Considering a Macbook, how is the screen quality?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by jjahshik32, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    I owned the 15" mbp and I know its not as good in quality as the 15" in the screen department but what are the two screens that the new unibody macbooks ship with?
  2. Jamesl94 macrumors regular

    Apr 8, 2009

    Screen quality is amazing. You won't be disappointed.
  3. johnny13oi macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2009
    I have the nvidia white macbook and the screen quality is terrible. There is massive backlight bleeding compared to my Dell M1330.
  4. asphyxiafeeling macrumors regular


    May 31, 2008
    Cali baby!
    the unibody macbook has a superior screen to the white one. i've compared the two side by side, the white macbook leaves a lot to be desired (compared the unibody, but i think the screen is still usable)
  5. johnny13oi macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2009
    Yeah it's definitely usable, just dont watch videos with black bars on top and bottom because then you will definitely notice the backlight bleed.
  6. aaquib macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    By no means is it "bad", but in terms of viewing angle, screen clarity, and colour deepness, the MacBook Pro is superior in every way.
  7. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...don't both model MB's use the same screen with the UMB's just having a layer of glass covering it?
  8. Darkroom Guest


    Dec 15, 2006
    Montréal, Canada
    Size aside, the Unibody MacBook screens are vastly inferior to Unibody MacBook Pro screens... while both are extremely functional, the screen of the MacBook Pro is a much stronger choice - especially if it will be your principle computer (or principle screen).

    the screen quality difference between the MacBook and MacBook pro is similar to the difference in quality between the screens of the 20" iMac and the 24" iMac.
  9. uiop. macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2008
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Ditto ditto ditto.
    My sister got the base Unibody MacBook last month and the screen doesn't even compare to the MBP. With that said, the MacBook's screen is still very nice.
  10. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2008
    In a word - Disappointing

    The screens on the current Unibody MB's are adequate at best. They belong on a $500 Laptop not a $1500 Laptop. Apple should be ashamed.

    The LED brightness is very good but the contrast ratio is poor even by value line PC standards as is the viewing angle. Its ok for Office work but is not up to high quality multimedia.

    The MBP's have a far better screen and the MBA is the best.
  11. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Apple has always, and I repeat, always put in cheaper screens in their consumer notebooks. I'm not using that word lightly nor carelessly.

    The ibook always had a blocky, pixellated screen compared to the powerbook. The macbook always had a limited screen to the macbook pro. They've started to do this with the iMacs, by putting in a cheaper screen in the 20" models when they went from white plastic to aluminum. (Though they thought they'd slip that by everyone.)

    Apple doesn't want to admit they put in crappier screens in the macbooks, of course, but they do want to subtly encourage you to buy a macbook pro if you can at all do so. And if you want a truly exceptional screen, you have to buy, surprise surprise, the 17" mbp.

    There's been a whole slew of websites comparing the difference in contrast, viewing angle and user experience between the uni mb and mpb screens. The uni mb has a more usable screen than the whitebook due to the led backlighting. If they put in an equal quality screen in the mb (say, as in the mba) it would really cut into sales of the base mbp.

    I'm not going to completely trash talk the mb's screen. It's usable for basic stuff, and the led backlighting makes it the best screen that apple has ever used IN ONE OF THEIR CONSUMER LAPTOPS. The mb is pretty portable, and it's easy to hook it up to an ACD or other quality display for the best of both worlds.
  12. gan6660 macrumors 65816


    Aug 18, 2008
  13. angemon89 macrumors 68000


    Feb 5, 2008
    The place where Apple designs stuff
  14. jmann macrumors 604


    Dec 8, 2007
    bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea
    I don't think this is a very real representation of what the screens look like in real life. I love the screen on my Unibody MacBook, it is much better than the screen in my old white one.
  15. johnny13oi macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2009
    That link above alone shows how terrible the backlight bleeding is. When watching movies it is absolutely annoying or on darker screens. I really don't know why apple went so cheap on the screens. I guess greater profit margins for them. There are plenty of other 13 in laptops with incredible screens and are at comparable prices and mostly cheaper than the Macbook. The screen and poor cooling are the two terrible things about Macbooks. Instead of a beefier cooling solution they went with a faster spinning fan which creates more noise.

