Need advice. Can't make a decision.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by vbman213, May 24, 2010.


Which configuration should I get?

  1. 15" i7 - Standard Resolution Glossy

    2 vote(s)
  2. 15" i7 - Standard Resolution Glossy w/ after-market AG film

    4 vote(s)
  3. 15" i7 - High Resolution Glossy

    13 vote(s)
  4. 15" i7 - High Resolution Glossy w/ afer-market AG film

    1 vote(s)
  5. 15" i7 - High Resolution Anti-Glare

    24 vote(s)
  1. vbman213 macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2010
    I'm a student and I'm looking into purchasing a Macbook Pro for college this coming fall. Not only for college, but this will be my main computer. The only factory upgrades I will be doing are those that I can't change down the road (CPU, GPU, Display, etc.). So with that said, the 15" i7 is my first choice.

    I will eventually get an opti-bay, SSD, 8gb ram, etc.

    I'm am an enthusiast. More of a "prosumer". I'm a freelance software developer, network administrator, and technician.

    The real thorn in my side right now is which display option? I've always used "matte" style screens. My iMac is a white Core 2 Duo, which shipped before Apple started with the glossy screens on iMacs. I'm not entirely sure though. The glossy screens (black bezel) look so much better. And I've also heard/read that the glass adds structural support to the LCD panel. But I have a feeling that the glossy is going to be "too" glossy". Are there any decent anti-glare films for glossy displays on the market?

    Also, how "small" is the high res. The nearest Apple Store is a 1:30 hour drive away. Might be worth me actually going to the store. I'd be willing to sacrifice 3 hours of driving if it helped me avoid a 10% restocking fee if I make the wrong decision...

    I feel like I am going to have to throw a dart at a dart board, and hope I don't make a $200+ mistake (restocking)
  2. ziggyonice macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    This is one of the most debated topics on all of MacRumors. Be warned.

    Personally, I love my glossy display. And I would never again purchase matte. It all comes down to glare vs. how good it looks. (And damn, does it look good!)
  3. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Go for glosssy! I have it on my 13" MacBook Pro and it looks delecious:D

    If you use it in bright lights and turn the screen right down, you can see yourself in it. But most of the time its fine.
  4. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    Lot's of opinions on this. Personally I hate the glossy screens; things are way to bright and look "plastic".
  5. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    The glossy screen makes the colours look more vivid, deeper, brighter, and shiny:D Its nice eye-candy.
  6. vbman213 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2010
    Updated with a poll.

    Any thoughts on the resolution part of my question?
  7. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I like glossy and won't own anything else now, but I don't tend to work outside or anything. I'm always able to control my ambient lighting.

    I think you need to see resolution to know if you would be comfortable with it. I've never really minded my lower-res MBP screen but I would have to see the new one firsthand before I purchased again. We all have different visual acuity and such.
  8. swish2351 macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2010
    15" i5 High-Res Glossy

    i7 is too powerful for a laptop which means VERY short battery (4-5hours). i5 is SO much better.

    But from your choices, i guess go with the 15" i7 High-Res Glossy.

    If you need the i7 power, get it. If you don't save your $$ and battery power and go with the i5.
  9. hellric macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2010
    If you want to do some gaming, go for the standard resolution glossy.
    I'm coming from a matte non-unibody MBP and I love my shiny screen :)
    To be honest, I also have a 24" matte monitor to work for the additionnal workspace.
  10. diablo2112 macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2010
    I declined to vote on your poll. Rather, you need another poll element: none-of-the-above. If you can't bother to read the dozens of threads here discussing the merits of these various choices, then perhaps the MBP isn't the laptop for you. You'll be paying a huge price premium for a laptop that has a unique set of design choices which the majority of the PC buying public simply doesn't appreciate.

