17" - Has anyone bought the matte display and regretted it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by phased, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. phased macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2009
    Yeah, sorry to clog up the forums with this trivial issue, but here goes.

    Think I've finally settled on the 17" (15" was tempting), now I'm unsure as to order the glossy or matte display?

    The computer will see some PS, CAD, etc. use. But nothing as technical as photo-editing. Well, not on a professional level, anyway.

    Obviously matte is the safer option, and it's all I've ever owned, but there is something tempting about the glossy display. Perhaps I'm merely lusting over the sleek aesthetic.

    Anyway, just looking to hear other people's experiences in glossy/matte selection.

    Did you buy the glossy? Were you happy?
    Did you buy the matte? Were you happy?

    Lay it on me!

    (And yes, I've spent so long at the matte store inspecting the respective screens that I suspect some of the SAs believe I'm loopy. But it's one thing to spend an hour in front of the screen, and another to spend months or years.)
  2. twingo macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2009
    I have nothing to regret, because i did choose the glossy one. :)

    Matte is good for people who need the ability to use the machine open air and under difficult light conditions. Sometimes this thing can serve as a mirror.

    I use mine only indoor and so i am able to enjoy the gorgeous quality of the glossy screen.
    Changing to matte is not an option for me.
  3. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Bought the glossy and its amazing. I thought about getting matte but am glad I didn't.
  4. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    You won't regret either way (except maybe if you choose glossy, if you are in a high light environment) so choose whichever you want.
  5. coolbreeze macrumors 68000


    Jan 20, 2003
    Bought the matte. Very happy with it. Nothing like sitting on my back deck in the late afternoon, grilling, enjoying a beer and being able to see my display.

    Glossy is a train wreck with reflections, etc. Matte only from here on out.
  6. yxiong macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2009
    I got the matte and also the glossy 24'' cinematic display. Both are in front of me now and both are good. But I like the matte better.
  7. Jon-Luke macrumors 6502


    May 22, 2009
    Cape Town
    Before I switched to mac I had a Sony Viao with a glossy screen and I grew to like the contrast and brightness it afforded, yes there are reflections issues, but you learn to work around them and I would even go on to say that the visibility outdoors is better with the glossy screen.

    Then when I switched to Mac I got a 15" MacBook Pro with the matt screen that came with all of them, and the only thing I missed was the Viao's screen. The Matt screen seemed to have less resolution, less contract and wasn't as bright.

    So I was quite please when the Unibody range came out with the glossy screen and I am very happy with the quality of image it provides. So far reflections have not been an issue - but then I don't sit with my back to a window or with the sun behind me (Common sense really).
  8. DFTU101 macrumors member

    May 16, 2008
    17 inch MBP Matte

    I have a 15 inch MBP. Also have the 17 inch in matte. For prolonged viewing I prefer the matte (easier on the eyes). The colors and spectrum on the 17 inch are great. If I had to choose, I'd go with matte over glossy.
  9. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    There are some users that have mentioned they purchased it solely because they wanted the matte display and wish that they would have gotten the fifteen inch. Colorware FTW.
  10. u49aa2 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 3, 2008
    Between Heaven and Hell
  11. midgetsanchez macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2009
  12. MacDrizzle macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2009
    Just go with the one you like more. I chose the anti-glare screen and I am very happy I did! I use photoshop, illustrator, cad etc... so I need what in my opinion is the screen geared more for the professional. I think Apple was leaning more towards the average consumer than the professional with the gloss screen. I like the silver bezel, it gives it that classic macbook pro feel to it too. The gloss screen looks cheap and too much hp/toshiba like etc...
  13. DoNoHarm macrumors 65816


    Oct 8, 2008
    i think the most meaningful comparison will come from people who have used a mbp-matte and gone for the mbp-glossy. Does anyone who made that switch care to comment? Also, to eliminate the potential for people picking matte or glossy just because they have one, is there anyone who has REGRETTED buying their display type?
  14. crackbookpro macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2009
    Om nom nom nom
    I do not have a 17" MBP, but you just made me jealous! I could see myself doing that in a heartbeat! I do enjoy my 13" Alu MB...I just want an Apple stock Matte Screen on it.

