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View Full Version : Something strange with my MBA display - or am I just being obsessive?




PDE
Feb 16, 2008, 06:35 AM
I noticed something strange with my display whenever there are larger portions of white. There is a lighter strip that goes from the middle lower portion, up to the upper left corner. it's one of those things that once you notice it, you see it all the time, but it's not objectively that bad. It's just annoying because of where it is. Am I being crazy? The display is otherwise beautiful and very even so maybe I AM just overly obsessive with my displays. What do you guys think? Should I ask for replacement? What is reasonable to expect? I hate when I bring something in and the genius just tells me that it's within specification or that s/he doesn't see it. This is one of those case where it's quite hard to see, but it's definitely there. It almost seems like it has more to do with the coating of the display than the backlight, but I could be wrong.



alpinadvl
Feb 16, 2008, 07:35 AM
let me be the first to comment :

I do not think you are being crazy. You paid a premium for this computer, and even if you had not - the mere fact that it is bothering you is a reason to return it.

I would definitely do the exchange - you will feel much better, and not have to "accept" the issue

-alf

Ps: I am also surprised that I can see exactly what you are talking about in the pictures - so I would guess it is even worse in person

drchipinski
Feb 16, 2008, 07:40 AM
I would not accept it, but I am overly critical. :D

PDE
Feb 16, 2008, 08:20 AM
I would not accept it, but I am overly critical. :D


yeah, I'm overly critical too. Especially with displays. That's why I wanted to run it past more rational people first. It's not visible unless I have lighter backgrounds or windows with a lot of white, but it definitely affects an otherwise perfect machine....

angrygolfer
Feb 16, 2008, 08:25 AM
yeah, I'm overly critical too. Especially with displays. That's why I wanted to run it past more rational people first. It's not visible unless I have lighter backgrounds or windows with a lot of white, but it definitely affects an otherwise perfect machine....

ABSOLUTELY exchange it.

ClassicBean
Feb 16, 2008, 08:30 AM
If you're within your 14-day window, return it. If you're outside your 14-day window, return it.

And remember.... if a genius won't help you, a manager can.

meagain
Feb 16, 2008, 08:38 AM
Not acceptable. Please post back after you deal with Apple.

desenso
Feb 16, 2008, 08:39 AM
Although everyone here is suggesting that you return it, you should be aware that this is not a representative sample. And they likely won't replace it, so you'll just leave dejected.

PDE
Feb 16, 2008, 08:58 AM
Although everyone here is suggesting that you return it, you should be aware that this is not a representative sample. And they likely won't replace it, so you'll just leave dejected.

What do you mean that it is not a representative example? If that is the case, then surely this would be considered a defect given that others don't exhibit the same issue?

meagain
Feb 16, 2008, 09:00 AM
Although everyone here is suggesting that you return it, you should be aware that this is not a representative sample. And they likely won't replace it, so you'll just leave dejected.

If the screen looks like the pics, why wouldn't they exchange it? It clearly has a problem. Surely they will.

PDE
Feb 16, 2008, 09:07 AM
If the screen looks like the pics, why wouldn't they exchange it? It clearly has a problem. Surely they will.

I tried to show it as clearly as I can with a camera. As you can see from the pictures, from a slight angle it becomes more visible. As I write this and the window is over that area it really isn't that visible, but when there is a larger white area it become much more apparent since the strip is brighter than the surrounding areas. I do hate being made to look like a crazy person by the apple geniuses, but at the same time I hate living with a screen that is worse than other MBA screens. I think I'll try getting it replaced and if it doesn't work then I'll have to live with it....

desenso
Feb 16, 2008, 09:26 AM
What do you mean that it is not a representative example? If that is the case, then surely this would be considered a defect given that others don't exhibit the same issue?

I mean that these forums are full over the most hyper-sensitive Apple consumers around. Many come back from the stores angry that Apple did not replace their product. Many will send a product in dozens of times to get the "perfect" computer. If you jump on their nitpicky bandwagon it's hard to get off.

