Apple offers matte screen option for 15-in. MacBook Pro

Backs off all-glossy attitude, but antiglare display costs $50

Apple today quietly began offering an antiglare display option for the 15-in. models of its MacBook Pro laptop line.

The optional matte finish screen is a $50 upgrade and is available on all three 15-in. MacBook Pro laptops. Previously, only the 17-in. MacBook Pro offered the upgrade to a nonglossy display.

Last month, AppleInsider first reported that Apple was considering expanding the antiglare option beyond the 17-in. MacBook Pro.

Other Apple notebooks, including the $999 13-in. MacBook, the two 13-in. MacBook Pro models and the MacBook Air are sold only with the glossy screen. The company's iMac also comes only with the glossy display.

Although Apple has been promoting glossy screens, touting their deeper blacks and better color saturation, some users remained unconvinced, citing the reflections that appear under some conditions, such as in brightly-lit offices, that interfered with work.

Today, users on Apple's support forum and on other sites' comment or message threads applauded the matte finish move, although some took the company to task for the $50 price tag.

"You have to hand it to Apple, the cheeky bastards," said a user identified as "iBlue" on a MacRumors forum this morning. "They take the choice away from their customer, then they bring it back but at a substantial fee... and people are actually grateful!"

"This is just money-grabbing from Apple," added someone identified as "thejadedmonkey" on the same thread. "My MacBook Pro came with a matte screen, and it was free. Kudos to Apple for bringing back what they had, but why in the world do they have to be so greedy about it?"

On Apple's support forum, some users who had recently purchased MacBook Pro notebooks were upset that they'd missed out on the antiglare option. "I just bought mine a MONTH ago, and I am freaking LIVID, right now," said someone using the moniker "24Golfer" in a thread on Apple's MacBook Pro forum. "I bought an anti-glare sticker for it too, to make it matte screen, which cost me the same as it would've if they had this damned option in the first place. Will Apple do a free replacement? Probably not."

Apple first offered glossy screens on its MacBook line in 2006, then it added a glossy screen to the MacBook Pro 17-in. a year later; that same year it used glossy screens in the major revamp of its iMac desktop line. Last October, when Apple unveiled redesigned "unibody" MacBooks and MacBook Pros, the glossy display was the only option for all but the 17-in. MacBook Pro.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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