Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

The Apple shop lists glossy and antiglare options for their Hi-Res screens and I'm not sure what the difference is, and in particular which one is better for editing photos.

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

In my experience I would have to say the glossy. Even though the resolutions are the same, I really think that the glossy has much better color reproductions and looks more natural. The anti-glare tends to dull the colors, making it more difficult to judge when making adjustments. In fact, both my wife and I went with the glossy earlier this year for exactly this reason (photo editing). She has a lot more experience with photoshop than I, and she was blown away by the difference in color between the two.

share|improve this answer
I have shot photography professionally for many years, and bought glossy screen MacBook Pros for our editing. The color of the glossy is much more saturated without the matte finish. The downside is you can get a glare if you have a strong light behind you, but most of the time that can be fixed by turning the computer a bit. – Greg Dec 11 '10 at 10:35

This is 80% what calavera already said, and I'm only posting it for a few additional details that wouldn't fit into a comment. Translation: Accept calavera's answer instead, if you're thinking about accepting mine.

Glossy is generally considered better for accurate color gamut (I believe that's the proper term). Closer to "real life", full representation, etc. If you're professionally serious, I would still recommend picking up a color calibration kit, but you'll likely have less tweaking to do for accurate representation.

Anti-glare is exactly what it says, and exactly as calavera put it, it doesn't reflect the sun, room lights, generally light sources nearly as strongly, so you can use it nearly anywhere without having to re-orient/re-angle yourself. But, as a side effect of this, colors are dulled, a bit washed out.

Photo editing, video editing, anything that is geared for visual presentation pretty much demands a glossy screen, as opposed to something with just a visual interface (surfing, audio editing). Of course, with Apple making the anti-glare the "special order", it's there for people who need it, but otherwise people get the better choice in the majority of situations, by default.

share|improve this answer
Actually here in Austria all the shops only ordered the low-res versions and indicated we should use the Apple store directly (i.e. hi-res screens are special order, wtf?), or that they can put the order in for us. We got lucky though, since they just happened to have one hi-res glossy ordered, but without a buyer :) – glenneroo Dec 10 '10 at 18:39
What a backwards racket. – Jason Salaz Dec 10 '10 at 18:46

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.