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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Opinions on glossy vs. matte on 15" MBP?

Opinions on glossy vs. matte on 15" MBP?
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Oct 27, 2006, 04:48 PM
 
So my house was broken in to and both my Mac and PC laptops were stolen. I've decided just to bite the bullet and just get a 15" MBP. But I'm not sure whether to get the glossy or the regular matte screen. Any opinions?
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Oct 27, 2006, 04:58 PM
 
i have been researching this like crazy (google, friends opinions, etc)
(btw lots of threads here about it; do a search this forum, and the macbook forum).

the consensus seems to be: a matter of opinion.

lots of graphics pros say matte, but then some love the saturated look of the glossy. opinions re glare etc are not at all consisitent.

i finally realized i have to go to the apple store and decide myself. but, figuring i spend 12 hours a day or more in front of my powerbook...i think the matte is the way to go; easier on the eyes in the longterm.

had a friend here yesterday with a macbook; the screen is beautiful, made my powerbook pale in comparison. but...reflected the light outside, and...i can see smudges easier on her screen.

still...lots to consider.
just figure that everyone has a point of view, and there is no simple answer. i know i want to decide by monday, so i can order something.

up to you...!
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Oct 27, 2006, 05:03 PM
 
oh man, that sucks. I personally like the glossy screen better because it's brighter and sharper than matte, but the downside is it has tons of glare, but it's really your choice.
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Oct 27, 2006, 05:20 PM
 
I was a bit wary about the glossy screen on my new MB because I tend to use it often with the screen dimmed to save battery life, and I thought the glare would be troublesome. So far, I prefer this screen 1000x more than that of my iBook G4 even at low screen brightness and in brightly lit rooms (of course those screens weren't as good as the matte screens on the PB/MBP), and it seems that it isn't as glossy as some PC laptops' screens I see around campus.
     
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Oct 27, 2006, 05:25 PM
 
I didn't realize there was an Apple store so close, I'm going to stop by tonight and check them out in person.
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Oct 27, 2006, 05:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by fisherKing View Post
lots of graphics pros say matte, but then some love the saturated look of the glossy.
Not the graphics pros.

What I've seen from customers has been clear: graphics and video people, who need fine color control, invariably go for the matte. That also seems to be the consensus at graphics/design/arts schools.

Anybody else: Glossy for the fun.
     
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Oct 27, 2006, 05:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
Not the graphics pros.

What I've seen from customers has been clear: graphics and video people, who need fine color control, invariably go for the matte. That also seems to be the consensus at graphics/design/arts schools.

Anybody else: Glossy for the fun.

analogika...do u seek out my posts just to contradict them?? LOL

according to my exhaustive research (mostly googling), some pro graphics people and phototographers PREFER the glossy screen (a minority, true).

my point is: one needs to see the two screens in person to determine what will best suit them.

it's all opinions, at the end of the day.

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Oct 27, 2006, 05:57 PM
 
Matte vs glossy: Nobody can make such a basic choice for you. You have to actually see them yourself, under different lighting conditions. In addition to going to an Apple Store, I'd also go to a CompUSA store, because they have a very different store lighting scheme from Apple's.

Next, you're gonna have to think where you're going to use it most of the time. For example, my favorite recliner has a window in back of it. No way would I go with glossy.

Lastly, if you get eye fatigue very easily, go for the matte.

And be sure to upgrade security on the house, because thieves sometimes come back to get the replacement computers after your insurance coughs up. Security storm doors (with keyed deadbolts both inside and out.) Etc.
     
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Oct 28, 2006, 11:41 AM
 
Well, I'm going with the glossy. The colors just seemed to pop so much more. The glare really didn't seem bad (I brought a flashlight to put it to the test-yeah the "geniuses thought I was nuts). Now I just have to wait for them to actually get the C2D MBPs in (all the ones in stock were the Core Duos).

