Hands-on: TechRestore’s matte-screen MacBook Pro service

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Updated to add: When contacted about the small damaged area on the MacBook Pro, TechRestore had this to say: “We always work with our customers to fix any issues - it’s why we have such a good reputation. If someone’s not happy, we go out of our way to resolve problems to everyone’s satisfaction.”

However, if you’re still a bit nervous about your machine, TechRestore plans to offer additional peace of mind in the form of an optional two-year extended warranty that will cover the entire machine.

Final thoughts

I’ve had the TechRestore “MatteBook Pro” in my hands for about six days now, and have been using it extensively during that time. So far, I haven’t had anything even resembling a mechanical issue with the modified screen, or with any other aspect of the machine.

In operation, of course, the TechRestore machine performs just like the stock MacBook Pro. That’s because, in all regards other than the screen, it is a stock MacBook Pro. This was my first extensive experience with the new unibody MacBook Pro, and I’ve come away impressed. I thought my current MacBook Pro felt pretty solid, but compared to the new machine, it seems to have the rigidity of wet sponge—the new unibody design is really that much stiffer. Performance is also excellent, and the machine feels much peppier than my current MacBook Pro.

The quality of the TechRestore installation was very good—not perfect, but with only a couple of minor flaws that don’t stand out in typical use. Although the screen is more flexible than that of the stock unibody MacBook Pro, it’s more solid than that of the prior-generation MacBook Pro, and it doesn’t come across as "flimsy" in any way. The fact that the laptop is also five ounces lighter is an added bonus.

In short, after spending roughly a week with the TechRestore modified “MatteBook Pro,” I would have no concerns about using this modified machine on a daily basis. In fact, this machine really feels like the machine Apple should have introduced—or at least made available as an option—for those of us who prefer matte to glossy screens.

Are there any downsides? There’s the cost, of course, along with some possible warranty concerns. But if you’re a matte screen aficionado, and you’ve been lamenting the lack of such screens on the new 15-inch MacBook Pro, TechRestore’s screen replacement program is an option worth serious consideration. Perhaps the best compliment I can give to this matte marvel is that, as the end of my time approaches with the machine, I’m trying to think of creative ways for it to get “lost” before I have to return it to Macworld Lab!

While I still hold out hope for an official Apple solution—and one that offers a true matte screen, not just an “anti-glare” option—TechRestore’s screen replacement program means that I can now once again contemplate the purchase of a new MacBook Pro.

Updated at 4:40 p.m. on Feb 4, 2009

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