MacBook: Glossy screen really that big of a deal (in my case)?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by niter, Oct 8, 2006.

  1. niter macrumors 6502

    Sep 9, 2003
    I am looking to replace my iBook G4 soon with a new MacBook. The only issue of concern is the strong opinions I have heard against the glossy screen. Is the glossy screen really so much more difficult to see? I read one person stating it was akin to a CRT monitor--blech! I have to wear glasses when using the computer, so anything less strainful on the eyes is nice. I will add that at desk at home I use an external monitor and during class lectures, the lights are oftened dimmed (especially the ones in the front where I am sitting to promote visualization of the classroom projector). Even though I would be using the computer in situations where either screen would work, I want to prevent serious problems in all the situations that I do not expect--as that is the point of having a laptop (being able to take it anywhere).

    After maxing the RAM out on the black MacBook, I noticed the price difference was ~100 between it and the cheapest MacBook Pro. I am more of an iBook/MacBook fan for the look, durability, and battery but if the screen is *that* bad, I could consider the MacBook Pro.
  2. Temujin macrumors 6502a


    Oct 1, 2005
    It all depends on you.

    When using a glossy screen indoors one experiences a minimum of glare. Bright lamps and such will show up on the screen. A smaller annoyance.
    When outdoors or in a well lit room IMO the glossy screen is a pestilence, not unusable but a pestilence when you want to view the entire screen with no glare at all.

    In my world the glossy screen is a no go. Some people rate darker and fuller colors as more important, which the glossy screen is really good at displaying, over an almost glare free screen. I don't.

    I would go for the MBP
  3. jTreu macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2006
    In the apple store whenever i use the macbook i never notice any glare that bothers me, ive tried different angles and i dont see any problem with the glossy.
  4. Grakkle macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2006
    I prefer the glossy screen. Maybe my vision is just weird, but I actually think it's less stress on the eyes. even indirect sunlight and bright indoor lights aren't really a problem.

    It's also a lot more stylish looking than a flat screen.
  5. iEric macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2003
    that's only cause the ceilings are high and the light never reaches the screen.

    I am a post secondary student and i go to the library to study or write my paper and such and it's SO annoying cause if I sit by the window i'll be damned. And if you're in a carrel and want more light and you turn on that light that they have at the top of the carrel, it bounces off your screen.
    It's a pain.
  6. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

    May 14, 2006
    Roskilde, DK
    It's generally not a problem and you will get used to it. However you will end up in situations where you are confined to sitting other places than in front of a window and such, and I really hate that. With the matte screen, at least you can see what's going on on the screen.
  7. the Western zoo macrumors 6502

    the Western zoo

    May 16, 2006
    Aarhus C, Denmark
    I have a MacBook with a glossy screen and I think glossy screens are great! I have used it both in doors, out doors, in busses, in trains and often in direct sun light!! And maybe I've just got glossy screen vision but only once has the screen been a little bit hard to see - and that was in a train when I got the sun directly in my eyes and I had the screen dimmed all the way to spend less battery...
    So I wouldn't consider the glossy screen to be a thing of concern!

    Actually if I were to buy a new laptop today I would go for glossy screen!
  8. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Jul 22, 2005
    i have a macbook, and my parents have a macbook pro. I prefer the glossy. I find it's easier to clean.
  9. erikamsterdam macrumors regular


    Apr 21, 2006
    I prefer my glossy MB screen over my husband's matte MBP screen any day. And I work next to a window with it, outside, anywhere. It's much sharper and easier to read. Seems to be brighter too.
    However, you say you have poor eyesight. Then I'd say get a 17" glossy, so you can blow up the font. 13" is a little small after all.
  10. Shotgun Pete macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2006
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    I love my glossy screen, I think it looks way better than the MBP's Ive seen, as well 500 dollars more for the pro, you are getting something thats more bulky, and has a better video card... thats it
    is it really worth it.
  11. extraextra macrumors 68000


    Jun 29, 2006
    It actually seems to do quite well under the lights of a lecture hall. I'm not too sure about a small classroom, but I don't think it'd be a problem. The matte screens actually wash out and are harder to read under those lights than the glossy. :eek:

    The MBP has a little more than that.
  12. Donz0r macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2006
    I love the glossy screen on my new macbook.
    Like you, I was VERY wary about getting one because of the glossy screen, so I drove to the nearest apple store just to see the glossy screen. There's rarely any glare. The ONLY time i've had a problem with glare, is sitting outside in direct sunlight. I've never had any problems while indoors. Seriously, most laptops come with glossy screens now, for a reason, they're better.
  13. Egaas macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2006
    I had a glossy screen on a Dell Laptop earlier this year. That screen was horribly reflective, it was a real annoyance.