And yeah, security has already been upgraded. Got a full alarm system and new doors and steel reinforced where the deadbolts go into the door jams. Next step would be encasing the house in a foot of leucite, but I don't think that's going to happen.
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Oct 28, 2006, 12:19 PM
 
I went to the Apple store earlier in the week and had a chance to put a 17" glossy side by side with a 17" matte and run the same applications at the same time just to test drive the screens. I got serious love for the glossy.
I agree with Analogika the glossy has way more wow factor, but folks who need color accuracy go for the matte. After reading seeing this discussion on multiple Mac forums I have decided that here is a tinge of Mac Snob in the posting community regarding the glossy screen, like having a glossy screen makes it less of a serious computer. I believe it is not outside the realm of possibility that there is a bit of bias against glossy screens because PCs had them while Macs did not. Mac users (I include myself) tend to be a curious lot
Anyrate: I ordered a 17" with the glossy.
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Oct 28, 2006, 02:25 PM
 
I heard Apple put on anti-glare coating on this new glossy screen on C2D MBP. I hope someone who gets the glossy-screen C2D MBP would post some pictures of their machines.
     
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Oct 29, 2006, 01:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by BadApple View Post
I heard Apple put on anti-glare coating on this new glossy screen on C2D MBP. I hope someone who gets the glossy-screen C2D MBP would post some pictures of their machines.
I read that elsewhere, too ... can anyone confirm?

MY 15" 2.33GHz MBP is scheduled to ship on 10/31 with 2 day shipping. I went for Glossy, after comparing the screens on CoreDuo MBPs at Apple Stores and CompUSA - colors much more vibrant on the glossy screen, brighter, more vibrant, comparing some photos I brought along with on USB thumb drives, so that I could compare more directly. The actual color accuracy appeared equal, but the glossy screen looked richer and brighter. There is some glare on the glossy, but even in the brightly lit showrooms it wasn't distracting, no matter how I turned and tilted the MBPs.

For me, it was a no-brainer, but at the end of the day, it's all personal taste! My only hesitation was in wondering whether a glossy MBP might have a lower resale if the general consensus was against it. No one can tell at this point.

To make the choice, you have to do a direct comparison, and choose what works for you! For me ..... GLOSSY!!!



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Oct 29, 2006, 01:41 AM
 
Of course you have to answer this for yourself. And the best would probably be to get both next to each other and see for yourself

I always had matte. My PBs and my rev A MBP were all matte. Then I bought myself a MB and its glossy screen just blew me away. I'm not a graphics designer or photographer so I'm not worried about color accuracy. But I love bright and vibrant screens. I ordered my rev B MBP with a glossy. Unless something unexpected happens, consider myself switched.
     
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Oct 29, 2006, 02:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by fisherKing View Post
analogika...do u seek out my posts just to contradict them?? LOL

according to my exhaustive research (mostly googling), some pro graphics people and phototographers PREFER the glossy screen (a minority, true).

my point is: one needs to see the two screens in person to determine what will best suit them.
Sorry, just relating my experiences.

I sell these things, and I have yet to see a single graphics person opt for the glossy after seeing them side-by-side. Graphics students come in asking for the matte, because that is what their teachers/professors tell them they need.

There is simply no dispute over this that I've seen.

The glossy screen is more vibrant and deeper in much the same way that a Fuji Velvia or Kodak Ektachrome is preferable over a more neutral color film: The colors and contrast smack you in the head. This is something you WANT as a consumer (FUN), but NOT as a person whose JOB is exacting control over just those nuances.

