View Full Version : New 12 inch PowerBook Lower Quality Display?

Oct 14, 2003, 05:34 AM
I'm live in Tokyo, and I just picked up a copy of MacPeople, which is one of several major magazines focusing on Macs. (Yes, there's more than MacWorld!)

They have a special feature on the new 12 inch PowerBook, and they point out that the new 12 inch's LCD display shows more blue and is darker overall than the older 12 inch PB LCD. I know it's hard to compare them without having them side by side (which they did on the magazine). Has anyone noticed this? The magazine does point out that it could be due to variations at different production factories.

Oct 14, 2003, 10:35 AM
well what ever the difference, I am happy with the quality of the screen on my new 12" powerbook the screen is very good not one dead pixel, I have seen the old 12" powerbook in shops, the screen looked fine, I can't really say more.

Oct 14, 2003, 11:29 AM
Now that you mention it, I did notice that the screen on the new 12" powerbooks did seem slightly darker. Nevertheless it was still very bright overall.

I am not sure if it is true, but to me it seemed like the screen on the 15" powerbook was of slightly higher quality. However, it could be just an optical illusion. The wider screen presents a much more attractive image in my opinion.

By the way, do you know of any good Japanese web sites about Macs? The only one I know is http://www.kodawarisan.com/ug/index.html
I can read Japanese, so sites written in either Japanese or Englishwould be fine.

Oct 14, 2003, 11:44 AM
I've never seen them side by side, but having seen both, I'd say that the screens on both are the same. Do you really think apple would go to a lower quality product from what it already had?

However, I do agree that the screen on the 15" seems brighter.

Oct 14, 2003, 02:56 PM
15" has a higher quality LCD in it. 12" PB and iBook share the same screen, IIRC.

Oct 14, 2003, 03:09 PM

It does seem odd. The cost for a retool on the fulfillment would likely preclude and offset in benefit for a lower quality anyway.

But it occurs to me that the backlight isn't part of the screen itself, perhaps they left the screen (Polarization Filter, TFT Screen, Polarization Filter, substrate), but are using a different backlight?

Oct 14, 2003, 03:38 PM
People who think their screen is "bluer" or "not blue enough" or "too pale" should remember to visit the Display Preference Pane.

Calibrate your screen!

You may be amazed to realize how much better (or worse if you felt like punishing yourself) that screen can appear.


Oct 14, 2003, 03:56 PM
Well when you put my iBook next to my dad's 17inch Powerbook (rev.a) you could see a rather large difference in the brightness of the screen, and i know that the ibook and rev.a 12 inch powerbooks had the same screen, but if that have downgraded, i could only imagine how hard it must be to see in normal light..


Oct 14, 2003, 06:04 PM
FWIW, I have both the Rev A & B 12" Powerbooks.

The Rev B 12" has more contrast that the Rev A. The Rev A seemed 'washed out' on it's default setting. Claibrating helped, but the Rev B still seems more 'vibrant'. The viewing angle is also better on the new model, although this may be a result of the improved contrast..

It's possible that these differences may be due to the different graphics cards. The actual screens may be the same.

Oct 14, 2003, 06:40 PM
There's an interesting (and disturbing) discussion regarding the new Palm T3. The review screens are great, but some screens in the field are darker with a bluish cast. Apparently, not all T3's are alike. Palm is dual-sourcing the displays, and one vendor is inferior to the other, so some T3's are not as genuinely good as the typical reviewed model(s).

I hope Apple is not suffering the same issue.

Oct 14, 2003, 07:19 PM
Originally posted by paj

It's possible that these differences may be due to the different graphics cards. The actual screens may be the same.

I think it has more to do with the contrast ratio of the LCD, i know for the current iBook, and rev.a 12 inch powerbooks it is 350:1, which is rather crappy, i find that in order to be nice and bright the LCD should be a minimun of 500:1


Oct 14, 2003, 07:22 PM
while talking about LCD's, on my ipod, the backlight was never the color that apple advertises on their website, and the iPod box, i have more of a light odd color. i thought it was normal and that apple was just exagerating the quality. until i went to store (Future Shop) that sells ipod, and noticed that it's backlight was a true blue just like on the box.. what is up with that??


Oct 15, 2003, 02:22 PM
Like the guy was saying above about Palm T3s, ipod screens are dual sourced as well, which is why some have white back lights, and others have blue.

Oct 15, 2003, 02:38 PM
Originally posted by fraeone
Like the guy was saying above about Palm T3s, ipod screens are dual sourced as well, which is why some have white back lights, and others have blue.

Thanks yeah, mine is the white one, i find the blue backlight nicer, but the white backlite has nicer text.


Oct 15, 2003, 03:04 PM
I have a 1Ghz 17 " and just bought the family a new 12"PB. Not complaining but the screens are not comparable.
Brightness , color , clarity of image are a little disappointing on the little guy.
I was hoping for more since its called a Powerbook.