    ...wonder if they will ever make that an option for smaller models :confused:
  15. xpovos macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2007
    Okay, I'll comment. I used a classic 15" matte (LED-backlit) and classic 17" matte (CCFL) and loved both. Switched to unibody 15". Because I was such a die-hard matte person---not because I needed it professionally but just because it's what I had always had and was used to---I didn't expect to like the glassy/glossy so much. I absolutely love it, though. The aesthetic upside of richer color and sharper contrast outweighs the downside of increased reflectivity.

    When folks talk about glossy screens and reflectivity, they tend to ignore the fact that a matte screen also reflects light, but just in a different way. With a sufficiently strong light source behind you, a diffused reflection on a matte screen can obscure your view of the screen even more than a reflection from the same light source on the glossy screen. As far as outside use, my own personal experience confirms for me what was stated above, that the glossy screen is easier to use outdoors than the matte. Just my opinion.

    Glossy for me from now on.
  16. Pivzavod macrumors member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Yes, my eyes feel the same way: reading black text with white background from a matte screen is almost like reading a book or a newspaper. The white background on glossy is quite irritating.
  17. vertigoman macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2009
    Hi Phased --

    I usually tend to lurk on these forums rather than post, but I was in your shoes a couple weeks ago, needing a new computer, deciding upon the 17", and not sure which way to go with the screen. I've heard just about every argument for both matte and glossy, and ultimately I don't think there's a "wrong" answer.

    In the past, I had only owned laptops that had matte screens -- my 15" PowerBook G4 being the most recent, although I use 2007 model MacBook Pro at work, which also has a matte screen. So I knew off the bat that I didn't have a problem with matte. On the other hand, it lacks a certain visual pizzaz, for lack of a better description.

    I had heard lots of people complain about reflections in their glossy screens and the like, so I was a little wary at first. But I loved the display on my younger brother's new glossy iMac, and the look of some other glossy screens I've come across. So in the end, I decided to take a chance and go with the glossy.

    (For what it's worth, I'm a film/video guy, so I tend to use the Mac for that sort of thing.)

    I have to say, I don't regret it one bit. Even though it's a laptop, I tend to use it just at my desk, usually at the end of the day after work so there's not a lot of sunlight coming in directly at the screen. When you use the computer in normal indoor lighting, or basically in any situation where there's not a bright light shining right at it, it looks brilliant. It's not as good as a matte screen is in broad daylight, but that wasn't really a concern of mine in the first place. If I was the kind of person who tended to use my computer outside a lot, in public places, and other settings with lots of natural or bright artificial light that I had zero control over, I might have opted for matte. But as someone who generally uses it around the house, in normal but not extreme lighting conditions, I'm extremely happy with it. My youngest brother is about to go away for his freshman year at college and he's asked for my help in picking out a computer, and I'm recommending glossy over matte for him as well.

    (I pretty much knew I made the right choice when I took it out of the box, went to the Apple movie trailers website, downloaded the Star Trek trailer in 1080p, and hit play... like wow, just wow. Zero problems with glare or seeing my reflection or anything... just an amazing looking display with incredible resolution.)
  18. racer1441 macrumors 68000

    Jul 3, 2009
    I've never played with the matte finish on the MBP, but I know I have a huge problem going back to the matte displays anymore since the glossy's on the iMac and MBP.
  19. NovemberWhiskey macrumors 68040


    May 18, 2009
    I have the anti-glare option, and believe me when I say that you will not regret it.

    I had the same worries as you; when I was in the store, the glossy just looked so much better than the anti-glare model.

    And when I got my computer, I remembered thinking that pictures/movies do not look as good on the AG screen. But I played around with the color calibration, and I changed the contrast to null (it was set higher from the factory), and now the display looks gorgeous.

    I can use it with direct backlighting behind me (windows open on a sunny day) and the screen is still usable without constantly adjusting the angle. It won't get rid of the glare 100%, but it is at least two-times better than the glossy version in terms of usability with poor lighting conditions.

