Macbook Pro 17" - do any of them have even backlight?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by PDE, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. PDE macrumors 68020

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    Nov 16, 2005
    #1
    My 17" MBP has uneven backlighting: the right side is slightly brighter than the left and the bottom very slightly brighter than the top. It's not horrible, but I do notice it. I can get the display replaced by Apple, but first I'd like to know if there at all exists 17" MBP with even illumination? I mean, if there is only one light at the bottom right, is it even possible to have an evenly illuminated display?

    Is it worth risking an even worse display? Maybe - after numerous replacements of various macbooks and MBPs - I've become too picky. I'd like to feel that I'm totally pleased with the display and unfortunately I've become a little fixated with the difference in illumination....

    thanks for any thoughts.
     
  2. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #2
    Please don't take this the wrong way. Are you sure it's uneven, and it's not just your viewing angle? The 17" is wide enough that I tend to have to move my head over a foot to get the same angle of view on the sides as I have on the middle. Once it's warmed up (which is the only time I've looked) mine looks even, but if I look from the center, the edges look dark until I look them full-on.
     
  3. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #3

    It may have a little to do with that too, but I think it is unevenly lit as well. When I have a larger white area the left side does look dimmer. Another issue which is not so important in everyday situations is that with a gray desktop, the screen looks kinds of blotchy everywhere rather than even.
     
  4. benthewraith macrumors 68040

    benthewraith

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    #4
    Apple displays are notorious for having uneven backlighting. On maximum brightness, this isn't really noticeable, but turn out the lights and compare it to an external with even brightness, and the difference is shocking. For the most part, on mine its about 2-2 1/2 inches on both the left and right sides of the display. You can take it back to Apple and see what they say, though I'm not sure they'll fix it. You could also void your warranty and put in another backlight, but I recommend against doing that for very obvious reasons.
     
  5. jamesarm97 macrumors 65816

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    Sep 29, 2006
    #5
    I noticed it right away when I received mine, but now don't notice it. The only time I really see it is then the computer boots up or shuts down and have the all grey screen. See dim spots along the edges. Other than that I am happy. I agree that it is also related to the viewing position. It seems a little darker in the upper right corner now that I stare at it, but if I resposition my head directly infront of that area it brightens up.

    - James
     
  6. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #6

    I talked to the Apple store and they're willing to replace the display, but I'm not sure if it's a good idea given that I could end up with another display that's worse. I was going to wait a few more months in the hope that there would be a better display then, but then I got impatient. Aaaah, I've spent way too much time on trying to get a good computer....not easy these days.

    Maybe this is as good as it gets for apple right now...
     
  7. benthewraith macrumors 68040

    benthewraith

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    #7
    Actually it's better that you do inform Apple. It's also good that people discuss this with others, as consumers do have rights. Granted I don't think Apple intentionally shipped bad displays. This has been going on since the Powerbooks, and is a problem rampant in many Apple cinema displays as of late.
     
  8. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #8
    It's just that I'm really tired of constantly getting replacements and trying to get a laptop with a display deserving of the Apple name. The problem is that I'm doubting that APple has any good displays to replace this one with, in which case it's just a waste of time to replace it.

    Judging from notebookcheck.com's analysis/measurement of various laptop displays, it seems that many displays now - not only apple - have these problems. Only a few get better reviews in terms of brightness and uniform illumination, but none have perfect illumination by any means. I think I've become very sensitive to these issues...unfortunately.
     
  9. dixiehacker macrumors newbie

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    Dec 21, 2006
    #9
    I have a C2D 17" MBP. I don't have much of a problem with uneven backlighting. The bottom is a bit brighter than the top, but left and right sides are at about the same brightness.

    If, however, I am close to the screen, and looking at it dead center, the sides seem dimmer because of viewing angle issues.

    Overall my screen works great for software development purposes, which mainly means it doesn't have any annoying disctractions, but your needs may be different.
     
  10. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    VA
    #10
    I'm not convinced that's the problem to begin with. LCD panels use diffusers in order to give a uniform light source across the area of the panel. Even if there was, for some reason, a dark area within the cold cathode tube (unlikely), it's hard to believe that an imperfection in the CCT would transfer through the diffuser and show as a distinct dark area on the display. I suspect the problem comes down to either: 1) imperfections in the diffuser, or 2) a large group of pixels in the panel which are displaying an incorrect shade of color. At least on my 12" iBook, which has intermittent unevenness, I suspect it's the latter.
     
  11. benthewraith macrumors 68040

    benthewraith

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    #11
    I thought LCDs didn't use cathode tubes? :confused:
     
  12. BigPrince macrumors 68020

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    Dec 27, 2006
    #12
    I love my car. I had no complaints at all. Consumer Reports did a review on it after I bought my car which I decided to read. One of the drawbacks was "Excessive Road Noise." Before I read that, I never noticed any road noise. After reading that it drove me nuts for a while.