    I would correlate a lack of awareness of the subtleties in the various MBP options with a lack of appreciation and ultimately need for these same design aesthetics that the MBPs represent. Why pay such a huge premium for these if you don't otherwise appreciate or understand what they represent? Thus, with no more data to go on regarding your needs than simply putting up another useless poll that covers topics we see here dozens of times a day, I conclude that the Macs aren't the laptop for you.
  11. trule macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2007
    Its only a 200 mistake if you make the wrong choice AND you send it back. Otherwise it is at worst a 150 mistake if you take the matte when the glossy would have been better.

    And if you take the lower res glossy you can always convert it to a matte for a few dollars and in the process save 100-150.

    I have a high res 15" monitor, can't see the point of it. Its matte, can't see the point of that either. 150 more in my pocket, that I can see the point of.
  12. trule macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2007
    Yes ...
  13. vbman213 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2010
    Who the hell do you think you are? Telling me that Mac's aren't the laptop for me. I'm getting ready to spend over $2,000 dollars on a laptop. I want to make good and well sure I'm buying exactly the right one for me. People like you are the ones that shouldn't own Macs.

    I've been an Apple fan for God knows how long. Never, and I repeat NEVER, suggest to me that a Mac is not for me.

    I suggest you watch your mouth.

    Oh and just for the record, I suggest you review the definition of a forum: "a public meeting or assembly for open discussion"

    So the next time you feel urged to question somebody's question/post, remember that nobody is forcing you to be a dick and make a totally unnecessary post.
  14. MattMJB0188 macrumors 68000

    Dec 28, 2009
    I say High Res Glossy. I brought my new MBP outside for the first time today and turned the brightness up almost all the way and I was fine. The glossy reflections weren't bad enough were as I couldn't work. I looked it at it like this: either get the high res glossy because you can add the anti glare screen protector or get anti glare and never experience that glossy shiny look which I happen to prefer. The matte display in my opinion looks outdated and I love the edge to edge frame-less look. Don't get me wrong of course there is a glare but I don't find it as distracting as others have made it out to be.
  15. wirelessmacuser macrumors 68000


    Dec 20, 2009
    For clarification their are two ways to turn the mirror like all glass glossy display to matte.

    1) Cover it with a film that is extremely hard to apply without air bubbles and dust for less than $50

    2) Have the aftermarket company change out the glass for a matte glass cover which is over $200.

    I would highly suggest if at all possible that the OP go to an Apple store and _carefully_ look at one of each. It's a highly personal decision that can only be made by the buyer who will be sitting in front of it and using it.
  16. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    You do realize both the i5 and i7 have the same TDP? The high resolution screen will make a difference in battery life far more than the two processors (according to anandtech, the high res screen takes about ~30mins off of battery life). You also should realize since the i7 is faster (by 8-15% over the 2.4 i5) it will thus complete tasks faster, meaning it will be at idle and using less power for more time than the i5 - that and 4-5 hours is definitely not a short battery life (I manage 5h-6h30m on mine).
  17. Gorilla Power macrumors 6502

    Gorilla Power

    Mar 19, 2010
    Whoops sorry, wrong info, mods please delete this post.
  18. SonicBoom1981 macrumors regular

    May 9, 2010
    Really the best thing to do is to go and view 15" MBPs with the different screens.

    Different screens are better for different people.

    The lower resolution is better for people who don't like small text/icons.
    The higher resolution is better for people who like more detailed displays with more pixels/space for working with.

    The glossy screens look very different from the matte screens. Often the matte screens are the preferred choice for people who use their MBP for artwork/photo editing/graphic and web design.

    I myself have used a lower res glossy 15" and a high res matte 15" (which I own), and I prefer the high res matte 15" display. I do graphic/web design etc, although have done little of it on my MBP (as it's only been a few days since I got it).
  19. tim100 macrumors 65816

    May 25, 2009
    picked up a 17 anti glare and love it

    1) brighter than glossy
    2) less glare
  20. bigjobby macrumors 65816

    Apr 7, 2010
    London, UK
    I voted for hi-res anti-glare. Simply because as a software developer you'll probably appreciate the extra bit of real estate. All our developers at work (and there's quite a few of them) use hi-res laptops and none have complained or have knocked down the resolution. Their actual preference is working with hi-res screens.