I've seen these issues on several of the MacBook glossy screens. A similar issue is visible on my Air when the brightness is turned down. Better just to forget about it like 99% of people would.

PDE
Feb 16, 2008, 09:39 AM
I understand what you're saying, but I also think we choose Apple products because we can demand more (because we pay more and because Apple advertises itself as better than others). Apple keeps the price down by not being overly stringent about things like LCD quality control (just look at the MBPs) with the knowledge that it's cheaper to *maybe* repair later, than to make sure things are 100% from the start - as you said, 99% of people won't even notice. It's all calculated, as are the repairs/replacements by crazy Apple perfectionists like myself! If nobody demanded more, Apple would get even more sloppy with quality control.

Not sure what I'm going to do. Maybe wait a few days and see if it continues to bother me. If it does, I'll take it in.

alpinadvl
Feb 16, 2008, 09:43 AM
ridiculous.

You will be able to return this.

ESPECIALLY since it is a new product
ALSO because it is an obvious problem
AND because it is the new "apple tech"

There is no way I can see a manager not accepting the return / exchange.

angrygolfer
Feb 16, 2008, 09:44 AM
I mean that these forums are full over the most hyper-sensitive Apple consumers around. Many come back from the stores angry that Apple did not replace their product. Many will send a product in dozens of times to get the "perfect" computer. If you jump on their nitpicky bandwagon it's hard to get off.

I've seen these issues on several of the MacBook glossy screens. A similar issue is visible on my Air when the brightness is turned down. Better just to forget about it like 99% of people would.

so you're ok with spending $1800 (or $3000 depending on model) and living with a screen like that? If you can easily see that in a photo then it's a problem that needs to be addressed.

meagain
Feb 16, 2008, 09:56 AM
I think I'll try getting it replaced and if it doesn't work then I'll have to live with it....

Nope. Failure is not an option. Not acceptable. They'll exchange it in a heartbeat. Don't worry.

I was thinking of getting mine at Amazon to save on tax, but fear what happens if I get sent a defect. I'd have to return it to Amazon, etc. I wonder if buying direct from Apple is the better way to go. I've not had to return anything to Amazon so IDK if I'd get nicked for S/H.

PDE
Feb 16, 2008, 10:48 AM
actually amazon is a lot easier to deal with than Apple. they accept any kind of defect and are prompt with refunds and exchanges - plus they pay for the shipping back to them. A true delight to deal with. I only bought from Apple because I was eager and amazon was out of them.

Go with amazon, you really won't regret it. The only negative is that it still takes longer to exchange things than it would in a store.Also, sometims the Indian support don't read your emails properly and you have to resend witha firm instruction to actually READ before replying. Other than that they're great: low prices, rebates, free shipping, 30 day returns, no hassle ever. And I don't work for them!

meagain
Feb 16, 2008, 11:05 AM
PDE - thx. I got my iMac from Amazon but it was pristine. I'll likely do that. Can't stand paying tax.

alpinadvl
Feb 16, 2008, 11:54 AM
PDE,

Am i alone in saying this.... what is taking you so long?

I know the post was done today - but, I would not have waited more than an hour to get this done..... get your A$$ over to the SOHO store and be done with it !!! :D

wizard
Feb 16, 2008, 12:09 PM
I mean that these forums are full over the most hyper-sensitive Apple consumers around. Many come back from the stores angry that Apple did not replace their product. Many will send a product in dozens of times to get the "perfect" computer. If you jump on their nitpicky bandwagon it's hard to get off.

I've seen these issues on several of the MacBook glossy screens. A similar issue is visible on my Air when the brightness is turned down. Better just to forget about it like 99% of people would.

The fact that not all AIR displays look that way should be enough to at least get a comment from Apple support. If things don't go the right way then the problem should be elevated until the display is fixed or the money is returned. Like it or not that display defect makes the AIR unacceptable for some uses. It is exactly why companies offer windows of opportunity for product return/exchange.

