Apple's iMac Screen Liabilities

Discussion in 'iMac' started by czachorski, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. czachorski macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2007
    I went ahead and ordered a 24" iMac this week, seeing Leopard's release date is known and I can grab it on the up-to-date program. I figured I would take my chances and see if I can draw one without the well-documented screen gradient problem and freezing issues. I figured why keep waiting - if I get a bad one, I can always return/exchange it, rather than waiting and having a 100% chance of not having a good iMac.

    Anyways, all the research on the iMac issues got me thinking specifically about Apple's liabilities with the screen problems. If they are widespread, and Apple never acknowledges it, and never issues any recall, it would seem to open up a pretty big long-term liability for them. I mean, whats to stop some crafty person, like myself, from getting one with the gradient issue, deciding I can live with it for 2 years and 364 days, and then make a warranty claim the day before Applecare expires? Quite often, it is more economical to replace a 3 year old machine with a new model, rather than the labor and parts cost of a repair. It seems like if you find that you could tolerate the issue, you have a pretty good chance of using it as a ticket to a free, brand new Mac in 3 years.
  2. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Word of advice, go to a retail store like Best Buy or Frys or Circuit City and take a look at any of the stand alone LCD displays. They all look horrible (as far as the finicky MR forum members are concerned). I guarantee you, you will never enjoy your iMac until you compare other displays.
    I went to all those above stores today and took a long look at HP's Gateway's and Samsung LCDs. What I saw was uneven backlighting, brownish shading off to one side on many of them. Some of them had yellowing in the corners and all the HP 24" models were pinkish at the top half of the display and darker towards the bottom half.
    I never found a really great display, they were all okay and acceptable for consumer use.
    You haven't even used the computer yet but you already know it's gonna be crap. Do yourself a big favor and do the above like I did and you'll enjoy your iMac much more than you think.
    At times this forum makes issues like this all about Apple when the majority of other manufacturers are no different.
  3. czachorski thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2007
    Good advice. Thank you.
  4. Sam Spade macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2007
    BS. Very few LCD's, even the budget models, look as bad as the current crop of iMac panels.
  5. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Not in my opinion. They look about the same as $250 20-22" models of the same resolution. Same gradients, same viewing angles, probably even the same panels in some cases.
  6. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Oh so now you are saying that I didn't see what I saw on those LCD screens today? Were you there? You are just the reason why the OP has worries about the iMac sight unseen. I'm giving the OP the right recommendation to go and check all stand alone LCD's out for himself.
  7. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Sep 20, 2007
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    I don't need a retail store; my workplace has literally hundreds and hundreds of LCD monitors -- ranging from dirt-cheap 15" panels scattered all over the manufacturing floor to $650-ish 24" Dells on nearly every desk in R&D. (But none that I'm aware of in the ACD price range.)

    I've started paying attention to them since my first dud iMac, and have yet to find one with brightness gradients even half as bad as either ALU iMAc -- and none with color problems remotely approaching the 20" ALU. None!

    I won't even get into off-axis performance, it's a moot point for an on-axis POS. post your screen photos and I'll post mine, OK?

  8. Trout74 macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2005

    I have a 24" standard iMac and my wife is a professional photographer that send her prints off to a lab for re-production, and she and I both think the screen is amazing, and we dont see any of the problems that you all say you see here. yes I have had a few freezing issue, this is known and admitted by Apple, so im confident they will fix it, but the screen is just fine, this online discussion of screen issues is getting blown out of proportion.


  9. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Probably because it involves perception, which is different from person to person.

    One person could look at the exact same panel as someone else and be absolutely disgusted with it, while the other person could totally love it.

    Some people can even provide numbers that will show you why they're disgusted with it, and yet some people will still love it.

    So to each their own. Nobody's right, and its pretty much a waste of breath (or bits, in this case) to try to switch someones mind. I think the best advice is for someone to go see the panel in person and make their own conclusion.
  10. thomaus macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2007
    It's good that you are using the 24" model. I think your wife most likely would have a problem is she was using the 20" model instead. That model seems to be having distinctly different monitor issues.

    Viewing images on the screen is usually a helpful reference in judging photos. But on my 20", if you move an image from the to the bottom of the screen, it's similar to at least two stops of exposure in difference. You really have to see it to believe it. It's hard to imagine that a brand new monitor can behave this poorly. Or if you look at type: regular face on the bottom -- bold face on the top of the screen.

