Dead Pixels and Dust Under Screen

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by iViking, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. iViking macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2006
    It seems one of the defect possibilities of the new manufacturing process is that the new Macbooks or Macbook Pros can get dust trapped behind the glass screen.

    At least, that's what happened to my Macbook. So they let me return it, and I got a Macbook Pro, and now the new Macbook Pro, though a thing of beauty, has a bright dead pixel in the top middle screen, as well as a dimmer dead pixel 2 inches to the left of that one.

    I heard that Apple's dead pixel policy was three dead pixels or no deal on an exchange, but I just bought the computer a few hours ago.

    Do you think I have a shot at them replacing it? I hate to think of staring at this, (bright) dead pixel for three years, (not to mention the other dimmer dead pixel).

  2. pufftissue macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2006
    $2000, I absolutely would. You are not making things up. Apple brands itself as a premium company, so to pay the price premium and not receive a premium product is the worst combination. Hold them to the image that they themselves want to create.
  3. MacLadybug macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2008
    Start out nice and friendly and turn it up a notch slowly until they agree to what you want. Don't leave without a BRAND NEW PERFECT notebook. Tell us how it works out.
  4. MVApple macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2008
    Well this is what I did when I returned my ipod touch for some dead pixels. I called apple and told them that I had some dead pixels and wanted to know what their return policy was on dead pixels to see if I would qualify. The guy told me they would set me up with a genius appointment and that they would replace my ipod touch. They never disclosed what the actually warranty was, which is actually against the law.

    At the "genius" appointment the guy was a bit of a jerk. Tilting the ipod etc. and not claiming he couldn't see anything. I pointed to where they were and I could clearly see them. Anyways he stood there for like ten minutes staring and ended up giving me an exchange but didn't seem too happy about it.

    If he had turned me down I was prepared to ask further about the warranty because I know they don't like telling you what the actual policy is, although it's illegal not to, at least in california.

    Like someone else said, start nice but definately start pushing if you're not seeing results. Some people respond well to nice, and others respond better to mean.
  5. sfdarwin macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2006
    Hi iViking,
    My new macbook has a speck of dust under the glass as well.
    Was it easy getting apple to replace it? If not, what did you tell them?
    Also, which apple store did you buy it from? I'm in norcal as well.
  6. henhowc macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    You should open up the computer and inspect it for any screen defects at the store. Most Apple stores won't give you a hassle for this at all. Especially if you're returning a computer b/c of a defect.
  7. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    You see this in detachable zoom lenses also, where dust gets sucked into the lens body and winds up between the lens elements, usually visible behind the front element. If it's brand new out of the box, you can just reject it, but you better expect it to show up in time no matter what, and usually isn't a warranty issue It almost never affects the performance of the lens, but I'm not sure how dust would show up on a live laptop display - would it show when the display was light/white, like a hair in front of the projector, or when it's turned off and you can see through the glass surface and notice the dust between the layers?

    This could just be a fact of life for this particular design, and once you get it home after a month or so you might start getting dust, yet there would be nothing at all wrong with your machine - thus it won't be a warranty/exchange issue. Annoying, nonetheless. As a few days/weeks go by, there probably will be more and more things that will surface that people don't like about these new machines, and their glass screens. Design may be 'cool,' but long-term ergonomic satisfaction may be unknown for now. The old Apple philosophy was all about designing for the user interface, intuitive, natural and subtle stuff that didn't immediately seem apparent, but won fans with it's uncanny ability to understand how people use stuff. "Look and feel." Unmistakeably Apple, something they sued to protect, and despite entire industries doing their best to literally copy it, something that still remained beyond the reach of imitators. I'm not sure Apple is still on that track...:(
  8. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    Once you hand over your money and no dice over 1 dead pixel. Sorry.

    Also the manufacturing process differs in the construction of the case on the display.

    You could try and raise hell about the dust, but not the pixel

    BTW dead pixels would be black and not brightly colored, sounds like you have a couple stuck pixels. You would have been able to gently rub then out if it wasn't for the glass.
  9. iViking thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2006
    Hi SF,

    My Macbook actually had a cluster of three specks of dust under the glass, AND a missing P key, so they didn't argue it.

    Soon I will find out what they say about the dead pixels on my MBP.
  10. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

    Apr 26, 2003
    You need not worry about dust under the screen or stuck pixels or missing keys - you got precision CNC milled interiors :rolleyes:
  11. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

    Apr 26, 2003
    BTW - why do people go to the "Genius" for these types of issues? I would arrive at the store - explain why I want a new unit - and escalate from there as necessary.

    A missing key really does make one wonder about the concept of "final quality inspection".
  12. pufftissue macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2006
    i've seen dust on my macbook pro x 2. (not the new models).
    FWIW, I've never had this problem on other brands of computers. But to be fair, I've never looked, either. But b/c it's apple, I think that I expect perfection (maybe b/c of the price or their reputation). But since the dust is there, it's on Apple to fix it (although whether they will or not varies). I don't like Apple's way of advertising superiority in everything and then not backing up their products any better than any other company does. I mean, if part of your business strategy is to project a better-than-everyone-else image, should you not hold your product to higher standards? It only seems fair.

