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Best notebook for the eyes
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Poppakap
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Apr 4, 2009, 01:43 PM
 
Sorry if this has been discussed but I couldn't find anything.

I spend a very large amount of time reading and writing on a notebook. A power user of word processing. I am looking around and wondering what would be the best option to ease the strain on my eyes.

It seems that the 17" would be best because of the extra size. I have read some concerns that the high resolution would increase eye strain. But, for word processing I could increase the text size while still leaving a reasonable amount of the page viewable. The small icons on the desktop would be there but the amount of time spent staring at those is negligible.

Is there any consensus on this topic?
     
CharlesS
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Apr 4, 2009, 01:54 PM
 
The 17" is the only Mac laptop you can currently get with a matte screen, and matte screens are supposed to reduce eyestrain by reducing glare.

Too bad it's so huge and expensive, though.

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Poppakap  (op)
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Apr 4, 2009, 02:07 PM
 
Thanks for the reply. I was thinking that the size of the screen may help more than the difference between glossy and matte.

I posted this question in the other thread but does anyone know of any store that displays a model with the matte screen?
     
mduell
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Apr 4, 2009, 03:04 PM
 
It sounds like what you want is a low resolution (dpi) laptop; Apple doesn't offer any, all of theirs are middle of the road (110-133dpi).

If you want a Mac and don't need much performance, the old 14" iBook (91dpi) is an option. If it doesn't have to be a Mac there are plenty of 15-17" PCs with 96-101dpi displays (1280x800-1440x900).

I doubt matte vs glossy makes much of a difference... trading away better contrast and controllable glare for diffusing the glare.
     
Poppakap  (op)
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Apr 4, 2009, 04:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
It sounds like what you want is a low resolution (dpi) laptop; Apple doesn't offer any, all of theirs are middle of the road (110-133dpi).

If you want a Mac and don't need much performance, the old 14" iBook (91dpi) is an option. If it doesn't have to be a Mac there are plenty of 15-17" PCs with 96-101dpi displays (1280x800-1440x900).

I doubt matte vs glossy makes much of a difference... trading away better contrast and controllable glare for diffusing the glare.
I am a little confused by this. Why can't a high resolution screen display text at a certain size as clearly as a low resolution? It seems like the high resolution screen would be better if you left the resolution alone to avoid the blocky look but increased the font size. I can do this on my current ultra-compact and it looks ok but I have so little page to work with that it is impractical.
     
revMedia
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Apr 4, 2009, 04:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by Poppakap View Post
Thanks for the reply. I was thinking that the size of the screen may help more than the difference between glossy and matte.

I posted this question in the other thread but does anyone know of any store that displays a model with the matte screen?
The problem you're going to have is resolution and DPI. The bigger the screen the higher the res, so everything will actually appear smaller.
     
mduell
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Apr 4, 2009, 05:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Poppakap View Post
I am a little confused by this. Why can't a high resolution screen display text at a certain size as clearly as a low resolution? It seems like the high resolution screen would be better if you left the resolution alone to avoid the blocky look but increased the font size. I can do this on my current ultra-compact and it looks ok but I have so little page to work with that it is impractical.
It can (clearer, even) if you application supports scaling up the text (many do). But OS X doesn't have system-wide support arbitrary magnification so the menus and OS widgets and everything is is going to be smaller (in inches) on a higher resolution display.
Buying a high res 17" and running it at half res is an option; still enough pixels (960x600) to be usable.
     
Poppakap  (op)
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Apr 4, 2009, 05:40 PM
 
Thanks. I may go with a 17" MBP and scale the text in the word processing programs and web browsers. I can deal with the small font of the OS because the time spent looking at it is not much.
     
amazing
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Apr 5, 2009, 01:57 AM
 
I'm very sensitive to eye fatigue--and that's why I got a previous-generation 15" MBP with matte screen on closeout. There's no doubt in my mind that glossy screens bring about eye fatigue.

Now, if you're young, you're not gonna notice eye fatigue.

If you drink a fair amount, you'll put your eye fatigue down to hangover, too much partying, staying up too late. And yes, all those things give you eye fatigue, but so will a glossy screen.

It could be that certain people are more prone to eye fatigue than others, which would account for how many people just love their glossy screens. What that means is that if you yourself know that you're prone to eye fatigue, then you'd better find ways to mitigate your exposure to whatever gives you eye fatigue.
     
CharlesS
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Apr 5, 2009, 02:02 AM
 
I know that I used to get pretty nasty eye fatigue before I switched to LCD screens (and I was pretty young at the time), after which the problem largely went away. I don't know for sure the problem had been caused by glare from the reflective glass in front of the CRT screens, but that's what I always assumed it was.

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jogi
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Apr 5, 2009, 06:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by revMedia View Post
The problem you're going to have is resolution and DPI. The bigger the screen the higher the res, so everything will actually appear smaller.
No because you can actually zoom in the word page

Go for the 15 MBP max, as the larger screen will allow you to see a larger page than the 13". The 17" I think is a complete overkill. If you need a larger screen hook it up to an external monitor!
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Poppakap  (op)
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Apr 5, 2009, 02:19 PM
 
I know not this overkill you speak of. It just seems that if the 15" screen is good the 17" is better- portability and price aside.
     
Cold Warrior
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Apr 5, 2009, 02:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
I know that I used to get pretty nasty eye fatigue before I switched to LCD screens (and I was pretty young at the time), after which the problem largely went away. I don't know for sure the problem had been caused by glare from the reflective glass in front of the CRT screens, but that's what I always assumed it was.
Me too. Eye fatigue largely went away with the CRT. I was sensitive to the refresh rates and any CRT's high-pitched whine.
     
