what screen is better for macbook pro glossy or anti glare? please help.

Hi i just want to buy a laptop the Mac book Pro for home personal use. As well as maybe for school. I like the glossy screen because its all shiny and looks pretty. But i heard it has a lot of problems because people get headaches easily and the reflection of the background is really annoying. I'm not sure about the anti glare but people say thats better because color is more real and its simple to use. I'm not sure which one to go for. I don't like the white outline i prefer black one but with the anti glare there is no black outline. Can anyone please tell me pros and cons of each and maybe help me make my decision. I went to store i checked anti glare. They didn't have any glossy one they only had the regular ones but i didn't seem to have problem with it but i'm not to sure. please help.

11 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    It depends on what you are using it for. One clue is in the fact that matt screens are only available at higher resolutions. They are generally targeted at the professional market.

    Glossy screens look nicer. The blacks are deeper and the colours richer.

    Matt screens look a little duller, but give a truer representation of the actual colour, and are arguably easier to look at for extended periods, since your eyes don't try to see through the image to the reflection underneath. With a matt screen you also have the issue of little bits of dust collecting at the bottom of the bezel.

    It totally comes down to personal choice, but in general I would suggest that you buy a matt screen if you fit the following categories:

    * A photoshop pro who needs to see the real colour of things.
    * A coder, staring at a dark screen.
    * A video editor, you're looking at this thing a lot.

    Buy a glossy screen if you are a casual user, you just want the web, e-mail, photos and video to look as nice as possible.

    The only way to really tell though is to try. Pop into your local Apple store and look at the two of them running side by side. After a few minutes, you'll know.

    • Answered by Nicholas J from Brighton
    • 13-Dec-2011
  • Glossy


    -Vibrant colourful crisp display with glossy finish
    - Available in both 1440 x 900 and 1680 x 1050 resolutions
    - Looks great, design-wise
    - Looks great when watching movies/playing games
    - Easy to clean
    - Improved rigitity to display
    -Deeper black and crisper image
    -Improved rigidity to the display assembly

    - Reflections from the glass can be distracting
    - Shows finger prints easily


    - Vibrant colourful crisp display with matte finish
    - Very little issues from reflections
    - Looks great, design–wise, classic feel
    - Can work near direct light sources
    - Doesn't show fingerprints

    - Costs more money
    - Only available in 1680 x 1050 resolution
    - Not a great viewing angle, in particular vertically

    • Answered by Juneid A
    • 17-May-2011
  • The glossy screen is more for the general public & not professionals.
    I would strongly advise against the glossy screen in a professional working environment, the reflection is very distracting and screen colour calibration for print is not as good as the anti glare screens.

    If you want it for fun, gloss is great.
    If you want it for professional work, anti glare is the one!!!

    • Answered by Klive K
    • 8-May-2012
  • You're going to regret getting a glossy screen. Yes, it's fancy schmancy looking, but there's too many drawbacks. Working outdoors in sunlight is definitely out of the question, but inside use will be affected by things such as window and lamp locations. The wrong type of lighting will have you working with a towel draped over your head and the screen.

    While the glossy is easier to keep clean, it is also easier to crack. I've had an anti-glare screen for 6 years now. The colors continue to look brilliant and a monthly cleaning with a non-alcohol based spray and micro fiber cloth has kept it looking new.

    I have an iPad 2 with a glossy screen. It looks beautiful, and though I love it, once I take it outdoors, it is basically useless. You can't see anything on the screen until you find a well shaded area in which to stand.

    Save yourself the headaches (I'm speaking literal headaches), and the regrets, and cough up the extra cash for an anti-glare macbook pro.

    • Answered by Donna M H from Lake Zurich
    • 23-May-2012
  • I just bought a macbook pro and i was going through the same thing. I heard all these bad things about the glossy screen, but now that i've had the glossy screen for almost a week now i can say i dont regret my decision :) the reflections are not bad at all because the screen is so bright and also if you are going to be browsing on the internet most of the time, most of the pages are white so you cannot see any reflection. I use mine at home with normal lighting situations like a lamp, overhead lighting, little sun coming through window, and i have no problems with the screen. maybe it's just the way my computer is positioned but right now there is light directly above me and it's no problem. the lighting in the apple store makes it look really reflective because it is realllly bright in there. i haven't used this outside though so i dont know how it looks outside. but games, videos, and pictures look really beautiful and vivid on this screen. it does not hurt my eyes even when staring at it for a long time. Hope this helps to you or someone else

    • Answered by Hayley T from Memphis
    • 4-Jun-2011
  • As an owner of both a 2010 15" Macbook Pro w/ Glossy and 2011 15" Macbook Pro w/ Anti-Glare I can definitely say my experience with the Anti-Glare screen is well worth the extra cost. But then again, if you buy refurbished like I did the cost for a MBP w/ anti-glare is comparable to a new base model glossy MBP.