Apart from that, the viewing angle on the glossy screens is much narrower, with color and contrast shifts the result of moving mere inches to the side, so - as one photographer customer put it - if you're showing a freshly taken image to a customer, "the two of you are not talking about the same picture."
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 08:13 AM
 
Depend on what you are wanting to do... if you just watch DVD's then go glossy... if you need to do pro graphics work... go matte... I also find matte better for the long hours I spend using Logic Pro... also if you take a laptop on stage then the last thing you want is glare!!!
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 10:23 PM
 
i have always been a matte kinda guy(and im an artist) but there is a side of me thats a rebel and wants to get glossy...its the hardest choice w/ these computers. erk! i want both but i am thinking i will obt for the matte and some day get a macbook to play around with. *sigh* money money money... i wish i wish i wish....but alas i am a poor artist... as soon as im done w/ school i can become that bigshot hollywood director/actor/writer/ jornalistic photographer.
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 09:47 AM
 
I have a MacBook and love the glossy screen.
When I decided to get the MacBook Pro I almost got the glossy screen but decided against it because of the color accuracy. I do a lot of photography and graphics work and coult not afford to end up spending a fortune on calibration stuff (at least at this time).
The guy at the apple store advised to be very careful about getting the glossy screen because of the color differences.
Yes the glossy is more vibrant on screen but it does not print out like that.
I decided to test it before I ordered and that is when I decided to go with the matte screen. The reds were different on screen and print and there were some other color differences.
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 10:12 AM
 
I know this has been said a million times before in this thread, but I'm trying to reach 100 posts so I can quit coming to this board.

The glossy screen on the consumer-oriented Macbook seem like selling-points, not meant for graphics professionals. It's a "wow" factor for the average consumer. Movies look better, colors seem to pop off the screen, pictures look vibrant, etc.

Go matte and calibrate the screen. You'll be happier in the long run.
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 03:59 PM
 
I like the glossy
     
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Nov 1, 2006, 05:26 AM
 
What I've found is that things that are supposed to look glassy on-screen really do look glassy on the glossy screen. For example, various semi-transparent windows in the Mac OS.

The Macbook screen (glossy) does seem to have a narrower viewing angle than my old Powerbook screen (matt) - but I don't know if that's because of the coating or the screen itself
     
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Nov 1, 2006, 06:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by zerroeffect View Post
I know this has been said a million times before in this thread, but I'm trying to reach 100 posts so I can quit coming to this board.
WTF?

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Nov 1, 2006, 07:06 AM
 
The matte screen is great for design but in the other hand the glossy screen makes it much easier on the eye's for daily task.
     
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Nov 1, 2006, 07:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by iBorg View Post
WTF?

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Nov 1, 2006, 08:44 AM
 
How about this situation... I use my computer at a desk all day long. There are windows on two sides of my desk, so glare might be a factor with glossy. I'm not doing any serious design or graphics work with the computer. Mostly I work with text and databases and the like. I also use the computer for giving presentations in front of large groups, and I like to be able to glance at the computer during my presentations and see my notes.

At home, I use the computer for more fun stuff (iPhoto, iMovie, etc.), but work is the most critical use of this computer.

I went to the Apple store to see them side-by-side, but the salesguy told me that the lighting in the store is really bad to try to judge how it will look in a smaller room with lights closer to the screen, or a room with windows.

I'm buying this week. Which should I get? Glossy or matte?
     
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Nov 1, 2006, 10:46 AM
 
i say Matte, glossy causes eye strain after a while and matte can be a bit brighter
     
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Nov 1, 2006, 03:29 PM
 
I have both MBP, one glossy and one matte. After using both for several months, I honestly prefer the matte because it's much easier on the eyes for long periods (but many people are attracted to the glossy at first because the colors appear more vivid-it is better for DVD viewing)
     
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Nov 1, 2006, 10:08 PM
 
I ordered a 2.33/160GB with matte after deciding I coulnd't deal with the glare. I saw some nasty ass reflections in photos I've seen. Mine is coming next week.
     
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Nov 1, 2006, 10:16 PM
 
ok ok......*Grrrrr* *curse glossy's sexy look!*.....i am an art student/pro.....is it a ....be serious now yall.....is glossy good with the glare. how well can i work outside(Cali/hawaii/seattle) and is it really better with glare then matte. i dont care that its not "true" colors, for that "true" look i will jus' pick up a 24" external. but jus be honest.

dont stick up for it if you just think it looks cool.
     
