New Glossy Macbook Pro On the Way

I ordered a new MacBook Pro yesterday and will probably get it next week. I took the first step in my Mac conversion about a year ago and have never looked back. After twenty years with DOS and its Windows dressing, OS/X is a huge leap forward and I love it. As I mentioned last summer, it was Tiger that really changed everything. Microsoft Windows XP feels dead to me, and early indications are that Vista may be another gasp – and too late.

I am becoming more of a “sensualist” as I get older – being far more likely to groove on aesthetically amazing things than I would have been a decade ago, and this has certainly helped fuel my appreciation for Apple products.

Few companies fuse design elegance with technology as they do. I have my frustrations with Apple’s corporate nimrod factor, but no organization is right all the time. Mac has definitely become my computing platform of choice. My next desktop will be a Mac, when the Intel Duo desktops show up.

For the photographers, filmmakers, visual imagineers and such out there – my primary feature debate was about the new glossy screen. I decided to go with glossy after using both screens extensively in the admittedly non-ideal environment of the Apple store. Now, for context, the monitor I use for working with images is the EIZO FlexScan 2410, which I really love; and I have stared at a G4 matte screen (the lower-brightness version) for hundreds of hours over the past year.

Here are some thoughts:

  • Do not make a decision about the Macbook Pro glossy screen by evaluating a regular Macbook glossy screen. To my eyes, the Macbook Pro glossy screen looks more substantial and less reflective. But maybe it was just the acid.
  • If you are going to be doing a lot of pre-production / retouching / pre-press on your Macbook Pro and need to get your color calibrated as close to print as possible, you probably should stay away from the glossy screen. The matte screen seemed like it would give much more accurate color rendering for paper.
  • If you are showing your work on the screen a lot – and/or mostly prepping images for the web – seriously consider the glossy. It gives vibrant, saturated, high-contrast color, and in most environments has gorgeous presentation. For me this is huge, because I view and show images on the Powerbook a lot and have found the G4 matte screen to be very limiting in its impact.
  • One of my frustrations with the G4 matte screen is its flat gray overcast – even the richest blue renders like blue with light grey dust over it. It’s almost as if you are viewing the image through an impossibly thin sheet of onionskin paper. Though the newer matte screens are brighter, they still have this characteristic. Again – if you are working with paper, this may be perfect.
  • If you work under lots of direct lighting sources (film sets, museums, galleries, etc.) – especially if you move around a lot – then there is a reflectivity issue with the glossy that you should seriously think about. Given my working locations it was not an issue, but if your gig is running around a lighting showroom all day designing kitchens, it will be a different story entirely.
  • The glossy screen also seems like it will be more susceptible to minor cosmetic issues (nicks, scratches, etc.)

I will try to post an update after I’ve used it a while, as possession will better inform my opinion…

3 thoughts on “New Glossy Macbook Pro On the Way”

  1. I actually work in a home design center. The contrast and color of my glossy MBP is worth the occasional reflection. You just have to be ready to change your angle sometimes.

  2. I am in a huge dilemma like a lot of other people considering a macbook pro. The reviews are so much mixed that it looks more like a personal choice.
    I am getting all the more inclined towards matte screen because 1) it seems glossy can be a risk since i dont know much about it. 2) I have a pay $190 extra to buy the Glossy version, because Amazon does not charge sales tax in my state and they dont have glossy.
    But it feels like i am taking a step backwards and buying something equipped with old technology when new technology is available in the market.

    I will miss you, GLOSSY MBP!!

  3. I am in a huge dilemma like a lot of other people considering a macbook pro. The reviews are so much mixed that it looks more like a personal choice.
    I am getting all the more inclined towards matte screen because 1) it seems glossy can be a risk since i dont know much about it. 2) I have a pay $190 extra to buy the Glossy version, because Amazon does not charge sales tax in my state and they dont have glossy.
    But it feels like i am taking a step backwards and buying something equipped with old technology when new technology is available in the market.

    I will miss you, GLOSSY MBP!!

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