Is the viewing angle that bad?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by daneoni, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    Im currently mulling over whether to buy one of the new GlassBooks as one forum user calls them but this Gizmodo review about the bad viewing angles is making me think twice.

    Is it really that bad and more importantly is the screen superior to a 12" PowerBook's screen in terms of veiwing angles?
  2. macrumors 68040


    Nov 8, 2007
  3. macrumors 6502

    Dec 27, 2007
    Honestly the angles are fine, I experimented with them in my local Apple store today and it always looked perfect.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2007
    I started a thread about it a couple of days ago. Wasn't sure about it either. I still bought it. I dont' regret it at all. i can say it's not the best viewing angle, but it's not bad either. I adjust the screen tilt occasionally but if it's sitting on a desk, you won't notice it.

    The only issue is if you like to show off pics or movies and someone else is at different angles behind you looking at the screen.

    but from a personal point of view, it's a great monitor.

    go get one!
  5. macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2008
    I am really curious about this as well. I was going to buy a MacBook already but the issue of bad viewing angle (from Gizmodo) stopped me from buying and instead reconsider the new MBP.
  6. macrumors 68000

    Jun 25, 2003
    The screen definitely washes out as your vantage point moves vertically above the center line. But I've had my MB since yesterday, and it's not been objectionable. I was much more concerned about the glossy screen, having upgraded from a 15" PowerBook, but that's been fine, too.
  7. macrumors 6502


    May 16, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    The MacBook screens are definitely of much lower quality than those of the Pros. The vertical viewing angle is the biggest factor, and many of them look extremely washed-out. It seems that Apple is using similar quality display on the new MBs as they did on the previous. My black MacBook's display is much worse than even my $500 HP's.

    This is definitely one area in which one shouldn't let others try to blur the distinction between the MB and MBP. I am doing whatever I can to sell my MB and get the previous gen. Pro (matte display) because the display quality is so much higher.
  8. macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2008
    Judging from the different replies, it looks like it's entirely up to your own expectations and experience with other displays. This means that you'll have to make a trip to a store. :)
  9. macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2006
    I'm perfectly happy with my MB screen, and I'm picky about screens. It's better than all the PC laptop screens I've used.

    Regarding the viewing angles compared to the MBP: It could be that it's easier to make 15.4" screens with good viewing angles than it is on 13.3" screens. 15.4" has been around longer. That's just a guess though.
  10. macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2008
    Porsche-City, Germany
    i really don't think so...take a look at the Macbook air...this is the screen the new macbook should have.

    well i do have to wait another 3weeks before my mb arrives (aaaawesome)...if it is that bad i'll just return it...not spending 1100€ for a crappy screen. :mad:
  11. macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    The macbooks have the worst screens that have ever existed in a Mac product as far as I'm concerned, and I've used pretty much all of them.
  12. macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    Don't listen to this fellow folks
  13. macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    You don't have to listen to me, the pictures suffice. You can't really watch a movie on a Macbook and not see this kind of washout.

    Attached Files:

  14. macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2008
    i just got back from seeing the new MBs at the apple store
    i was desperately clinging to the idea that the screen would be immensely unacceptable and i could talk myself out of desperately NEEEEEEDING it
    (especially after those gizmodo pics!)
    however.. i walked in, and from that door to the far left wall angle, it looked great! so i got closer and moved around all over to any position id be in while actually using it... and saw no problem whatsoever.
    ok mebbe the blacks werent super black, but just by itself(not by a mbp) i wasnt thinking anything even similar to "oh this sucks, these blacks are horrid! this viewing angle is OUTRAGEOUS! WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!"
    i left feeling spazzing and about to call my CC Co and ask for my limit to get raised! lol
    so small, so sturdy, so purdy!
    i just tested it watching the italian job trailer that comes in the stores iTunes
    but it looked fine to me!
    if i was using it to watch blurays or something, i might be more picky and tryin to talk myself into the mbp screen for more black levels(err and hd level resolution, lol), but i can easily see myself watching movies on the mb and loving it!
    so i say, even if its a 2 hr drive... make a day trip out of it, and go see them in person and check for yourself.
    i was CONVINCED id hate the screen and i was going to be GLAD to hate it so id not be OBSESSING over NEEEEEEEEDING a MB
    however... it just wasnt the case
    and i tried hard to make it look bad(in any actual useable angle/distances)
    and yes, i remember the real old screens years ago where you could move .00000001 inch to the left or right and the screen colors would be flipping out all crazy into negative colors!
    i didnt notice a difference between it, and my mbp from feb.


    also, someone in one of these threads was talking about the gap in their trackpad on the left side, i looked at them all at my store, and not one of them was inproperly spaced as yours was... just in case youre reading this :)
  15. macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2007
    Exactly. Being used to the MBP display, I found the new MB display to be annoying because of the vertical viewing angle and ultimately returned it. I think if you have been using a MBP, then you may be disappointed. If have been using a prior gen macbook, I suspect that you will find the new display to be a good upgrade based on the backlighting.
  16. macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2005
    That's not why Apple didn't use higher quality displays on the new Macbook.