    What is odd about my experience is that I think it changed to this behavior after the first month of use. I noticed something different last week. Only after this happened did I search to find the large amount of internet discussion describing what I am now seeing on my iMac.

    On September 1st, I was able to successfully use the display calibration tool in System Preference right after I got the machine. I was pretty pleased with the results, comparing reference images to the screen. Now the calibration tool is useless. I get tones jumping all over the place as I try to change settings. And moving the tool up and down to different spots on the screen changes the grey tones dramatically. The most "normal" exposure is a little lower than halfway down, but it still is flakey enough there that the tool is functionally broken.

    I'm hoping that either a software or firmware fix may cure the problem that we are seeing with the 20" iMacs.

  11. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2007
    the bad iMac screens are a first for Apple

    I agree.

    I have been using Macs since classic days and have never had a bad screen (except those tiny "black lines" on the Trinitron CRT's if anyone remembers them :) ). I have also never had an LCD from Apple that has any edge issues, gradient issues or colour issues of any kind from birth to grave (of the device).

    The iMac gradient/washout issue is the first time I have ever been seriously disappointed with an Apple screen of any kind. Right out of the box. It's a plainly noticeable flawed screen that should never have got out of the factory IMO. Almost my first words upon seeing it light up for the first time were "What's wrong with the screen?" It's the first time I can remember when Apple produced a seriously sub-par product and tried to pass it off as their usual quality stuff.

    I am sure that behind the scenes they are fixing it as we speak, but the whole situation really pisses me off. I am mad because Apple will likely never own up to it, and in my workplace I will be stuck with the washed out screen until the next upgrade two years from now. As I have said on other posts, if this was a consumer purchase by myself I would take it back it's so bad, but it isn't so I have to use this POS for years now. Arghhh! :mad:

    It's like getting in a fender bender with some looser that claims for years that it wasn't his fault when you have video of the jerk ploughing into your car.

    Very, very frustrating indeed.
  12. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    I have no doubt that the screens up for display at a store all look like crap. That doesn't mean they are good for comparison of what your brand-new, previously unused display should look like, they are abused display models.
  13. suneohair macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2006
    This has to be the most terrible advice I have ever read on Macrumors. First of all, all these retailers run the same signal through every LCD/monitor from the same source. The resulting signal is something no one would enjoy looking at. Hook any one of them up to a single computer and you will see a world of difference. Comparing a display in Best Buy to a display on the iMac at the Apple store is like comparing apples and pancakes. It is completely unfair. Further, I own the L246WP which is sold by Best Buy, according to what you say my display should be brown, yellows, uneven backlighting, and whatever else you can come up with. Of course, that is not the case, and in fact my display is what one would call perfect, even backlighting, no dead pixels, consistent beautiful color and a 3 year warranty standard to boot. My display is great, it isn't an Eizo or Lacie, but it is no less wonderful.

    Not to mention, what you are basically saying is that every LCD that isn't in an iMac is crap. Which of course we know to be false.

    Now, the iMac dislay has issues. We all know that. You can deny it and make illogical comparisons all you would like. Should the problem sway someone from buying an iMac? Probably not. However, attempting to make the iMac seem as if the iMac has the best panel on earth is ridiculous and is hardly helping anyone.

    Finally, here we go with this argument again. You are saying that every other display manufacturers has these issues. There you are wrong. Second there are good iMac panels, according to you and others.

    I agree that people should buy and make a decision to keep it or not. However, you attempts to make everything else seem as if it is garbage and thus it is ok that the iMac has problems is a bad argument and frankly a lie.
  14. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    You mean every LCD panel hooked up to every individual computer on display is using the same signal?

    I walked among the computers on display at a Best Buy and a Circuit City, and they all had different images .... from the " same signal " ???

    C'mon you were kidding right? You meant to say
  15. ArtTechFreak macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2007
    Just East of San Frandisco
    I just got my 24" 2.8Ghz iMac and I'm very impressed. The screen is perfect; it passes all those gradient tests with no problem. The machine is also whisper quiet compared to my G4 tower. Computers should be seen and not heard! :) Apple has also done a great job on the audio section; both the speakers and the headphone out audio sound great.

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