MacBook Air backlight problem. Some questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jonnyb, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. jonnyb macrumors 65816

    Jan 21, 2005
    Rye/London, UK
    I recently bought a US MacBook Air (1st Gen) and I'm in the UK. It has a problem with the backlight. There's a noticeably dark patch that arcs from bottom left upwards. It's especially noticeable on plain backgrounds and on plain documents.

    Some pics here:

    I have a genius appointment tomorrow but i have a couple of questions:

    1. I believe the warranty is worldwide, correct? So I shouldn't have any problems on that front.

    2. Looking across the internet, it seems these backlight problems are pretty common - are they going to insist that it's 'within spec'?

    3. As it's brand new it's in immaculate condition. If they agree to a repair do they tend to look after things? I'm worried it's going to get scratched and I'll end up swapping one headache for another.

    4. Has anyone had this problem repaired successfully? What do they do to repair it exactly?

    Threads like this one scare me:

  2. fteoath64 macrumors regular


    Nov 16, 2008
    Looks like very uneven backlighting. I think your screen needs a complete replacement. You are covered since the AIR is not even 1 year old. Apple has international warranty for 1 year. Period. If you buy AppleCare for the AIR, you will get another 2 years coverage, I suggest you buy that warranty as well.

    This is *Not* normal, do not accept the genius answer if he said it is normal. AIR is a premium product and its screen is crisp and even. Yours looks far from it. Good luck.

    My Gen1 air is just perfect as it is.
  3. jonnyb thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 21, 2005
    Rye/London, UK
    Thanks. I think it's an obvious problem so I'm almost certain they'll be sympathetic but I'm worried they'll scuff it or worse during repair.

    I don't have any faith in someone else looking after my things as well as I can.
  4. zer0tails macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    that's pretty bad. Definitely insist on getting it replaced.
  5. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Don't worry about it. If you're having Apple repair it they can note any concerns that you have on your account. For example, when I had my Macs fixed I tell the genius that there are no scratches, dents or bad pixels on my screen and they note that before it goes out to service so if anything happens they will have to take responsibility for it. Generally my Macs have come back without any repair issues.
  6. robeddie Suspended


    Jul 21, 2003
    I've got to say that I've NEVER had an LCD screen that, with a solid color background, showed perfectly even lighting. You'll also notice that just changing the angle you're viewing the screen slightly will also change which areas are 'darker' or 'lighter'.

    While you may have a legitimate problem with the screen, I would suggest going to an Apple store and taking a look if any others screen is any better. (or check out a few PC laptop screens, for that matter). I'll bet there are none that appear to have perfectly even backlighting. The question is, how severe.
  7. jonnyb thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 21, 2005
    Rye/London, UK
    I hear what you're saying and I agree - my last Powerbook wasn't perfect either but it was nowhere near as bad as my Air.

    The Genius agreed, incidentally. He was a nice guy. They're repairing it right now. He did his best to put my mind at rest about them looking after it too. He said "I'm going to write 'immaculate' on your note to describe its condition" so if it comes back to me in anything but 'immaculate' condition I'll be letting them know!
  8. jonnyb thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 21, 2005
    Rye/London, UK
    Hmm...I got my Air back after an extremely quick repair.

    Still not a scratch on it so kudos to the Apple people there but interestingly I now have what appears to be a rev B Air screen, i.e. with the faint horizontal lines/wierd 'parchment' look. I have to look for it but it's there.

    It's much better than my horribly patchy previous screen - it's very evenly lit so I'm happy but it's this makes it clear to me that the look of the rev B screen is a hardware issue rather than a software one
  9. alphaxono macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2008
    Wow...they replaced a screen with no lines with one that does have the lines.

    But it could still be a software/calibration problem if the MBA Rev B screens have different hardware specs.

    Meaning that the software is tuned to the Rev A screens even though we have Rev B screens.

    Do you see any flickering?
  10. jonnyb thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 21, 2005
    Rye/London, UK
    No, there's no flickering at all - just that slightly odd 'paper' look - a certain lack of sharpness.

    I suppose you're right, it could still be software related but my instinct tells me its a coating on the screen itself. I'd be very happy to be proved wrong, though.

    edit: Interestingly, when I have the Air open directly under my halogen lighting in my living room the reflections are polarised on a shut down screen in a way that they didn't polarise on the previous screen. The fact that the computer isn't on when this phenomenon occurs tends to suggest it's the properties of the screen itself
  11. McGilli macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2008
    I am just curious - to me - my MBA screen is acceptable and would never even think of it 'being bad'...

    just curious if others find this screen to be ok since we all have different tolerances for this kind of stuff.... I have dark patches in all the corners. As mentioned - moving around to different angles will change the dark patches - but this is about from straight on and a good representation of it.

    and no - I have no lines on this lcd....


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