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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Glossy screens on all Mac laptops?

Glossy screens on all Mac laptops?
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mfbernstein
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Oct 14, 2008, 02:57 PM
 
I gather from the recent announcement that the MacBook Pro now comes only with glossy screens? I assume the regular MacBooks are the same as they were a year ago (glossy), and the MacBook Air is still glossy-only as well.

So are matte-screen laptops officially a no-go for Apple from now on? And if so, why is this?

Thanks.
     
Super Mario
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Oct 14, 2008, 03:11 PM
 
It's to watch the videos you downloaded from the iTunes Store. Pro use is secondary now.
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Maflynn
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Oct 14, 2008, 03:21 PM
 
The apple store is back online and I did not notice any option for a matte screen for the MBP. So its glossy for everyone now.
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Jawbone54
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Oct 14, 2008, 04:37 PM
 
Any other photogs not so happy about this?
     
paul w
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Oct 14, 2008, 04:50 PM
 
I'd imagine so - I know I'm not. We have a glossy iMac and an older matte display version. As much as I adore the newer 24 inch, when I have to get real work done I rely on the older iMac - which while not ideal is at least usable.

Of course I got windows everywhere.
     
fisherKing
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Oct 14, 2008, 05:36 PM
 
this is making me angry; i miss my 12" powerbook, but the macbook is not an option: i use logic (an apple app!) and am getting an apogee duet interface...made for logic, but firewire.

so if i get a new laptop, i HAVE to do the larger 15". also, hate glossy screens.

major disappointment; apple needs a bigger product line, or licensees...
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kw14
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Oct 14, 2008, 05:41 PM
 
Would an anti-glare screen adapter work as an alternative? Has anyone tried this as an option?
     
Brien
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Oct 14, 2008, 06:20 PM
 
In the Q&A after the event, Jobs pretty much confirmed Apple as a whole is done with matte displays. The 17" MBP and 30" ACD are going glass but there's manufacturing issues.
     
mfbernstein  (op)
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Oct 14, 2008, 07:10 PM
 
Okay, I guess that settles the 'what'. But I still don't understand the 'why.' Surely they could have offered a 'matte' option, perhaps even charging extra for it, to appeal to photographers and other folks for whom glossy isn't an option? Thoughts?
     
Brien
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Oct 14, 2008, 07:36 PM
 
Because Apple does what it wants?
     
Maflynn
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Oct 14, 2008, 07:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by mfbernstein View Post
Okay, I guess that settles the 'what'. But I still don't understand the 'why.' Surely they could have offered a 'matte' option, perhaps even charging extra for it, to appeal to photographers and other folks for whom glossy isn't an option? Thoughts?
$$

Its cheaper to produce a glossy display instead of a matte display. Economies of scale play into the equation too. Now that Apple is moving all of its product line to a glossy display it will cost them less money per unit as opposed to buying less quantities of glossy and matte.
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starman
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Oct 14, 2008, 07:59 PM
 
Ok then I'll pay $50 more for a damn matte screen.

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Voch
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Oct 14, 2008, 08:02 PM
 
I'm curious as to the new non-Pro MacBook's display's viewing angle and quality. I have a Rev A. MacBook and the viewing angle isn't as large as the MBPs or my old TiBook 667/DVI. Is there a "better" display coupled with the LED backlight?

Voch
     
mfbernstein  (op)
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Oct 14, 2008, 11:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by starman View Post
Ok then I'll pay $50 more for a damn matte screen.
That's what I was thinking. I can understand wanting to standardize, but couldn't they easily offer it as a BTO option for an additional $50-100? The alternative - alienating a substantial number of photographers and other potential customers - doesn't seem terribly clever.

I wouldn't be surprised if a number of 3rd parties make a nice chunk of change off of screen accessories to combat the glare of the glossy screens.
     
mmurray
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Oct 15, 2008, 01:14 AM
 
Following up on Voch's question. I'd also be interested in knowing the answer to this. In the past the MB screens have never been as good as the MBP and very sensitive to viewing angle. Will that change with the new MB's ?

