MBP glossy remorse after a few months, what to do now?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Publius, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. Publius macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2008
    New York
    A few weeks after the MacBook Pros were "refreshed" with Penryn processors and multi-touch trackpads, I purchased a glossy 15" version to replace a 15" PowerBook. I know MacRumors certainly has its fair share of glossy v. matte threads, so I don't intend to revisit that discussion. Basically, I read enough on the topic to grasp the conventional wisdom surrounding both types of screens and the various dissenting opinions on each, and I ultimately decided to go with the glossy screen. Between vague, diffuse wash-out areas on my matte PowerBook and reflections in the glossy MacBook Pros I saw in the Apple Store, I figured either one would have the potential to be frustrating in its own way depending on lighting conditions and that I might as well get something "new" compared to my old computer.

    I'm not a professional graphic designer or a photographer, but I do my fair share of both on the side. I have been using my glossy MBP with a color profile I downloaded from MacRumors, and so far nothing I have designed has looked any different in proofs compared to what I have had on my screen. However, I'm starting to get frustrated about reflections on dark backgrounds on my screen and also with a lingering idea that the glossy screen is a consumer screen on a pro machine and that I have somehow acted on folly by getting the glossy screen over the matte without any distinct performance benefit underlying my decision.

    At this point, I'm wondering what my options are. I don't really have any hardware problems, and I'm not sure I would be able to have my glossy MBP replaced with a matte one, even though I am still under warranty. I used to have the odd condition of the bright vertical lines alternated by dark spots at the bottom of my screen, but I haven't noticed it a couple months. It would seem logical to try to swap the MBP with someone who has a matte MBP, but it would be hard to match age and wear+tear, not to mention the trust factor of websites like craigslist or eBay. Is there a more trusted venue for doing this kind of swap than something like craigslist? Or, I could try to sell my computer outright and use the money to purchase a discounted "old" MBP from Apple, but I probably would still lose a few hundred dollars on this.

    Are there any options I haven't thought of, and which of these options is the best way to go? Am I better off just keeping my computer, especially since Apple has seemed to have turned in the direction of glossy screens at the expense of matte? It's too late to return it and yet early enough that the computer is still in new condition. What should I do in this situation?
  2. Semiopaque macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2008

    You might be able to make out OK on the deal by selling the glossy and then buying a refurb matte MBP from Apple depending on what they have up on their site when you purchase. The other option is buying something to put on your screen to reduce the glare but I'm not sure you would be happy with that either. $1499 Refurbished MacBook Pro 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  3. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    why is glossy a consumer screen? not all pros are graphic designers or photographers.
  4. OptyCT macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2008
    You would think that there would be some sort of inexpensive MB accessory (like a screen cover) that would minimize the reflection while still maintaining accurate color reproduction. It's not like the technology hasn't been used for decades in eyewear. When people start selling their MB's because of reflection, you know there might be a problem.
  5. Horst Guest

    Jan 10, 2006
    Depending on where you live, you might still find good deals for a new 2.5Ghz/ 15" MBP with the matte screen.

    In Europe they can still be purchased for about 1500 Euros, and chances are you can sell your glossy MBP for roughly the same price on ebay.

    Or you can wait and see if Apple come to their senses and offer a matte option next year; however, the resale value of your current MBP will be a lot less by then.
  6. Drag'nGT macrumors 68000


    Sep 20, 2008
    What about a matte finish cling over the gloss screen? That's my vote.
  7. puttputt macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2006
    people keep mentioning this but wouldn't that be the ultimate color accuracy killer? Wouldn't the film cause a color shift; and be subject to further changes as the material is exposed to light, heat and oxygen?

    I'm just thinking that's not gonna live up to "Pro" standards either...
  8. dwd3885 macrumors 68020

    Dec 10, 2004
    "pro standards" what exactly is that? this whole glossy debate is crazy. If you are so good a "pro" then you should be able to do a hella good job regardless of the damn matte vs glossy. I understand the differences, but dang, get off your high horses everyone. If you are so PO'd over glossy vs matte that it will make your job incredibly harder or even unbearable, you need to find a different career.
  9. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    ^ I know right? A real "pro" will use whatever he/she is given regardless of Windows or Mac. Glossy or matte. Aluminum or plastic. 13" or 15".
  10. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

    Aug 18, 2005
    Are you SURE you don't have the vertical striping issue? It's rampant at different levels on many Penryn MBPs.

    In short, it occurs when you switch from power to battery or vice versa (ie. plug or unplug power cord), while you are somewhere between half and full brightness (normally around 4-6 notches down from top), and probably with auto brightness for ambient light and/or on battery turned on.

    Intermittently (it varies from computer to computer as to its frequency), when you do this, the every second LED fails to light up, causing a backlighting striping effect. Google "macbook pro vertical stripe" - there's a huge thread about it on the Apple discussion boards. I've heard you can try and replicate the fault by putting your brightness to about 6 notches down (it will vary for your machine), and loading up photobooth and taking lots of pictures - this essentially forces the driver board to fire up the LEDS each time it flashes for a picture. It's not CREATING the fault, but it increases the chance of the fault showing up since it only happens every now and again when the LEDS are required to dim or power up.

