2016 TouchBar | Color variation | negative experience

Is it normal?

  • Yes

    Votes: 6 50.0%
  • No

    Votes: 6 50.0%

  • Total voters


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 6, 2017
I had been happy MBP 2012 retina user until last year when my car glass was broken and it was stolen.

This was the perfect time for me to buy new MBP 2016 15 with touch bar. First few months were gorgeous, however later I've found one reasonable problem with the body of the laptop.

Basically, my screen cover and bottom cover are made from one color, while middle part differs. Photos are attached.

Certainly, I had an appointment with apple support to solve my issue. However, they decided that this color variation is absolutely normal and they are not able to help me.

What do you think, is it normal?



macrumors 601
May 30, 2010
Very common and incredibly annoying.

In the below image I took earlier this year, they're both supposed to be space grey MacBook Pros. But as you can see, they're totally different colours.

It is largely for this reason that I just get silver now.



macrumors 68030
Nov 3, 2005
PVB, Florida
I don't think the trackpad will ever match perfectly. It's not aluminum. The top/bottom thing isn't cool at all.


macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
Looks ok to me, but my eyes are older.
I guess I'm just not bothered by such things.

I don't spend my time looking at the "side" of the Macbook.
I look at the screen!
Last edited:


macrumors newbie
Jan 18, 2016
First of all: achieving the same color result in an anodized aluminum is not easy.
A very slight variation in the structure of the alloy can lead to a visible color difference.

Then it's not possible to truly evaluate the difference though the pictures you've taken, there are just too many factors of uncertainty in the chain: your lighting (is the color metamerism-free?), the camera sensor, the ability of the OS and Browser to honor profiles, the display of the user who is watching it.
It's to be expected that you will get many different opinions in a forum (more than usual ;))

And lastly: every human has a different perception of colors and a different ability to discern them.
Maybe the technician who checked it it partially color blind and doesn't even know it.
In my experience Apples service is usually on par with their pricing level and they go to great lengths to make their customers happy.
Maybe it's worth a shot to talk to another Apple employee about this.
Also try to show the effect under different lighting conditions. It's possible that it's invisible under cheap fluorescent light (but could also become more visible).
If they also decline your request, please ask them wich exact variation is acceptable (usually measured in Delta-E) and how they measure it (wich spectrophotometer do they use, aperture size, settings (UV-Filter?) etc.).
A device wich is capable to measure this reliably is quite expensive, I would be surprised if each genius bar has one at hand, but it's the only way to make a qualified statement about the color difference.

Good luck!


macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2013
New York
interesting... I just checked mine as I never noticed anything before. My 2016 15" looks perfect to me. I checked it out in different lighting just to be sure.


macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2016
Lighting plays a huge part in these things. Especially when you've got a reflective surface and likely multiple light sources. You will likely find at certain angles the difference between colours will be more noticeable than at others, point being the observable hues change. Illusions along these lines demonstrate this phenomena https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Checker_shadow_illusion.


Remember, all colour is an illusion; any photo can be taken at particular angles to either highlight a difference or decrease it, and it doesn't give a true estimation for the observer of the actual hue of the object in question. A slowly rotating video with a single light source is a better thing to provide, but it's a bit over the top... Either way, there's nothing this forum can do to help you, I'm sure some people will agree and others disagree, but it's not going to solve anything. If you were unhappy about it, you should have returned it as has been mentioned. Otherwise if you're just noticing this now, I'd guess you've just brought a new light or changed a bulb which has made it a lot more noticeable that in was in the first few months of use.
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