Even by my standards, the title of this article is lame. Sorry.

Anyway, Apple this week announced new MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops. The way I saw it, there were three major complaints:

  1. Lack of firewire on the MacBooks.
  2. Lack of Blu-ray drives on anything Apple makes, even as an option.
  3. Glossy screens only on MacBook Pros – not even a matte screen option.

So much has already been said about 1 that I won’t bother. 2 I might write something about later. But this article is about 3.

Don’t click away just yet. I’m not going to just whinge like everyone else about glossy screens. Sure, I would prefer matte screens over glossy for laptops as I don’t like the reflections. But I don’t think the glossy screens are that bad – I have one on my iMac, and I’ve used an older MacBook with glossy screen and the reflections are generally not terrible.

This post is actually about holding up a mirror (groan) to Apple’s advertising and reflecting (groan again) on how Apple are so skilled at turning a negative in to a positive.

Now, say you wanted to sell a new laptop your company has just created. You want to show how great it is for working, watching videos, playing games. Surely you’d want to also show how clear the screen is – how it won’t distract you from your work and play because it is so bright and easy to read.

Well, that’s what I’d want to show. But maybe that is why I’m not in advertising, because apparently Apple believe the key to selling their new laptops is to show how reflections are so extreme that they get in the way of everything you do.

Case in point, this video from Apple talking about how great their new laptops are.

Let’s look at some images from this video.

We’ll start with a fairly standard marketing shot.

Ok, the reflection on that screen looks quite fake. But we can forgive Apple for this – they are showing that the screen is glossy and bright. We also have this shot:

The reflection is a little extreme here – it looks like a mirror. But the screen isn’t on, so maybe it isn’t so bad. Let’s press on.

Here we have someone actually doing some work. Editing a photo no less.

Yes, when you are editing a photo you’ve taken, you really want to have part of your image looking brighter than the rest due to a big reflection on the screen. It makes working so much easier.

But don’t forget, these machines are great for watching video (as long as it isn’t Blu-ray). Let’s take a look at these machines playing a movie, in this case Iron Man.

Is it just me, or are these reflections getting bigger and bigger now? Has someone at Apple gone mad with the post production addition of reflections to the screen?

Now, I don’t know about you – but if I’m watching a movie, I tend to get a bit angry if I get reflections on my screen. Apparently the Apple guys think this is cool though. The more reflection the better!

So, let’s take a look at how Apple advertise video games on the new glossy screens.

Whoah! Now the reflection is like half the screen. I’m not making this shit up – this is all Apple. And each new image has a larger and brighter reflection.

You’ve got to hand it to Apple advertising though. They can take a negative, play it up to an unrealistic level, and convince you that it is all positive. I’m still struggling with the lack of firewire on MacBooks as a positive. But I’m actually quite thirsty, and Steve is offering me Kool-Aid. Thanks mate.

Reflecting on Reflection

2 thoughts on “Reflecting on Reflection

  • October 19, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Reflection is not a problem on my MacBook Air. Even in bright Aussie sunlight, I can read the screen clearly. This whole reflection thing is a red herring.

  • October 20, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    But I must buy it, it’s so shiny!

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