Dead Pixels???

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Arsman, May 24, 2004.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    #1
    I have read a few posts that mention dead pixels on powerbooks and am a little concerned.

    First off, I am due to get my new powerbook delivered tomorrow (17" 1.5)! Finally made the switch, just sick and tired of computers that simply rarely work like they are supposed to. Anyway, how can I check for these dead pixels that I keep reading about?? Thanks for any help.
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #2

    Don't check...

    If you don't know or see them while working, then there is no need to worry :D
     
  3. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #3
    People that have searched for them have said their eye is drawn to it all the time, where they didn't notice it at all before.

    Sort of like the first scratch on the driver's side of your new car.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    #4
    Funny you should mention the first dent on a new car, I just got that yesterday! It just seems as though I have seen this dead pixel thing a few times, is this a real problem with the powerbooks? It just seems as though the quality is far superior to any pc laptop that I have owned (many) or seen lately.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #5

    Nah, its all LCDs in general.
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #6
    yep, but apple seems to slip defective lcd panes far too much into powerbooks - it is wise to make a deal with the dealer that you get to power up the powerbook before you decide to buy it. chances are you are offered one with few dead pixels, so cover yourself. often you cannot take it back once it leaves the store.

    my current 1.25GHz powerbook went this route - the first three units i checked had faulty screen and it was only the fourth that had a perfect display panel. the dealer was a little annoyed for that, but he made the deal so that's it for me. i know he can sell those three laptops as new, but i hate the idea that the dealer has at least three customers that are getting faulty product.

    that's something applecare doesn't cover, by the way, if there are less than five faulty pixels. i had three in my previous powerbook and it was annoying.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    #7
    Well, I couldn't have the powerbook powered up because I ordered it direct from Apple as a BTO (wanted to 128megs video ram, upgraded hard drive, and 1GIG ram on one chip) and my local Apple store didn't even want to order it for me since I have the edu discount.

    I guess I'll just keep my fingers crossed tomorrow when the FedeX guy knocks on my door.
     
  8. macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #8
    ok, hope for the best :) if it has dead pixels, you should return it even if it costs something - the display is the most valuable part of a laptop, and it'd better be perfect.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    #9
    Especially since I made the plunge for the 17" over the 15". The screen was the biggest selling point.
     
  10. macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #10
    unless the number of dead pixels is over a certain amount, apple will not accept returns unless you pay a 10% re-stocking fee. it's not worth it since perfect screen now may develop dead/stuck pixels in the future anyway.

    don't look. if you don't know, you'll hardly notice. and it *usually* will not affect the way computer works. it's an inevitable part of getting an LCD - the manufacturing process isn't perfect and there's little (economic) incentive for manufacturers to "perfect" it.

    i think there's some law that says once the box is opened, the unit absolutely cannot be sold as new. but i might be wrong on that.
     
  11. macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #11
    i think you have never had a faulty pixel on your screens. i had three on my previous powerbook, and one of them was about two inches from the left and four inches from the top, bright red pixel, and no way i could do any photoshopping on the left side of the display. and then one of those was an inch from bottom, center, and was annoyingly noticeable every single time i had to access the dock. very annoying. talk about hardly noticing.

    the screen itself costs well over thousand dollars, and getting it changed ads to the cost. so if there's a chance of getting a perfect display for few hundred, that's a price i would pay. but then again, after the previous powerbook, i will never buy a lcd screen without being to able to check it before the purchase.

    but that's just me. maybe you can live with faulty pixels or scratches on your car door, but i cannot accept it.

    --

    yes, you're right in stating there's no guarantee that currently perfect screen would be perfect after three years of use - the screen is a moving part and will get worse over time. BUT it should be perfect at the beginning, that's what one pays for. if there's a dead pixel after three years, i don't care anymore, but i want that X months that the screen functions perfectly.
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    MacFan26

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    San Jose, California
    #12
    Dead pixels are definitely a cross-platform thing. Hopefully this won't be a very rare problem with lcd's in the near future. I've had three Apple laptops and none of them have had any dead pixels luckily.
     
  13. macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #13
    no, it isn't what you pay for. if you were guaranteed that every display be perfect, the price would be higher.

    asking for a perfect display is like asking for absolutely no microscopic scratches on your car. the manufacturing process and the economy of yield simply cannot guarantee it. it might get better, it might not. you are, of course, free to take your own stance on this issue, but i'm simply stating the fact of the market right now.

    i had a perfect screen on my PB. now there's one dead pixel that developed after about 6 months of use. yes, i notice it. no, it hardly affects my work.
     
  14. macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #14
    why are you defending apple? they have poor quality control over the displays. all apple users know about this issue, but hardly no other brand laptops in the pc market have this problem. some brands even give a free-of-charge hardware exchange if the user is smart enough to ask for it.

    but not apple. that's not ok no matter how we like the company.

    now if it were only one dead pixel and not so many units were affected, it might be acceptable. but apple lets even three faulty pixels go through the QC, and that just sucks. and less than five faulty pixels are not even considered a fault (that applecare would take care of).

    i know it's a small percentage and drives the costs up, but apple must address this as all other good quality brands have already done. you can buy an ibm laptop knowing that the display is good, and if it isn't, you can change the unit for a new one. when i recommend apple laptop for my friends, i have to make sure they understand this issue and check their display before purchase. that's just bad pr for a good brand.

    and yes, i pay for a perfect display. powerbook is such a fine piece of hardware that such a fault is not acceptable.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    pjkelnhofer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    Location:
    Boston
    #15
    Exactly, if you don't see any, don't look. My fiancee's LCD monitor has a nice blue pixel almost dead center that drives me crazy (because I know where it it is). I asked her if the "blue dot" bothered her and she had never noticed it. So, I didn't show her where it was because once she does find it, she will start telling me she needs a new monitor.
     