Thanks - Michael
     
B Gallagher
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Oct 15, 2008, 03:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by Steve
We're going all glass -- we won't offer another version.
Originally Posted by Phil
You offset the reflection by the brightness, and consumers love it. One of the great things about a notebook is you can turn it however you want!
Consumers may love it, but we're talking about both the MacBook and the MacBook Pro here. Apple should really be more aware of how professionals, particularly in the photography and video industries.

Agreed, the option to pay extra for a matte display makes sense. Leave the glass off, you can make up costs by using less glass! Seriously though, this is a strange move for what is is by its very name meant to be a pro laptop.
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Grryshecjk
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Oct 15, 2008, 03:38 AM
 
I like the Glossy anyway so it's not too big a difference to me.. but they should have matte as a CTO at least...
     
OreoCookie
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Oct 15, 2008, 04:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by B Gallagher View Post
Consumers may love it, but we're talking about both the MacBook and the MacBook Pro here. Apple should really be more aware of how professionals, particularly in the photography and video industries.
I'm not yet convinced that `glass is so bad'. I have yet to see one of these puppies in the wild. It looks as if the glass is textured to suppress reflexions. The whole argument reminds me of how a few years ago, professionals said that you can't use lcds for color accurate work.

Just looking across companies, many of them offer glossy displays even for professional notebooks (well, business notebooks). I think that this is where the industry is moving. Unlike before, though, I suspect the extra layer of glass may actually help to suppress reflections.
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Maflynn
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Oct 15, 2008, 07:20 AM
 
I use both and to be honest, I'd be more concerned whether the display panels dither the colors or are truly 8bit panels. I have a Matte MBP and the dithering is quite noticeable when working on images.

Generally this isn't a problem (for me) when I'm home, but when I travel its a bit of a pain.
~Mike
     
OreoCookie
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Oct 15, 2008, 08:24 AM
 
Agreed. And I assume they are still 6 bit panels … 
Although, does somebody know for sure?
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SierraDragon
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Oct 15, 2008, 01:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
Any other photogs not so happy about this?
Personally I am appalled. I can only hope that a future update to the 17" (or larger) keeps Macs in the game for mobile graphics professionals with 8 GB RAM, dual mass storage and available matte display. In the meantime I will take very good care of my existing 17" matte MBP.

Clients may like the "look" of a just-shot image viewed on a glossy display in the field. However they will not be so happy when they see the Premium Luster hard copy print that does not have the same color saturation and contrast that they viewed on screen at the shoot.

-Allen Wicks
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Oct 15, 2008 at 01:50 PM. )
     
rubaiyat
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Oct 15, 2008, 01:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
$$

Its cheaper to produce a glossy display instead of a matte display. Economies of scale play into the equation too. Now that Apple is moving all of its product line to a glossy display it will cost them less money per unit as opposed to buying less quantities of glossy and matte.
You're right, manufacturing and fitting a brightly backlit tinted glass sheet with magnetised edges to the MacBook cheapens the whole thing.
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hyteckit
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Oct 15, 2008, 01:42 PM
 
I'm sure companies will start selling anti-glare screen protectors for the new MacBooks.
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SierraDragon
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Oct 15, 2008, 01:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by hyteckit View Post
I'm sure companies will start selling anti-glare screen protectors for the new MacBooks.
It is not about glare, it is about added color saturation and contrast.
     
Urkel
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Oct 15, 2008, 02:43 PM
 
Glossy on the consumer end machines are understandable because for viewing media it really makes colors pop. But for the pros then it's a pain. Not only do you fight the glare when doing precision work on pixels, but it's like working with the vibrance switch turned on full. The colors on a finished product aren't necessarily accurate.

Anyway, I'm disappointed with Glossy across the line. But what really is a head scratcher is that the $900 Cinema display is also glossy and that is aimed at the pros more than anything. (Not to mention the slow response time on these things). I'm just going to stick to the Dell 24" for around $600. Pro quality, matte finish and with an apple sticker on the back then nobody will know I'm cheating.
     
Voch
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Oct 16, 2008, 02:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by mmurray View Post
Following up on Voch's question. I'd also be interested in knowing the answer to this. In the past the MB screens have never been as good as the MBP and very sensitive to viewing angle. Will that change with the new MB's ?

