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

govinda108

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 4, 2010
3
0
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.
 

PAC88

macrumors 6502
Apr 23, 2009
457
0
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..
 

govinda108

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 4, 2010
3
0
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.
 

twilightrose

macrumors member
Feb 8, 2010
72
0
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.
The 13" MBP and MBA use different screens, I think the airs is more similar to the 15" but might be wrong.
 

BittenApple

macrumors 65816
Nov 29, 2008
1,007
499
They use different panels. The glass doesn't change the amount of light being output by the display.
 

govinda108

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 4, 2010
3
0
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 ?
 

twilightrose

macrumors member
Feb 8, 2010
72
0
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 ?
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.
 

Alvi

macrumors 65816
Oct 31, 2008
1,203
307
Mars
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
 

Raima

macrumors 6502
Jan 21, 2010
397
7
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.
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.
 

Pax

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2003
593
0
They use different panels. The glass doesn't change the amount of light being output by the display.
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.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,163
14,097
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:
 

Puqq

macrumors regular
Oct 18, 2009
117
0
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.
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, http://www.notebookcheck.net/typo3temp/pics/26412f7d42.jpg. 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...
 

dayhandle

macrumors newbie
Apr 25, 2010
2
0
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:
 

neteng101

macrumors 65816
Jan 7, 2009
1,138
151
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.
 

gotzero

macrumors 68040
Jan 6, 2007
3,224
0
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.
 

CarlosG

macrumors member
Mar 21, 2006
47
0
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.
 

Pax

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2003
593
0
If you look on notebookcheck.net 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?
 

Pax

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2003
593
0
All macbook pro models has TN-TFT displays?
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.