    The reasoning for the anti-glare vote is because it'll probably be easier on the eye especially with the stuff you're into but unfortunately I don't have any hardcore evidence for this; its just an opinion. Also, imagine all that glare you would get if you were in a server room with your MBP (not that you would be often as most tasks can be carried out remotely nowadays anyway). I've read alot of comments in other similar threads suggesting tilting the screen or whatever to avoid any glare on a gloss screen. This is not an option for me as I like to be in control of how I use my MBP, eg. screen angle, seating postion etc especially when I'm using it for hours and hours, everyday.

    My thinking is if you get use to hi-res laptop displays, anything lesser becomes too large.
  21. SonicBoom1981 macrumors regular

    May 9, 2010
    I've used both glossy and matter quite a bit.

    • Nice bright display ✔
    • Shiny reflections when bright lights/windows are facing towards the screen ✔
    • Reflections in low light ✔

    • Nice bright display ✔
    • Shiny reflections when bright lights/windows are facing towards the screen ✘
    • Reflections in low light ✘

    But that's about it - there's no other real main different, other than the reflections. Glossy ones feel a bit different, a bit more 'shiny' colours and vivid.

    I prefer the Anti Glare, as it feels more natural. It did annoy me with the reflections at times on the Glossy. Light reflections are minimal on antiglare.
  22. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    I disagree, my 15" i7 gets between 6-8 depending on what Im doing. On a full charge with 25% brightness, it reads 9:33 when just using safari. Hi res glossy is definitely the best, btw.
  23. SonicBoom1981 macrumors regular

    May 9, 2010
    Who are the few which selected after market anti-glare film? lol Surely next it'll be a machined piece of glass you put in over the anti-glare screen to make it a glossy.... !

    Someone with a thin flat piece of glass put it over your matte screen and tell us what it looks like :)
  24. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    My initial intention was to get an aftermarket AG and the glossy highres and only change it if I don't like it. The result is not so bad if you don't get this easy to apply but crappy moshi version.
    I thought the AG was like any other matte screen you know from many notebooks and desktop LCDs. After checking them out side to side in an Apple Store the AG is simply beautiful and I cannot imagine getting a glossy. Go for the AG it is perfect, smooth, not as grainy as some poor mattes. The result won't be any better with the glossy+ AG.
    The only benefit of a aftermarket film is you get the black bezel and the glass which protects the panel better. The black bezel locks better at first sight from medium distance and almost always on pictures but in real life/close up I think the silver aluminium looks even better. As for the protective glass surface I guess all I can say is the back is protected and the front survives cleaning and this is really all it has to.

    The downsides of glossy are IMO much more than what many say.
    You can work outside with a glossy. The MBP glossy is though so shiny that it might reach the unusable level much sooner but I could work with my old Samsung glossy (about 200nits) outside without to much of a problem. If you have a powerful light source behind you the matte is also not working.
    The big downside of glossy is that is extremely unconvenient. You can get used to it as to a really loud fan but it is so much better working with a dead silent Notebook. I put an AG film on my Samsung at some point and never wanted to go back. Inside in perfect lighting (for glossy) you will not see a difference unless you can directly compare both, but as soon as there is some light or you wear to bright Shirts and god forbid watch some movie (or other content with lots of dark stuff) you have all those annoying reflections. At a comfortable brightness you see this stuff all the time unless you do web stuff with mostly white content.
    Glossy is shiny in direct comparison. In real use matte is worlds better.

    For programming definitely high res unless you have really bad eyes. Trust me for all the panels you want as much screen real estate as possible and every programming environment I know of lets you change font sizes. 1680x1050 is quite easy to read though. I thought it is small but is actually quite okay and in Browsers it is easy to zoom the same is in all text editors. The only thing that really is small all the time is buttons and toolbars which I like that way. You just have to be a little more accurate with your mouse.

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