Power Support Matte Film Review

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by dwsolberg, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. dwsolberg macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    #1
    Hi, I just bought a some PowerSupport matte anti-glare film for my MacBook. Before I got it, I wasn't able to find many good reviews, so I thought I'd share my experiences.

    I bought the film at my local Apple Store for $34.95. It was in the back below all the MacBook cases and bags. Buying it at the store, even with tax, was the cheapest way to buy it because everyone else charges shipping, and there were no discounts.

    The film itself is in a thin green cardboard envelope that's quite difficult to open. I actually almost bent the film trying to get the stupid thing open. The best thing in hindsight would have been to take some scissors and cut at the very edge of one side, then pull the film out.

    Applying the film was almost painless, but I took a lot of precautions. I had read that applying these types of films often resulted in dust getting underneath because it is highly attracted to the static cling that makes the film stick to the screen. Although the instructions mention using tape to remove the dust, the review at MacWorld suggests this technique can expose the film to even more dust.

    The solution I tried was to steam up a clean bathroom by turning on the shower for a while. Apparently, the steam connects with the dust, which then falls to the floor. This technique worked flawlessly. I took the MacBook into the steamy bathroom and used a lint free cloth to clean the screen so that it was dust-free. Next I peeled back the top portion of the film and applied it to the top of the screen using the iSight camera hole to line everything up. It didn't align correctly the first several times, but it was easy to pull the film off and realign. Once that was done, I peeled off the backing of the film slowly as I let the film rest on the remainder of the screen.

    There was not even a hint of dust on the film or screen, and it was aligned so perfectly no one could tell where it started or stopped. Unfortunately, there were quite a few bubbles under the film. I gently push the big ones (bigger than a little fingernail) toward the edge. The remaining ones I let sit overnight, and there was absolutely no hint of bubbles the next morning.

    Now onto the visibility of the film. Although the MacWorld reviewer seemed to think it was like a regular matte screen on an old-style Apple notebook, this is not the case at all. First, there is an odd graininess to the screen. It's sort of like some dots on the screen are randomly a little dimmer and some are a little sparkly. Overall, this effect makes the screen is noticeably less vibrant but still very readable.

    The bigger distraction for me is that everything I move my head, there looks to be diagonal lines of light moving across the screen. The brighter the screen, the more obvious these effects are. This is definitely annoying, but other than testing the screen, I'm not sure how often I move my head when using the computer. When I use the computer on my lap, the movement of my typing does cause the screen to move slightly. I need to use the computer with the film for a while to discover whether this is a problem when I'm not specifically looking for it.

    As for those nasty reflections -- the screen does a nice job of minimizing direct reflections. It's about as good as a regular matte screen in terms of dealing with lights -- no more mirrorlike reflections. If the reflectivity of the screen is your sole concern, this solves it.

    Overall, the fit of the film to the screen is outstanding -- no one will ask what's on your screen. The anti-glare, anti-reflectivity also works just as it should. The issue is that screen looks slightly grainy and moving either the screen or your head causes odd light patterns on the screen. I will try to report back in a week or two to let people know what it's like over a longer term.
     
  2. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #2
    Doesn't sound like a good thing to use if you have to do color critical work in terms of photo editing or graphic design. Not worth the hassle.
     
  3. dwsolberg thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    #3
    I'm not sure doing color critical work would be a good idea on a MacBook screen in the best of circumstances, but the film doesn't seem to change the colors much other than the graininess introduced.

    This would only be worth the hassle if the glare was really bothering you.
     
  4. uicandrew macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    #4
    does the screen with powersupport have "fuzzy" or "grainy" text (especially the smaller font sizes)?

    I've read that on apple.com store customer reviews.

    the screen on the macbook (unibody) would not be good for colorwork to begin with.

    for me, i have to adjust the screen for the top part to "look good" but then the bottom half looks "off"

    my gold standard is my aluminum 24" imac. what a gorgeous screen.

    as i mentioned in another post, I ordered a free (well, $10 for S/H) antiglare protector (blemished because the isight hole is misaligned)

    I'll post my review of it when i get it, but the powersupport is well known for their screen protectors (esp for the ipod/iphone)
     
  5. dwsolberg thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    #5
    Yes, the whole screen is a little grainy, including the text.
     
  6. isaki87 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Location:
    Santa Monica, CA
    #6
    I have this for the pro, and it just kills the rich vibrant colors of the display and makes most light colors grainy, but I just cant stand the reflections...
     
  7. uicandrew macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    #7
    grainy text is a deal breaker for me. when reading a lot of fine text (yes, i can increase the text size), it can induce eyestrain.

    i'll see what the trade-off is like when i get mine.
     
  8. Patriks7 macrumors 65816

    Patriks7

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #8
    Thanks for the review! I was thinking of buying this before I got my Pro, but the glare isn't as bad as people say it is. :confused:
     
  9. isaki87 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Location:
    Santa Monica, CA
    #9
    I wouldn't put any weight into those words, because the glare fluctuates depending on your environment. I've had times when the display looks magnificent, and other times when I wanted to throw my computer against the wall, because I can't see anything because of the glare.
     
  10. dwsolberg thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    #10
    I've noticed the same thing. At home, glare isn't a problem, but overhead lights, white walls, and huge windows can be a problem.
     
  11. dwsolberg thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    #11
    Followup

    Well, it's been a couple weeks, and the screen film's still on my computer. Frankly, I'm still not used to it, but it definitely makes the MacBook easily useable in my office at school and in bright coffee shops with lots of windows.

    My verdict is that it's a poor substitute for a real matte screen, but it's an acceptable way to get rid of glare and reflections.
     

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