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Old Jul 28, 2012, 03:25 PM   #1
forgetcolor
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questions for hi-res anti-glare lovers who've gone retina

There's no lack of discussion about reflections and glare on the rMBP. Former glossy screen owners are understandably delighted with the reflection and glare improvements. But these discussions usually lack much (or any) input from those who previously used and loved their anti-glare matte screens.

This isn't surprising given that many of those who prefer the matte probably wouldn't buy or consider the rMBP in the first place. However, I'm interested in the experiences of those who have decided to use the retina despite its glossiness.

What I'm most interested in and concerned about is the reflection aspect of the display. Even though I'd always used matte screens previously, in 2010 I wanted the 13" sized MBP, and so had to go glossy. A lot of my work is coding, usually on a medium-to-dark gray background editor, and I found the 13" intolerable because of the reflections. It wasn't just that they bothered me, but that they caused significant eyestrain (I presume from my eyes constantly shifting focus between the reflections on the front of the glass and the screen image behind it). I returned the 13" and bought a fully-loaded 15" hi-res anti-glare. I love it.

My usage pattern includes use in a room with lots of windows and natural light, as well as on my screened porch. So while I'm never in direct sun, there's lots of light around me. The matte works very well in these situations.

So what I'm hoping for is experience from someone like me, who had similar issues with the old glossies, who prefers matte, who hopefully uses dark background editors, but who went for the rMBP anyway. Are the reflections tolerable? Does it cause eyestrain?

Another angle is how it compares to the MBA. My wife has an original MBA and I could try that on the porch to compare if it's similar.

I would seriously benefit from the resolution of the rMBP. I code all day, but also do video and image editing, web design, etc. The resolution difference is obvious to my eyes. I'm just worried about this glossy thing.

thx
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Old Jul 30, 2012, 04:57 PM   #2
iceberg888
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Originally Posted by forgetcolor View Post
So what I'm hoping for is experience from someone like me, who had similar issues with the old glossies, who prefers matte, [...] but who went for the rMBP anyway. Are the reflections tolerable? Does it cause eyestrain?
While this is probably covered broadly in some other threads, I'd also love to hear specifically from those with the HR-AG screens who went rMBP.
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Old Jul 30, 2012, 05:02 PM   #3
The510Kid
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Well as requested, I swapped out my HR Matte Macbook Pro to a retina and I can confirm that the glare has NOT been an issue. I have a large window in my bedroom that lets in a lot of natural light and I have yet to see any unforgivable glare. Ive owned MBP with glossy screens as well and the RMBP is head and shoulders above them in terms of glare reduction. There are times i forget its not anti glare!

Pull the trigger on it and dont look back!
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 08:24 AM   #4
fat jez
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I tried out a Retina MBP in the local Apple store for exactly this reason. My current machine is an AG model and the reflections from the lighting behind told me instantly I couldn't live with one. I know the lighting in an Apple store is probably harsher than you'll find in most places, but this and my experiences of using my 13" MBP that work supplied me with tell me a non-AG screen is a non-starter for me personally.
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 08:40 AM   #5
ryane67
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the apple store lighting is horrible for comparison, especially given you're usually standing up with the screen aimed at some sort of light source with your head in between.

Using the rMBP in a normal environment, with a 40W lamp behind me its a non-issue unless im working on something very dark on the screen
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 09:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fat jez View Post
I tried out a Retina MBP in the local Apple store for exactly this reason. My current machine is an AG model and the reflections from the lighting behind told me instantly I couldn't live with one. I know the lighting in an Apple store is probably harsher than you'll find in most places, but this and my experiences of using my 13" MBP that work supplied me with tell me a non-AG screen is a non-starter for me personally.
I own rMBP and me too in the Apple store was bothered by the glare. However, Apple store are HORRIBLE to fully understand how much the glare is a NON ISSUE at home. Glare is simply not a problem in rMBP, if you control your lighting condition. If you're thinking of using it outside in the sun, I have no idea, haven't tried myself, but in home it's great.
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 09:10 AM   #7
gentlefury
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I have bright flourescents behind my desk and I can actually see their bright outline in the bezel...onscreen however, they are barely noticible. This is once again an over-reaction by some

Last edited by maflynn; Jul 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM. Reason: name calling
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 10:09 AM   #8
terraphantm
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Originally Posted by gentlefury View Post
I have bright flourescents behind my desk and I can actually see their bright outline in the bezel...onscreen however, they are barely noticible. This is once again an over-reaction by some
Indeed. The glare has been reduced to the point that any light source that's bright enough to cause an issue will cause an antiglare display to appear extremely washed out.

Last edited by maflynn; Jul 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM. Reason: clean up
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 10:15 AM   #9
striker33
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The only time glare is ever an issue is if you look from a harsh angle in a brightly lit room with a lot of windows.

So basically, as long as you arent a retard, there should be no glare.
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 10:18 AM   #10
fat jez
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Originally Posted by ryane67 View Post
the apple store lighting is horrible for comparison, especially given you're usually standing up with the screen aimed at some sort of light source with your head in between.

Using the rMBP in a normal environment, with a 40W lamp behind me its a non-issue unless im working on something very dark on the screen
Yep, it is, which made it the perfect test for when I was looking at the AG MBP I bought. It coped with the lighting with no trouble at all, so I knew this was the screen for me.
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 10:25 AM   #11
wethackrey
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I've been pretty vocal about my experience in other threads. Here's a (hopefully) brief summary:

I'm migrating from a 2011 17" matte screen MBP. I had a similar matte screen 17" prior to that. The machine prior to that was a 15" glossy MBP, my one foray into glossy screen laptops. Prior to that one I'd purchased matte finish MBPs and PowerBooks, even when it meant waiting for build-to-order matte screens.

