Just got 13" Air, one disappointment

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by newdeal, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Oct 21, 2009
    Ok here is my one gripe about my new 13" air...the screen is not nice at all. People were saying how great it was because of the high res screen but honestly, while the screen is high res the colours are nowhere near as crisp or vibrant as they were on my macbook pro or as they are on my 21.5" imac. The screen quality pales in comparison (I have tried calibration it didn't help, everything is just more washed out)
  2. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Jul 22, 2002
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    Are you sure it's not due to the glass screen/glossiness causing an increase in contrast?
  3. jw3571 macrumors regular

    May 21, 2010
    This is my first macbook, but I did buy a new Imac 27 after the last refresh, and i'm also a little dissapointed that the MBA isn't close to the Imac screen. The colors don't really pop at all.
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I've seen better screens but seriously, unless you're a photo grapher or something else who needs color accuracy, it's just fine. At least I'm very pleased with mine
  5. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    Sounds like you prefer the gloss finish with the glass on the iMacs.

    Nothing wrong with that, but I'd prefer what you have with the portable Air: a less reflective screen.

    I have a MBP 13", with SSD + HDD 8GB RAM, and it's pretty darn perfect for my uses, except... I wish it didn't have the mirror finish.

    Also important to note the 27" screen is a high quality IPS display. When it was first released thus feature was very much in the press release; the MacBook screens just can't/don't compare.
  6. Marconelly macrumors 6502


    Jul 5, 2008
    It's not just the gloss finish. I'm almost 100% sure the vibrancy of colors on this new screen is not up to par with MBA Rev A, which had the exact same screen finish. I'm looking at both right now, and while the low res on Rev A is now jarring, its colors look better and pop more. I tried hard to calibrate new screen to look as close as the Rev A one, and succeeded to a degree (default calibration is awful with its red push on every new MBA model I've seen) but it's still not as good.

    There's also completely unquestionably more uniform backlighting on Rev A screen. New screen has very visible vignetting darkness gradient on edges all around the screen, which is pretty noticeable on any flat color surface that happens to be in that area of screen. Again, I've looked for this and seen it on probably more than 10 new MBAs in different stores, so it's not some manufacturing issue but a design flaw.
  7. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    we disagree.

    this screen on the Air is every bit as good as an MBPro - if not, better.

    if you're comparing to an iMac, then you're kinda comparing an orange with a pear.
    iMac's have dedicated ATI Radeon graphics whereas your MBPro's and Airs run nVidia GEForce 320/330 cards - but still they are more than respectable.

    try a PC notebook for a real contrast :D
  8. Buck987 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2010

    You are not alone in this observation.

    I have not purchased one yet but I brought this point up about a month ago when checking them out at BB. The screen seemed washed out.


    The ones I checked this past week at the Apple store were better but none looked as colorful as the macbook pro's I own. Not bad in any way, just not as good.

    My other minor gripe is the travel of the keys when typing. Not quite as good as a MBP. Still these small negative don't outweigh the many positives.

    I'm just trying to decide which model.
  9. fswmacguy macrumors 6502


    Aug 12, 2009

    I have not noticed any of these issues with my 13-inch MBA. The colors are fine, the lines are crisp. I do a lot of photo and design type of work and I've never had a problem.

    High-end IPS displays with professional color calibration don't come in notebooks. Apple or otherwise.
  10. Kayan macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2010
    Cannot believe some of this thread...seriously? Unless your assigning numerical code to the pixel colors, how in the world can you tell the difference unless you have a defective MBA screen? I think the screens are great, especially considering the quality of the screens of other options if you didn't have the MBA, and are on par with the other Apple product screens.
  11. Mike84 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2010
    To be honest with you, I also felt like the colors were washed out. I have been slightly disappointed because I am coming form a Dell 15 inch with less resolution but I do not see the colors popping out on the MBA 13 inch for some reason. You can change the color setting if you wish and it can make it better. I do think the colors might be a tad bit warm, but that is just my opinion on the matter.

    Maybe Apple will release a firmware update?
  12. SidBala macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2010

    "We" who? Don't speak for anyone but yourself.

    Graphics being integrated or discrete has no bearing on the quality of the screen.

    I've found that the panels on the MBA and the MB are generally not as good as the ones on the MBPs.

