Is There Any Hope For MacBook Pro Matte Display Restoration?

Anthony Hunt has posted The Matte display for MacBook Petition on which reads:

To:  Apple Computer

We pledge to purchase a new MacBook if you, Apple Computer, would be so kind as to provide the option of a matte display.


The Undersigned

I’m all for bringing back matte display, and when I visited and signed, more than 5300 others had done likewise, but I have to say I’m not terribly optimistic. While some have suggested that Apple ditched the matte display option on the new 15″ MacBook Pro to cut costs, I think the main impetus was the new MacBook Pro’s “display under glass” styling motif pioneered with the aluminum iMac in 2007. So unless there is some way to have a matte finish glass surface that would work, I think it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see a return to matte in the near future.

Possibly if a lot of high-end graphics users dug in their heels and started bailing to the Windows side, it might get Apple’s attention, but in the meantime, if you want a matte display, the option is still available in the 17″ MacBook Pro for a few more months at least. But it would be prudent to anticipate it will be gone when a 17″ unibody machine arrives.

The matte vs. glossy controversy tends to be an emotional one, but there are some objective factors in play. Matte fans complain about reflections that interfere with visibility, and glare coming off the glass as opposed to the soft glow of a matte screen, while some high-end graphics pros say glossy displays are unfit for high-end color work in graphics or video. If forum and board postings are to be believed, the lack of a matte screen option, for many, is a deal-breaker.

Unfortunately, like the proverbial camel edging its way into the tent, glossy, which started out as an option on the MacBook Pro, then was offered as the only choice on the MacBook, aluminum iMac and MacBook Air, is now the only option for all Mac portables, save the holdover 17″ MacBook Pro.

Personally, I’m leaning more and more toward a matte display, which rules out the new MacBoo  and MacBook Pro models for my next system upgrade. I’ve all but settled on picking up a refurbished early 2008 MacBook Pro with a matte display and leaving the adjustment to glossy for sometime in the future. If Anthony Hunt’s petition and other protests gain more traction perhaps Apple will eventually bow to the strong preference of many of their most loyal customers, especially graphics professionals and frequent travelers, and restore matte displays as an option.

Unfortunately for the present, as is so very often the case with Apple hardware, design aesthetics have trumped practicality and functionality.


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