    And yes I know a bigger heatsink would weigh more but a M1330 with dedicated graphics and a magnesium alloy shell has a better cooling solution and not nearly as loud when stressed and weighs a full pound less.
  16. theDUB macrumors 6502a


    Nov 15, 2008
    SLT, CA
    Why don't you go to the store and look at them yourself?
  17. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    it's not as bad as everyone makes it out to be - but i will admit some of the screens worst moments were watching AVP - the term big gray mess came into play... trying to watch Seinfeld w/my girlfriend on the bed ended up a little bit better, but less than i expected.

    But hulu looks great on it for the bedroom but on the other hand - with South Park/American Dad/Family guy all being bring cartoons i guess i didn't take that into account that darker movies look worse.
  18. jjahshik32 thread starter macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    I just recently went to the Apple Store and had a look. While the new unibody macbook's screens are adequate for everyday usages and are just fine, I found them to be "washed out" and milky looking compared to the 15" mbp and especially the mba's screens.

    God only if they put in the same mba's screen inside the unibody macbooks then I'd buy one but to me screen quality is a big deal as its the most used portion of a notebook.

    I might go for the mba.
  19. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    The Macbook's screen, whether Unibody or not, is simply awful compared with screens on other notebooks of a similar price. Washed out colours with virtually no viewing angle apart from straight on to speak of.

    Why do you think Apple is sitting on a huge pile of cash? It is not because it is investing in quality components for its Macbooks. Even my dirt cheap netbook has a better screen than my Macbook.
  20. xpovos macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2007
    @jjahshik: Please don't take this wrong, because I'm probably just as picky as you, and I think it's justified given the premium price of Apple's computers. That said, from what I can deduce about your purchase/sale/return/exchange history from your previous posts, I don't think you would be satisfied with the MacBook's screen. I downgraded from the 15" unibody MBP because of the flickering issue. While I haven't had any hardware problems at all with the two unibody MacBooks I bought (one for me, one for my wife), the screen is definitely not great. It's not horrible if you just browse and do office-type work at "normal" viewing angles, but it's not up to what I perceive to be your (or my) standards.

    I'm badly wanting a Rev B MBA (used to own a Rev A) but there's a possibility I might be unemployed in the near future, so I obviously have to wait and see how that turns out first.
  21. tubbymac macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2008
  22. jjahshik32 thread starter macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    Thanks for the reply and hope you get to keep your job and get yourself a MBA!

    I also used to own the rev. a MBA last year and it was an awesome little notebook. I really really love its size especially the screen is awesome on it. But I also read around that the rev. b MBA's screen is not as good at rev. a's screen.

    I remember the rev. a mba's screen was superb. And now there are line issues with the rev. b mba, 15" and 17" mbp with flickering issues, gpu issues.

    And now the 13" macbooks have led backlighting but crappy displays... man why couldnt they just stick a mba's display in the macbooks. :mad::mad::mad:
  23. tubbymac macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2008
    Because then it would be an almost perfect computer and give a lot of people little reason to upgrade or choose the more expensive machines in Apple's lineup.
  24. JD92 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2005
    The overall screen quality is better than the white Macbook - the LED backlight has done away with the uneven backlighting of the whitebook and the screen definitely looks a lot brighter. However, compared to the Macbook Pro and even some cheaper laptops from the likes of Dell, the viewing angles are worse, but not so bad that it gets in the way.
  25. sosaysiburke macrumors member


    Mar 30, 2009
    i actually enjoy my mb monitor id rather look at it than my bigger monitor even if it is a bit useless from far away from the angles it still looks amazing to me when your sitting with it and it is a laptop after if you wanna watch movies or sit far away seems like only common sense to plug it into a bigger monitor but for a portable monitor i enjoy it

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