Thin Horizontal Lines on Rev 2 MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by kanpachi, Nov 3, 2008.

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  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    #1
    Just picked up one of the new MBAs today - pretty happy with it overall, although I'm noticing a bunch of faint horizontal lines across the screen spanning across the entire viewable area. Is this a defect or is this normal?
     
  2. macrumors member

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    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA, USA
    #2
    sounds like a defect. knock on wood, mine doesnt have that
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    #3
    It's really subtle - do you notice anything when looking at the screen up close? It spans the entire vertical area of the screen. It's like a bunch of super thin gray lines that are parallel to one another appearing every other pixel. Faint and subtle, but definitely noticeable.

    If you don't notice it on yours though, I suppose an exchange is in order.
     
  4. macrumors member

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    Oct 13, 2008
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    #4
    I dont notice anything like that.
     
  5. macrumors newbie

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    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    West Des Moines, IA
    #5
    Yep, I have that on my 1.86/SSD model also, as do the ones on display at the local Apple Store. I took a closer look at my Rev. A MBA, and it also has faint horizontal lines, though not as noticeable as on the new machine. I'll give it a week or so to decide whether it bothers me enough to exchange it.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    #6
    Wow, that's no good, seems like a widespread issue then. On the bright side though, I'm glad you can at least confirm there is an issue with the screens and I'm not crazy. :)
     
  7. macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #7
    Any way to show an actual picture of the "issue".
     
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    #8
    Not sure if you guys can see it.

    Just had it exchanged this morning and I'm still seeing the same thing.

    It doesn't show up on the screenshot - looking at it from another computer. Sigh, oh well. I'm on my MacBook right now and I don't see any of those annoying lines. I guess you'll just have to buy one or go to the store and see for yourself.
     

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  9. macrumors 6502a

    mhnajjar

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    #9
    We will never be able to see what you are talking about from a screenshot. You have to provide us with an actual photographed picture since this issue would be produced from your monitor.
     
  10. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Location:
    Denver
    #10
    I have the new MacBook Air 1.86/128GB SSD, and I too see very faint lines on my display. They are not completely horizontal - rather, they are pitched at about a -5 degree angle from left to right, and appear to be about 1 pixel in width, and 1 pixel apart.

    What's interesting however, is that the lines change their position, relative to the actual screen image, depending on a slight change in viewing angle. In other words, these lines appear to "roll" over the actual screen image when the viewing angle changes back and forth.

    This leads me to believe that they might be some sort of interference fringe caused by the interface between the LCD panel and the glossy surface, rather than a darkening (or lightening) of the display pixels themselves?

    Regardless, I'm not going to exchange mine, given that many Airs seem to display this phenomenon, and my Air is pretty much perfect in every other way (no dead pixels, no dents, misaligned keys, flush lid when closed, etc.)
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #11
    WOw, this is starting to become a wide spread issue! I really wonder...................................... WEIRD!
     
  12. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    #12
    Starfall, thanks for the detailed explanation. This is EXACTLY what I am seeing on my screen as well. Lines are not completely horizontal, but rather as you said, are slightly curved and are at an angle.

    Spoke to AppleCare, but this is not a known issue. Also spoke to a Genius over the phone and she mentioned that all other Airs she saw showed the same phenomenon.

    It's reassuring at least to know that other people are seeing this problem and appears to be "normal" (or as Apple would call it, "within spec").
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    Vulcan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #13
    ...it is normal to Apple for over half of Airs to have a defect? Wow... just wow.
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #14
    No, but it is normal for people on various forums to assume that a handful of samples from a vocal, technically-savvy minority represent a multi-million unit product line in a statistically significant way.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    mhnajjar

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    #15
    For the guys who are having this issue, do you notice a horizontal line flickering through the screen while browsing in Safari by holding the blue scrolling button to the right of the browser?

    I am thinking that these lines are due to nVidia's fault not Apple. Let see what you get first.