    Why is this relevant? Because Apple records this fault as a faulty LED driver board, which requires a replacement board. And as Apple assemble the whole panel as one unit, this means replacing the whole panel.

    Now IF your screen shows this issue, you may be able to replace the screen under warranty. And when you do, you MAY be able to request a matte screen although such a request throws your credibility about your issue into question.

    I never got the glossy screen - totally happy with my matte screen, but I had my screen replaced under warranty for this issue, incidentally changing the screen to a different model that I am much happier with.
  11. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN

    Yeah, that makes sense. That's why professional photographers all use iPhones for their pictures....:rolleyes:

    It is clear your not well versed in design graphics or photography.

    Back to the topic at hand. OP, I would have totally snatched that thing up from you so you could get a matte referb, if they guy I tried to buy one from would give me my money back.
  12. dwd3885 macrumors 68020

    Dec 10, 2004
    nice shot buddy. but it doesn't matter. I'm a designer and I make good designs. I can do it on Windows laptops, I can do it on the Mac Pro. I can do it on glossy, I can do it on matte.

    Point is, glossy or matte, it doesn't matter.
  13. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

    Aug 18, 2005
    Just because you can do something, doesn't mean it doesn't matter.

    I'm sure you could make a design using Microsoft Paint, but that doesn't mean you it doesn't make a difference.

    Sure enough, matte and glossy is not a huge deal, but if you are dealing with true-to-print accuracy, or fighting reflections from behind your desk, it can make a huge difference to your work and hence your productivity.
  14. Publius thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2008
    New York
    It actually turns out that I do have legitimate grounds to get a display replacement due to this and some discoloration at the bottom of the screen, but Apple claim they will only replace a glossy display with another glossy display "because that's what it came with." Now, I understand that that's fair and it's their prerogative, but I'm not sure why it matters what they replace it with if both cost the same. When I mentioned that, if the display is to be replaced, that I would rather they replace it with a matte display, the guy at the Genius Bar compared it to me asking him to "replace a 20 GB hard drive with a 250 GB hard drive." I told him his analogy was flawed in that the glossy and matte displays cost the same and that neither is considered an "upgrade" over the other, but he wasn't having any of it. It's kind of odd since I read a couple things online about people successfully getting the display type changed while having a display replacement done under warranty.

    I guess at this point all I can do is sell it at a loss, or learn to love it. Thanks for the advice.
  15. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Or find a new Genius? If some people are having luck getting their displays changed, then it may be a decision made at the the front line. Try a different store, or a different Genius.
  16. ezdz macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2007
    This probably isn't the answer you want to hear but you could purchase an external monitor. Personally I would have a hard time doing any kind of design work on a 15" screen.

  17. rustyb99 macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    I understand the difference between the matte and glossy screens on the laptop as i have a matte screen on mine, however for professional work It makes more sense to rely on a true CRT monitor instead of your 15" or 17" laptop monitor. Anybody I work with who does design or editing uses a regular monitor
  18. orpheus1120 macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2008
    Sorry for the thread drift, but does this happen to the 17" mbps?
  19. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Feb 28, 2008
    wait for your graphics card to explode and ask them for a matte replacement?
  20. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    1. There won't be color differences between a glossy and matte screen.
    2. There will be reflections, which is what the true color pros are complaining about.

    3. All laptop screens are pretty much the same, there is no pro/consumer laptop screen.
  21. networkr macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2008
  22. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

    Aug 18, 2005
    I totally understands Apple's point of view - if the y let anyone simply 'change their mind' about their screen (even if for other legitimate reasons), you will have a lot more people LOOKING for issues so they can claim a replacement, when in fact nothing is all that wrong.

    But you are right, the analogy of the drives doesn't fit. Incidentally, a friend of mine had a hard drive fail under warranty, and he purchased a newer, faster hard drive and asked them to put that in instead, and give the new replacement to him. One place was unwilling, another was ok with it. Both were not Apple themselves, but licensed Apple service centres (There's no actual Apple presence in NZ). So I guess it depends on who you talk to.

    Orpheus: Honestly, I have no idea. The issue is primarily with the 15" LED screens, I think, though, and certainly sky-rocketed (if it even existed before) when the Penryn models came out.
  23. Tastannin macrumors 6502


    Sep 19, 2003
    Your options are:

    1. Sell it and buy a matte MBP.

    2. Trade it for a matte MBP. Best bet is Craigslist, which means a local deal.

    3. Find another Apple repair place (Apple store or Authorized center) and see if they'll swap the screen when doing the repair.

    4. Get a matte screen protector.

    5. Get a matte external display.

    6. Live with what you have.

    You'll be losing time and/or money with all except the last option. Don't prolong your agony. Make a decision and get it over with. You have better things to worry about than trying to decide what to do about your LCD. It'll work well for you either way (glossy or matte).

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