Picture: MacBook Pro Glossy vs. Matte FIGHT!

When Apple unveiled its new aluminum MacBook and MacBook Pro last October, we were impressed by the hardware. The unibody construction, massive buttonless glass trackpad and Nvidia chipset were all things that added up to an impressive piece of kit.

One thing that we weren’t sure of right away was the glass-covered display. While we’ve come to accept that today’s LCD displays, particularly on notebooks, are mostly of the glossy variety, Apple took it a step further with a glass sheet on top of what already appears to be a glossy LCD screen. The affect is an unsettling double-reflection from a display that’s mirror-like.

We’ve spent a considerable amount of time with the full range of Apple notebook displays, from the matte and glossy from the previous generation MacBook Pro to the “glassy” unibody MacBook. And we’ll be the first say that the aesthetic designs of the new unibody MacBooks are worthy of a museum, but in terms of usability, the glass-covered screen is a pain to work with even when indoors.

Clearly, Apple has heard our cries and for that reason is now offering a matte option for its new 17-inch MacBook Pro, which will probably spread to the 15-inch version. But maddeningly, what used to be a no-charge option for a matte display now costs $50. No one’s happy with that, but Apple probably knows that those who care about having a matte display would be willing to pay.

Engadget got its hands on one of the first 17-inch MacBook Pros with the matte display. Check out the picture below for a side-by-side comparison with a 15-inch unibody.
If it weren’t immediately obvious, the matte screen has the aluminum border around the frame, which some feel looks a little odd. I’ve gotten used to the all-black borders, but Jane, our news editor, said that the notebook is even better with the matching trim. Even if Macs don’t interest you, Apple has a strong influence on the notebooks that PC makers design, so sound off with your opinion in the comments!

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  • tinnerdxp
    Last year Apple have advertised all the laptops with matte displays as standard and the glossy was an option... first for a fee then for free... now they do the opposite matte is available for just extra $50 :))) I recon if Apple would reintroduce Hercules Amber Cinema Display apple fan boys would then "rediscover" that it's high resolution is perfect for text processing making all the Amber displays perfect for console-based servers... (that would obviously be followed by an Apple Mac Book Pro Ultra that would have an XT inside and cos just $5000 because of the golden case...

    Enough with Apple, THG - it's annoying!
  • elektrip
    I'd rather see the display's content than myself in a mirror or some light bulbs. Glossy screens are lifestyle only. I hope they disappear soon. Well, most non-techie apple fans probably love the glossy screen and get fooled by "more contrast".