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iPad Air 2 is semi-matte!/My MacBook Air is now matte too!

Frequent ProVideo Coalition readers know that I strongly prefer matte screens, whether its for media production or general use. In fact, I recently even sent my MacBook Air to have its display transplanted for a matte display. Now, I am ecstatic to see that Apple is finally offering a non-reflective screen on its latest iPad Air 2. I am only disappointed not to see it offered on the iPad Mini 3 or an any current iPhone. Details ahead.

New iPad Air 2

With the iPad Air 2, Apple is finally offering an anti-glare display. Other changes in the iPad Air 2 include that it is 18% thinner (with a 6.1 mm thickness, or “thinness” as Apple prefers to say), and that it weighs only 437 grams (0.96 pounds). But more about the display:

It is still considered Retina (2048×1536 or 264 pixels per inch) and 9.7 inch diagonal. Apple states:

The displays on previous generations of iPad used three separate components. iPad Air 2 changes all that, combining those three layers into just one. This eliminates gaps between layers, along with the internal reflectance caused by those gaps. The result? Colors are richer, contrast is greater, and images are sharper and more vivid…

The lowest reflectance of any tablet:
iPad Air 2 features a custom-designed antireflective coating that reduces glare by 56 percent, making it the least reflective tablet in the world. In virtually any kind of environment — offices, classrooms, outdoors — everything is clearer and more readable.

Perhaps we’ll now be able to shoot video, take pictures, or just read from the screen outdoors without having to use an opaque “focusing cloth” that photographers used with their view cameras.

In the US, iPad Air 2 is available in three different colors and with 16GB, 64GB, or 128GB, with either WiFi only, or WiFi and cellular data. So the minimum price is US$499 and the max is US$829.

Due to the lack of mention of anti-refectunce in the new iPad Mini 3 (or any iPhone to date), I must conclude that the iPad Air 2 is currently the only handheld device from Apple with a semi-matte display. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of such improvements throughout their product line (and —also wishful thinking— with Android devices too).

Yes, I sent my MacBook Air for the matte upgrade!

After mentioning it several times, I finally did it: I sent my MacBook Air to TechRestore in California to have them transplant my glossy original Apple screen for the greatly superior matte screen, which has the exact same pixel resolution as the original. It has been many years since Apple offered their own matte screens for their laptops, and that’s why TechRestore stepped in with their transplant service for MacBook Air 2009 and later units, as well as some MacBook Pro units. Here is their spiel:

Why Choose TechRestore for your Anti-Glare Upgrade?

  • We are the Matte screen, Anti-Glare experts. We pioneered the anti-glare screen replacement service, winning the MacWorld Expo Best of Show award. Our Apple Certified Technicians are the only techs that perform the anti-glare upgrade service on all MacBook and MacBook Pro unibody models.
  • Once we receive your MacBook Air, our repair turnaround time is just 24–48 hours. We can’t imagine being without our Macs for 7–10 days, so we don’t expect you to wait that long either.
  • Our services are performed by Apple Certified Technicians that have performed over 70,000 Mac laptop repairs. It’s not our first rodeo.

Here is some additional information that is important to understand, before scheduling your service.

  1. Like for like. If your MacBook Air arrives with a scratched or damaged casing (the aluminum housing around your screen), we will contact you, as there may be extra charges incurred if you want our usual, awesome-fast turnaround time.

  2. Warranty. We include a 1-year warranty on both parts and labor for the screen. We have never had an Apple warranty declined due to a repair we have performed. Apple is not going to warranty your screen (we do that). If you select the Anti-Glare upgrade, there’s a chance that Apple will not honor the warranty on the rest of your MacBook Air. We believe it’s better to be up front with you than to have you be bitterly disappointed if something happens in the future.

Obviously, if you opt for the anti-glare service, you’re the type that lives on the edge anyway and a little risk has never slowed you down before. Or, your unit is simply already out of warranty.

DISCLOSURE: I did not receive any discount from TechRestore, and they didn’t even know that I was going to write about their service in ProVideo Coalition. In other words, I paid full price. I am 100% satisfied with the result. Now I can finally use my MacBook Air near a window or even outside with no problem.

If you are interested in doing the same, visit TechRestore.com, select Repair>Mac Repair. Then pick your Mac model, and slide down until you find the word matte.

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Contact Allan Tépper for consulting, or find a full listing of his books, articles and upcoming seminars and webinars at AllanTepper.com. Listen to his CapicúaFM and TecnoTur programs. Search for CapicúaFM TecnoTur in iTunes or Stitcher Radio.

FTC disclosure

No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs.

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The articles contained in the TecnoTur channel in ProVideo Coalition magazine are copyright Allan Tépper/TecnoTur LLC, except where otherwise attributed. Unauthorized use is prohibited without prior approval, except for short quotes which link back to this page, which are encouraged!


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Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is an award-winning broadcaster & podcaster, bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994,…

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