    The decision was made mostly to cut cost.
  17. macrumors 6502


    Feb 5, 2008
    Yeah after reading quite a few of the not so hot display reviews I thought the display would be crap. Top that off with the pics from Giz and my hopes of picking up a new MB were pretty deflated. Well last night I saw my first new MB at BB. The display was a 9c8c and over all it was quite good. I thought that maybe I got lucky and found a good display model. I mean some people here are saying that every one they have seen is bad and that was not the case with me last night. I'm not a newb and I'm very picky about my notebooks. I've owned over 50 notebooks over the past 10 or so years so I've had a chance to get to know a few. That includes fairly recent MBP's, MBA's, and MB's. Honestly, the display last night had good colors, decent viewing angles, and good contrast. Definitely, in the same league as my last MBA.

    Fast forward to today. I stopped by the local Apple Store and had a chance to look at six different MBs. All six had 9c8c displays and none looked like the pictures on Giz. Maybe the Giz unit had a different screen manufacturer or possibly a bad display. But with complete certainty the machines I looked at today had good colors, viewing angles, and contrast. For sure the viewing angles weren't as good as the MBP's, but I could adjust the display where the color and contrast was uniform from top to bottom. There was wiggle room so I didn't have to be exactly in the sweet spot to see the display without washing out. I've seen some very poor MB displays in the older models and they were truly horrible. A good check is to put up a black background (the built in earth wallpaper works well too) and look for shiny spots where the colors are reversing while moving the display. I did that test today and the MBs looked fine.

    The MBP's had/have their own unique problems. I haven't heard too much talk as of yet about the new displays, but the previous models had a definite problem with a yellow band in the bottom 1/3 of the display as well as dark vertical stripes.

    So with my hands on testing today I'm going forward with a MB purchase in the near future. For those still questioning the display quality go out and look for yourself. When you do try to position the display so you don't have as much glare from the overhead lighting. Apple Stores are extremely bright and play havoc on glossy displays.
  18. macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2008
    Falcon, CO
    I'm no fan boy, but mine doesn't look anything like the Gizmodo shots.

    I'm thinking they were using a defective model. I watched Iron Man last night and it looked great, even from slightly left of center.

  19. macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2004
    I think maybe Gizmodos pictures, could possibly over exaggerate the viewing angles. It sounds like in person, to the naked eye, they aren't that bad. This is why I always prefer to see them in person and make my own decision. I don't rely on online reviews, because those guys see 100's of laptops all the time, and they will be far more picky than I would. I have owned three apple laptops in the last 3 years, two of them were iBooks and one was a TiBook. Considering I was very happy with the TiBook's screen, think I'll be happy with the new laptops? Me to. :D
  20. macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    The screens in both of those models you mention are better than the macbook screens. Just saying.

    I don't think it's a mystery- anybody with an existing (old) macbook knows what these screens are like.
  21. thread starter macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    So the consensus is that they're good screens although sub-par to the MBP/MBA?
  22. macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2007
    I just got back from the apple store and was not too impressed with the MB screen. I guess from reading all the praise here my expectations were a little too high. The problem was with the vertical viewing angle. It was plenty bright and the vertical angle was good enough.

    The vertical viewing angle didn't seem much better than my 12" PB which doesn't have that great of a screen.

    Then walking over to the MBP, that screen look great. But I don't want something that big or expensive.

    I'm sure i'll get the MB soon anyway. The screen is good enough, just not amazing as some seem to think.
  23. macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2004
    Ok just got back from the Apple store, I had to see these things in person. I was wrong for assuming the macbook screen would be better than a TiBook screen. The TiBook screen in my opinion is far superior. The new macbook DOES have a washed out look to it. It doesn't look CRISP, in fact it almost looks a little blurry. The macbook pro looks to be much better, it has better viewing angles, darker blacks, and seems to be crisper.

    I think with a screen like that, the macbook should be priced back at the $999 mark. If it had a better display I could justify the price. But around 1400 for a computer that doesn't even have a great display, I dunno. Just wouldn't feel right.

    Here is what I'm thinking and hoping. The new Nvidia gpu in these macbook's is just that, new. And from what I hear the macbook is the first computer to have one. So maybe it's a driver issue? Anyone who has actually seen and compared the new macbook screen to the new macbook pro screen, please chime in and let us know what you think. But from my observations today, that's what I gathered. :cool:

    But to be honest, I'll probably buy a new macbook is a couple months. Hopefully the screen will be better by then. The macbook pro to me is just to expensive to justify buying one, even though it has a better screen. It's also a little to big. I wish Apple would come back out with a 15 inch laptop that has a footprint similar to that of the old TiBook. That was a great computer and the perfect size in my opinion. It had a very thin bezel around the display which it how they made it so small without sacrificing the screen size.
  24. macrumors member


    Mar 25, 2008
    The old macbooks weren't any better... probably wont get any better
  25. macrumors 68040


    Nov 8, 2007
    Here is a picture of my MacBook from the side while playing Accepted.

    Plus, I don't know if this has been mentioned already, but who the **** watches movies on their computer on an angle? Like c'mon...

    iPhone picture.

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