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Summary:

Don’t get me wrong, I love my new 13-inch MacBook Pro. In many, many ways, it is far superior to any older computer I have lying around. I can’t get over how far Apple design and function has come. But I do have to admit to […]

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Don’t get me wrong, I love my new 13-inch MacBook Pro. In many, many ways, it is far superior to any older computer I have lying around. I can’t get over how far Apple design and function has come. But I do have to admit to shifting and tilting the device around when I’m sitting on the couch with my window in the background. I suppose I could close the window, or rearrange my living room furniture, but I’d have much preferred just clicking a matte display option when buying my notebook. That option may reappear soon.

Or, I could’ve opted for the 17-inch MacBook Pro, which I’m sure is what Apple was hoping for, considering the $2,500 price tag. Sadly, I am not independently wealthy, nor do I have a job that justifies that kind of computer muscle. I just don’t like glare with my computing. Unlike some, I don’t find the MBP’s screen intolerable, just mildly annoying in certain lighting situations, but choice is still nice.

According to reports by AppleInsider, Apple is considering a reintroduction of matte screen options on machines other than the 17-inch MacBook Pro. This is according to “people who have proven familiar with the company’s plans.” Perhaps not the most reassuring of sources, but there is a lot of vocal support of such a move, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple was at least entertaining the thought. The company did, after all, reintroduce Firewire on the 13-inch MacBook (Pro) after much protest about its demise.

Professional users have even more reason to complain than I do, since the glossy screens and glare pose a serious problem when color and image accuracy are of paramount importance. I expect that any screen options Apple does introduce will also carry the $50 charge that currently attaches to the upgrade on the 17-inch model, but that’s nothing compared to the price of upgrading to the pricier model and still paying an extra $50.

I’m not saying the current screen is that big of a problem, but I can’t help but notice the difference between it and the screen on the 12-inch PowerBook I recently picked up as a hobby machine. Yes, everything appears more vivid, more rich, and just generally more impressive, but only in low-light situations. My home workstation is right next to a window, which is necessary to prevent me going completely stir-crazy, and the PowerBook looks a lot more at home there than the MBP does. Would I swap the screens if I could? I’d be mighty tempted, that’s for sure.

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  1. If you can’t wait, and you have $200 to spend, you can have a matte screen installed on a Macbook:

    http://www.techrestore.com/xcart/product.php?productid=18498&cat=404&page=1

  2. This would be great, especially if they return to offering it on the iMac.

  3. It’s about time.I wonder how many monitor sales this idiot idea has cost Apple.

    I would have bought the 24 jnch but went elsewhere.

  4. Nothing like my MBP 17 with matte screen on the deck ! Apple needs to bring matte back on all their computer screens. Zack’s link sounds great !

  5. HazardousPaste Thursday, July 16, 2009

    “Professional users have even more reason to complain than I do, since the glossy screens and glare pose a serious problem when color and image accuracy are of paramount importance.”

    Only if you don’t calibrate your screen, which would be an idiotic thing to omit if color was actually important to your livelihood. Glossy/glassy screens represent color perfectly fine with proper calibration, but thanks for perpetuating that particular myth.

  6. Jose A. Mari-Mutt Thursday, July 16, 2009

    I recently bought a new 13 inch MBP and returned a day later because of the exceedingly glossy screen. I exchanged it for a MacBook Air, which has most of the goodies of the MBP (gestures, illuminated screen, unibody construction, integrated battery, etc.) but which lacks the glass over the screen, which is what makes the MBP way too glossy. I like to work while rocking back and forth and seeing the background moving up and down constantly was too irritating.

  7. The petition website http://macmatte.wordpress.com already has over 290 comments urging Apple to bring back matte screens. I think if the petition site can accumulate over 1,000 comments, it would make an impact on Apple. It’s not just a petition site, but because the site allows people to make comments, the result of seeing 290+ pro-matte, and hopefully eventually 1,000+ pro-matte comments, would probably be something Apple would not easily ignore.

  8. It is a mystery why Apple has Gone to Gloss-oops no it isn’t!
    Shiney. Eye candy. The direction Mr. Ives and Jobs have taken the company in has paid admirably — it sure would be nice if the industrial design department at Apple would realize that their long time customers now simply buy Dell monitors instead of the mirrors Apple is producing.

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