Retina display uses IPS technology for a 178-degree wide viewing angle, and has 75 percent less reflection and 29 percent higher contrast than the previous generation.
The photo below shows a previous generation of 15 ” Unibody MacBook Pro (hereafter just “Unibody”) and the Retina Display MacBook Pro (hereafter Retina). As you can see, reflections in both screens are still sharp, and not smeared as with a matte screen. On the other hand, there is definitely a lot less reflection in the Retina screen on the left. There is also a double glazed artifact on the Unibody screen, from the extra layer of glass, which causes a second ghost image offset from the main image. This photo was shot in a dimly lit image editing studio; I’ll leave it to you to decide if this reduction in reflectance is sufficient to allow you to move to a gloss screen; but as someone moving from a Unibody MacBook Pro with a gloss screen already, this is all good from my perspective.
I have been making a big deal about Screen Reflectance since 2004 - all of my Mobile Shoot-Out articles include Lab Measurements of total and mirror reflections from displays. So I’m glad that Apple is now making this a marketing issue. According to Apple the MacBook Pro Retina Display does not have a separate cover glass with an Air Gap (like the new iPad 3). This lowers the Screen Reflectance (like on the iPhone 4) but it’s more difficult and expensive to manufacture (and a lot more expensive if you crack the screen). Apple is claiming a 75 percent reduction in Glare, which is one form or another of Reflectance. That is a factor of 4 reduction to 25 percent Reflectance of previous models. I find that 4:1 reduction claim hard to believe… more likely is a 25 percent reduction to 75 percent Reflectance.