Thanks - Michael
After looking at the Gizmodo review (scroll down to the section showing viewing angles) it looks like the screens are the same as the previous MacBooks.
     
EdipisReks
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Oct 16, 2008, 02:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Urkel View Post
Glossy on the consumer end machines are understandable because for viewing media it really makes colors pop. But for the pros then it's a pain. Not only do you fight the glare when doing precision work on pixels, but it's like working with the vibrance switch turned on full. The colors on a finished product aren't necessarily accurate.

Anyway, I'm disappointed with Glossy across the line. But what really is a head scratcher is that the $900 Cinema display is also glossy and that is aimed at the pros more than anything. (Not to mention the slow response time on these things). I'm just going to stick to the Dell 24" for around $600. Pro quality, matte finish and with an apple sticker on the back then nobody will know I'm cheating.
my stock response, let me show you it:

"you have it backwards. the matte display, by adding a physical layer to the screen, is negatively distorting the actual contrast and color accuracy of the display. it's an unavoidable effect of adding a textured plastic film to a display. in a controlled light room (which is the only environment where close color matching can actually be done [no matter how matte your screen is, ambient light screws up human visual perception]), the glossy screen is quantifiably more accurate. ever notice that really good crts aimed at designers and visual artists are glossy? glossy is the natural state of the display (adding a layer of glass to the front of the screen also negatively affects the image, but well made optical glass, applied as a flat uniform layer, can have a vanishingly small distortion percentage).

sure, the matte display will have less glare if you're doing design work in your cubicle, or on an airplane, or under a tree outside, but you can't do careful color matching in those environments regardless of what kind of gear you're using."
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SierraDragon
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Oct 16, 2008, 02:58 PM
 
And my stock response to your stock response is:

"Clients may like the 'look' of a just-shot image viewed on a glossy display in the field. However they will not be so happy when they see the Premium Luster hard copy print that does not have the same color saturation and contrast that they viewed on screen at the shoot."

Note that I have not specifically tested the new glossy displays, but at some point I will give it a shot with identical D2x images if I can get a new MBP properly profiled to print at the Apple store.

-Allen Wicks
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Oct 16, 2008 at 03:06 PM. )
     
EdipisReks
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Oct 16, 2008, 03:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
And my stock response to your stock response is:

"Clients may like the 'look' of a just-shot image viewed on a glossy display in the field. However they will not be so happy when they see the Premium Luster hard copy print that does not have the same color saturation and contrast that they viewed on screen at the shoot."
that's patently idiotic. there are no contrast-leprechauns and saturation-pixies floating around the glossy screens, just waiting to ruin your day. the glossy screens are MORE accurate, because they don't have a layer of textured plastic over them. how a more accurate display, properly calibrated, possibly creates the scenario you just described is beyond me.

the glossy screen does not increase color saturation or contrast. the way you seem to think it works is a physical impossibility. the apparent "pop" is caused by the lack of diffusion, not anything added by the glossiness. you still need to calibrate your screens, regardless of what you have. regardless of what you have, you can't expect proper color matching if you're standing outside under a tree at noon, or if you're in an airplane, or at a cubicle.
( Last edited by EdipisReks; Oct 16, 2008 at 03:21 PM. )
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Maflynn
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Oct 16, 2008, 05:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Agreed. And I assume they are still 6 bit panels … 
Although, does somebody know for sure?
I just got back from the apple store and it does appear that both the MB and MBP both use 6bit displays. I pulled up a test image, I have to test that and it showed up dithered

I guess I shouldn't be too concerned about it because my current laptop has a 6bit display. I was just hoping apple did the right thing and moved to the 8bit panels.
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Oct 16, 2008, 09:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by EdipisReks View Post
that's patently idiotic. there are no contrast-leprechauns and saturation-pixies floating around the glossy screens, just waiting to ruin your day. the glossy screens are MORE accurate, because they don't have a layer of textured plastic over them. how a more accurate display, properly calibrated, possibly creates the scenario you just described is beyond me.

