Is the black bezel objectively better (perceived contrast ratio, etc.)?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by nightfly13, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2008
    Ranchi, India
    I've been leaning toward white. Please spare me your judgements about my masculinity. I prefer how white looks. But I also care about contrast ratios and especially 'distractions' that John Gruber discusses in his recent review of iPad 2:

    "... The white bezel looks good, aesthetically ... But, I found the white bezel distracting. With the black, the frame disappears from mind when you’re using the iPad. With the white, it always seemed like I was looking at a white frame around the screen. There’s a reason why movies are letterboxed with black bars, not white ones, and why most TVs are framed by black."

    This resonates with me a little, but when I watched a couple of the Guided Tours on the iPad 2 site, the white bezel looks totally usable to me - nothing distracting at all.

    I know this is a subjective thing, let's try to keep the thread focused on visual performance vs aesthetic preferences - how does the bezel choice actually effect usage?
  2. gloss macrumors 601


    May 9, 2006
    It's all psychological. It's going to bother some people more than others. I do think, though, that the generally accepted theory is that black bezels do a better job of 'disappearing' when you use the device, whereas white can be distracting. And then there's the perceived contrast issue, although honestly with a screen the quality of the iPad's, it's probably a muted concern.
  3. fizzwinkus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    the way that i look at it, a black bezel will highlight colors. a white bezel will make darks richer.

    i really like the look of white, but will probably get black. looking at the guided tours, so many apps use very dark elements meant to blend in the with background (the title bar, section tabs on the bottom, etc) that just don't blend with a white bezel.
  4. profets macrumors 601

    Mar 18, 2009
    Big fan of the white.. I was waiting to see it in person first though.. Good article, was interesting to read the whole thing, not just about the bezel.
  5. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA
    I'd go with black for movie watching.

    I can remember the mid 1990s when home theather nuts would velcro black felt around 4:3 TVs in order to make the sliver frame dissappear.
  6. Mjmar macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2008
    I'm going with black, although I've never had a problem with my white MacBook.
  7. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    White is going to show dirt a lot more than black. Have you ever seen a white macbook that didn't look... digusting... after a few months of use?
  8. maclook macrumors 65816

    Nov 2, 2008
    I got the exact opposite impression after watching the guided tours. The title bar is a tiny sliver of black on otherwise light colored UIs (iPod, Maps, Mail, Safari, list goes on). More often than not, you're dealing with light colors on the screen.

    With that said, i believe the effects of the either colored bezels is blown out of proportion.
  9. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Gruber is correct.

    Black tends to fade into the background. White pops. Great if you are a bride and the object of everyone's attention but bad if your goal is to read or surf or play w/ limited distraction. If the bezel doesn't fade into the background then you can never immerse yourself with the device.
  10. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Apr 6, 2005
    Those with white MacBooks must have never got any job done. /s
  11. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    I suspect it has far more to do with personal preference and usage patterns than it does with anything objective. As such, it's mostly something each buyer will need to decide for themselves.

    Respectfully, I don't believe this is a valid comparison. One is a white plastic object and the other a glass panel painted white on the inside face.
  12. sam2428 macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2011
    Houston, TX
    I also think people are over thinking the bezel color. I really doubt there will be a significant change for using the white vs black bezel. Its a relatively small device with a small bezel around it. It shouldnt take away from the "ipad experience" or make it any harder to focus on the screen/read/watch movies. Our eyes have the ability to adjust and adapt to the surroundings. The white bezel shoudlnt "pop" or stand out after using it for a minute or so.

    I say, if you like the white...then go for it! :)

    I'm going to look at both in person and then decide. But it will be purely an aesthetic decision.
  13. robby818 macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2007
    I'm with you. It's just personal preference. I like the white look, something about the combination of the white bezel and silver back that I really like, but I will probably get black.
  14. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    Black for me.... I think the white will be very pretty, yes, but I agree with John Gruber all the way and feel that the black bezel not only quietly "disappears" as one is interacting with the iPad but also it sets off colors much better.
  15. Mechinyun macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2010
  16. fizzwinkus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    if you're just averaging the luminance, you are correct. for me, it's the effect of transition between the bezel and screen that is smoother with black->dark grey ui elements->light color content.
    i agree completely.
  17. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA


    On a serious note, you can mock it up yourself because we're just speculating.
  18. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    If they are like my 15 y.o. niece probably not -- she just uses it to chat w/ friends. Ha ha. Seriously there is a reason why pro models have never been offered in white. Sorry you are taking the news so hard. What Gruber said is true.
  19. SteveKnobs macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2010
    Never had a problem with mine I'm going with the white iPad. It just looks awesome.

    Your opinion of course. I am certainly not a 15 year old girl and I most definitely do "serious" work on my white macbook. Your comment is rather ignorant and insulting.

    And the reason pro models are not white is because white does not look professional and/or the design trend for when they were released was moving towards black/silver. I very much so doubt it had anything to do with perceived contrast and distraction from the bezel.
  20. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    That is what Gruber said, and if you are only going to be viewing your iPad under the same controlled lighting conditions then his opinion is absolutely correct. However, if you understand that the bezels both act differently depending on your environment and lighting conditions then what he said isn't absolutely correct. For example, in daytime lighting a black bezel will stand out and in darker lighting, a white bezel will stand out.
  21. Mechinyun macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2010
  22. Bheleu macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2010
    White for ipad2.

    Most people discriminate irrationally on color. I hope to make an educated decision.

    Black absorbs heat, white reflects it. I put my iPad on my dashboard when I am driving around so less heat is a good thing (even colored people get sun burnt easier, just does not show like it does on white people).

    The bad thing with white is dirt, etc is easier to see. I will probably clean it constantly.

    When I get an iPad 3, I will make a more experienced decision for it's color after having had both colors (it's nice to have a choice). As far as fashion trends go, "White, it's the new Black."
  23. henrikrox macrumors 65816


    Feb 3, 2010
    Who is the 15 year old?

    Yes. Thought so.
  24. Rodvette macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2011
    I don't think Gruber ever meant it it would be so distracting you would not get any work done lol...

    I have a white macbook, get good grades, and don't find the white distracting :).... it seems your niece is easily distracted for other reasons heh
  25. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA

    Black is dark, white is smart! :D

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