What's up with the Glass on MBP screens?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by enzo808, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. enzo808 macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2010
    Hello all, my first post here... I'm in the market for a new cpu and, although i like the new 13" macbook pro, i question the glass over the screen. I don't know much about it, but i know that when i look at a MBA or a MB i don't see as much reflections and smudges. Is this b/c of the glass? What's the puprose of the glass? Does Apple talk about this feature at all anywhere? I'd hate to not buy a computer just b/c of the glass, but it seems that this is the thing that bugs me when i test these computers out. Any opinions on this subject? thanks.
  2. grain macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2010
    Hamburg, DE
    You can get antiglare screens for 15" and 17" MBPs optionally.
  3. JoeG4 macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2002
    Bay Area, Ca.
    The glass makes it easier to "break" the laptop, Apple customers generally have lots of money to spend and won't bother fixing a "broke" computer, so it's a great way to boost revenue.


    That, and there's "no edge" between the screen and the frame. However, it becomes this glossy black paint that looks kinda tacky imho >>

    The part I never did really figure out is if the LCD is just a plain ole "glossy LCD" where the cover is a piece of plastic with orange peel like most glossy LCDs I've seen, or if it's really an LCD with no protection whatsoever on it at all (I highly, highly doubt this one).

    If it is just a "regular LCD" (which it probably is, given the availability of replacement LCDs), then there's a reflective antiglare coating on top which, you guessed it - does in fact play with the color gamut and all that great stuff that the glossy screen snobs have been complaining about with "inaccurate antiglare screens".


    Edit: I thought I'd come back and mention one last thing. How clean you can keep an LCD will be the single most important thing about how much of a pleasure it is to use. A filthy matte LCD will be just as much a pain to use in a bright room as a filthy glossy one, the only aside is in a medium-dark room the matte screen can be dusty/dirty and not bother you.

    However, glossy screens are much easier to clean! Now, my last thought is the "gritty appearance" some matte LCDs have, is not something that all matte LCDs have. My 23" cinema has it, but my 20" cinema doesn't. Either way, a matte IPS LCD has a really nice realistic feel to it I've never really felt in anything else.

    (Although, the 27" imac has an amazing LCD I'd be happy to have either way)> :)

    Matte + IPS has a very 'static' feeling, not much in difference of viewing angle will change what's on the screen. :D
  4. unagimiyagi macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2009
    If you dislike the glare as a newbie, don't fight it. It's a normal reaction to go why is this screen a mirror? :>

    Buy the matte option if it bothers you as it does me and alot of other people.
  5. mattrothcline macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2009
    Uh, no. The glass is actually a lot more durable than the plastic fronting that most other LCDs use. Have you seen those videos a while back where someone tried to scratch the glass display of an iPhone with a key and couldn't make a scratch?

    People hear "glass" and the first thing they think is "fragile", but in this case the opposite is actually true. In some ways, glass is very tough.

    Dude. This is not rocket science. The glass sits between the bare TFT and your eyes. Lots of other displays have a piece of plastic here instead of glass.
  6. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Feb 26, 2008
    Glass makes a lot of sense for an iphone or an ipad, but how much time does your laptop spend in your pocket?
  7. murdercitydevil macrumors 68000


    Feb 23, 2010
    how much would you cry if the glass wasn't there to protect your $2000 MBP screen is the real question here.
  8. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    AFAIK, it's a regular old glossy panel, to which they added a glass cover. Making it double glossy.
  9. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Feb 26, 2008
    In seven years of owning laptops without glass screens, I haven't had a single one get a scratch. I never heard many complaints about laptop screen scratches before MBPs with glass screens came out, so I guess Apple is just creating a need for them (very successfully).
  10. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    I have a June 2009 13" mbp. I was dead set against getting a machine with a glossy glass screen but I was short of cash and couldn't get the 17" which is what I really wanted (my hand was forced when my 2002 ibook went to laptop heaven and I was machineless).

    I'll tell you this. I have gotten used to the glossy screen and if I was to go out and get a new laptop I would consider getting the glossy screen again. Now I like it. As for size the 13" has a lot going for it. It is very portable, and the screen is still big enough to get the job done. If you need a bigger screen hook it up to an external display.

    Edit: all laptops are a compromise between size, weight, speed, battery life... the 13" mbp might not be first in any of the before mentioned categories but it ranks up as one of the best laptops you can buy (imho of course).
  11. JoeG4 macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2002
    Bay Area, Ca.
    It doesn't, I am ~90% certain the LCDs are used in other laptops as-is.

    Most glossy 'color accurate' CRTs from back in the day had some pretty hefty antiglare films in them as well. You calibrate for this stuff, and it should come out really accurate regardless.

    The reason why matte screens used to be preferred (before everyone drank the kool aid), is that feel static. Unless you have some very intense sunlight shining down on you, the matte screen will be more comfortable because you can move around without the contents of the screen changing.

    I know about the glass on the iphones being quite strong (it can scratch, I've got scratches on my ipod), but MBP screens are much bigger. They don't have the same structural integrity, lol!!!!

    One more thing to be said, is the pics I've seen that make either look bad are places you really shouldn't be using an LCD anyway. Outside in direct sunlight? You're not going to have color accuracy on anything. For starters, the backlight washes out and you get a greenish shade from everything on the screen. Doesn't matter if you're using a matte or glossy laptop then, and the matte one may still be preferable because you're not seeing the sun bounce off full power into your eyes.

    How would I know? I have a lot of LCDs and some are matte, some are glossy. :D

    I really think people should go with what they feel happiest with, though. I DO have to admit, glossy screens are a lot easier to keep clean. However, they show dirt a lot easier too! XD

    That, and matte laptops just look better to me.. >>
  12. enzo808 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2010
    Thanks for all the responses and help. Just to be clear, the glass on the 13" MBP screens will make it more glossy and reflective than say a MB or MBA screen? I know the current 13" MBP probably has the best screen in terms of brightness and color range, but i'm looking for the least reflective screen. I can't go for the Matte option b/c i travel all the time and the 15" is too big for me. Thanks again...
  13. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2006
    If you can't stand the glossy and you can't get a 15" then you can't get a MacBook. It's that simple.

    Look at the Thinkpad T series for some nice mobile matte-screened laptops.

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