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Nov 1, 2006, 10:51 PM
 
Comes back to the fact that you gotta look at it yourself. You've heard that glossy's great for watching DVDs, games look good, and you've heard from shootme, who's got one of each, who after several months prefers the matte because it's easier on the eyes.

It's up to you.
     
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Nov 2, 2006, 10:53 PM
 
im torn over this one too.. i bought a 32" Sony Bravia (S series) LCD tv (matte) for my Xbox360, only to find later that the cheaper Samsung LCD models (gloss) have hugely more vibrant colour in movies and games (i saw one in a store playing a game i'm very familiar with and i couldnt believe how much better it looked). Blacks appear blacker, colours appear more vivid, there's no doubt about it. The only downside is reflections, which are incredibly annoying in the wrong room/lighting..

both have their major pros/cons. good luck!!
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Nov 2, 2006, 11:53 PM
 
Yep, movies and games will look good on the glossy. So if that's the vast majority of what you want a fast laptop for, go for it.

For everything else, matte.
     
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Nov 3, 2006, 06:50 AM
 
pyrite - you're comparing two different panels though. There could be many more reasons that the Samsung looks better, nothing to do with the surface glossiness.

I don't think reflections are a big problem for glossy TV screens, as you're probably going to position it once in a location where it works - and these days everything is 100% flat. Reflections were a big pain the ass back in the days of TVs that looked like goldfish bowls !

I walked into a TV shop the other week and was just amazed at how things have changed. You couldn't buy a CRT TV if you wanted to - yet only a couple of years ago LCDs and Plasma TVs were scarce and expensive. Fell in love with the LG 50" monster
     
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Nov 3, 2006, 07:15 AM
 
Having both a MacBook w/glossy and an iMac w/out glossy, I MUCH prefer the glossy.... the matte just looks so dull and uninviting, whereas the glossy looks so rich and warm....

If I could have had my iMac with a glossy screen I would have.
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Nov 3, 2006, 09:13 AM
 
OK, I finally made the trek down to the local Apple Store to see both side by side. My vote... Matte. No doubt, they both look great (better than my Powerbook), and the glossy would be fantastic in a dark room watching a DVD. But, having to stare through my own reflection, or the reflection of my keyboard and everything behind me would be very irritating after a while. The matte screen is bright and vibrant, and IMHO it meets my needs better for everyday computing.

So, my order is placed. Matte beats Glossy.
     
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Nov 3, 2006, 12:54 PM
 
i also like to chime in with my personal preference of matte over glossy...but i really think everybody needs to go and check them out with their own eyes before purchasing.
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Nov 3, 2006, 02:34 PM
 
The comments about matte being better for using the laptop for long periods of time is sort of concerning me. I spend hours on my laptop at a time.

Also, the Apple store in DE doesn't have any of the glossy screen C2D MPBs in and they have no idea when they're coming in. I may go matte.
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Nov 3, 2006, 02:53 PM
 
The reflections alone would probably be enough to bother me. I've not seen an Apple glossy screen in quite some time, but I've used Dell laptops with glossy screens and the reflections and oversaturation of colors make photography work difficult. If you're using it in a dark room for DVDs or surfing the internet, they look spectacular, but for different lighting conditions or photo/color work, I have to go with a matte screen.
     
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Nov 3, 2006, 03:37 PM
 
I fully agree with what Thunderbird said:

Originally Posted by Thunderbird View Post
...My vote... Matte. No doubt, they both look great (better than my Powerbook), and the glossy would be fantastic in a dark room watching a DVD. But, having to stare through my own reflection, or the reflection of my keyboard and everything behind me would be very irritating after a while. The matte screen is bright and vibrant, and IMHO it meets my needs better for everyday computing.