the glossy screen does not increase color saturation or contrast. the way you seem to think it works is a physical impossibility. the apparent "pop" is caused by the lack of diffusion, not anything added by the glossiness. you still need to calibrate your screens, regardless of what you have. regardless of what you have, you can't expect proper color matching if you're standing outside under a tree at noon, or if you're in an airplane, or at a cubicle.
I agree with you 100% and have attempted to argue with people about it as you are here. In the end, I have decided that arguing matte vs. glossy is like arguing politics or religion. You'll never convince anyone anyway.
     
fisherKing
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Oct 16, 2008, 09:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
I agree with you 100% and have attempted to argue with people about it as you are here. In the end, I have decided that arguing matte vs. glossy is like arguing politics or religion. You'll never convince anyone anyway.
ultimately, it's just a personal preference, ie whatever works for each person. no need for anyone to convince anyone else which is 'better'.

for me, i prefer a matte screen, i don't like the reflective qualities of glossy screens (and they do not work well in my studio setup). but hey, there's no more choice anyway...
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Oct 16, 2008, 09:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
Any other photogs not so happy about this?
Nope, I like glossy.
     
Maflynn
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Oct 16, 2008, 10:12 PM
 
I'm on the fence with glossy. I've always used matte but to be honest, unless you calibrate your display, it matters little which you use, matte or glossy as it will not give you an accurate representation of the picture
~Mike
     
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Oct 18, 2008, 02:13 AM
 
So much to consider. Guess I'll have to test one myself.
     
Maflynn
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Oct 18, 2008, 07:47 AM
 
That's the best advice but even then, you may have trouble deciding, at least between the two models.

I went in there to get a feel of both models and I'm torn between the performance of the MBP and the size/weight of the MB. Ultimately I'm probably going to get a MBP since the discreet GPU makes too much sense for my needs.

as usual YMMV so be sure to test drive the machines yourself
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Oct 19, 2008, 12:02 AM
 
I dont like the glossy screens as much as matte. I like the old MBPs better than the new ones
     
hempcamp
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Oct 19, 2008, 02:57 AM
 
I find the matte/glossy argument very entertaining. I'm not a graphics professional, but what I don't understand: if most graphics are now produced for digital media, wouldn't it behoove graphics pros to develop not what looks most "accurate" in print but what looks "best" on the consumer's display?

Sure, there are a good number of pros doing print work and photo production, but aren't the vast majority of pros developing for TV and internet -- shown on glossy screens?

It's like getting your panties in a knot over the advent of color photography because color photographs don't have as much contrast as B&W prints.

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PaperNotes
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Oct 19, 2008, 04:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by Urkel View Post

Anyway, I'm disappointed with Glossy across the line. But what really is a head scratcher is that the $900 Cinema display is also glossy and that is aimed at the pros more than anything.
Just between you and me (and several hundred people who may read this) those Apple videos of pros using Cinema Displays are just ads. The Coen brothers wouldn't even dare edit or do color correction on an Apple Cinema Display and if they did it would be with a video monitor attached.

And Al Gore didn't produce his shock horror/science fiction/comedy slide shows in Keynote either. He just muscled his way into Apple saying he would help promote their products in that thing he made as long as he got lots of preferential shares at a fraction of their market value. If not he would have gotten Greenpeace to put Apple lower on their stupid list of safe companies than they already do.
     
PaperNotes
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Oct 19, 2008, 05:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by hempcamp View Post
I find the matte/glossy argument very entertaining. I'm not a graphics professional, but what I don't understand: if most graphics are now produced for digital media, wouldn't it behoove graphics pros to develop not what looks most "accurate" in print but what looks "best" on the consumer's display?
--Chris
Consumer displays vary from one to another depending on manufacturer and color depth, the situation with glossy screens makes it worse because the amount of glossiness and reflectivity varies too.

Paper is still the most used medium believe it or not. Just look at how many people still read newspapers, books and magazines instead of electronic versions. It's just so much easier on the eyes having a tactile resolution free medium that won't lose battery power. Movies are projected on to matte screens in theaters too. Could you imagine a glossy theater screen?
     
   
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