Does The New Macbook Use A TN Panel?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Axemantitan, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. Axemantitan macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2008
    The older Macbooks used a TN panel instead of the more expensive IPS flat panel as on the Macbook Pros and Cinema Displays. The trade-off was that the viewing angle is very poor. That was detailed in this article. Does anyone know if the latest version of the Macbook also uses the TN flat panel?
  2. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Yeah it uses a crappy panel like before - viewing angles are terrible especially vertically but that isn't a problem for me. I alway use my laptop looking straight on so it's okay.

    Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that MacBook Pro also used TN, just a higher quality one.
  3. sbornia macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2007
    The Gizmodo review has a good summary of the real-world differences between the MB's and MBP's screens.

    I looked at both this morning, and found the new MB's screen to be an improvement over the prior version's...but I have a feeling that the glossy finish and brighter LEDs are simply disguising what would otherwise be somewhat washed out color compared to my old PB, Cinema Display, and new 2.4 iMac screens. YMMV obviously.
  4. clin86 macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2008
    i wonder if it uses the same as the macbook air screens, since they are both 13.3 inches. the macbook air screens are actually very nice.
  5. dcorban macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2007
    It is clearly not IPS. When I look at it from extreme horizontal angles, the blacks don't become to telltale purple of IPS.
  6. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    As far as I'm aware, all laptops use TN panels except for that $3000 Lenovo that was released last summer.
  7. dougnewman macrumors 6502

    Aug 9, 2006
    Long Island, NY, USA
    Where did you hear that MacBook Pros use IPS panels?

    As far as I know nearly all notebooks use TN panels, MacBook Pros included.
  8. duffyanneal macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2008
    It would be nice if you could find IPS displays in notebooks. One of the last hold outs was the 15" Thinkpad and those went away a couple of years ago. The 20" iMac has a TN display. It is a good display but is blown out of the water by the 24" iMac. There are different technologies that manufacturers can use to improve TN displays. The MBP displays are quite good. If you want to see an excellent TN display go take a look at the Sony Z. It puts the MBP displays to shame. Apple needs to use those displays.
  9. guthy-lux macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2008
  10. dougnewman macrumors 6502

    Aug 9, 2006
    Long Island, NY, USA
    Indeed it would. Of course there are TN panels and there are TN panels, but it would be nice to be able to buy a notebook with an IPS display.

    Mind you, stand-alone IPS displays seem less common these days too. And as you noted the 20" iMac has a TN panel now - in the days of the white plastic LCD iMacs it was an IPS panel identical to the 20" ACD.
  11. indiekiduk macrumors 6502

    Jul 26, 2005
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Yep the Macbook is still TN I saw it myself, kneel down and the screen goes inverted colours. MacBook Pro is PVA or IPS I'm not sure.
  12. Axemantitan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2008
    It was in the article that I linked to in the OP.
  13. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    That article is wrong. All Mac laptops ship with TN panels. The one in my MBP is a Samsung LTN154BT.
  14. RichP macrumors 68000


    Jun 30, 2003
    Motor City
    Thanks for the article link... it is making me 2nd-guess my decision to go macbook over MBP. I kind of wish there was a 13" MBP..I was hoping the new MB would be a true successor to the 12" powerbook, but it seems to not be the case.
  15. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    At least for the 15.4" Pro models, they still use TN panels :(:(:(:eek:

    A shame; the 24" iMacs use IPS panels and kick the snot out of ANY 24" standalone monitor, by far... Given the price of the Mac Pros, I was rather disappointed, but from a certain angle everything is passable. (the 17" units are also TN, so I wouldn't want to do anything major involving color or shadow detail on it... with 15.4, some photoshopping can be done but I wouldn't dare tinker with gamut or curve settings... :eek: )

    That's not to say it's a total wash, no pun intended; at "that" angle (about 110 degrees?), the colors look almost as saturated on the iMac, without much in the way of washout, color shift, et al...

    Just about all laptops use TN panels anyway (probably for energy conservation reasons I'd guess), but I was expecting more from the current Macbook Pro series, especially given Apple's reputation in the graphics industry. :(:(:( Still, TN is ubiquitous and I do believe it's because of energy requirements.

    Could be worse though, and there's plenty I can do on my MB:p that doesn't require intricate color modifying...
  16. xraydoc macrumors 604


    Oct 9, 2005
    If I'm not mistaken, depending on the luck of the draw, you may end up with one of several screen manufacturers supplying the display in a MacBook.

    I've got a black 2.2GHz MacBook, and my display appears way better than what they show in that Gizmodo article. I don't recall who made the machine in my MacBook, but I did look it up (via product codes in the ColorSync app) when I first got it and discovered that I had the better of the screen potentials.

    Honestly, the display in my MacBook is quite acceptable. Better than many on the Apple store showroom floor were. And mine does not display the artifacts shown in that Gizmodo link.

    While they are all TN panels, and thus suffer the limitations of that technology, some are better than others. Not all TN panels are equal.
  17. blackhand1001 macrumors 68030


    Jan 6, 2009
    Macbook uses plain TN (worst type of LCD really in existence)
    Macbook Pro uses Tn+Film which enhances the viewing angles and the contrast ratio a great deal.

    Anyone who think the macbook pro uses IPS has really low standard on what they think a good display looks like. Its undoubtedly TN. VA and IPS are miles above TN.
  18. kasakka macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    I don't think it's energy at all. As far as I know VA and IPS panels don't draw any more juice than TN panels. TN panels just happen to be cheaper to manufacture, that's why they're used in so many displays these days. The tech has come a long way but it's still vastly inferior to VA and IPS.

    For a laptop to me good viewing angles would be more important than accurate colors. The Macbook doesn't deliver in this area so that's why I decided to wait for the next generation. With the recent rumors about Apple introducing cheaper laptops I fear what kind of crap they'll be using when the Macbook display is bested by even some netbooks.
  19. blackhand1001 macrumors 68030


    Jan 6, 2009
    Yeah, the macbooks display is unacceptable for anything that cost over a 1000 let alone 500. It seriously has one of the worst lcd's I have seen other than ibooks and some old 90's laptop I have. It makes it dissapointing since the powerbook g4 12 inch didn't have such a bad screen. That had all the function of the macbook with a decent screen. The macbook air could be compared but it has 1 usb, no ethernet, or optical drive. The macbook has got to be the only laptop at that price level to use a poor filmless tn display. I don't even think the cost difference between panels with the films is much. Even cheapo acer laptops have these tn+film lcds.

    Both IPS and VA use more power because of the 8 bit electronics and with IPS, every pixel uses almost twice as much power because it uses an additional transister, as well as IPS needs a much brighter backlight because it has the worst transmittance of all lcd types. There is actually a PVA lenovo thinkpad out now, but I can't think of the model number right now.

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