Previous 1 2 Next 17 Replies Latest reply: Sep 24, 2010 7:14 AM by John Badanes
mix2950 Level 1 (0 points)
Brand new 13" MBP, coming from an older 15" MBP with the matte screen. I am finding the glossy screen causes extreme eyestrain at best, and when in some environments (e.g. coffee shop), extreme distraction in addition. The distractions are just from seeing so many reflections in the screen. The eyestrain is due to what I presume to be my eyes trying to focus on what I'm trying to look at but getting confused by the reflections just in front of what I'm trying to focus on.

So my question is: will I get used to the glossy screen?? I really love this size vs. the 15" and honestly would prefer the larger text that comes with this resolution or the 15" lower res vs. the high-resolution matte screen on the 15". But if I'm not going to adjust I"ll have to sell this at a loss and get the 15" anti-glare screen.

I figured since they only make these with the glossy screen that it would be ok. I tried out my wife's MBA (glossy screen there too) and it was ok. But the reflections on this one are much higher than the MBA so it wasn't a good test (no apple store nearby for an easy drop-in test).


13" MBP 2010
  • Mr Hehe Level 1 (0 points)
    I find it fine, apart from every so often my eyes adjust and i see myself. I think if that as a plus side though, i certainly havn't noticed any eye strain and ive been using it for hours a day for ages.

    I think maybe you will just suddenly get used to it and maybe the eye strain is from using it more as new, plus it's a noticeable change from the matt screen and paying too much attention to it, although sometimes the reflections can be a bit annoying when its to the side and im looking at something else and the light bounces off the shiny screen.
  • mix2950 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the feedback. It got to a point this evening where I had to stop because the eyestrain was so high.

    I wonder, do you use any apps regularly with light text on a dark background? I write code that way and the reflections are noticably worse (they aren't as bad with a white background like this webpage). I don't use black on white---more like light gray on dark gray. It allows me to work at night at low brightness w/o blowing out my eyes with high brightness. But on the new screen, the darker it is the more reflections I see, even in low light.
  • eww Level 9 (52,975 points)
    But on the new screen, the darker it is the more reflections I see, even in low light.

    Yes, that's certainly true. If you insist on using light text on a dark background instead of working dark-on-light and just turning your display brightness down, you will have to get a nonglare screen.
  • mix2950 Level 1 (0 points)
    wow, so everyone who has the new glossy screens can't comfortably use light on dark color schemes? for example, the default scheme in textmate is out?
  • eww Level 9 (52,975 points)
    Everyone who doesn't have control over the lighting in his or her workspace and is forced to use a light-text-on-dark-background color scheme is likely to have trouble with a glossy screen.

    I wasn't familiar with Textmate until you mentioned it, so I just downloaded it to have a look. Its default scheme, as for nearly all other Mac applications, is dark-on-white, not light-on-dark.
  • lroth Level 1 (60 points)
    A company called TechRestore (in California) can replace the glossy screen with an equivalent matte-finish screen. They charge $199 - they actually add a bezel that the new screen can sit behind, since they have to take away the shiny sheet of glass covering the screen. It's worth looking into.

    I don't have one myself, but I've been considering it, as I'm planing to buy a new MacBook Pro. By the way, the MacBook Pro 15" non-glare screens from Apple are higher resolution (and $150 extra), which means menus, etc. are quite a bit smaller. If you're considering that, try it out first at an Apple store or elsewhere.
  • jamesjimmy23 Level 1 (0 points)
    I don't usually notice. I'd say just increase the brightness of the display if it's causing issues. I also know there's a matte screen protector available somewhere, but I'm not sure where.
  • CTS Level 2 (200 points)
    I have not adjusted to the glossy, though I tried to train myself to. I bought a used 3M filter and hang it off the top of my iMac. With the filter: no eyestrain. Without it: eyestrain after 4 hours.
  • Dina Level 1 (135 points)
    I so feel your pain. I

    A company called Moshi makes that matte-finish screen protector mentioned above. I have one on mine and can now work outside. I wasn't having problems working through reflections indoors, but outside the computer was completely un-usable. And what's the point if you can't sit outside on the patio of your local coffee shop!

    Basically, it's a large sheet of plastic cut to the correct shape, with repositionable adhesive around the outside edges. It has holes in it for the video cam and ambient light sensor. I found that it changed the colors just ever so slightly, but honestly, I can deal with that no problem, since I can now actually see what's on the screen. And if your work doesn't require color-critical correctness, this will definitely do the trick for you.

    They used to sell them at the Online Apple Store, but I didn't find them when I searched today. I know that Amazon has them.

    Anyway, this is an affordable solution that gives immediate gratification without sending your machine away.

    Good luck!

    Message was edited by: Dina
  • b.stones Level 1 (70 points)
    I'd also like to add incase anyone finds this thread, you can also purchase the screen protector direct from Moshi's website, just Google moshi and the one "moshi - purveyor of electronics fashion" is their company website, they have an online store on their site. I didn't realise it was their site at first due to their slogan until recently. Of course some of their products are sold on Apple's Online Store and The only company I've bought MacBook Pro accessories from is Power Support USA which also sell anti-glare screen protectors and they ship to the UK and other countries too - not sure about Moshi though. You can Google Power Support USA to find their website.
  • wetlqd Level 1 (0 points)
    I have had man macintosh screens over the 20 years that I have worked on apple devices. After owning a macbook with a glossy screen, I can comfortably say that this screen is causing extreme eye strain and blurring.

    I have never experienced such issues with eye strain on a screen. I work in an industry that puts me in front of may displays, tvs and such and this laptop is killing me. I found this link after googling for others that are having eye issues due to these "incredible" displays as Apple refers to them. They are crap in my eyes.

    I have seen in the past that some builds in the Apple store have a matte screen option. I about ready to ditch this MacBook in hopes of buying something that is easier on the eyes. My last ditch effort will be to find some add on that will reduce the reflections and strain; but these typically degrade image quality and color.

    I wish apple would look into this because there is definitely an eye strain issue with these newer screens. If we all go blind, we cant buy more apple products so they should help the users out instead of blinding them.
  • eww Level 9 (52,975 points)
    My last ditch effort will be to find some add on that will reduce the reflections and strain; but these typically degrade image quality and color.

    Just as a nonglare finish does, by lightening blacks and reducing contrast in all hues.

    Some people have the same experience you've had with glossy screens. Others have no difficulties of the kind that so annoy you. While it may be hard for you to believe, there are millions of people who like glossy screens just fine and aren't going blind.
  • CTS Level 2 (200 points)
    I think what people experiencing eyestrain want is merely a choice of matte. Clearly millions of people love the glossy screens; fantastic for them. (Seriously.) But for those who love OSX & Apple software but hate Apple screens -- and can't afford the models with matte--well, we've got a problem!
  • eww Level 9 (52,975 points)
    But for those who love OSX & Apple software but hate Apple screens -- and can't afford the models with matte--well, we've got a problem!

    I understand completely. Maybe Apple will offer matte-screen 13" MBPs in the future — we have no way of knowing unless and until they actually appear.
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