    I'm not particularly happy about the dust.

    On an unrelated note, the new macbook advertising campaign harping on design and unibody construction are pure genius. Showing how the macbook is carved out of aluminum really impressed me. Getting Jonathan Ive to speak was also a smooth move. He's got the British cool going for him, appears reasonably handsome, is well-spoken, and we know him as the guy who designed the ipod. In my opinion, marketing students and business students ought to study how Apple markets things, b/c this is where their highest genius lies. If you dissect their press releases or their website language, it's often loaded with emotive language, much more so than other tech companies that I've seen. They use words like "incredible design", 100 million episodes, "amazing", etc...they're definitely not short on humility. I firmly believe that it's their advertising that's responsible for the cult of mac as much as it is their products, b/c time and time again we see great products that fail to catch on. Just b/c a computer IS better doesn't guarantee success on a wide scale. That's the job of marketing, and Apple continually dusts the competition here.
    Me, I'm going to see the new macbooks and macbook pros today. I hope I don't come back home with one, b/c I'm a highly emotional person.
  13. r00 macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2008
    Just a little input here. I purchased the low end MBP on Thursday night and as soon as I booted it up I noticed a dead pixel imediately. I just returned from the Apple Store with a brand new MBP today. I too don't understand the reason for a Genius appointment but I suppose the "qualified professionals" have the final say. The genius explained that all LCDs aren't perfect which I know but if I'm spending $2000 on a machine it really should be. Anyway, he said he would be glad to do a "one time" exchange for the same machine but if there were dead pixels on the new one there was nothing he could do. This was fine and exactly what I was looking for so I'm happy to say the least. On the new one I received today I noticed there seems to be something near the top right of the LCD, not exactly a dead pixel but maybe a speck of dust? It's not nearly as bad as the black pixel starring me in the face.

    To answer your question you should definitely head back to the store and demand an exchange, you've paid a lot of money for a computer and you should be happy with your purchase.

    Hope this helps.
  14. Rilely macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2008
    Washington, D.C.
    My first MacBook Pro had a *hot* pixel and it was awful. I spent almost 3k on a machine and assessories as a first time Apple buyer and Apple told me to go suck it when I was so upset. I hated it. If my new MacBook Pro has similar issues, I am going to go ape ****. I seriously hate screen defects, even 1 pixel.
  15. MVApple macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2008
    Anyone know how hard it is to get the glass off of the display? Anytime a screen is behind a piece of glass you run the high risk of getting dust trapped, in my experience anyway. The old macbook and macbook pro's didn't have the screen behind anything so you could just wipe away dust. A few specs wouldn't bother me but after a while it'll build up and I would want to clean it without voiding my warranty.

    Hopefully there is an easy way to do this where maybe an apple "genius" will do it for you.
  16. allanibanez macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2008

    If all else fails try that method, it's said to have a 90% success rate, but im not sure how easy it is to do with the new glass screens. To be honest, I would give apple hell, regarldess of their policy. You have paid an awful lot of money for the laptop and there is something wrong with it. If that fails, return it (if your in the 14 day period) then buy another one.
  17. EngenZerO macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2008
    Denver, CO
    Here is my story:

    I purchased a 2.53GHz MacBook Pro this morning right when the store opened. I then grabbed some breakfast and headed to my GF's place where I proceeded to set up my new computer on her coffee table (quick tangent: she has a big slider door and the glare was minimal). So after I get my baby setup I move take it off the coffee table and see a dead pixel right in the middle of the screen. I was like aiiiiiyyyyeeeee noeeees!!! I proceed to clean the screen thinking its something but it turned out to be a pixel. I also powered down my screen and noticed some dust under the screen. So my GF goes: "ah snap... here we go exchange fiasco!" I drive all the way back to my apple store go to the concierge and ask her to speak to a manager. The manager comes out and I explain: "I purchased this MacBook Pro not even 4-5 hours ago and I notice a dead pixel in the center of the screen. Now I understand fault tolerance with pixels, etc but this is in the smack center. I do some graphics work etc... and this isn't acceptable. This is my life-line!" Manager looks at the dead pixel and goes listen i'll exchange it out for u, just this once. He asks someone to grab me new 2.54GHz. But another manager goes you need to ok this with the genius boys. So we walk to the genius bar. The genius boy throws a fit about it only being 1 pixel and we shouldn't exchange, but the manager goes my bad I already told the customer he would be taken care of. Then proceeds a quiet discussion in which the manager seemed like he was getting reemed out by the genius. The manager comes back to me and goes listen... I shouldn't exchange this but I will this one time cause u came back right away and took care of it. He then proceeds to process my exchange. We then take out the new MacBook Pro and examine it and no dead pixels! I walk out the store a lucky and happy man!