    I feel my screen is perfect (iMac g5). I am not really sure what you mean by uneven lighting and I've decided not to learn because then I will probably find something wrong one way or another.

    Ya, I'm weird.
     
  13. benthewraith macrumors 68040

    benthewraith

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    #13
    You don't notice it until you're told... and too late, you already have. :p It's not really that bad.
     
  14. BigPrince macrumors 68020

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    #14
    I haven't actually looked to see if I have uneven lighting casue with what I currently do, I don't notice it. But if I set my background to a background that makes uneven lighting noticable, it will bother me that my iMac has uneven lighting, so I rather be happy and not know.
     
  15. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #15
    Let's hope this problem goes away when Macs finally catch up with the PC world and receive LED backlit displays.
     
  16. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #16

    Believe me, I wish I had never noticed the uneven backlighting of the 17" MBP and the graininess of the 15" - I would have been much happier! However, I DID notice it all by myself and once you see it, it's very hard to just ignore. The grain problem, to me, was much more serious than the uneven illumination, but they're both issues that shouldn't be there on an expensive laptop.

    After looking even more carefully at my 17" display today, I'm inclined to stick with it rather than get it replaced. It's not toooo bad and, who knows, perhaps Apple will have a better display in 6 months to replace this one with? Risking a much worse display doesn't make any sense, especially since there is no indication anywhere that there are much more evenly illuminated 17" MBPs out there. I just wish I couldn't see it under normal conditions, but sadly I do.
     
  17. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

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    #17
    The one today at the Apple Store at Mall of Millenia in Orlando was BAD. Not much grain (like i've seen posted here in pictures), but WAY uneven in lighting.

    UGH. I had 2 Matte's next to one another - 1 15" and 1 17". I would have bought the 15", but the 17" - no way. The right side was dark - the left not as bad.

    The guy was perplexed - but admitted I was right. He even asked about it to a coworker - he said he'd heard of the grain issue, but not uneven backlighting. So he popped a white doc on there - said I see and went to the back. LOL.... okay dude!

    There was another 17" in the store, but I didn't get a chance to look at it. i did decided that while the Glossy is pretty, I could NOT handle that glare/reflection. All I could see in it was myself - I couldn't even look at the picture on the screen (and, he was trying to tell me that Glossy was better for picture editing - which matches NOTHING i've read????).

    Anyway, i've decided that in the current generation i'd be getting the 15" :(
     
  18. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #18
    It's interesting that on my 17" the left side is darker than the right side. Does that mean that it's just poor assembly or something like that causes this to be a problem? Somebody mentioned the difuser - can that be poorly designed or not properly positioned?

    Unfortunately, based on extensive experience, the 15" MBPs are also plagued by uneven displays...so there is no sure bet these days.
     
  19. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #19
    Here's my display. In daily use it look a little better but, ultimately, I do notice the variations in brightness between left and right. What do you think? It is very hard to capture this properly with a camera, as we know...
     

    Attached Files:

  20. ProMod macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 29, 2005
    #20
    I notice the two white vertical lines running through the middle of the display more than anything. My 3 MBPs all had that too. I got my refund and am happily typing away on my perfect 3.5 year old Powerbook.

    Here's to hoping something new or better is around the corner. These current MBPs are pretty bad.
     
  21. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #21
    I think the difference between the lighter strips and the darker parts is less than the difference between right and left half so I notice the latter more. But sure, the strips are there too. I guess my question is : has anybody seen a better 17" MBP display than this? If you have, can you post a picture?
    Thanks
     
  22. BWhaler macrumors 68020

    BWhaler

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    Jan 8, 2003
    #22
    Not that I know of. Our company has a ton of 17"ers, and they all have pathetic screens.

    I hope Apple gets their act together.
     
  23. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

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    North Central Florida
    #23
    Yours is definetly opposite of what was in the store yesterday.

    The 15" they had on display was decent-acceptable. It was loads nicer than my Sony & iBook.

    I need a new computer - NOW! LOL!!!
     
  24. brikeh macrumors 6502a

    brikeh

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  25. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Nov 16, 2005
    #25
    It probably looks worse than what I notice in everyday usage. The dark gray brings out the unevenness.

    The only question I have is whether it's worth trying to get a new display, or whether all apple 17" MBPs are like this to a certain degree. I'm also concerned that I'll get one that is much worse...

    I seems as though they all have more or less uneven backlighting, doesn't it?

    Or there is also the possibility that I expect too much from these displays?
     

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