Older black/white MacBook screen vs. new 15" glossy and matte screen

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by C64, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. C64 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2008
    Yes, another glossy/matte topic, but with a few specific questions. I'm still looking for a store that has the matte version on display, but so far no luck. For people who've used the MacBook 2,1 (black and white versions) that have a glossy screen but without the glass:

    1. Are the glossy screens on the newer MacBook Pros with the glass móre reflective than the glossy screens without glass?

    2. How does the color and quality of the new matte displays of the 15" (and 17" I guess) MBPs compare to the screens of the older MacBooks? Same? Better? Less 'lively'?

    I'm leaning towards anti glare, because the glare does bother me at times with the non-glass glossy screen of my current MacBook. I'm guessing that the glass plate will only be more reflective. However, I do like the colors of my current screen. People talk about the colors being more 'washed out' on the matte screens, so that slightly worries me (although I presume the screen quality has gone up in the last three years).

    So, if anyone used both versions, or might even have them side by side, please share your thoughts!
  2. PandaOnslaught macrumors regular


    Feb 22, 2010
    yes the macbook pros are reflective, i went with the HD gloss 15" and yes its reflective, i will be sitting on my bed with the lights off watching a movie, and if i had the LED lights from the keyboard they would reflect on the screen.
  3. Pax macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2003
    Not a perfect answer for you, because I only have a 2009 13" MBP (glossy). But hopefully some useful information.

    Brightness, contrast

    I had a 2006 MacBook. The displays on all the current unibodies I have seen is much brighter and has a much better contrast ratio. IIRC the old Macbooks had about 150 nits brightness and about 150:1 contrast ratio. I believe this poor performance was retained throughout the "non-unibody" Macbooks and into the first aluminium unibody Macbook. But the new unibodies approx double both those numbers. The difference is night & day. The panels on the newer unibodies are really excellent IMHO.


    On the other hand, the reflections off the unibody screen-behind-glass are significantly worse than the old MacBooks. Side by side I would estimate that a given light source is reflected 2-3 times more brightly in a 2009 MBP screen-behind-glass than a 2006 MB "naked" screen. This may be because the "naked" screen is built with an anti-reflection coating on it (like spectacle or camera lenses), but the glass in the screen-behind-glass models does not seem to have an anti-reflection coating.

    Even worse in some situations you can see two reflections on a screen-behind-glass model:- a bright one from the glass and a dimmer one from the actual panel.

    However having the screen behind glass is great for cleaning.

    I am disappointed by the level of reflection from the glass. It's a design flaw by Apple and it's pretty cheap of them not to anti-reflection coat the glass (maybe they have done so on the 2010 models, I haven't seen one yet). It's not intolerable or a show-stopper, anything like that. But sometimes you have to swivel the display to get away from the worst reflection, which is slightly absurd.

    If the glare from your MacBook 2,1 bothers you, the glare from the screen-behind-glass will probably bother you more. I can't comment on matte/anti-glare displays, I've not seen any.

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