Macbook 13" Pro: Increasing screen brightness by removing the glass layer

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by govinda108, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. govinda108 macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2010
    I have a Macbook Air and the new 13" macbook pro. I see that the Macbook Air is much brighter than the 13" macbook pro (under the same ambient lighting, both set to maximum brightness). I was told the reason for this difference is because of the lack of the glass layer on the Air. Is that really true ? If so, can you please let me know if I'd be able to get the same brightness I get on the Air on the Pro also by just removing the glass layer on my 13" macbook pro. TechRestore offers such a service for $134, which is simply a subset of their service for matte replacement (I don't want the matte replacement as I like the glossy screen). But since such a service would void my warranty and return policy, I want to be really sure before getting it done with them. I'd greatly appreciate any inputs/advice.
  2. CJS7070 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 10, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    I wouldn't remove anything that originally came on there, just seems too risky to me.

    But that's just me.
  3. PAC88 macrumors 6502

    Apr 23, 2009
    isn't the mbp bright enough, I'm sure you would barely notice the difference when they're not side by side. even if the air is a little brighter at max brightness, I'm sure it's also a little more washed out than the mbp.. and removing the glass sounds like a waste of money..
  4. Nuck81 macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2009
    Western Kentucky
    Turning the brightness up isn't enough? I have my brightness on about 40% for battery and it's plenty bright for me...
  5. govinda108 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2010
    Thanks for the replies so far. I could feel a lot of strain on my eyes due to the lack of brightness on the 13" Pro which is why I am really looking for this improvement. But what I'd like to really know if the glass layer is really the cause of reduced brighness on the Pro or is it some other basic difference in the screen hardware between the 13" Pro and the Air that's causing the difference ? If removing the glass layer would really help, I don't mind taking the risk or paying the extra money.
  6. twilightrose macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2010
    The 13" MBP and MBA use different screens, I think the airs is more similar to the 15" but might be wrong.
  7. BittenApple macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2008
    They use different panels. The glass doesn't change the amount of light being output by the display.
  8. govinda108 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2010
    Thanks BittenApple and twilightrose. That makes sense. Do you know of any technician/company that could replace the 13" MBP's panel with the MBA's panel ?
  9. twilightrose macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2010
    I don't know any company that does it, but it will be a risky choice to do, so think hard on it, it will void the warranty and apple care(assuming you have these) and if it gets damaged in the process then well your stuck with a damaged machine.
  10. Alvi macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2008
    Dude, stop using the air for a day, turn your Macbook pro on with just 50% brightness, it will be enough you're killing your eyes on max brightness, at least i can't really stand that and get tired after a few hours
  11. Raima macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2010
    That's not what causes eye strain. Eye strain is when your focusing an area where the light is different to the environmental light and the eyes have to constantly adjust between the two. Making the MBP brighter than the environmental light will increase eye strain.
  12. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I know that does a lot of work with screen replacements. Ask them.
  13. Relznuk macrumors 6502


    Sep 27, 2009
    UT, USA
    Exactly. YOu risk doing significant damage to your Mac.
  14. Pax macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2003
    Are you sure? I think the MB and MBP 13" use panels from the same set of manufacturers. At least I have seen both MB and MBP 13" with the 9C9E panel. I would guess that the MBA has the same panel as the other two. As far as I can tell there aren't any "better" 13" LED backlit panels out there for Apple to put in the MBA. The MB/MBP panels are about as good as it gets for 13" TN LED backlit LCDs.

    Remember Apple gets 13" panels from several suppliers, it's a lottery which one you get in your particular laptop. Lots of threads about this on here.

    If you look at the panel manufacturers' sites the 13" panels all seem to have 250 - 300 nits brightness. Not much difference.

    My MBP 13" has a 9C9E panel and it's crazy bright. Brighter than any laptop I've used before. The only time I have it on full brightness is in direct sunlight.

    Before you spend money on swapping panels, maybe you should check out whether another panel would be "Better" or just "Different". Otherwise you might be disappointed.
  15. Adidas Addict macrumors 65816

    Adidas Addict

    Sep 9, 2008
    We have had 2 13" MBP's and on both it was painfully bright at 100%, I mean like retina burning:eek:
  16. NT1440 macrumors G5


    May 18, 2008
    I'd take it to the store, if it isn't bright enough at 100% there is something wrong with it. Mine is damn near blinding. :cool:
  17. Puqq macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2009
    Barely possible. At >200cd/m2, MBP is far too bright to cause any problems, unless you are working in extremely well lit environment, e.g. sunlight. The problem must lie somewhere else.

    Very high contrast ratio of MBP screen, esp set to 100% brightness is highly likely to cause the eye strain. Personally, I cannot use any screen in a complete darkness- I get headache in half an hour. Incorrect colour representation, too high contrast and etc might be alternative reasons.

    BTW, The MBP 13" is transparent, MBA is in colour. As you can see, MBP screen is capable of representing considerably wider colour gamut. It might be the cause...
  18. dayhandle macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2010
    MBA versus MBP display brightness

    I have both. There is no doubt that the MBA has a much brighter display than the MBP. It doesn't make much sense. I wish I would have never purchased the MBA. Then I probably wouldn't be disappointed with the display on my MBP. My issue is that I use my Laptops outdoors in the blast furnace heat of good ol Las Vegas NV. The MBP runs cool and is built a little more robust for outdoors but I cannot see the display outdoors. The MBA runs way hot but the display is as good if not better that a outdoor specific display on say a Dell XFR or Panasonic toughbook ( I've tried out both):confused. Techrestore sounds like it might be the answer. I'm going to give them a call on Monday. Thanx for the post!!:confused:
  19. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2009
    Did you buy the 13" MBP new? Does it say "MacBook Pro" on the display?

    It sounds more like you have a 13" alubook... 13" unibody Macbook (non Pro). Crappy displays on those.

    I remember someone on the forum having gotten a 13" that was labeled as a Pro but has the screen of an alubook in it.
  20. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Jan 6, 2007
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    I use mine on about 20% brightness, so it is not really an issue for me, but I seriously doubt that the glass is acting as any kind of light filter.
  21. CarlosG macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2006
    The glass WILL reduce the light output by between 6% to 10%. I design LED lighting for a living and I can tell you this as 100% fact. (Unfortunately someone who posted earlier claimed categorically that it wouldn't, but they're wrong.). I wouldn't bother though myself. Just go to a darker room if you want it to appear brighter.
  22. Pax macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2003
    If you look on at their internal reviews for the latest MB, MBP and MBA it seems to support your point that the Air is brighter than the MBP. But the MB matches the Air.
    MBA 286 cd/m2
    MBP 209 cd/m2
    MB 288 cd/m2

    maybe they (and you) have got a "bad" MBP panel as you suspect.

    Or maybe this theory about the glass being tinted is correct (seems very unlikely to me).

    Or maybe Steve is limiting the max brightness of the MBP to get that fantastic battery life..... If that's the case, changing the panel won't improve the brightness, the firmware will still limit the brightness to ~209 cd/m2

    There have been reports on here that the latest i5/i7 MBPs aren't as bright as the previous ones.... if that's true is it another effort to squeeze out 10 hours from the battery?
  23. dayhandle macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2010
    Aluminum macbook or Macbook pro


    I have a mid 2009 model Macbook pro.
  24. Kelt macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2010
  25. Pax macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2003
    AFAIK yes. If it was any other tech Apple would brag about it on their site. The viewing angles & contrast ratios are consistent with TN and where I have read of people converting Apple's panel codes into manufacturer & model they are TN.

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