I am in need of a new MBP. I do development (Ruby/Rails) on my mid 2009 13" MBP running Mavericks, and I find it is getting old enough that I'm getting some lag when I'm running DB and web server, Rubymine, browsers, etc. all at once. I would buy the latest 13" MBP today, as I don't need more than the 8GB/256GB setup. My issue is the screen itself. I LOVE the glossy screens, but I went to the Apple Store and touched the screen on a new RMBP. The LCD distorted as it flexed. Apparently these are plastic screens? A while back I was looking at a friend's MacBook Air. I didn't realize the screens were plastic, no glass like my older MBP. I get why they are using plastic, but it seemed like he had to use a screen protector on his MBA because oil from the tips of his fingers would collect on the keys, and the keys would touch the screen when it was closed. This happened on my old Pismo Powerbook and my 12" PowerBook. The oil actually attacks the plastic and mars it permanently.

My question is for current MBP owners, Have you experienced any transfer of dirt and oil from the keys to the screen? I noticed at the store that the screen is inset from the gasket around the edge, so it seems like it SHOULDN'T touch. But being plastic it is much more likely to flex. Also has anyone seen scratches even when cleaning carefully with microfiber and an approved cleaning liquid?

I would buy the Non-Retina 13" MBP in a heartbeat, and just replace the optical and HDD with a couple SSDs, if it was running the Haswell processor that the RBMP has. I don't care so much about the resolution, but more about the processor already being "previous gen". Can't seem to find any signs if they plan on updating the Non-retina models with the latest processors.

Thoughts and experiences?

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    Note: It ain't plastique. It's made of glass. Cf anandtech.com/show/5998/macbook-pro-retina-display-analysis Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 19:54
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    possible duplicate of How hard is the glass on Retina MacBook Pro Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 19:55
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    Buy the Retina and never look back. Coding is night and day better on a retina screen. I'm just speechless... The glass on the retina is in fact some kind of film, had it for almost a year with normal wear and tear and i have zero scratches. The Retina is the best laptop Apple made to date. Battery life is GREAT!
    – unom
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 20:57
  • If the display is glass, why are there posts on the Apple message boards about people getting marks from their keyboards on the screen? Are they referring to the matte screen? That Anandtech article is over a year and a half old. I just wanted to be sure that the display had not changed to plastic. If it is glass, it is might thin, as a light touch from my finger can distort the LCD. Maybe this is due to thin glass with no cover glass like the non-retina models?
    – Beartech
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 21:26
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    @Beartech I have the 2012 model and can do the same thing you describe if I press my finger down on the screen, so it doesn't sound like the 2013 model is any different. I've had it since July and haven't noticed any scratches or anything (and it's actually a refurb, too).
    – daGUY
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 2:56

4 Answers 4


It's glass and it is just as durable. Since they removed a layer between the glass and the actual display, it's thiner And the glass is closer to the display.

Every screen has this effect. You just need to press harder ;)

Fingerprints are less of an issue than on my old non-retina MBP imho


From someone who has the 13 inch MBPr, I have some comments about the screen.

Pros: -incredibly sharp -Fantastic colors and contrast -Very bright

Cons: -The glass- let me explain. Initially I notice that the glass did not seem particularly durable but, decided to get in anyways seeing as I wanted something new and powerful. My suspicion was correct. My screen has a huge scape across the center due to what i can only assume is the keyboard. I also have tons of those small chips/divots/dents (whatever you want to call them) all over the top half of my screen. I am not the person to mistreat their electronics. I always handle them with care and constantly clean and disinfect them. So it was a bit of a surprise to me when all of this damage occurred to the screen. Apple definitely made a mistake with this one. I am yet to go and get it checked out but judging by other reports i have doubts they will be willing to replace it.


I have the late 2013 rMBP.
Advice: Buy a can of air and a microfiber cloth at Walmart And all is good. Static is bad on the display which will attract tiny dust occasionally. Between the 2 mentioned items you will be fine. And yes, it takes almost NO pressure to cause the LCD to distort from your finger. I was a little let down on this. Mainly because you have this terribly tough aluminum casing, but a display that's as soft as butter, BIZARRE!

Fingerprints?? NOT an issue even after closing the lid. BUT! The keys as usual look like crap after some good usage. I wonder, why oh why does Apple use a material that makes finger prints stand out on the keys! Some people have greasy greasy oily fingers, something I don't have but yet STILL have those fingerprints! Thankfully the rubber seal/gasket keeps the display from resting on the keyboard. One more negative about the keyboard...feels cheap...feels like you are using very thing plastic keys, as you press each down against the hard aluminum, they are about to pop off. If I turn the keyboard brightness all the way up, and turn off the lights in my room, and lean back a little for a level viewing angle, I can see that my space bar is actually bent! Looks like crap to be honest and plan to visit a Genius Bar soon...

Battery life is crazy good! I won't give numbers because everyone's habits are different, but its nothing short of amazing!

With the 256 gigs of SSD FLASH (PCIE), and the 8 gigs ram, it's FAST and somewhat future proofed. Although I can't imagine ANYONE buying the 4 gigs ram version. 2.6 gigs of ram are already used on a fresh startup and that was bone stock software running! Safari is a HUGE memory hog! AND BY THE WAY.... It's a matter of time before a 3rd part companies will be SSD upgrades for the late 2013 MacBook Retina Pros! The early 2012 Retina models already HAVE SSD that will work SO YES! Because remember, Apple installed a PCIE slot for the SSD! And yes it's a slot!! The memory is soldered but NOT the SSD and it's easy as the battery, to get to!


Dirt and oil does not transfer from the keyboard to the screen when the MBP is closed. Drastically improved design. Screen is unbelievably good.

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