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Read Feedback Request: Matte or Glossy Screen on my Macbook Pro?

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So, I’m going to get a Macbook Pro in a few weeks…but I can’t decide, should I go with the matte finish or the Glossy Screen?

For those of you that might be unaware, the default choice for your Macbook Pro on the Apple site is a matte finish, but at no additional cost they will upgrade the screen to a glossy finish which will give you greater color contrast and make your movies look a little better, but the gloss finish can cause some unwanted glare.

So…I’m sure some of you are Macbook Pro owners, and I’d like to get your opinions…matte or glossy? I want the best color contrast I can get but I don’t know how bad the glare issue is going to be. I will mostly be blogging on the Macbook Pro, but I intend to do video and audio editing on it as well. I will be around windows alot, in Starbucks and what not, while I’m working on it…so…what should I do?

Your thoughts and comments are always appreciated…

Kossi Adzo

Kossi Adzo

Kossi Adzo is a technology enthusiast and digital strategist with a fervent passion for Apple products and the innovative technologies that orbit them. With a background in computer science and a decade of experience in app development and digital marketing, Kossi brings a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective to the Apple Gazette team.

25 thoughts on “Read Feedback Request: Matte or Glossy Screen on my Macbook Pro?

  1. Glossy is the way to go – if you are planning to use if for photography or video at a professional level you’ll want to get (or borrow) a color calibrator and profile the screen so you get repeatable colors (this applies if you are using matte or glossy displays). I have a dell 30 inch display on my Mac pro and a 17 inch MacBook Pro glossy and the color is identical once they were both profiled.

  2. Hey…
    I´ve got a MacBook Pro C2D 2,33 with a glossy screen. The colours are fantastic, especially when you compare with a MacBook or an PowerBook G4. The contrast is also good and there are in normal light (inside) marginal reflections, trust me that won´t bother you at all…
    If this is not enough, go to Apple Store etc. near you, that´s the best and safest way.
    I´m satisfied with this decision to take the glossy one…
    Hope this can make the decision it a little easier…

  3. Yeah, I’ve seen the glossy at the Apple store. It really does look more pleasing to the eyes than the older matte finish…


  4. I prefer the matte!

    If you are buying a MacBook Pro to work with Photoshop, Flash, Keynote, etc. you will prefer the matte. If you want to watch films and things like that will you prefer the glossy.

  5. If you are looking for over-saturated colors and amped contrast the glossy is the way to go. If you are looking for a display that can be acurately printed from or that will match what other users see on their display, you will want the matte one. Working in photography and video, I have a matte finish, as I am not going to sign up for Apple to give me an inacurate display. But if you are going to be using your monitor to display things that essentially end on the display, things will appear richer, albeit false and inaccurate.

  6. Matte screen without any shadown of a doubt.

    Glossy screens are the latest fad to hit the laptop world, but are a complete step backwards in terms of screen design. Remember the difference when we changed from ‘glossy’ CRT monitors to ‘Matte’ TFT monitors? It was fantastic, no more glare and much less eye strain. Why go back?!

    I have a 15″ macbook pro with matte screen and my (ex) girl had a 13″ macbook glossy. I have to admit, it did wow me at first as it does look shiny and impressive. However, i tried using it to type my dissertation and absolutely hated the thing. The reflections are alwful, leading to headaches, eyestrain and distrations. It was a pleasure to get my macbook pro matte screen back, where all i see when i look at the screen is what is on it, not what is behind me or to the side of me or the lights etc etc.

    In the end, both are essentially the same screen with a different finish; so ignore the inevitable it’s better quality, it’s brighter bla bla comments… as it isn’t. What the matte screen is though, is consistant and extreamly useable.

    Glossy screens first appeared on the very cheap lowend laptops, and when in a shop environment next to the more expensive matte screen monitors they looked extreamly impressive; with people failing to notice the fact they could actually see their faces and all the shop lights in the screen. The high end laptop manufactors unfortuately lost business to these cheap screens and therefore added them to theirs…. Moral of the story? If you’re a magpie, get the shiny thing… if not, get the matte… you wont regret it 🙂

  7. I own an iBook G4 with a matte screen, and a member of my family owns a Macbook with a glossy screen, and of the two, I’d have to say matte. The glossy has some funky scratches in in that really throw you off. The glare isn’t as bad as most people say, but it’s like a nano– if it gets damaged (and it will), it looks horrible.

  8. @Jamie

    Awful reflections, leading to headaches, eyestrain and distrations???
    I can´t agree with that, definitely. I´ve no problems with reflections since today and i´m using my MacBook pro since November nearly every day…
    Anyway, I´ve got none of that problems…

  9. Eh, I designed on a MacBook with a glossy screen for a month or so before I got my MBP and HATED it. I was so glad I had the opportunity to work with the glossy beforehand, because just like you, I was riding the fence. I went matte and have loved it.

  10. Well, it sounds like I should go matte. I do some design stuff, and I would certainly want an accurate on screen representation.

    Thank you guys and gals! I really appreciate your input.

  11. Glossy- If you are an industry professional in graphics and color that you really need that accurate of saturation and contrast, you should have an external display that is calibrated.

    Don’t listen to people who think they know how the glossy screen looks based on some crap PC glossy displays they have used. With the MacBook Pro, there is almost zero reflection or glare…indoors, outdoors, bright lighting, windows, it doesn’t matter.

