macbook air screen quality

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by shenfrey, May 3, 2011.

  1. macrumors 68000

    May 23, 2010
    Hi guys, just purchased a macbook air, was going to get the macbook pro as i won't really be taking it out the house much, not really a high flying businessmen kinda guy, just work as a scaffolder lol.

    Reason I bought the Air was it suited my needs perfectly, all I do is browse the web, and watch video. Don't really play games on it, and don't really use it as a music machine (My 27" Imac fills that role) now my only concern is as the title says, the screen quality on the display.

    Now I am not savvy in the tech world, but from what I could tell when I was comparing the two with the apple guys (Their stores are very helpful) the only thing I noticed that caught my eye was the screen quality and brightness on the macbook pro. The screen looked alot brighter, and the images looked more crisp, I know the macbook pro has glass protection covering the screen, but is the display it self different to the Mac book airs?

    Its not a deal braker for me, I love my macbook air 13" (I bought the top of the line model) its extremely quick, it looks the part and its extremely light for when I do want to either take it upstairs or vice veser or take it in the backgarden on a nice hot summers day, but I just feel a bit gutted that it didn't look as bright as the macbook pro considering that I was debating over the two.

    Whats up with it then guys? Is it just my eyes, or are the screens actually different, and also with it not being protected by glass should i be worried about damaging the screen? Iv noticed when I got to clean it with a soft cloth, the screen ripples, makes me a bit on edge about damaging it : P

    Thanks guys.
  2. macrumors 65816

    Sep 13, 2006
    Yes, the screens are different.

    The MBA 13'' screen has a higher resolution than the 13'' Pro. The Pro might be brighter, but the resolution alone makes the MBA take the cake for a better screen.
  3. macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2009
  4. macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2009
    The differences you perceived between MBPs and MBAs is all about panel lottery. If you see a MBP with a bright screen in the store, the one you actually buy might not be as bright. This is because Apple uses different panels that are supposedly all up to specifications, but some are really just worse than others. MBAs should be on par with MBPs when it comes to brightness.

    Otherwise MBAs have slightly poorer displays when it comes to display quality. Brightness distribution and viewing angles could be slightly worse when compared to MBP models. MBP displays definitely have better colour gamut and MBA 13" has better resolution than its MBP counterpart. To most people resolution is a lot more important than the quality of colours. Also, the glass in MBP displays causes very disturbing reflections can cause eyestrain and be of constant annoyance. MBA suffers much less of that problem.
  5. macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2005
    you guys must be half insect or something - bugeyes
  6. macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    MBAs have a great screen. Color gamut isn't as good as MBPs but Anandtech's measurements had it ahead it other areas - contrast and such like that especially the 13".
  7. macrumors 604


    Mar 29, 2011
    I'm curious, how does the glass display cause eye strain? I notice my eyes indeed do strain a little on my Pro 13" 2011. Can someone explain?
  8. macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2011
    Because of the glass covering the Pro's display, there are more reflections in the screen. It is my understanding that glare and reflections make your eyes work harder to focus on the things you want to see because there's more for your eyes to filter out and disregard. I'm afraid I don't know more beyond that.

    The MacBook Air's screen is still glossy, but less reflective than the glass. The optional matte display on the Pros is supposed to be the easiest on your eyes.
  9. thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 23, 2010
    But can I damage it easily due to it not being covered by glass? As I said I'm my post I get a ripple effect when cleaning it, is this dangerous for the screen (i just use water)? Or should I not be concerned are they just as durable?

    Thanks :)
  10. macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2011
    I'm not an expert on this, but there's obviously a difference in durability. One screen is protected by a sheet of glass, the other is not. The unprotected screen would be easier to puncture, for example, if you poked it with something sharp.

    However, it's important to remember that most computer manufacturers don't cover their screens with glass at all, and Apple didn't do it until a few years ago. Taking basic precautions when using the computer should be sufficient, in my opinion. I wouldn't let the glass be a substantial factor in your decision-making.
  11. macrumors 65816

    Jun 18, 2005
    What is the nit rating on the 13in MBP vs the Air, because that could be the reason why the Pro looks brighter, and could affect how readable/usable it is in sunlight(glossy vs anti-glare vs matte is also a factor in this matter).
  12. macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2009
    It seems to vary, because there are panels from different manufacturers in both MBA and MBP. Basically they should be about on par with brightness, but you could just as well get a brighter Air or Pro. It sucks, because you can't tell what the panel is until you try one. Anyway, MBP doesn't have any brighter panels as a standard. It's all about lottery.
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2005
    Just choose a 13 inch MBA over the MBP mainly because of the incredibly distracting gloss on the latter - the resolution is also very poor for a pro machine. Apple really should have a matte option across their entire laptop range.
  14. macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2009
    Correct me if I am wrong. I remember that pro series uses 72% NTSC panel which covers more sRGB color. This is the reason why the LCD of MBP is much more vivid than other NB. However, MBP still uses TN panel, not IPS.
  15. macrumors 65816

    Jun 18, 2005
    I would think that in the 13in as the 15in and 17in would have a higher color gamut to compete better with higher end notebooks.

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