Considering the quality of AIR's displays I don't think Apple wants defective screens out in the field at this time. The AIR is too new and too expensive to get a reputation for having highly variable quality.

Dave

HLdan
Feb 16, 2008, 12:48 PM
I understand what you're saying, but I also think we choose Apple products because we can demand more (because we pay more and because Apple advertises itself as better than others). Apple keeps the price down by not being overly stringent about things like LCD quality control (just look at the MBPs) with the knowledge that it's cheaper to *maybe* repair later, than to make sure things are 100% from the start - as you said, 99% of people won't even notice. It's all calculated, as are the repairs/replacements by crazy Apple perfectionists like myself! If nobody demanded more, Apple would get even more sloppy with quality control.

Not sure what I'm going to do. Maybe wait a few days and see if it continues to bother me. If it does, I'll take it in.

I do recommend that you take it in if you haven't done so already however LCD's are never perfect.

I have to disagree with your statements about Apple. You said we choose Apple products because we can demand more because we pay more, then where would this leave Dell? Dell's products are crap on many of their lines but they charge a premium on many of their products as well.
Does that mean that it's acceptable if Dell is less than perfect because we don't expect them to be perfect like we do Apple.
Also Apple does not advertise themselves as better than others. When have you seen them do this?
The Mac vs. PC ads are about the operating systems, in fact the ads are mostly about how Windows sucks not how wonderful Mac OS X is.

Again take it to the Apple store but be prepared for anything they might do. For your sake I hope they just exchange it but you have to remove the theory that Apple's products should be perfect.
A Bently can ship from manufacturing with blemishes or weird defects and they can still be within specs and they dealer won't exchange the car.

HLdan
Feb 16, 2008, 12:53 PM
Not sure what I'm going to do. Maybe wait a few days and see if it continues to bother me. If it does, I'll take it in.

You said it bothers you and obviously enough to post here but posting here doesn't fix the issue so it's pointless to post here with a complaint about your machine but then hold off taking it in for Apple look at it. Didn't you just say we buy to Apple products because we can demand more? You're not being very demanding just sitting to your computer telling us the problem.

steve31
Feb 16, 2008, 01:40 PM
I have a very slight ripple in the upper left side of the metal surrounding the screen, where the magnet would be..you can only notice when you run your finger over it. I called apple about it and said that it was a very slight issue so I will live with it because other than that its perfect but if it get worse then I have it on my file with apple. It would bug me if the problem was with the screen. I have the 1.8 ssd model

PDE
Feb 16, 2008, 01:44 PM
Ok, I'm sitting in the Apple store with my new macbook air with a great screen. they set me up with a guru who immediately saw the problem and set up the exchange. 30 minutes and here I am. Happy I did it and thanks for the support and for making me feel that I'm not crazy for wanting the best!

cheers

alpinadvl
Feb 16, 2008, 02:47 PM
Ok, I'm sitting in the Apple store with my new macbook air with a great screen. they set me up with a guru who immediately saw the problem and set up the exchange. 30 minutes and here I am. Happy I did it and thanks for the support and for making me feel that I'm not crazy for wanting the best!

cheers


CHEERS ! Another OCD-reinforced ending !!!

Makes us all feel "normal" doesnt it !?

angrygolfer
Feb 16, 2008, 02:50 PM
Ok, I'm sitting in the Apple store with my new macbook air with a great screen. they set me up with a guru who immediately saw the problem and set up the exchange. 30 minutes and here I am. Happy I did it and thanks for the support and for making me feel that I'm not crazy for wanting the best!

cheers

Awesome! These things aren't cheap. You should be picky. However this was not being picky. It was obvious. ENJOY!

PDE
Feb 16, 2008, 05:14 PM
CHEERS ! Another OCD-reinforced ending !!!

Makes us all feel "normal" doesnt it !?


