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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Apr 24, 2011
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    Compared a 15" Matte MBP, Glossy MBP, and 17" Matte MBP
    I currently have a 13" Macbook Air (current gen) and an iPad, and I'm considering replacing my air with a new Sandy Bridge MBP so I went Apple Store grazing.

    Noticed a few things:

    1) Resolution difference between the 15"s isn't that big of a deal
    2) Matte screen however is higher contrast, higher quality screen (they didn't have a High-res non-matte on display). I put up iPhoto next to each other and compared the demo photos, the Matte one was spectacular though the regular screen was good too.
    3) Macbook Pros are much slower than my Macbook Air in regular usage despite the huge power difference - SSDs are a must-have these days.

    And I also noticed that putting a 15" MBP next to 17" MBP that the size of the screen really isn't substantially larger (maybe subjective) but the size of the machine literally makes on semi-portable and one not-portable-at-all. I could imagine taking a 15" MBP with me in a suitcase/bag when needed, but perish the thought with the 17".

    So now it comes down to 2.3 ghz 15" High res matte 15" Macbook Pro + an Intel SSD + MCE Optibay, which would set me back exactly $3009 ($2359 + 550 + 99).

    Maybe I will wait...

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
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    50,241
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Sierra
    I can't advise you on what choice to make as that's a personal decision. However, I guess my eyes are either a great deal older than yours or that I just can't see that much of a difference between the matte display and glossy as far as quality of picture goes.

    I do agree with you about the 17" model. In my humble opinion, it's closer to being a desktop machine than portable. I can't imagine hauling it around for any length of time. I don't even like carrying my 13" model around.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Apr 24, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    I can't advise you on what choice to make as that's a personal decision. However, I guess my eyes are either a great deal older than yours or that I just can't see that much of a difference between the matte display and glossy as far as quality of picture goes.

    I do agree with you about the 17" model. In my humble opinion, it's closer to being a desktop machine than portable. I can't imagine hauling it around for any length of time. I don't even like carrying my 13" model around.
    The matte display is realistic, while the glossy ones like my Macbook Air makes things look shiny and plasticky. Not a big deal but with people photos, I love the matte display.

    But it's the contrast, especially in the skin tones that make the matte one stand out. Both can be improved with calibration I'm sure.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Mar 08, 2011
    Location
    New York
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    14
    Specs:
    17" Macbook Pro, 2.3 Ghz i7, 500GB 7200 RPM, 8GB ram, Radeon 6750 1GB, OS X 10.6.6
    I still can't figure out how people can complain about a 7 (SEVEN) pound 17 (SEVENTEEN) inch notebook. I carry mine everywhere, including the 74 blocks (combined) to and from work. Im not trying to be a troll, im being realistic.

  5. #5

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
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    50,241
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Sierra
    Some folks don't mind lugging around a large notebook computer while others find it a drag. Personal choice like most everything else. In the "old days" I hauled around a ruggedized laptop issued by the US Government to their field reps. It was a 12 LB monster. At the time, I didn't complain about it as it was part of my job, and I was a lot younger.

  6. #6

    JohnCL's Avatar
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    Your observations are precisely the reason that I do not mind carrying a 17" MBP around. I would not trade my matte display for much at this point. I went from a 13" MBP to my 17" and it is just a hair over 2 lbs heavier, which for me doesn't even make a difference. I would love to see the matte option across the board, not just on the 15 and 17.
    13" rMBP 256gb | Mac Mini | 24" ACD | 128GB Verizon iPhone 7 Plus | 128GB iPad Pro LTE | 16GB iPad mini 2 | Gen 7 Nano | Gen 4 iPod Touch | TV1 | TV3 | TV4 | Watch Sport 42mm Space Gray

  7. #7

    Boosted_Brian's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 28, 2011
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    Specs:
    2011 MacBook Pro, 2.3 GHz i7, 8GB Ram, 750GB HD, Hi-Res AG screen
    IMHO, if you are seriously looking to get a power house MBP and also on a budget, get the top of line 15 MBP that they carry in the store. This is what I did. 2.3GHz i7, 750GB HD, 4GB Ram, HiRes, and Matte Screen.

    After you have this in your hands do the upgrades yourself. Its much cheaper to upgrade the HD and RAM yourself. Frankly, once you do it, you'll wonder why you ever spent time thinking apple should do it. Once you replace the HD with a SSD, you can take the 750GB HD, case it, and use it to store your media. Of course, this is simply what I would do, and I know my thoughts and ways don't always agree with everyone else's.

  8. #8

    thurstmw's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 29, 2010
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    BoCo
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    Specs:
    13inch 2.3 i5 MBP 64gb SSD 320gb HD 8gb 1333
    Quote Originally Posted by Boosted_Brian View Post
    IMHO, if you are seriously looking to get a power house MBP and also on a budget, get the top of line 15 MBP that they carry in the store. This is what I did. 2.3GHz i7, 750GB HD, 4GB Ram, HiRes, and Matte Screen.

    After you have this in your hands do the upgrades yourself. Its much cheaper to upgrade the HD and RAM yourself. Frankly, once you do it, you'll wonder why you ever spent time thinking apple should do it. Once you replace the HD with a SSD, you can take the 750GB HD, case it, and use it to store your media. Of course, this is simply what I would do, and I know my thoughts and ways don't always agree with everyone else's.
    Its seems like he is planning on at least doing the HDD upgrade himself.

