Best Laptop Display to Avoid Eye-Strain

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by cellocat8, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. cellocat8 macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2007
    Hello and thank you for reading my post,

    I'm having problems with eye-strain and am in the market for a new laptop. I currently have a 12" iBook G4, and while I'm very happy with it overall, the screen is just not big enough for all the reading, writing, and number crunching I do as a graduate student. The eyestrain is killing my eyes, they get all red, strained feeling, and my vision goes blurry. I've thought about just getting a larger display, but I hardly use my laptop at my desk (though the Cinema Display is sexy enough to take in bed ;P).

    Seriously though, does anyone know exactly what factors affect eyestrain? I realize probably the best thing would be to spend less time on my computer, but that's not really an option. I think clearly the 17" MacBook Pro would solve some of my problems, cost and unneeded power aside.

    Also I've read higher resolution is better for eye-strain, BUT at the Apple Store, text on high res MBP was considerably smaller than on the regular MBP. When I adjusted the resolution size to match, everything looked a little fuzzy on the high res. Was I doing something wrong? On my iBook I'm always Crtl+'ing things, and prefer a display that is comfortable for me without constant modification.

    Another question is glossy vs. matte, but unlike most, my concern is not over photo editing, color quality, or aesthetics, I just want the one that is best for my eyes. I read somewhere the high contrast of the glossy might be best, but then I read somewhere else the glare is bad for eye-strain. Hmm...

    And in case you're wondering, my vision is really not that bad. I wear .5 reading glasses and -.5 driving glasses (both of which are very minimal prescriptions). I have considered getting computer specific glasses and will mention this at my next vision appointment (do any of you have, use, or like these?).

    Can anyone give me some advice on this? High resolution vs. regular, glossy vs. matte? I would really appreciate it! Also any tips on reducing eye-strain in general would be helpful as well.

    Thank you :D
  2. I'm a Mac macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2007
    I'm not so sure about hi-res, but I think you definitely need a bigger display. But, in my experiences, glossy has been easier on my eyes, and has better picture, except, you might have trouble with glare. the 17" mbp is expensive, you might want to save money by buying the 15" and a display, but if you feel you'll never use the display, go for the 17"
  3. cellocat8 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2007
    I'm a Mac, Thank you for your reply and advice!

    At first I was only considering matte, but after reading a ton of posts on here from happy glossy users, I'm starting to consider it. Good to hear the glossy feels easier on your eyes, matte does seem to have an overall blurriness to it now that I think about it.

    I did think about the 15", especially since I do like studying away from home and it might be easier to carry around. But if I'm going to shell out the money, I might as well do it right and go with the 17"--I'd hate to under correct this problem. Also, I so seldom work at my desk (bad habit?) that it doesn't seem worth skimping on the 2-inches for a monitor I won't use very often. Plus, if I get the 17" and it's not enough, I can always get a new monitor for when I am at my desk. If I get a 15" and find it's not enough, I'm stuck with it. (I realize this is not totally logical since I could always sell etc, but still).

    Thanks again, I will add your vote to the glossy column!
  4. I'm a Mac macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2007
    I kind of agree with your decision on the 17"- I have an iMac 17" at it's pretty good on my eyes- although it's matte, but the size is good. I feel like a glossy 17" mbp would be fine on your eyes- but it would probably be a good idea to check the models out in your local apple store. Although, I believe the displays are still matte, so you might want to wait before getting one of those. But the 17" MBP would even be good enough to work at your desk, if you ever needed too.
  5. powerchord macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2007
    right where I am
    Your best and safest best would be to go back to the Apple store and take a good long look, after all it is YOUR eyes which will be affected. From my experience glossy has too much of a sharp contrast that it bothers my eyes. I too am a grad student and spend many hours on my computer (mainly for text documents). I had the same symptoms you described (red, strained eyes and blurry vision) until I purchased an anti-glare filter to put on my monitor - after then things were considerably better! I too am planning on buying a MBP very soon and I have the same concerns. Next week I plan to go to an Apple store myself to see what is better for me (17" or 15"; high def or not).

    Good luck!

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