  16. macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #16
    forget it...

    i'm not disputing that dead pixels don't suck, btw...
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2002
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #17
    The problem is that the only way you can check a powerbook before purchase is to buy from a physical store with an enlightened customer service policy. Some do exist. However this means of course that you cannot have a 5400rpm Hard drive, neither can you have the 128Mb graphic upgrade, you HAVE to purchase a standard config and then at best upgrade the RAM at a later date.

    I agree with your comments concerning IBM Thinkpads. I have purchased four Thinkpads over the last three years for myself and partners and have only had one experience of getting a Thinkpad, powering up and being confronted with one bright red pixel smack in the middle of the screen. I got it replaced without a murmur of dissent but again I bought from a physical store.

    So the bottom line is you either take your chances with Apple direct and go for a BTO or accept a stock config and find a store that is quietly willing to open the box before you walk out the store. It sucks but that's the way it is.
    Vanilla
     
  18. macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #18
    yes, you can, but as you said, it all depends on the store and its policies. i got lucky with my current 1.25GHz albook - after they found one (fourth!) with a perfect screen, they changed the hard drive to the hitachi 7200rpm model giving a full refund for the stock drive they kept. and adding ram is a trivial thing, that shouldn't even be mentioned ;)

    it's apple who needs to implement better policies. it's the year 2004 and other quality brands have far better policies than apple.
     
  19. macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #19
    You're on crack. Apple's policy on dead pixels is one of the best. As far as I'm aware, it's 4 total or fewer if they're in a localized area. That's fantastic. I don't know of many manufacturers who have better policies than this; in fact many are worse. Some won't replace a display until there's 10 dead pixels!

    I've had a total of two displays on my Alu 15" PowerBook G4; the first one had the dreaded white spots, and coincidentally, a stuck cyan pixel up in the far top left corner of the screen. The replacement panel I got has no stuck or dead pixels. All the Apple Cinema displays I've encountered have no problems. All four of my friends' PowerBooks are dead pixel-free. I know the plural of anecdote != data, just saying.

    Honestly, dead/stuck pixels are a side effect of the LCD manufacturing process, and in order to stay in business, a certain level of tolerance is set. Maybe OLED panels will fix this problem, maybe they won't, I don't know. For now, it's a "known issue." Caveat Emptor.

    --Cless
     
  20. macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #20
    no, i'm not, and no, it's not. wake up if you're sleeping... take a look at ebay - no ibm sellers even bother to mention the display is ok, but hardly no apple seller forgets to state that the display is ok. doesn't that tell anything? the display is the most valuable part of a laptop, and it is the number one problem with apple laptops.

    but you're right - if the stuck pixels are close to each other, the display has a possibility to be covered by applecare. but having several dead pixels in different sides of the screen, well, no luck.

    apple has best laptops out there and they should also have the best policies, in my opinion. this isn't it.
     
  21. macrumors 601

    virividox

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #21
    most computer sellers have pretty similar lcd dead pixel policies the difference between them is very negligible
     
  22. macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #22
    i'm sorry, but that proves absolutely nothing.
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #23
    it doesn't PROVE, but it TELLS something. pc users don't even discuss about this issue, because it's a lot smaller issue out there in the windows wonderland. we apple customers are more demanding and we are treated badly because of it - someone at apple must have calculated how much it costs to make the changes and the probability of a mac user demanding a change is close to 100%. there are a lot of pc users that either don't care or don't know they can ask for a hardware exchange, so the probability of a dell customer making a demand is less than 50%.

    sadly, it all comes down to numbers.

    anyway, if you are buying an apple laptop and have a possibility to go to a physical store, do it, it will pay off. perfect screen is just... well, perfect :)
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    NusuniAdmin

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #24
    I have owned my viewsonic 15" VA520 monitor for over a year now, no dead pixels at all (i even looked with a magnifying lense, none). So it most definitly is not all lcd's. Although they all, or at least most can be affected by those annoying bas**rds many companies have found ways to lower chances extremely, the comapany that makes viewsonic monitors has figured out how to. I dont know why apple monitors and laptops get them so often, but I do know apple does get the screens from a kinda cheap company, as many people have mentioned already.

    Just my .05 cents.

    Oh ya, i went to compusa yesterday, we had a slight brownout and the two G5's there died but every other computer worked fine....Guess apple is not kidding when they say G5's have sensative power supplies.

    [EDIT: Oh ya I just checked my manual and warrenty thingies for the monitor and i think it said if you have 5 dead pixels they will replace your monitor, if its under warrenty of course. Isn't apple thing if it has 20 or 30?]
     
  25. macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #25
    one data point hardly tells anything.

    "mine works fine" most definitely doesn't mean "all lcds work fine."

    when dopefiend said "all lcds in general," he meant dead pixels affect all sorts of lcds, regardless of brands. he didn't literally mean "all" lcds will have dead pixels.

    btw, dell, apple, ibm, viewsonic, whatever, they all get the LCDs from finite number of suppliers. none of them make their own LCDs.
     

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