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Old November 6th, 2007, 10:01 AM   #1
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Glossy vs Matt for Macbook Pro

I plan on buying a new Macbook Pro with a 17" Hi Res screen.

What are the pro's and con's of getting the Matt screen and Glossy screen?

I heard Glossy is more visible in Sunlight, but has more reflection, and the the color is not as accurate (the color part is very important to me for editing).

I heard the matt isn't as good in sunlight, but has less reflection, and the colors are more accurate.

Thanks everyone.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 10:23 AM   #2
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Get the Matte screen, the reflections when using the glossy screen are a pita. Neither are really that great in bright sunlight. If you need to use is outside in bright light you'll want to buy or make a hood.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 04:17 PM   #3
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I probably will be mostly indoors, coffee shops and similar well lit environments. A little outside work, but not much.

I can't stand reflections on a screen, so I am leaning toward matt.

But I still want to hear from people if they have seen any difference in color quality between the two. That is very important to me as a video editor, as this will be my only hi-res screen to work with HDV.

Thanks for your reply.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 09:46 PM   #4
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I was a beta tester for some color calibration and monitoring software and I regularly ran it on my standard Cinema Display and on my then new MacBook Pro with a glossy screen.

The software had a picture matching capability where you'd set up the screen for the most accurate reproduction by judging a series of grey within grey squares.

I quickly learned that fine judgement of luminance values and and colorometry on the glossy screen would CHANGE based on the angle of view.

This is NOT a good thing for critical picture evaluation.

Glossy is wonderful for watching a movie on a long flight.

It's BAD for judging a picture.

Actually, it's more accurate to say that ALL LCD screens are pretty poor for evaluating a video picture signal quality - and that glossy screens are significantly WORSE than matte screens.

I've never been fooled by a properly calibrated CRT. But I've been fooled into thinking I had a good picture when my signal had "issues" on virtually EVERY LCD screen I've ever tried, matte or glossy, cheap or expensive.

For what it's worth.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 10:54 PM   #5
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I have a MBP with the glossy screen. The reflections don't really bug me. If there is a glaring reflection, then angle the screen differently and you have that problem solved.

With the glossy screen, things like fingerprints are easier to spot / they will bug you more.

2- The biggest issue with the MBP (LED backlight) is the small color gamut in my opinion. The color gamut is smaller than Rec. 709, which means that either:
A- The colors are fairly inaccurate.
B- You let colorsync do its color management thing to give you accurate colors. HOWEVER, this means that colors outside the MBP's gamut gets clip. It cannot display saturated colors as they should be.
This also makes banding issues a little worse.

But this issue is the same between matte and glossy.

3- The field of view issue is definitely there... the usable sweet spot is only like 2-3 inches.

I don't think matte versus glossy makes a difference for this issue.

4- But the point is, either way you go the color is hosed. Get an external broadcast monitor.

5- It looks like you would prefer a matte display? Perhaps go to an apple store and see the difference for yourself.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 11:44 PM   #6
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Great answers. Thanks guys.

Bill and Glenn,

Thank you and very good advice. To be honest, my projects don't get as technical as they should when it comes to color and contrast.

I have just started to work more with color correction, but my clients are really to strapped for cash to afford me the time to get into a lot of color correction.

None the less, it's where I want to be and need to be. That being said, I think I need to stick with the macbook pro matt (until I can get into a shopt and view both). I will also use the MBP for the basic editining. And as I move into more color correction, I will invest in a good CRT and start learning as I go.

By the way, the reason I am going to a laptop is I work at home and the kids just wont leave me alone (I don't have my own office). So my plan is to start finding some quite coffee shops that are open late so I can get some work done.


Al Diaz
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