Anti-Glare 15" MacBook Pro Review

kolax

macrumors G3
Original poster
Mar 20, 2007
9,188
114
Having used the MacBook Pro since the first generation, I got shock when the Unibodies were glossy only. I thought I could get used to it and half kind of did. I enjoyed the deeper blacks, but the reflections and glare just irritated and distracted me too much. When Apple slyly offered an anti-glare option for the 15", I couldn't contain myself not to buy it. So onto eBay my old uMBP went and I finally got what I had wanted from the start: 15" uMBP with a matte display.

First thing that stood out was since there is no glass, the screen appears more in focus and undistorted. My eyes focus on the screen rather than the glass. Everything looks how it should - it is kind of hard to describe. This is nothing to do with glossy - but the fact that there is no glass panel. Also, the lack of reflections is great preventing dark images from being ruined. My screen (9BC2) is great - colours are vibrant, blacks are really good along with a bright screen, and there is no grain on the display. Everything just looks better because there is no glass!

The silver bezel completes the look of the uMBP. The black and glass bezel just didn't feel right - possibly because I've used the MacBook Pro since it was released so the silver bezel was what I was used to. The black bezel made the laptop look huge and the glass just made it look gimmicky. Some people like that design (obviously El Jobso did too..) but I didn't. So I hugely appreciate the fact that the bezel is silver. The lid feels sturdier, possibly because there isn't the weight of the glass affecting the hinge.

Anyone who is thinking of getting the 15" MBP, I'd urge to seriously check out the anti-glare version. The matte screen is great on the eyes and images still look fantastic (obviously not as colour rich as glossy) and I really think the silver bezel looks incredibly sexy - the way the uMBP should have looked.













 

iBookG4user

macrumors 604
Jun 27, 2006
6,596
2
Seattle, WA
If I were in a position to get a new MacBook Pro, I'd definitely get the anti-glare version. I've been trying to deal with the glossy screen on the MacBook Air, and while I have gotten used to it I always breathe a sigh of relief when I get back on my non-unibody matte MacBook Air. You can never escape your preferences I guess. Oh and good review :)
 

polaris20

macrumors 68020
Jul 13, 2008
2,204
153
That does look fantastic with the silver bezel. I'm kinda jealous!

I don't know that it looks better than the black, but the uniqueness of it is sweet.
 

crobbins

macrumors 6502
Nov 11, 2006
282
1
Colorado
I did the same thing..the day the anti-glare was released I decided to order it. I couldn't be happier. I know that some argue it is not as good looking with the silver bezel, but at the end of the day everyone has a different opinion. I'm glad to see others are just as happy as I am!
 

jt2ga65

macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2007
197
0
How does the matte screen hold up outside, say at the park? My experience is that the matte screens work well when the rooms are dark, and there is not a large amount of light behind you, but fall apart in outdoor settings. This was specifically why I ordered my MBP with the glossy, and not the matte.

My fear is due to other laptops, such as Dell, where you can not see anything on the matte screen while outdoors, compared to me MBP with the glossy that allows be to see everything well. I did not get the opportunity to try a matte MBP outside.

Good review, though.

-Sean
 

Azathoth

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2009
659
0
Could you weigh the machine on a letter scale, is it any lighter than the glassy, glossy MBP? TIA
 

kolax

macrumors G3
Original poster
Mar 20, 2007
9,188
114
Any laptop screen will suck outside. I can use the matte outside no problem - if it is really sunny the display is hard to see. But the glossy is in the same boat - using it outdoors in direct sunlight it'll be extremely hard to see the screen.
 

Azathoth

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2009
659
0
My fear is due to other laptops, such as Dell, where you can not see anything on the matte screen while outdoors, compared to me MBP with the glossy that allows be to see everything well. I did not get the opportunity to try a matte MBP outside.

Good review, though.

-Sean
I think that when you're outside the absolute screen brightness is what's most important for a visible picture. Typical laptop screens have gone from 150nit brightness spec (early 2000) to about 250nits with modern LED backlight. Some laptops e.g. High-nit T400 thinkpad are even available with 600nit screens for fieldwork in the Middle East.

Depending on the surrounding conditions, glossy might be slightly better or worse, but assuming the same backlight, I would assume the matte screen is better
 

secretanchitman

macrumors 6502
Sep 13, 2007
260
6
if only they kept the expresscard slot...:( oh well though! :)

but nice pictures! what kind of desk and lamps are that and where did you get it from? looks like something from ikea! :) very classy. i also love the picture on the wall too.
 

jt2ga65

macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2007
197
0
Depending on the surrounding conditions, glossy might be slightly better or worse, but assuming the same backlight, I would assume the matte screen is better
My problem is that even with the screen not being in DIRECT light, the matte screen on the Dells laptop was nothing but one big glare. Sure, it did not act as a mirror as the glossy would have, but I just can't see anything. Perhaps the brightness would help that, but I am uncertain. The glossy, however I can see fine.

I think that glossy is bad if the screen is dark (or black) and you are in a bright situation because it tends to act as a mirror and see what is behind you, but matte screens act more as a light diffuser, so it can make the screen equally unusable regardless of what is on the screen. Again, my experience is not with Mac matte screens, which is why I asked.

Ultimately, it seems to come down to the user's preferences or the use of expensive coatings to solve the issue of glare and reflections.

-jt2
 

Azathoth

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2009
659
0
It is 0.5lb lighter.
Thanks for checking that... hmm, I really want the 13", for portability, but I'm sticking to my non-glossy principles, so unless they release a 13" mattebook (pro), rather renewed plastic crackbook, next month then I might consider a 15" Mattebook
 

mac44

macrumors member
Dec 21, 2007
40
0
Table Lamps

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mac44

macrumors member
Dec 21, 2007
40
0
Cheap Ikea Table Light w/ 13" MacBook Pro

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Attachments

drossad

macrumors regular
Jun 27, 2008
153
0
PA
That is just plain beautiful!!!

I was so upset that I wasn't gonna be able to get another MBP since they all had glass screens. I was gonna try and make this one last until Apple decided to bring back the matte screen option.

Now they have and I'm excited to upgrade in the next year!
 

Gatteau

macrumors 6502a
May 23, 2009
611
3
Italy
That is just plain beautiful!!!

I was so upset that I wasn't gonna be able to get another MBP since they all had glass screens. I was gonna try and make this one last until Apple decided to bring back the matte screen option.

Now they have and I'm excited to upgrade in the next year!
The silver frame looks plain weird. It spoils the whole 'unibody' design.
 

tivoboy

macrumors 68040
May 15, 2005
3,069
194
nice review

Nice review. Would have loved to some some comparo pics though, but this one looks like a winner.

Can't wait for Amazon to finally start offering some of these for sale.
 

EndlessMac

macrumors 6502
Aug 20, 2009
281
0
The silver frame looks plain weird.
What I don't understand when I see statements like these is that the last generation was all silver so how can a silver frame look weird? The irony is that people were saying the black frame looked weird when they first came out. I'm guessing you weren't interested in Macs until recently because the silver frame makes it look more like the previous generation MBP.