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View Full Version : New PB's Screen is laughable compared to my iMac's


Apple!Freak
Jun 3, 2005, 11:39 PM
I just finished setting up my new 12" G4 Powerbook and its great with the exception of the screen. I mean its not terrible but compared to my iMac 20" G5, the quality is laughable. Its completely uncomparable. It almost hurts (mentally) to look at the PB's screen compared to my iMacs.

Is this suppose to be like this? I mean obviously, I can live with it as its not earth shattering horrible. I had no idea what to expect as this is my first notebook computer (well I did see it in the store, but I didn't think about it). I guess I simply assumed they would be somewhat comparable.

So is this normal?

mad jew
Jun 3, 2005, 11:44 PM
I used to always read about how bad the Mac laptop screens are and just think it was people just being picky. To me, my 12 inch iBook was fine. Then I bought an iMac too (a 17 inch one though) and I can't believe I used to work with such a dim display! Putting them side by side is criminal, it's like the iBook isn't even turned on. :(

On the bright side (pun kinda intended, sorry), when I'm using my iBook by itself it's still fine IMO.

Apple!Freak
Jun 3, 2005, 11:56 PM
I used to always read about how bad the Mac laptop screens are and just think it was people just being picky. To me, my 12 inch iBook was fine. Then I bought an iMac too (a 17 inch one though) and I can't believe I used to work with such a dim display! Putting them side by side is criminal, it's like the iBook isn't even turned on. :(

On the bright side (pun kinda intended, sorry), when I'm using my iBook by itself it's still fine IMO.

Completely agreed! I thought the display on the PB was slightly dimmed before I realized. Your right about when using it by itself, it's fine. I stared at my PB for about 5 minutes (while playing on it, of course), looked behind me at my iMac and my PB didn't look so bad anymore. Now, on my iMac for 10 minutes, my PB screen looks horrible. Ha.

A notebook is for moving around, right? Well, on my two week trip out-of-the-country next week, I don't think my iMac is going to be following me, so I should be fine. :p

UTB_Avid
Jun 5, 2005, 01:18 AM
I set my sisters 12" PB next to my 15" PB, the difference between those is even pretty significant. The 15" being about twice as bright, maybe more.

ham_man
Jun 5, 2005, 01:23 AM
My PowerBook's display is plenty bright to me. But I will take all of your concerns over its dimness into consideration once I hit about hour 4 of battery life... :rolleyes:

Apple!Freak
Jun 5, 2005, 01:39 AM
I set my sisters 12" PB next to my 15" PB, the difference between those is even pretty significant. The 15" being about twice as bright, maybe more.

UTB, would you mind chiming in on this thread?
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=130406

h0e0h
Jun 5, 2005, 04:28 PM
when i hook my 12" PB up to my 17" LCD its like day and night. I am constantly trying to brighten my PB's display. Of course, when i'm sitting in the living room or laying in the bed without the power adapter plugged in I dim the screen down all the way before it cuts off to conserve power. I can get used to it, it doesn't bother me all that much. When i add a 20" iMac after Christmas then I will have to sit them on opposite sides of the desk i guess.

kwajo.com
Jun 5, 2005, 04:54 PM
well don't forget, you're talking about display brightness, not clarity, etc. and so the differnece can easily be explained. the laptops are forced to use smaller, lower-voltage backlights to save space and battery. it's true for the majority of laptops, even PC ones, which is why some use the lame Xbrite or whatever it's called, which helps sometimes, but isn't very good professionally because it puts reflections on everything

mkrishnan
Jun 5, 2005, 04:59 PM
well don't forget, you're talking about display brightness, not clarity, etc. and so the differnece can easily be explained. the laptops are forced to use smaller, lower-voltage backlights to save space and battery. it's true for the majority of laptops, even PC ones, which is why some use the lame Xbrite or whatever it's called, which helps sometimes, but isn't very good professionally because it puts reflections on everything

Yes, exactly...google power consumption specs on typical laptop and desktop displays. Now you engineer a display that can run on 1W of power and provide as much brightness as a display that runs on 90W.... :rolleyes:

homerjward
Jun 5, 2005, 05:23 PM
well don't forget, you're talking about display brightness, not clarity, etc. and so the differnece can easily be explained. the laptops are forced to use smaller, lower-voltage backlights to save space and battery. it's true for the majority of laptops, even PC ones, which is why some use the lame Xbrite or whatever it's called, which helps sometimes, but isn't very good professionally because it puts reflections on everything
yeah, exactly, just like mkrishnan said. the 20" cinema display (basically same screen as iMac) uses 65 watts. that's the same as a 17" powerbook, not considering the 12"!
edit: just thought of something. how much power does the adc spec support? cause seeing the 30" using 150 watts of power i can't help but think that the new cinema displays use too much power for adc...just a thought.

Apple!Freak
Jun 5, 2005, 08:22 PM
yeah, exactly, just like mkrishnan said. the 20" cinema display (basically same screen as iMac) uses 65 watts. that's the same as a 17" powerbook, not considering the 12"!
edit: just thought of something. how much power does the adc spec support? cause seeing the 30" using 150 watts of power i can't help but think that the new cinema displays use too much power for adc...just a thought.

Wait, your saying the iMac G5 20" Screen uses 65 watts of power, and so does the Powerbook 17"? If this is true, and the 17" can power a 65 watt ratio screen, than why not the 12"? Is the battery on the 17" really THAT much more powerful?

aussie_geek
Jun 5, 2005, 08:41 PM
There is a massive difference between my PowerBook's screen and the Cinema Display. When put side by side, the PowerBook's screen has a slight yellow tint to is and is only about 50% as bright. I find the Cinema Display too bright and i always have it set down below 50% brightness.