    That said do you really need a 250-300gb SSD if you are using an optibay hdd as well? You could save 250 by going with a 120gb drive instead. And other optical bay HDD bays can be found for ~40 bucks.

    Also there are rumors of a MBA refresh as soon as june so if you like the portability of the MBA then it might be worth it to wait and see if they come out with sandy bridge i5s. I think the screen on the MBAs look awesome with the same resolution as the normal 15inch MBP, but not matte of course.

  9. #9

    Stretch's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 13, 2007
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    Central New York
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    4,773
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    15in i7 MacBook Pro, 8GB RAM, 120GB SSD, 500GB HD
    I just got a 15in hi-res glossy screen MBP. Whether you choose the matte or glossy option, do choose the hi-res screen. It's well worth the $100 upgrade cost.

    I will be adding a SSD in the near future and am currently looking at OWC's Mercury Pro drives.
    Blog and Photo Gallery: http://philolin.me/

    Currently running OS X 10.10

  10. #10

    wheelguy12's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 07, 2011
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    157
    Sounds like you priced yourself right out of business. No need for all that fluff - $1200+tax will get you a spectacular 13" - perfect for portability, and upgradeable at a later time to 16gig RAM, 1T hard drive, 500gig SSD, 27" Cinema displays (get 3), etc., as $ and needs permit.

  11. #11


    Member Since
    Apr 24, 2011
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by Boosted_Brian View Post
    IMHO, if you are seriously looking to get a power house MBP and also on a budget, get the top of line 15 MBP that they carry in the store. This is what I did. 2.3GHz i7, 750GB HD, 4GB Ram, HiRes, and Matte Screen.

    After you have this in your hands do the upgrades yourself. Its much cheaper to upgrade the HD and RAM yourself. Frankly, once you do it, you'll wonder why you ever spent time thinking apple should do it. Once you replace the HD with a SSD, you can take the 750GB HD, case it, and use it to store your media. Of course, this is simply what I would do, and I know my thoughts and ways don't always agree with everyone else's.
    That was the idea - $2359 is the price of the top line model to Education Pricing.



    Quote Originally Posted by thurstmw View Post
    Its seems like he is planning on at least doing the HDD upgrade himself.

    That said do you really need a 250-300gb SSD if you are using an optibay hdd as well? You could save 250 by going with a 120gb drive instead. And other optical bay HDD bays can be found for ~40 bucks.

    Also there are rumors of a MBA refresh as soon as june so if you like the portability of the MBA then it might be worth it to wait and see if they come out with sandy bridge i5s. I think the screen on the MBAs look awesome with the same resolution as the normal 15inch MBP, but not matte of course.
    Honestly, one 300gb SSD is probably sufficient for my needs. I might just wait until Lion comes out so I don't have to buy it in 2 months.

  12. #12

    osxx's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 19, 2008
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    houston texas
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    4,695
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    09 MBP 8GB ram 500GB HD OS 10.9 32B iPad 4 32GB iPhone 5 iOs7 2TB TC Apple TV3
    Quote Originally Posted by wheelguy12 View Post
    Sounds like you priced yourself right out of business. No need for all that fluff - $1200+tax will get you a spectacular 13" - perfect for portability, and upgradeable at a later time to 16gig RAM, 1T hard drive, 500gig SSD, 27" Cinema displays (get 3), etc., as $ and needs permit.
    He might have wanted the faster processor and better video card which are not available on the current 13's.

  13. #13


    Member Since
    Apr 24, 2011
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    11
    Quote Originally Posted by osxx View Post
    He might have wanted the faster processor and better video card which are not available on the current 13's.
    I have a Macbook Air which already has a better GPU than the 13" Macbook Pro.

    Processor speed bump is pretty pointless to me without the gaming GPU capability, otherwise I'm perfectly fine with my 2.13ghz Core 2 duo.

    I would like a 13" Macbook Pro that's quad core with the 6750 and the Macbook Air screen of course, but who wouldn't.

  14. #14


    Member Since
    Apr 24, 2011
    Posts
    11
    Well, I think I'm going to get the loaded 2.3ghz Macbook Pro 15 with the matte HD screen.

    I'm going to hold off on an SSD (none of are in stock anyway) until Lion comes out since I'll be wiping the drive and starting fresh from Lion anyway.

    I'll stick with the 4GB ram until Lion as well and go 1600 8gb then.

  15. #15

    thurstmw's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 29, 2010
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    BoCo
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    295
    Specs:
    13inch 2.3 i5 MBP 64gb SSD 320gb HD 8gb 1333
    Quote Originally Posted by ForceCalibur View Post
    Well, I think I'm going to get the loaded 2.3ghz Macbook Pro 15 with the matte HD screen.

    I'm going to hold off on an SSD (none of are in stock anyway) until Lion comes out since I'll be wiping the drive and starting fresh from Lion anyway.

    I'll stick with the 4GB ram until Lion as well and go 1600 8gb then.
    Dont bother spending extra on 1600 ram. The macbook will underclock it to 1333.

    Also I am guessing you meant 2.2ghz? The pros only come in 2.0 and 2.2 right now for the 15s

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