    The MB screen is light years beyond what that Dell screen was. It's much less reflective, I rarely get any glare, and I'm generally in well lit areas at school and whatnot.
  14. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    There is no way I' buy one of these. If there is any light in back of you you will see it's reflection. A better name ffor the screen would be "mirror-like". It is easy to see what is happening in back of you by looking at the mirror image on the screen.

    My take on this is that it is pure marketing BS. Anti-reflection coating are expensive. They need to be applied in a large vacuum chamber with very carful controls. The thickness of an anti-reflective coating must be controlled to a precise fraction of a wavelenght of light. Apple must save a ton of money by skipping this
  15. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2006
    Clemson, SC
    you've obviously never actually used a MB.
  16. CaptainCaveMann macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2004
    I agree and i have used a macbook several times. In many different kinds of lighting situations. I hate the glossy screen. I would never buy a laptop with a glossy screen unless there was no other option. Ever seen a sony xbrite screen? I remember looking at one of those screens thinking my God this thing is brilliant! Come on Apple i know you can do it! For Christs sake, we love you Apple and your OS but when it comes to screens, jump on the band wagon because Sony has got it right.
  17. EMAGDNIM macrumors member


    Oct 6, 2006
    Toronto, Canada
    Its not as bad as people are letting on...I would go and check it out for yourself before buying one though. When I first heard about the screen, I was a little scared to see one in person as it sounded reality, it was not bad at all...
  18. Shotgun Pete macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2006
    Saskatchewan, Canada

    yes I forgot the precious backlit keyboard for those of us who actually look at the keys.
  19. reflex macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2002
    I've been using a Sony laptop with an XBlack (glossy) screen for over 2 years now and I love it. I've never had any problems with too much glare, except when the brightness was turned down too much.

    I think brightness is more important when dealing with direct light.
  20. tvguru macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2005
    Kenora, ON Canada
    DL Superdrive, 120gig HD, 17" screen, etc. :rolleyes:
  21. Foggy macrumors 6502a

    Jul 4, 2006
    London, UK
    The XBlack screen on my Vaio is bloody lovely and I am going to miss it a LOT when I sell it and get my mbp. The dual lamps on full brightness make an amazing viewing experience (dont half kill the battery though!!!)
  22. reflex macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2002
    Yeah, same here. Though I'll have to replace the dvd drive before I sell it, since it hasn't worked for a while now.
  23. sunfast macrumors 68020


    Oct 14, 2005
    I was concerned about getting an MB because of the glossy screen. However, I checked it out at the Apple Store and bought one on the spot.

    I really really like it (for what I use my laptop for) and I'd go glossy again definitely.
  24. MatthewCobb macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2005
    Manchester, UK
    Like many other posters, I worried enormously about the glossy screen (mainly because of stuff I'd read on MR....). I borrowed one for about 10 minutes, and was convinced. It is much better than my old PBG4, and I never notice any glare. Furthermore, if you are going to use it outside, the intensity is MUCH greater than the matte screens - you can actually see stuff! I wouldn't hesitate for a minute - buy it!
  25. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I use it while sitting outside in the Australian sun.

    I say it's usable outdoors. ;) And the fact that it's bright enough to be read outside is a feat in itself.

    I think it's not so good if your concern is colour accuracy, but use a colour calibrator and you'd be fine, I think.

    The DL Superdrive isn't available with all the MBPs, and neither is the 17" (obviously). Also, the 17" screen is a benefit only for some. It really depends on how you use it.

    Like Shotgun Pete said, the MBP has the benefit of a better video card for those who need it, but that's really it as far as benefits are concerned. I can get a BlackBook for around $800 AUD, or around US $600 less than the low end MBP, and the main differences would still be the video card, screen resolution, physical size, and the aluminium. But really, who wants that high a resolution on a 13" screen? I wouldn't be able to read the text. Plus I went from a PowerBook to a MacBook, and I really like the look of the MacBook as much as my old PowerBook.

    Anyway, I'm not saying that the MBP isn't worth the price, but I don't think the MBP is clearly better for everyone.

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