I love Apple’s new MacBooks and would be selling my PowerBook right now in order to help cover the cost of a new portable, but I simply can’t get over the glossy screens Apple chose to install. The MacBook Pro line at least has the built-to-order option of a matte screen, but the “consumer” level MacBook has none. As the glossy LCD is really the only factor stopping me from shelling out for a new notebook this very second, I think it may be time to take matters into my own hacker hands.

After doing some searching, I discovered that LG-Philips manufactures the glossy MacBook LCDs. This shouldn’t have come as a surprise, as Apple uses LG and/or LG-Philips LCD panels in most, if not all of their computer products. The particular model used in the MacBook is LP133WXT, which appears to be a very new model, as a Google search turns up only the page linked to above.

The hack comes into play here, if you search for the first part of the LCD model, LP133, on eBay. To get better results, search for LP133*, where * is a wildcard. This search turns up a number of matte 13.3″ LG-Philips LCDs for auction, mostly from PC notebooks. As the glossy and matte versions are both manufactured by the same company, are the same size, and (more than likely) take the same power, I’m betting that the LCDs would be swapped with no ill effects.

I’ll keep my eyes open for more information as I save up some extra cash for a MacBook. Maybe if I wait, Apple will add the matte option in the near future…


5 thoughts on “MatteBook

  1. Sean says:

    I was scared of the glossy screen at first, but after using a MacBook I didn’t think it was bad at all. The screen is much better then the iBooks. If you haven’t already then you should try playing around with one at an Apple Store or something, you may change your mind.


  2. Hey Collin. I’d wait until after WWDC. You never know, maybe Apple is getting enough interest in the matt screens to add them as a BTO option on the MacBooks too.

    I set up a black MacBook for someone this week and the screen wasn’t a problem, at least for the hour or two I was playing with it. I suspect it could become an issue if you typically use the machine in a brightly lit room, say like the Stockton library with literally wall to wall windows.

    I love the black MacBook. It reminds me of the old Wallstreet/Pismo ‘Books which were my absolute favorite laptops. The MB keyboard has a really nice feel too, again reminiscent of the old PowerBooks. If the MacBooks were available when I got my MacBook Pro I might have had a tough choice to make.

    Now if Apple would just announce a black MacSlab/Tablet next month.


  3. The glossy screens are my main obstacle to getting a MacBook. The place where I use my current iBook has the screen in direct sunlight for a couple of hours a day at least, and it’s hard enough to use with the matte one. The glossy one would just have way too much glare for my tastes.


  4. Djuri says:

    First I were also scared by the glossy screen, it looks so bad on photo’s etc. But in real life I think its as good or even better as my Samsung SyncMaster 930BF 19 inch TFT screen! Colors look very vivid and with exception of sitting in rooms with full sunlight in my back, I have no trouble with refelections (and if they are there when I sit in a room with full sunlight, they don’t annoy me at all)

    I have the black MacBook for 10 days now, if you want to see pictures of my MacBook, you can look here:


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