The PowerBook display is actually better for my eyes I think, pitty it doesn't have the real estate of the 20' though.

aussie_geek

Apple!Freak
Jun 5, 2005, 09:12 PM
There is a massive difference between my PowerBook's screen and the Cinema Display. When put side by side, the PowerBook's screen has a slight yellow tint to is and is only about 50% as bright. I find the Cinema Display too bright and i always have it set down below 50% brightness.

The PowerBook display is actually better for my eyes I think, pitty it doesn't have the real estate of the 20' though.

aussie_geek

Just 50% less bright? I would say my 12" Powerbooks screen is in excess of 65% darker. I love bright screens-- I have the screen on my iMac set to 100% brightness and I wish I could get it even brighter. :)

mkrishnan
Jun 5, 2005, 09:13 PM
Wait, your saying the iMac G5 20" Screen uses 65 watts of power, and so does the Powerbook 17"? If this is true, and the 17" can power a 65 watt ratio screen, than why not the 12"? Is the battery on the 17" really THAT much more powerful?

*Everything* the PB17" does consumes 65 watts, altogether. Processor, HD, video card, memory, wireless, audio, display. The desktop screens use the ~65 watts just for the screen. And most of that is for the backlight. You would *not* like the PB battery life if it ran a screen like that....

Apple!Freak
Jun 5, 2005, 09:14 PM
If I turn the brightness on my iMac down to it's lowest setting, it appears very similar to my Powerbook 12" screen. Just concerning brightness though, of course even at it's lowest setting, my iMac still looks sharper and "cleaner."

oumdaddy
Jun 5, 2005, 09:29 PM
This is so true. I got a new 20 inch imac when they first came out and was blown away by the clarity of the screens. Now that I am looking for a new notebook, I see that the screens are found to be lacking compared to the imacs. I hope they come out with a new one soon. WWDC might hold something new.

treysmay
Jun 5, 2005, 10:35 PM
The imac is a much larger machine, off course its going to have better everything. Despite the crappy display on the PowerBooks, they are all capable of dual display. The imac can only mirror without a hack. I agree that the 12 powerbook has a peace of sh**t
But its just non comparable sorry.

mkrishnan
Jun 5, 2005, 10:42 PM
The imac can only mirror without a hack. I agree that the 12 powerbook has a peace of sh**t

I haven't played around with really recent Sony or IBM small notebooks. Are their screens remarkably better? Specifically other 12" or smaller notebooks now, not comparing them to bigger machines, desktop or otherwise. I know that there are a number of 12" notebooks in the windows world available with more resolution and in widescreen, but I wasn't sure if they had dramatically better screens....

LaMerVipere
Jun 5, 2005, 10:46 PM
I think when you first get a laptop the screen seems extremely dark, but your eyes quickly adjust to it. I actually find myself dimming my iBook's screen, especially at night.

aussie_geek
Jun 5, 2005, 10:56 PM
Just 50% less bright? I would say my 12" Powerbooks screen is in excess of 65% darker. I love bright screens-- I have the screen on my iMac set to 100% brightness and I wish I could get it even brighter. :)

What lighting conditions is your iMac in - is it in a well lit room? I have my G5 set up with a desklight behind the monitor and another lamp on behind me. All in all, I would say the room is pretty dark.

It is my little 'Mac Cave' :D


aussie_geek

ifjake
Jun 5, 2005, 10:57 PM
i don't have anything to compare with, but my 15" Ti screen has been fine, ever since Apple replaced it for me. i don't even have it on full brightness most of the time unless i'm in a bright room. i think your eyes adjust to the amount of light total in the room, but if your screen is way above the average room brightness your eyes start to adjust down instead of up. i just made all that up (i could have been a little more eloquent and tried to called it "lumens" or something), but i never use flourescent lights, and all of my incandescent bulbs are 40 watts, so my laptop doesn't have to be all that bright to keep up with the rest of my surroundings. sometimes depending on how i'm sitting (read if i'm slouching) all i have to do is tilt the screen one way or the other and it makes a noticable difference. i suspect the 12" screens could be just characteristially a little dimmer. interesting to think about, the whole brightness thing.

veedubdrew
Jun 6, 2005, 12:09 AM
yeah, exactly, just like mkrishnan said. the 20" cinema display (basically same screen as iMac) uses 65 watts. that's the same as a 17" powerbook, not considering the 12"!
edit: just thought of something. how much power does the adc spec support? cause seeing the 30" using 150 watts of power i can't help but think that the new cinema displays use too much power for adc...just a thought.

Well considering that none of the current Apple displays use ADC, the power consumption of the 30" screen isn't of much concern to the ADC spec ;)

-Drew

P.S. They use DVI now.

tekno_geek911
Jun 6, 2005, 12:19 AM
I dont think the 12" PowerBook screen is THAT bad,once you calibrate it with SuperCal its actually pretty nice...I dont really see too much of a difference between the 12" and 15" PB screens,but I'm sure it probably looks awful next to a 20" iMac or ACD.

reh
Jun 6, 2005, 12:23 AM
Well considering that none of the current Apple displays use ADC, the power consumption of the 30" screen isn't of much concern to the ADC spec ;)

-Drew

P.S. They use DVI now.

And it's powered by a brick plugged into the wall, not the Mac.