    So moral... if u see a dead pixel go right back... don't make an apt. and just go talk calmly to the manager. If he is cool will prolly get it taken care of.
  18. iViking thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2006
    Results Are In

    I just thought I would follow up on my post for those who were curious how it turned out.

    So I brought the MBP in and this really nice Concierge got me going on the right path right away, followed by the manager, and then a "blue shirt," and then eventually there was some hesitation so they took it out and saw the bright red pixel and the dead one next to it and agreed to swap it out.

    They suggested I open it in store and I agreed as it's a bit of traffic and a drive for me to get there, and this is my third trip.

    The next one was better but to my disappointment, another dead pixel. The blue shirt guy, (who was great, by the way), went to a "Genius" and the "Genius" said it wasn't technically a dead pixel and might come back to life, but that the transistor was wavering? At this point I'm enjoying the humor of the idea that each of the millions of pixels have their own transistors, back-up generators, etc., and it's not the pixel's fault, it's the pixel's back-up team that has dropped the ball. Anyway, a dead little dot is a dead little dot to me. The blue shirt guy was patient and empathetic and got the manager to allow one more try and the third time was a charm as there are no dead or stuck pixels that I have found so far, (and if I find some under intense scrutiny then I will accept it and move on with life. My main concern was having a bright shiny one smack in the middle of my next three years' of daily work).

    Each time he was doing the paperwork at the main register he had other blue shirts salivating all over him and breathing down his neck to get on the computer to check people out, so he had to really concentrate and hold his ground to take care of me.

    So I have two points:

    1) I am happy with Apple and they took care of me and the service level at this particular store went way up in the past year or two.

    2) The Geniuses might be ok with tech service but they are lousy with customer service, so be careful that they don't get in the way of the customer service people trying to do their job. Indeed, sometimes they may even usurp the managers. I have grown to dislike them as every Genius I've come into contact with was dismissive, condescending, etc. You might expect that from tech people but they are not always that tech savvy, if they are neither tech savvy nor customer service oriented, what is their purpose? Of course I'm speaking only of those I've dealt with. There must be affable Geniuses working for Apple who are tech savvy to boot.

    The whole process this time took about 2-3 hours.

    The MBP looks much better in person than in photos and seems like a great machine. I like that it feels as sturdy as a Macbook now and does not flex when the lid is closed and you carry it around.
  19. bmwpowere36m3 macrumors 6502

    Nov 8, 2007
    Doesn't surprise me, same problem with the new release of the iPhone 3G... many complaints about dust trapped behind the screen.
  20. MacsBestFriend macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2008
    upstate ny (purgatory)
    I think so many Apple's have dust under them because of all the children working for 70 cents a day at Foxconn don't even have clean enough working conditions for the products. This shouldn't be a problem now because Apple is using their own plant in the new AluBooks.
  21. MowingDevil macrumors 68000


    Jul 30, 2008
    Vancouver, BC & Sydney, NSW
    A little sweet lovin' :cool:
    Too bad about the glass barrier...must be how prisoners feel when their g/f's come to visit in those plexi-glass phone rooms.
  22. ptjh macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2008
    I can't actually believe alot of companies get away with this :eek: For **** sake! You spending a couple of G on a new product and they won't replace it if you don't have at least 3 dead pixels...even 1 is a piss take and V.V, Annoying. Tell them to sort their faulty, cheap asses out.

    Dust!...Have they been smoking crack in the mac labs again...It's a legititimate perscription for Jobs given hos dropping of the MB firewire ports
  23. Saltybill macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2010
    Here's my experience...

    a month after I bought my macbook pro, I noticed a dead pixel (black) kind of in the middle of the screen. I went to an apple store, told them about it, showed them, and they said it was "within acceptable range" regarding to the defects... and that was it... couldn't do anything more.

    Apple says they're better than windows with this stuff, but in many respects, they are about as useless as Dell. Hell, even Dell will swap out a machine for you!

    I like osx... that's the only reason I stick with them and their awful customer service.

    Oh, and btw... I have one of those macs with the thermal paste issue... told me it'd be $300 for them to do anything about it.

    Take it from me, don't let apple fool you, their customer service is no better than any of these other jerks... they just happen to have a nice os.
  24. cnote678 macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Seems to hold true thus far-considering I paid $1200 for a machine that is faulty just after the 1yr warranty, that they thus far refuse to fix. Thanks Apple.
  25. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    I exchanged my 15" MBP a year ago at the Apple Store in Glasgow because of a dead pixel. I called up, asked what the craic was and was told that if I wasn't happy with it they'd exchange it or refund me.

    Spoke to a concierge and no questions asked. Just simply checked it, saw the dead pixel, and gave me a new one. They also recommended I checked it in store. Thankfully, no dead pixels on the replacement.

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