  12. Matte – it is less spectacular, but less tiring for the eyes and so it supports creativitiy.

    Have fun with your MacBook Pro. But if possible, I would wait until Leopard is officially announced, so you don´t have to pay for 10.5 and probably iLife 07.

  13. Matte. I just had a dream I had bought a Macbook… and I cursed the fact that there was no Matte option. Going to glossy isn’t an upgrade, as you say, it’s a downgrade IMO. If you want to watch movies with other (GF? friends?) or youtube, good luck, because at angles, the screen will have intense glare. I’ve been playing my Wii (Red Steel + Zelda… both noir kinda games) on my TV, and I’m cursing the skies that my glossy TV is so reflective. Even with the window shades down, some sunlight gets through, and therefore I get capped/eaten by things in the shadow that I simply can’t see.

    Sorry for the rant… but my vote, from experience, is Matte.

  14. I spent 2 months on a MacBook, which has the glossy display, and just hated it. Especially on the couch at night while the TV is on. In that situation the display has to be at the exact angle to view it or the image drops off rapidly.

    Plus, the glare bothers me almost everywhere. Of course, I didn’t watch movies on it. Just regular work with photos and graphics. They upgraded me to a MacBook Pro with the Matte screen and it is MUCH better in my opinion.

  15. Ars tech, Macpolls and MacSlash all have polls that overwhelmingly prefer Matte over Glossy screens.

    Apple just isn’t listening. Vote with your wallet and tell them your not buying glossy screen computers.

    Choice of either is the best for everyone.

  16. I’ve used all sorts of monitors for long periods of time ever since Apple was in existance.

    The richer colors of glossy screens don’t offset their problems from eyestrain, headaches and other Computer Vision Syndrome problems resulting from the eyes contantly refocusing between the screen image and the slightly out of focus reflections.

    Matte is just fine and in the case of laptops which the enviroment changes constantly, a must.

    Anti-glare screens are a joke and going back to using them is stupid.

    But oh! Those glossy screens look so cool in the Apple Store don’t they?

    Enjoy living in a dark hole to eliminate the reflections if you buy one.

  17. There are plenty of other polls that say glossy by the way. Listen to the people that do what you need to do on the MBP and what they say works best, not what a bunch of biased polls say anyway. Besides any PC user who also uses Mac can support the opinion that Apple products are generally designed a little better, I have no problem with my MBP but as a retail saleman, can tell you I have problems seeing the glossy PC screens in the store. I’m outside in direct sunlight at 1am right now on campus on a glossy-finish MacBook Pro with sunglasses on and can see PERFECTLY. I can see even more clearly without the sunglasses on. By the way, the screens are also polarized to reduce glare, which I just found out because my sunglasses are polarized and I turned my head to the right and couldn’t see a darn thing on the screen. (Two adjacent polarized lenses absorb most visible light making it so that you cant see through them.) Still unsure? FIND SOMEONE WITH ONE and play around with it if at all possible. No problems here though.

  18. Glossy sucks totally, I have used both. On Mac’s, PC’s and TV’s.

    1: Glossy has reflections that if you can’t “see through” them (which requires a lot of effort) does cause blind spots on the screen. Which hides part of the screen.

    2: Glossy does cause eyestrain with most people, perhaps not immediatly, most feel a annoyance and eventual headaches over time. Young eyes it’s easier, old eyes glossy hurts.

    3: People don’t “feel” like using glossy screens, which leads to less use. This is based upon computer lab tests where hundreds of people have a choice of either and the time spent on each type of screen measured. Glossy screens get used less and matte longer. In fact many more people have switched over to a matte finish when one opens up than the other away around.

    #4 The fact that the best SONY HD-TV’s are all matte finish. The Japanese know and adore quality.

    #5 The polls at Ars Tech “glossy vs matte fight!” overwhelmingly prefer matte, so do the polls at MacPolls and MacSlash.

    So why did Apple go glossy? Because they are trying everything they can to increase market share, to cause a impulse buy at their Apple Stores.

    #6 Shiny sells to the ignorant, but the seasoned users chose matte. That’s why there is a matte option in the Pro line, but not the consumer line.

    Will Apple go all glossy? I have already boycotted them this year because none of my friends can use a glossy screen, and certainly don’t need a Pro model.

    I will not fall into a hardware/OS lock-in with Apple, instead get a copy of OSX for PC, with a matte screen finish of course, and hope Apple pulls their collective heads out of their asses.

  19. My mum just bought me a macbook pro with matte screen. but im seein if that is a right choice. i know it is late but overall after seeing people’s comment. I think getting a matte one is not a wrong decison! cheers

  20. My friends, i m about to go to the apple store and get the mbp, to answer your questions about should i go matte or should i go glossy ? just ask to yourself this very simple human question ?
    ‘ Do I want to see my face, the lights of my bedroom, or the window daylight on my screen everyday of my life ?
    If you can answer this like I do you woud definitely go for THE MATTE !!!
    No doubt about this, and people saying oh it s awesome, colors are the best, you see the black better (the black better ? LOL!!!!!), this guys are just upset that they took the bad decision and try to feel better about it, but trust THEY ARE SO UPSET !!!!

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