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Picture: MacBook Pro Glossy vs. Matte FIGHT!

When Apple unveiled its new aluminum MacBook and MacBook Pro last October, we were impressed by the hardware. The unibody construction, massive buttonless glass trackpad and Nvidia chipset were all things that added up to an impressive piece of kit.

One thing that we weren’t sure of right away was the glass-covered display. While we’ve come to accept that today’s LCD displays, particularly on notebooks, are mostly of the glossy variety, Apple took it a step further with a glass sheet on top of what already appears to be a glossy LCD screen. The affect is an unsettling double-reflection from a display that’s mirror-like.

We’ve spent a considerable amount of time with the full range of Apple notebook displays, from the matte and glossy from the previous generation MacBook Pro to the “glassy” unibody MacBook. And we’ll be the first say that the aesthetic designs of the new unibody MacBooks are worthy of a museum, but in terms of usability, the glass-covered screen is a pain to work with even when indoors.

Clearly, Apple has heard our cries and for that reason is now offering a matte option for its new 17-inch MacBook Pro, which will probably spread to the 15-inch version. But maddeningly, what used to be a no-charge option for a matte display now costs $50. No one’s happy with that, but Apple probably knows that those who care about having a matte display would be willing to pay.

Engadget got its hands on one of the first 17-inch MacBook Pros with the matte display. Check out the picture below for a side-by-side comparison with a 15-inch unibody.

If it weren’t immediately obvious, the matte screen has the aluminum border around the frame, which some feel looks a little odd. I’ve gotten used to the all-black borders, but Jane, our news editor, said that the notebook is even better with the matching trim. Even if Macs don’t interest you, Apple has a strong influence on the notebooks that PC makers design, so sound off with your opinion in the comments!

  • tayb
    I will always take a Matte display over a glossy display until it is no longer an option. Glossy displays look great IF you have good lighting but lighting is almost NEVER in your control. At the office with the fluorescent lighting, in the classroom with the fluorescent lighting, or outdoors the glossy display is awful at any brightness setting besides 100%.

    Wish Apple would have offered the matte display on the 15" Pro. As much as I like matte displays I'm not about to spend $3,000 just to have one with an Apple logo on it.
    Reply
  • grieve
    I have never understood why notebooks have gone towards the glossy finish. I too prefer a matte finish.
    Reply
  • maaksel
    Glossy >> Matte

    /thread
    Reply
  • SAL-e
    grieveI have never understood why notebooks have gone towards the glossy finish. I too prefer a matte finish.
    Because the laptop enter the "mainstream" and for most people the laptop is status item. It has to look good before it works good. Anyone that actually does any real job with notebook will select matte screen, especially if you value your eyesight. Would be funny, after some time someone will have a bright idea for quick cash by suing computer manufactures for ruing their eyesight. :)
    Reply
  • danimal_the_animal
    BORING!!!!!!!
    Reply
  • pbrigido
    It is all a matter of personal preference. I like the glossy and would purchase it over a matte. However, if I would be using it in an environment that is less that ideal for a glossy screen, I would opt for a matte...as I hope others would.
    Reply
  • Who gives a crap? Why are we comparing the mac glossy versus the mac matte? What a stupid article, glossy vs matte has been discussed a million times before no need to recognize it as anything different when a mac computer has it as well.
    Reply
  • jsloan
    wow. sucks. i bet apple folk will say we don't understand and just how great it is. :->
    Reply
  • jsloan
    TomsSucksMoreThanEverWho gives a crap? Why are we comparing the mac glossy versus the mac matte? What a stupid article, glossy vs matte has been discussed a million times before no need to recognize it as anything different when a mac computer has it as well.
    i think your wrong. i find it very helpful. if someone now comes by and asks i can point them to the posting and i can warn them before they throw out their hard earned money. also the negative press puts pressure on apple to fix the problem.
    Reply
  • Glossy is great, but not if it purposely has been created to be glossy.
    Glossy screens have the absence of fuzzyness. they have a sharp contrast, but they also have reflection.
    There's no way I'll buy a screen with an extra mirror like glass substrate in front of it, that will reduce the sharpness of the screen, and at the same time increase glossyness.
    That's like adding 2 bad properties on top of each other!

    Then again, Apple's never been my thing, so I couldn't care less what they will produce. It's just that some manufacturers abuse salespower. I hope many will have the common sense to turn back to regular pc's or laptops.
    Reply