The glossy screen was a disaster for me. With the multiple layers of glass, there seemed to me no angle I could position it at that it wasn't reflecting something from somewhere. I found a color gamut a problem as well. While it was very pleasing to the eye, the contrast was exaggerated and it was difficult to calibrate well for photo editing or pre-press. I got rid of it after a few months and replaced with the larger, ant-glare 17".

The 17" matte screens were a pleasure to use. While not as "vivid" as the glossy screen, they were more accurate and had the added advantage of a bunch of additional real estate. More importantly, the reflection problem was gone. Since my eyes don't seem to be getting any younger, all of those things were hugely important to my daily computing experience.

Meanwhile I picked up a third-gen iPad and was blown away by the retina display on it. It was still way to glossy and reflective, I thought, for a laptop. As a touch screen device it was damned impressive.

So I was getting ready to jump on an airplane on June 11th and watched the WWDC product intro. What Apple had done to reduce glare and reflectivity on the MBPr was fascinating. My flight had inflight WiFi and as I was reading about the product on my retina iPad, I decided to order one. That you can actually buy a computer while sitting strapped into a chair going 600mph, thirty thousand feet in the air is pretty danged amazing to me. "Sonny, I remember, back in the day, when we had to walk five miles through driving snow to get to an Apple dealer... "

I was uneasy about the decision though. I was moving from a 17" to a 15" display and I was moving away from the matte finish screen that had solved my reflection problem. I was not at all sure I'd actually keep the MBPr after it arrived.

I generally use a computer in one of two places. My home office is in a room with a ton of South and West-facing glass. There's water outside of all of the windows so, in the afternoon, things get very bright. I have a 27" Apple LED display which I love but which is so reflective that I end up not using it in the afternoons. The other place I usually find myself is in some client conference room somewhere. They're usually way overlit with lots of florescent lights. Reflection Hell.

I'm now in my third week with the MBPr. I ran it alongside my 17" matte screen for nearly two weeks. By the end of the second week I'd wiped the 17" and boxed it up to send to my partner. The retina display has very little in the way of reflection and it has far less "glare" than the matte finish "anti-glare" screen. Eliminating the glass overlay layer, along with the amazing display itself, makes for a stunning experience. I don't at all miss the additional physical real estate of the 17". The retina is simply far easier on the eyes. I'm still amazed really.

In my home office, I find the retina display a pleasure to use even late in the afternoon when the 27" glossy LED Display is totally unusable. I had the opportunity to use the MBPr in a bright florescent office the other day and the results were the same. I find I just don't miss the matte finish display. In fact, the diffusion caused by the matte layer actually increases the glare while it eliminates reflections. There's a good thread on that elsewhere on the forum but searching is disabled at the moment to I can't post a reference to it.

Anyway, the bottom line is that I'm sold on the retina.

Last edited by wethackrey; Jul 31, 2012 at 10:31 AM.
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 10:38 AM   #12
ColoArtist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wethackrey View Post
I've been pretty vocal about my experience in other threads. Here's a (hopefully) brief summary:

...[snip]...

In my home office, I find the retina display a pleasure to use even late in the afternoon when the 27" glossy LED Display is totally unusable. I had the opportunity to use the MBPr in a bright florescent office the other day and the results were the same. I find I just don't miss the matte finish display. In fact, the diffusion caused by the matte layer actually increases the glare while it eliminates reflections. There's a good thread on that elsewhere on the forum but searching is disabled at the moment to I can't post a reference to it.

Anyway, the bottom line is that I'm sold on the retina.
Excellent summary.

This might be the thread you're referring to...
http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost...5&postcount=20

Here's another one too...
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1407396

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Old Jul 31, 2012, 09:10 PM   #13
wethackrey
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Originally Posted by ColoArtist View Post
Excellent summary.
This might be the thread you're referring to...
http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost...5&postcount=20
Right. That was the thread I was thinking of. Thanks for finding it.
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 10:41 AM   #14
nontroppo
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@wethackrey: thanks for an excellent post!
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 10:56 AM   #15
M5RahuL
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Pretty much what wethackrey said, except I went from briefly owning a HR + AG 15" to the rMBP. The rMBP still has decent reflection, depending on ambient lights, but it's way better than the classic glossy screens.

The AG cMBP's screen was a pleasure to use anywhere, but the text clarity on the retina will just stump you!
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 11:23 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by iceberg888 View Post
While this is probably covered broadly in some other threads, I'd also love to hear specifically from those with the HR-AG screens who went rMBP.
Here's my take on it, based on personal experience with all three.

1) 15" Glossy Glass MBP.
2) 15" hi-res anti-glare MBP.
3) MBP retina.

I'm going to use a scale from 1 to 10.

1. Represents the least amount of glare, reflection and sensitivity to screen angle.

10. Represents maximum reflection, glare, and overall eye strain.


The 15" hi-res anti-glare MBP in my experience is a #1 on the scale.

The 15" Glass Covered MBP is an #8 on the scale. Very reflective and mirror like.

The 15" MBP Retina is a #3 on the scale. Not quite as nice as the hi-res anti-glare for my intense usage, but one you must see to judge for yourself.

Also once the blurry or fuzzy retina issue is fixed via the various methods, it will be easier to fairly judge this model. If my past experience with Apple is any indicator, the next rev of this model will be far better.

This feedback is based on usage in both a moderate ambient light level away from windows, and a second environment which includes windows and various direct lighting sources present in the room. Additional pertinent info for those who may be interested, is that thus far I'm fortunate to still be 20/20.
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