EndlessMac
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Apr 5, 2009, 06:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
Me too. Eye fatigue largely went away with the CRT. I was sensitive to the refresh rates and any CRT's high-pitched whine.
It depends on your refresh rate on CRTs. When I used to have the refresh rates low I also had eye fatigue. I currently use a good quality CRT with a refresh rate of 100 hertz and no more eye fatigue.

I've also been told that glare does cause eye fatigue which is why a lot of people love Amazon.com's Kindle digital reader because it has no glare or backlighting so it reads like a book. Computer screens shoot light into our eyes which I believe is one cause of eye fatigue.

Small print, too dark or bright screens, terrible color schemes on some websites, etc are probably some of the other reasons for eye fatigue.
     
Poppakap  (op)
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Apr 5, 2009, 10:54 PM
 
Thank you everyone for the replies.

I still can't make up my mind.

I went to the Apple store again. I pulled up Word on a 15" and a 17". I adjusted it so 7" of a page was viewable. The text on the 17" was substantially larger. I'd estimate 25% larger. I also could do side by side text better with 17" when I read something and take notes on another document. It does seem ridiculous to have a 17" MBP for word processing, although I do some amateur photography in Photoshop. Then if I get the 17" it would be hard not to get the 2.93 . . . .

I asked about the anti-glare screen and they said that they don't carry customized machines. I replied that an optional screen is hardly customized and asked how they can expect me to spend $3k without seeing the screen. I may have to drive 90 miles to see the screen and play around with it.
     
CharlesS
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Apr 6, 2009, 12:11 AM
 
You know that you can adjust the size of the text in Word, right?

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Poppakap  (op)
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Apr 6, 2009, 12:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
You know that you can adjust the size of the text in Word, right?
Yes. My point is that you can scale text on a 10" screen to be huge but you would be working with an impractical 3 lines of text. I used 7" of page showing in Word as my standard size and compared the size of text rendered. Thus showing the relative abilities of the 15" and 17" screens.

Let me know if my line of thinking is wrong.
     
redhot_nyc
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Apr 6, 2009, 12:55 AM
 
The best screen I've seen on current Mac is the MacBook Air (especially if you don't like the glass screens) however I haven't seen the 17" matte....

The 13" screens are a little small, but much better than a netbook.

Why are you limiting yourself to MS Word? There are other writing programs out there like Writeroom.
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jogi
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Apr 6, 2009, 02:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Poppakap View Post
Thank you everyone for the replies.

I still can't make up my mind.

I went to the Apple store again. I pulled up Word on a 15" and a 17". I adjusted it so 7" of a page was viewable. The text on the 17" was substantially larger. I'd estimate 25% larger. I also could do side by side text better with 17" when I read something and take notes on another document. It does seem ridiculous to have a 17" MBP for word processing, although I do some amateur photography in Photoshop. Then if I get the 17" it would be hard not to get the 2.93 . . . .

I asked about the anti-glare screen and they said that they don't carry customized machines. I replied that an optional screen is hardly customized and asked how they can expect me to spend $3k without seeing the screen. I may have to drive 90 miles to see the screen and play around with it.
Wy dont you buy the cheapest macbook + a good 24" screen? It will be MUCH better than the 17"...? As you are contemplating for a 17" notebook, I guess you will be working at a desk..
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Simon
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Apr 6, 2009, 02:47 AM
 
I think the MBA definitely has a better screen than the MBs. But IMHO it doesn't stand a chance against the 15" and 17" MBP screens.
     
angelmb
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Apr 6, 2009, 04:38 AM
 
I would go for the MBP 17", if you are a power user of word processing apps chances are you may end opting for a DTP app like Quark XPress 8 or InDesign where a higher res would be definitely worth every spent buck.
     
JTh
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Apr 6, 2009, 11:37 AM
 
I'll add that if you wear prescription glasses, you may want to make sure your prescription is still most appropriate. I don't wear prescription glasses regularly, but did get a prescription to just "sharpen things up" (in other words, there was hardly any correction). Regardless of any screen I looked at, eye fatigue became a thing of the past.
     
Poppakap  (op)
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Apr 7, 2009, 12:12 PM
 
Thanks for the help everyone. I am leaning towards the 17". I saw booth screens in person. Unfortunately I still can't decide. I was hoping that the matte screen would look a little more lively than it did. I was also hoping that there would be less glare from the glossy screen.
     
olePigeon
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Apr 7, 2009, 12:26 PM
 
You could always buy last year's model 15" MacBook Pro. 1440x900 matte display. Good performance. Relatively cheap by now.

Edit: Apple has Refurbished 15" MacBook Pros with 15" matte display for $1399. Apple's refurbished computers are treated as new and are eligible for the full 3 year warranty. Sometimes, the machine is new.
( Last edited by olePigeon; Apr 7, 2009 at 12:30 PM. Reason: Apple Store)
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DCJ001
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Apr 7, 2009, 04:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
You could always buy last year's model 15" MacBook Pro. 1440x900 matte display. Good performance. Relatively cheap by now.

Edit: Apple has Refurbished 15" MacBook Pros with 15" matte display for $1399. Apple's refurbished computers are treated as new and are eligible for the full 3 year warranty. Sometimes, the machine is new.
3 year warranty? If you're talking about AppleCare, you should call it AppleCare (at an additional cost).
     
olePigeon
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Apr 7, 2009, 04:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by DCJ001 View Post
3 year warranty? If you're talking about AppleCare, you should call it AppleCare (at an additional cost).
AppleCare is Apple's warranty. Yes, it costs extra.
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Apr 8, 2009, 02:23 AM
 
It's Apple's extended warranty that costs. Apple's regular 1 year warranty is obviously free.
     
   
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