    I've seen some panels on the dell studio lines that look simply amazing, even compared to the MBP.
  13. jksu macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2009
    i have a mba11 and have to agree...

    the mba screen is decent -- brightness definitely improvement over my blackbook and compares well with other pc/mac laptops. and with regular use it's fine and i'm happy with it.

    but after using my wife's imac to edit some photos/vidoes and surfing on our ipad, coming back to my mba is definitely a let down sometimes. would love for ips quality to make it to a mba some day.

    i have an external monitor i connect the mba too when a larger screen helps get work done but it's a tft lcd, not ips.
  14. BENJMNS macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2005
    the mba screen is as good as anything i've seen in the market. don't get the gripe. it's not overly glossy and not completely matte.
  15. INEEDANOTEBOOK macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2010
    Icy City

    I agree. The difference between the screens might not be perceptible when there is no MBP around, but is blatant when you compare the 2 screens at the same time. That said, I find that the main difference is a difference of contrast. MBA's screens are very crisps.
  16. abuleban macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2010
    Saudi Arabia
    No problems here

    with the screen, it is excellent, and I very much enjoy the high res MBA screen:)
  17. newdeal thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 21, 2009

    I think it just takes some getting used to probobly. People complain about the resolution of the ipad screen compared to the ipone 4 but let me tell you the pad screen kills the macbook air it isn't even a fair comparison. The imac also kills the air and so does the macbook pro. That isn't really to say the air screen sucks just that the other mac screens are so clearly awesome that the air seems a bit disappointing by comparison
  18. archipellago macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2008
    what did you expect for twice the price!! ;)
  19. jazziethomas macrumors member

    Dec 5, 2010
    MY mac book air 13 is just right for me and it is awesome when it comes to photo editing the colors are just right.
  20. zenit macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2010
    I find the screen on the air to be very nice. The washed-out looking colors is simply due to the fact that gamut on the Air's screen covers lower % of AdobeRGB than it does on the MBP. MBA covers about 50%, while MBP does about 75%. My Thinkpad W510 with 95% gamut screen makes the MBP colors look washed out as well.

    The color accuracy display on the MBA is actually slightly better than on 13" MBP. Contrast ratio on MBA is excellent as well, almost approaching 800:1. For a laptop this portable, the screen quality is superb.
  21. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    This thread is a variant of the much discussed issue in the MBP Forum of whether glass covered glossy displays are better than those with a matte finish. Although the MBA's screen is not matte, it is much less susceptible to reflections than the glass covered glossy screens. I don't like the glass covered displays because their high reflectivity causes more problems than it solves for me. That said, there really is a bit more snap to the colors on glossy displays than there is on less reflective ones. There is no right or wrong on the issue, it seems to me. It comes down to what you like. Either way, you will be giving up something in order to benefit from something else.
  22. Buck987 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2010
    Not so fast...

    I found the 13" screen to be washed out and the 11" to be better in terms of color saturation.

    This is not a clear matte vs glossy situation as with the MBP's.
  23. al2o3cr macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2009
    Note that most of the reviews that I've read that were raving about the screen were from sites that mostly review PC hardware and/or netbooks. Those folks have a slightly lower bar for "wow" factor... ;)
  24. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2010
    The fact that MBP's screens are more vivid or whatever your saying is because the glass increases the contrast. This in return has the effect that the colour accuracy is lower. What i mean with this is that if you print out the the exact thing u are seeing and compare them to the screen. on the glossy screen they are more vivid whilst on the matte screens they will be more alike. thats why apple offers matte options on the 15" and 17" MBP's. Photographers and designers (like me) want to be able to print out what they see on the screen. the matte screen gets rid of the hassle of having to presume what the colours will be like when printed out.

    For everyday normal users, i must say that the glossy screens are probably nicer, because of the higher contrast, more vivid colours. Nicer to use. However the reflections just pisses me off. your call on what u want; better but off colours on printouts and annoying reflections with bright lighting conditions, ---OR--- more accurate colours compared to printouts and the nice thing of not seeing urself constantly when sitting in front of your comp. + bit better battery life as u dont need to turn up your screen brightness as much in brighter light to see well. YOUR CALL

    There is no production problem with the new airs.

    BTW, look at the contrast ratio of the 27" cinema display, its a joke compared to my benQ (which has like 10,000,000:1). Still the contrast seems higher and the colours more vivid on the 27" cinema display. Guess why?? Because of the Glass!!!!
  25. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    What can I say? We disagree. I have been involved in home theater for many years and learned long ago that nothing is more subjective than "picture quality," or "PQ," as it is often called. Looking at the 11 inch and 13 inch MBA displays side by side in the Apple Store, I could see no significant differences in their color saturation or otherwise. You did, though. No surprises there because of the subjectivity of the issue. That's why debates such as this are sound and fury, signifying nothing but differing perceptions. Come to think of it, that's what I said in my first post.:)

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