    This flickering line would appear as if it was going through your text while scrolling. I will go to the Apple store this Friday and find out myself and let you know too :D
     
  16. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #16
    could u take a photo and post ? thx

    :confused:
     
  17. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    West Des Moines, IA
    #17
    I'm in the same boat as Starfall in that this MBA is great in every other respect, so I'm hesitant to do an exchange when all the models on display at our local store have the issue. My wife's MBA, which shipped from China and arrived yesterday, also exhibits the lines.

    I spoke to an Apple Genius and he agreed that the lines were visible, but only at some angles. When we turned the screen off and looked at the reflection of a bright light in it, the glossy coating on the LCD panel seems to have slight ripples on the surface, whereas my first-gen MBA doesn't. Whether it's relevant to the lines, I'm not sure.

    I've had a difficult time photographing the lines with my Sony DSC-T1 (old-school), though the lines are staring me right in the face as I type this. I'll see if I can borrow a better camera and get shots of both the lines and the screen coating.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    #18
    Just received a call from an engineer at Apple headquarters. Apparently they're treating this as a pretty serious issue and wanted to know more about the problem.

    Does anyone's Air NOT have this problem?
     
  19. macrumors demi-god

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #19
    I'm surprised NC Mac hasn't replied to this thread. He's ripped his 1st and 2nd gen MBA's apart enough to know every detail...
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #20
    This IS serious. My guess was the graphics card as well. I think its not displaying right. NC has not reported the problem though...

    Anyways, does it happen INSTANTLY on boot? Have you ever been able to make it dis-appear at small intervals of time?

    Also, do the lines MOVE at all? Or do they stand still and are hard to see?

    Thanks.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    #21
    Yup, the problem happens right when you turn it on and see the gray screen with Apple logo. Noticed the problem the first time I turned on the computer.

    The lines don't move at all - they stand still, but they're pretty annoying especially on a lighter background, although you can still notice them on a dark background. It sorta looks like this, but not as pronounced:

    http://img130.imageshack.us/img130/7343/lines0tw.jpg

    Imagine this happening across the entire vertical span of the screen with the lines stretching entirely from left to right.

    I personally don't find this to be acceptable at all given the high cost of this machine. After all, it is the display that you look at every time you use the computer and no, the solution is not to hook it up to an external monitor.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #22
    fine lines

    just got back from the apple store and they had an old macbook air
    next to the new version. I noticed the lines almost makes a white screen
    look textured like partchment paper. Compared to the old one which to my eye
    had similar lines only much fainter almost impossible to see.
    It didn't seem like a deal breaker. I wonder if it may have something to do with an anti glare coating? I noticed a pattern even with the screen dimmed off. I noticed the mac book air screen is a lot less reflective than the new mac book pros! I am not sure it would have bothered me until i read this thread
    now I may wait on the purchase to see how it pans out.
     
  23. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #23
    Can you do me one last favor.... Test this out:
    1. Completely dark room, no outside light. See how well you can see the lines.
    2. Make sure you alot of light from a light source or outside
    3. Try FORCING glare on the screen.

    I know that sounds crazy, but I really lets me know how well the lines are noticeable.

    One time installing ubuntu I had extreme lines going through the screen. It was REALLY strange. I re-installed and did not have the problem. I really don't think its the screen as much as its the graphics cards driver, or something else.

    edit - keep us informed if you get any more information. I am extremely interested.
     
  24. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #24
    Same issue here

    I just got a MacBook Air yesterday, same problem with horizontal lines. They aren't always there it seems, but when they are it looks like subtle gray slightly recycled paper.

    I hope its just a driver fix and not something that needs a swap.

    :(
     
  25. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    #25
    Just opened mine that came Monday today...Was conflicted about keeping it until Apple offered me $150 to keep it...Anyways, mine has these lines as well...Not sure what the best strategy to take here is, this is going to be a pain to take in to the Genius' ...I guarantee they will say they can't see the lines...And to think I went with the 2nd Air because it had a screen better than the Macbook and awesome size to replace my first gen Air...

    Y2J
     
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