That's exactly what it does: makes us feel normal. Cheers to making the abnormal normal through positive reinforcement! I was ready for a struggle but all I got was professional cooperation and apologies for the inconvenience. They seemed very eager to capture and document all mbas with problems and handled everything perfectly. I have to say that besides the display issue, the macbook air is by far the best designed and best built notebook (the two often don't go together) apple has made. People may not agree with the choice apple made in terms of leaving things out, but everything that was included feels great with no obvious glitches such as I've experienced with other Apple laptops I've bought. I was just in a coffee shop and a group of people came over and wanted to touch it, lift and check it out - doesn't happen often in NYC. It really is an inspiring piece of technology, at least for my needs right now.

PDE
Feb 17, 2008, 05:16 AM
Hmm, after using the new macbook air for a while I've noticed that it too has a slightly brighter strip in almost the same place. It's more subtle than the other one though so I think I'm okay with it as long as it doesn't have something to do with the design so that it will get worse over time. I'll call Apple and register it just in case. Don't know what to say, but it's a little disappointing. To me it looks more like an issue with the LCD coating than the backlight. It seems like it's not really that it's brighter there, but rather that the (darker/grainier) coating around what looks like a strip gives the illusion of there being a brighter strip. Hmmm, not very happy.

alpinadvl
Feb 17, 2008, 06:17 AM
I will probably be in Apple SOHO today - I am going to look at a couple of screens to see if I see anything.

will post.

-alf

PDE
Feb 17, 2008, 06:20 AM
Cool. The lighting there makes it really hard to see, but maybe try with a grey desktop or something - or just a browser window with lots of white. It's roughly in the same place as the pictures show...if you're looking from too much of an angle downward it isn't visible, but if you're at normal usage distance and angle it should be clear.

CaptainCaveMann
Feb 17, 2008, 11:40 AM
There is definitely something wrong there. Exchange it! ;)

elmo151
Feb 17, 2008, 12:25 PM
+1

take it back. it's not normal :D

PDE
Feb 17, 2008, 01:34 PM
I guess what I'm wondering is whether this is more common. I'm very particular with my displays and notice little stuff, but I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't really think about it. It's easy enough to see if there is a lot of white on the left side of your screen - or you can just put the desktop to solid grey. Anybody else see it?

PDE
Feb 18, 2008, 07:29 AM
I've been working on it now for a while and think it's just ordinary, "normal" uneven illumination. You'd think that it would be relatively easy to get the illumination totally even on such a small screen, but I guess not. As a whole, the display is really nice and I doubt most people would even notice what I'm noticing - I'm very sensitive after having struggled trying to find a macbook pro with even illumination and no grain. I'm thinking that I'm going to go check out several macbook airs at the store and unless they're very different, I'll keep this one.

This is by far the most enjoyable laptop I've used, even with its obvious limitations, so I'm staying with the Air as my main computer for now.

lewisozz
Feb 19, 2008, 05:52 AM
you paid premium for the MBA and if you think your screen is bent apple should replace it or get insurance to cover it !!!!!

alpinadvl
Feb 19, 2008, 06:13 AM
I will probably be in Apple SOHO today - I am going to look at a couple of screens to see if I see anything.

will post.

-alf


I went there, and was expecting more than 4 macbook airs on display ! needless to say - there were huge crowds around the airs so i could not look at all of them, but the one i looked at (closest to the entrance) certainly did not have the "illumination streak" on the screen.


I would go to the store (if i were you) during off-hours if possible, bring the mba - and compared side by side to each on the floor.

-alf

ps: mine doesnt have it - but i would have of course said something to you

PDE
Feb 19, 2008, 03:22 PM
Thanks for the update. Actually I had made peace with this and was enjoying my MBA this morning when I noticed that the frame around the display was warped and coming off at the bottom - there was something underneath (a screw or something, could feel it through the aluminum) that caused it to buckle and bend. So I took it in and they immediately replaced it again. And, as a bonus, this new one doesn't have the LCD issue at all - and I looked carefully. I hope nothing else pops up, but I guess with the way products are produced these days there are no guarantees.