte, I’m not so sure I like it on the new model. The picture above doesn’t really do either justice, but I can tell you that in person, the glossy looked so much better. It actually wasn’t so much that the glossy looked good, but rather the matte looked bad. At first I thought the brightness on the matte model was turned way down, but it wasn’t. The new matte display is just dim, and rather flat. Even though Apple offers the 17″ model in matte, I may be forced to go with glossy.

One caveat to this is, the Apple guy on the show floor said these were “pre-production” models. They could actually change when they start to ship at the end of January. I’ll hold my final review until I see them in the Apple store.

On a related note, Macworld has an article about a company that will physically swap a matte display for the glossy one in 15″ models.

2 thoughts on “17″ Macbook Pro – Glossy vs. Matte”

  1. I own a 13″ Macbook aluminium, and I must say all this glossy screen bashing has me confused.

    It has bothered me none, and I use it outdoors on a daily basis (uni cramming and what not).

    In fact it was most probably the glossy screen that had me sold when I was shopping around for a laptop.

  2. You bought the computer because it had a glossy screen…

    This is why people associate idiocy with Apple ownership. There is NO benefit to a glossy screen. They are not brighter, not higher res, don’t display more colors; they don’t do anything better than a matte screen other than reflect ungodly amounts of light back into your eyes.

    The fact that they are charging $50 for a feature that should have been standard is, well, standard Apple practice.

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