12" PB Rev. D - Blurry Screen

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by kanpachi, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. kanpachi macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2005
    Hello everyone.

    I purchased a Revision D 12" Powerbook about a week ago, and I have been getting a headache ever since I have been reading news and email on it. I noticed that the font/screen were kind of blurry, and was wondering if this was typical in the 12" powerbooks. I have read many forums and they mention that the screen used in the 12" PB is not as good as the ones used in the 15" and 17" models.

    Can some people please tell me if they are having similar problems, as well? I have tried toggling the font-smoothing options around (from light CRT smoothing to strong), but to no avail. The display just seems much worse than Windows laptops I have used (i.e. IBM Thinkpad).

    Comments would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    - A Frustrated Switcher!
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Calibrate the LCD first, the standard Apple profile isn't too good.

    Quite a few people say that calibrating the LCD actually work wonders.
  3. kanpachi thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2005
    I actually have already tried calibrating the screen, but this doesn't really help. Any other suggestions that might help?

    Things I have tried:
    1) Toggling the font-smoothing options in Display preferences.
    2) Performing display calibration.


  4. ibilly macrumors regular

    May 2, 2003
    screen rez

    what screen resolution do you have it set at?? It looks horribel at 800x600 (at least equally as dismal as my spelling of 'horrible'). Try 1024x768 at millions. My rev A's awesome @ this rez, and you're the first I've heard as saying the screen's a little blurry. It may be your eyes... do you experience this fatigue after staring at other things that are directing a lot of light at your eyes (book under brigh light...)? try turning down the screen brightness as well to reduce eye strain (f1 key, upper left of KBrd). Hope that helps. My suspicion is it is either eye strain or low resolution.
  5. Logik macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2004
    i'm seconding the resolution end of this. LCD's do not lend themselves to changing from the native resolution (in this case 1024x768 on the 12" model). so if you did change that, change it back to 1024x768 ... if that doesn't fix the issue, then call apple.. they are after all the ones that support your machine, and could replace the machine if it's really that bad... or at least fix it
  6. kanpachi thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2005
    Thanks for all the help everyone. My resolution is set at the native 1024x768. The problem I am having actually has to deal with the font smoothing and anti-aliasing nature of Apple laptops (and desktops I guess too). Having used a ThinkPad and PC desktop for such a long time now, my eyes are accustomed to these features being off, so the display looks very sharp and crisp as opposed to looking blurred (at least from my perspective). I'm not sure how all of you can deal with the "smeared" look of the fonts/display, but perhaps many of you prefer it that way? Anyhow, thank you again for your help. I guess there isn't really a way to counter this "problem", but I don't know how much longer I can deal with the puking feeling while I am reading Yahoo Finance!
  7. Little Endian macrumors 6502a

    Apr 9, 2003
    Yes Apple's Font Smoothing leaves much to be desired and I wish I could turn it off as well. The best way to help alleviate the problem is to set font smoothing to light and set font smoothing to be turned off for font sizes 12 and smaller. If this is still not to your liking reduce the font size in your appications or reduce your web brower to font size 11. This may be difficult though on a 12" LCD however I find it bearable on my 20 LCD.

    Hopefully tiger will introduce better font smoothing and more options as well as improved smooth scrolling.
  8. kettle macrumors 65816


    May 12, 2002
    England, Great Britain (Airstrip One)
    Many a blunt point made with a sharp stick.

    I know what I think.... :rolleyes:
  9. kevinuaa macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2004
    so i'm not sure what this guy is talking about, can someone explain this? I know a few guys that all own pcs and won't swtich becasue of this or that think it's a lot easier on the eyes to use an apple screen because the fonts look nicer and smooth. is there something wrong with my eyes? is this just a user preference like strawberry vs. chocolate?
  10. IDANNY macrumors 6502a


    Dec 26, 2003
    Las vegas
    I dont Really understand what you are talking about either but I only use macs so maybe I am just used to these screens.
  11. Jigglelicious macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2004
    Yes, the "smeared" look does take a bit of getting used to coming from windows. Its not so much smeared as a "softer" look compared to windows.

    For me, the fonts look a good deal better set to "Standard - best for CRT", even if its not a CRT screen. Its not THAT much better, but it does help a tad IMO. Make sure to restart the OS after changing the font setting to get the full effect.
  12. hechacker1 macrumors member


    Feb 1, 2005
    UCSD, LA Jolla, CA, USA
    i noticed the same thing when I went from windows to linux. The default in windows is to not do font smoothing unless the fonts are bold or bigger than a certain size. Also, the quality of the fonts have a lot to do with it.

    In linux I was able to turn off font AA and only leave on subpixel hinting to get my fonts to look the same as they do in windows. In mac i guess the equivilant is to set the font smoothing threshold lower.

    I too dislike font antialiasing. I can never get used to it because I am used to having my fonts look sharp and defined.
  13. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020


    Apple's font smoothing scheme is more geared toward designers and the on-screen fonts have more nuance to them, giving a more accurate reproduction of the actual set font than Windows does, which sacrifices the subtleties of the font design in order to make the font sharper and easier to read.

    In other words, the fonts in OSX look like a scan of a print out of that font. In Windows, it's as if you took this scan and clipped the black and white ends to increase contrast. Easier to read– yes. Accurate representation– not as much.

    The way OSX renders fonts will RULE as pixel density increases on machines. Windows will need to rewrite their approach at that point.
  14. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2003
    Cardiff, Wales
    Hmm, this is strange, but it's probably because I've got a 17" monitor, but I find apple's font smoothing amazing... 100 times better than any PC I have at home.

    Just my 2c
  15. kanpachi thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2005
    Thank you all for your kind replies!

    Does anyone know how to adjust the contrast (lower) on the PB? I have tried going to the Universal Settings to adjust the contrast, but it can only be adjusted higher. The sad thing about this is that not only do the anti-aliased fonts kill my eyes, but the brightness and contrast seem high too. Even when I adjust the brightness setting lower using the F1 key, the display on the monitor is still very piercing (I feel like there are a bunch of strong electric fields going through my eye that don't seem to hurt it, but my brain definitely feels the pain, hence resulting in dizziness and a headache). Maybe I need to get eye surgery or something? :confused: I am using my work PC right now and the display is very sharp and clear -- what a difference the displays are! Perhaps we were all born genetically with Mac or Windows vision, and I happened to get the latter? :( Anyhow, I will try the suggestions listed above when I get home. Thanks again!
  16. hechacker1 macrumors member


    Feb 1, 2005
    UCSD, LA Jolla, CA, USA
    i guess i would have to agree that the mac normal font mode is designed to give a more lifelike (print) interpretation.

    but at the same time, i am with kanpachi on this one. I could never get used to it. Although I was able to tweak the settings enough on some dual G4's to my likeing. I got it to render fonts almost the same as windows does... which admittely is more readable that the "fuzzy" fonts.

    I guess you need a very high resolution LCD display to make the most out of it. Or else it does look fuzzy/blurry to some people.

    I don't think your eyes are bad. I think it's the opposite. You probably see the screen so sharply like me that I expect the fonts to be equally as sharp. It's usually the case of what DPI is the best for you. I perfer a higher DPI rate than most people. Thats sort of the whole reason behind making 17" and 19" lcd's with the same resolution. The only difference is the DPI and spacing of the pixels.

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