So, my order is placed. Matte beats Glossy.
As a pro photog IMO glossy screens add an artificial contrast that I find disruptive to critical image review. I placed a matte order also.

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Nov 3, 2006, 06:02 PM
 
i was at B&H in nyc today; they have 2 mbp's side-by-side, one matte, one glossy.

they have some "test images" on the macs, so i opened up the same pics, and compared both machines.

it's all definitely a subjective thing, but...

the glossy looks better overall, brighter, deeper.
the matte looks flatter, of course.

STILL...

i didnt like seeing my reflection (especially in darker pictures), or seeing the lights from the store on the glossy screen.

if u can live with the reflection, glossy is cool.
otherwise....

maybe next gen screens will have the best of both worlds!
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Nov 3, 2006, 07:17 PM
 
I agree with the last post. Images look better on the glossy, but that reflection bothers me to no end. Maybe we'll see a satin finish on the rev c.
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Nov 3, 2006, 08:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
Sorry, just relating my experiences.

I sell these things, and I have yet to see a single graphics person opt for the glossy after seeing them side-by-side. Graphics students come in asking for the matte, because that is what their teachers/professors tell them they need.

There is simply no dispute over this that I've seen.

The glossy screen is more vibrant and deeper in much the same way that a Fuji Velvia or Kodak Ektachrome is preferable over a more neutral color film: The colors and contrast smack you in the head. This is something you WANT as a consumer (FUN), but NOT as a person whose JOB is exacting control over just those nuances.

Apart from that, the viewing angle on the glossy screens is much narrower, with color and contrast shifts the result of moving mere inches to the side, so - as one photographer customer put it - if you're showing a freshly taken image to a customer, "the two of you are not talking about the same picture."
Well.. I am one of the graphics pros (I work on print/web/motion and some video) who prefers the glossy screen.. so, you can nix that from your argument. I work in a perfectly controlled lighting environment and I prefer the gloss hands down, by a mile.

There are so many factors relative to this perception. Eye differences, lighting differences, whether or not someone knows/understands how to calibrate a computer display... so much more.. Call it dispute or whatever, your argument on that point is off. Perhaps people are suggesting it as they are unaware... this isn't really new technology... but I wouldn't trust a student's take on it, sorry, no offense to any students... but ANY pro would not rely 100% on the colour on their LCD display - most pro's understand colour in numerical values, swatches or from a trusted source like Pantone.

If ANY graphics pro is relying on a LCD NOTEBOOK display for absolute colour perfection, then I question their skills. The colours on my display hardly 'smack me in the head', of the jobs I've run from this machine, the colours are dead on.

My viewing angle is Uuuuuuuuuge, I can have 2 people sitting beside me and there are slight brightness changes, but my colours do not shift in the same way my previous 'book did. It stays spot on through a very wide angle. This is with the 'book display at arms length (where your display is supposed to be).

If you have ALWAYS worked on a LCD screen of any sort, both of these are an amazing upgrade.. you might be USED TO the flatness of a matte screen... but it is not a factor in professional work. Previous to just a few years ago.. we were all using "glossy" CRT's...

Just my .02c I understand you're 'hearing' lots of things.. so, this is just my opion.
     
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Nov 3, 2006, 08:53 PM
 
People keep posting about seeing reflections as though they can see themselves in their display, like a mirror or something.. in a poorly lit (fluorescent) room, the only time I can really see reflections is when I get into the angle where I can see overhead lights on my display... I am a tall guy, so I have my screen tilted pretty far back.. but other than having a light source right behind you, I never see any reflections...

And I see less reflections on my 17" MBP than I do my 21" CRT that it plugs into for many hours of the day. Like I mentioned earlier... if you are USED TO a flat LCD, just go with what you prefer.. neither is going to gain you anything. If you use it professionally, you calibrate it anyway.
     
   
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