MacBook 2.4GHz [Aluminium] 2008 full review
The MacBook's glossy display
The next major change from previous MacBooks is the display. Although the MacBook has the same 13.3-inch size screen and 1,280-by-800 pixel resolution as the previous models, these are the first MacBooks to use a backlit LED (light-emitting diode) display. Compared to the screens on the previous MacBook, the new backlit LEDs are thinner, brighter, and more power-efficient.
Resting over the face of the display is a piece of glass with a roughly three-quarters-of-an-inch-thick black mask that replaces the bezel of old (the overall black-and-silver color scheme gives the MacBook a strong kinship with the iMac). Apple says that the flat pane of glass and curved aluminum top provide sufficient strength to protect the screen, and the solid feel to the construction seems to back that up. I was also impressed with how well the glass resisted fingerprints as I ran my fingers over it. Unlike my iPhone, which requires near daily rubdowns from the soft black cloth that comes in the box, I didn’t need to wipe off the MacBook at all in my use (there is a cloth included in the MacBook box, however).
A point of contention often brought up when it comes to displays is gloss. Some complain about seeing reflections in glossy screens, interfering with usability. Others lament the glare coming off the glass. Still others say glossy displays are unfit for high-end color work in graphics or video. Whether or not you like a glossy screen is a personal decision, but the LED display used in the MacBook is very bright, which tends to mitigate glare or reflectivity issues. Also, with a laptop you can adjust the angle and position of your computer in such a way to overcome many potential problems. But the lack of a matte option, for many, is a deal-breaker.
In terms of viewing angle, the MacBook’s display performs well, with very little colour shift or change in brightness, when viewed from side to side. Looking at the screen from above or below has more of an impact, changing color and contrast dramatically.
Next: The new glass trackpad