    I am typing this with a floor-to-ceiling window right behind me, and I only have the brightness set at 50%; it is still usable.

    The screen really makes text look like paper. So if you are using your computer for school, I would say the AG model is the way to go. If you just use the computer for browsing/fun, glossy will do perfectly.

    And after adjusting the settings form the factory, I would say there is virtually no difference in picture quality (sharpness, boldness of colors, etc.) between the two models. From the factory, there is a big difference (the AG looks grainy). After adjusting the settings, I took my computer to the store and put the two different screens side-by-side and they looked identical except one had much more glare. In some lighting conditions, the black even looks better on the AG model because there is no reflection.

    Also, the AG model doesn't have a "soft" screen like other laptops. It still appears to be a glass screen, just with a matte texture to it instead of a smooth one. If it isn't glass, it is some other hard material (plastic, acrylic, etc.) The bezel also seems to be of the same material as the rest of the case, so it matches perfectly. It looked a little cheap in pictures, but in-person it really looks nice.

    It's really nice, and I don't think you will regret it.
  20. Diadems macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2009
    Edit: Just saw NovemberWhiskey's reply above, glad we're on the same page!

    I've been weighing this issue for a while, so I went to my local Apple store to do some comparisons. If it matters, I'm coming from a Core Duo MacBook with the glossy screen. Here's my $0.02:

    For the glossy: Anything where you have lots of color looks great, watching videos, looking at photos, even browsing around in the Finder and iTunes. The colors just seem to wow you and the display looks a bit crisper for photos. I am by no means a pro photographer, and I may not be able to say what colors are 'accurate' or not, but I'd much rather watch HD movies on the glossy.


    For the matte: When you're reading text for a long period of time, matte wins hands down. I found that reading news articles was so much easier with no reflections. It seems like if you were doing a lot of writing or coding the matte would be easier on the eyes for long stretches.

    Since I'll be writing my dissertation on my new MPB, I'll most likely opt for the matte. The glossy would be much more usable outside of the harsh lights at an Apple store, but nowhere near as easy-on-the-eyes as the matte. Anyone else have similar thoughts?
  21. Harthag macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2009
    I agree with the 2 posts above mine. A suggestion would be to compare the glossy and matte side by side at an Apple store. The stores are starting to stock the 17-inch matte systems for purchase in-store, at least in my area (Chicago) they are, and I bought one yesterday. I had the glossy 15 inch uMBP and returned it after 2 days , one light behind me in my room was enough to create a distracting reflection for me. I've noticed zero difference in color between glossy & matte though I'm an average home user, I don't take it outdoors. The matte screen is VERY bright so that shouldn't be an issue, at least for indoor use. Brilliant display as far as I'm concerned, I couldn't be happier.
  22. ///M5 macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2009

    Couldn't have said it better. I have a matte 17" uMBP. The screen is really easy on my eyes.

    PS. will you pls. share the calibration profile? :D
  23. dsampley macrumors 6502


    Jul 2, 2007
    I just bought a new 17 MBP and got the glossy screen. I do think I made the right decision. This screen is great to look at. I also have not had a problem with glare.
  24. dlo604 macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2009
    Glossy. Matte looks really flat for me now that I've gone with it. I don't get frustrated easily, it just takes more focus I guess. If you're not really straining your eyes when you're typing with Glossy go with it. I would suggest to really go to a store and really check it out on your own time. Each has their own preference.
  25. phased thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2009
    Thanks for all the feedback, guys.

    Particularly to those who were kind enough to outline their decisions in detail.

    Well, I'm back leaning towards the matte. The laptop will largely act as a desktop replacement, and whilst seldom in bright environments, this is a big (read: expensive) decision and I'd better err on the side of caution.

    Geez, I kinda feel sorry for those buying the 15". Guess the decision is made for them!

    Any more anecdotes - let me heat them! And yes, I'm particularly interested in hearing those who 'regretted' their respective decisions..


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