    The glare from the glossy screen is obtrusive in most environments, almost to the point where your back has to be against the wall to be able to use your Macbook Pro. The glossy screen does make colors pop more, but the contrast on the anti-glare is nothing to sneeze at either, esp. with some color calibration in System Preferences.

    Why are you so worried about the outline? Your eye focuses on the screen, no matter what.

    The anti-glare not only improves visibility, you also gain screen real estate. 1650x1050 on anti-glare vs. 1440x900 on glossy.

    If I had the choice though and unlimited funds, I'd just buy the Retina MBP but I'm holding out for the 2nd generation to see how Apple responds to consumers.

    • Answered by Stephen B from Redondo Beach
    • 19-Jul-2012
  • I bought a Macbook Pro 17 inch dual core duo 2.8 Ghz with the Antiglare screen about a year and a half ago. I typically trade up to a better machine every few years to stay somewhat current with the processor speed and retain value in my equipment. I have reluctantly done so with this current machine simply because I think that the high resolution anti-glare screen is a better choice for all uses and in the end I think you'll be better off with the anti-glare screen if eye strain concerns you. Something that looks pretty but compromises you visual acuity doesn't seem like a reasonable trade off for usability. In following the value of this machine after about a 2 years of depreciation this machine seems to still hold it value strong. I am not so sure I'll want to let this machine go anytime soon simply because the anti-glare screen is easier on the eyes. I use it as a desktop replacement so carrying it around is not a concern. Good luck with your shopping.

    • Answered by Michael M from Bloomfield
    • 24-Jul-2012
  • Don't get the glossy screen!

    It is useless, i'm a graphic designer and have a new 27" iMac which you can only get with a glossy screen.

    It just picks up all the reflections in the office a bit like looking in a mirror all day.
    I think it strains your eyes more and its no good for photo or colour re-touching.

    Its a shame as the iMac is really good, I wish they at least had the option of an anti glare screen for the iMac.

    How many flat screen TVs do you see with a glossy screen??

    • Answered by Stephen W
    • 25-Sep-2012
  • I worked with an antiglare screen on my old MacBook Pro for years. Never knew there was anything different. But when I had to get a new one, I found a used version with a glossy screen and was very impressed. It sure is sleek and beautiful. The only thing is that every time I go to use it, I am startled by this image of an older lady in the glass. Not good, esp since this screen seems exaggerate the wrinkles. Even my mirror doesn't show them like this. The reflection even haunts me when the background screen is white, try as I might not to notice that lady staring through the ages and the pages.

    Word to the wise: If you're over 40, think twice before getting glossy or you, too, may have a familiar-looking older stranger gazing at you.

    • Answered by Maria G from San Francisco
    • 9-Sep-2013
  • I'm going to reply to this even though I imagine the questioner has long since made a decision as this thread is one of the first items up in a Google search on the topic.

    I'm just switching from a 2008 MacBook Pro with a glossy screen running at 1440x900 to a new (early 2013) MacBook Pro with a anti-glare screen running at the higher resolution (not Retina).

    I've lived with a glossy screen for 5 years. The depth of blacks is great, the glass is easy to clean and I much prefer the black border round the screen to the "classsic" (ie less good) aluminium (or aluminum) surround with the matt screen. However this was completely outweighed for me by the pain of the reflections on the glossy screen. I've had to rearranged my office so the window is not behind me, for example, because of the distraction of seeing through the reflections.

    i've only just started with the new machine but already prefer the matt screen. Get it if you can afford it, I'd say (and think that it comes with extra screen resolution!)

    • Answered by Jeremy M
    • 17-Apr-2013
  • Anti Glare v Glossy Screen
    I bought the anti glare and returned it for the glossy. I didn't like the aesthetic look of the silvery frame surround and the anti glare screen gave me the same feeling I have for Matt photos v Glossy photos. Unless you need to use it a lot outside and really need the anti glare don't get it. If you are doing anything with graphics or photos its a no brainer...get the glossy!

    • Answered by Annie C
    • 13-Aug-2012