MacBook Pro LCD uniformity

pendragon1984

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Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
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So, I just bought a new MacBook Pro after 5 years. Whenever I get a new Mac I seem to be forced to go through the screen lottery to get a good screen that's uniform in color and brightness. I really hoped to avoid doing this again this time, as last time it took me 5 attempts. It's stressful and I just want my computer so I can get on with my life. Not sure it's worth all the trouble! But these Macs are very expensive!!!!

As you can see from the photo the left side of the screen is warmer than the right side of the screen. Obviously such test images make it way more noticeable than it is in normal usage. The camera also seems to make it look worse than it does to my eyes. I guess our eyes do some kind of white balance correction to hide what's going on. However, as I know it's there I can find the uniformity issue when browsing mostly white webpages. If I don't think about it I don't notice it though.

I guess the question is whether this is normal or whether I can expect to get better without having to return tons of these machines. Clearly from my past experience Apple doesn't place much emphasis on uniformity. I guess most people can't or don't notice or care. I might be kind of OCD, so I notice these things.

Comparing the MacBook Pro LCD to my Asus 24", the Asus is more uniform.

I'd appreciate it if others could post photos using this test

I'd like to compare and see whether any screens are in fact better than mine! I really don't want to be returning computers for the next 2 months trying to get a good one!!!!
 

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chabig

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Sep 6, 2002
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You say, "If I don't think about it I don't notice it though" and "I might be kind of OCD..."

I don't see anything wrong, not even in your test photo. So of course everything would be fine in normal use. You're looking for problems that don't exist I think.
 
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pendragon1984

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
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You say, "If I don't think about it I don't notice it though" and "I might be kind of OCD..."

I don't see anything wrong, not even in your test photo. So of course everything would be fine in normal use. You're looking for problems that don't exist I think.
If you can't see the issue in the test photo I'd be worried about your eye sight. haha!

Did you look at the attached file?
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,694
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Apple use some of the best screens with some of the most accurate out of the box calibration available, I agree you are looking for problems that aren’t there.

Yes you do get the odd panel with an issue but you are just looking for one you prefer. You make no statement as to why this is so important to you or what your use case is that makes it so important and admit yourself that you can only tell in this benchmark not on normal use.

You are also asking people to assess this on a screen making their screen far more important in the assessment than yours, we could only do this in real life with any objectivity as we are seeing subjectively on our own flawed screens.
 

pendragon1984

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
368
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Apple use some of the best screens with some of the most accurate out of the box calibration available, I agree you are looking for problems that aren’t there.

Yes you do get the odd panel with an issue but you are just looking for one you prefer. You make no statement as to why this is so important to you or what your use case is that makes it so important and admit yourself that you can only tell in this benchmark not on normal use.

You are also asking people to assess this on a screen making their screen far more important in the assessment than yours, we could only do this in real life with any objectivity as we are seeing subjectively on our own flawed screens.
I don't think apple uses the best screens. My Asus and my Dell have more uniform screens than this Mac. They aren't perfect, as that's not going to happen with a IPS display on a laptop.

I agree that I'm being picky this time around. The last time, back in 2013, the screens were very bad and immediately noticeable to me without any thought. Noticed the problems on the boot screen.

This screen is much better than those but just don't know if it's normal or worse than normal.

I agree that asking people to check on their screens is far from ideal but it's the only method available.
 

metrocon

macrumors member
Jan 6, 2004
43
2
So, I just bought a new MacBook Pro after 5 years. Whenever I get a new Mac I seem to be forced to go through the screen lottery to get a good screen that's uniform in color and brightness. I really hoped to avoid doing this again this time, as last time it took me 5 attempts. It's stressful and I just want my computer so I can get on with my life. Not sure it's worth all the trouble! But these Macs are very expensive!!!!

As you can see from the photo the left side of the screen is warmer than the right side of the screen. Obviously such test images make it way more noticeable than it is in normal usage. The camera also seems to make it look worse than it does to my eyes. I guess our eyes do some kind of white balance correction to hide what's going on. However, as I know it's there I can find the uniformity issue when browsing mostly white webpages. If I don't think about it I don't notice it though.

I guess the question is whether this is normal or whether I can expect to get better without having to return tons of these machines. Clearly from my past experience Apple doesn't place much emphasis on uniformity. I guess most people can't or don't notice or care. I might be kind of OCD, so I notice these things.

Comparing the MacBook Pro LCD to my Asus 24", the Asus is more uniform.

I'd appreciate it if others could post photos using this test

I'd like to compare and see whether any screens are in fact better than mine! I really don't want to be returning computers for the next 2 months trying to get a good one!!!!
I have a new 15" MacBook Pro w/ the Vega 20, and my screen looks somewhat like yours. It's also slightly dimmer on the right side. It's going back, unfortunately.
 

pendragon1984

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
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103
I did notice that with True Tone off the issue is somewhat less noticeable. I wonder why this is?
[doublepost=1543935981][/doublepost]Looking at my old vs new MacBook Pro (ignore the fault at the bottom of the screen on the old one), I'd say they are more or less comparable. I went through 5 models to get the uniformity seen on the old 2013 MacBook Pro, so I think I'll stick with what I've got on this one. I'll note that both are less uniform than my Asus monitor and my Dell, Alienware. You can see that the Alienware is basically perfect but my old and new Mac are clear less uniform.
 

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SDColorado

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Nov 6, 2011
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Here is the screen from my 15” Vega 20 model. I admit I have no eye for this kind of thing so therefore don’t know if it is bad or good and not really too fussed either way :)

 

pendragon1984

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
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Here is the screen from my 15” Vega 20 model. I admit I have no eye for this kind of thing so therefore don’t know if it is bad or good and not really too fussed either way :)

Is that a real picture? Looks like you used the grab tool?
 

pendragon1984

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Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
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See, told you I don’t know much about this stuff. I didn’t realize there was a difference hahaha.

Here is a photo.

Thanks. I downloaded your photo and compared it to my photos. I'd say that what's interesting is that it's almost identical looking. The left top is kinda warmer with a little purple glow and the bottom right is cooler. What's really interesting is that this same pattern exists in my late 2013 MacBook Pro. I'd think it was my eyes but the Alienware does not look like this. So, I wonder why all these screens have the same kind of uniformity issue going back 5 years?
 

chabig

macrumors 604
Sep 6, 2002
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So the Mac screens are all consistent and the Alienware is different? Maybe it’s the Alienware. (I’m kidding. It’s really just your eyes playing tricks.)
 

pendragon1984

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
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103
So the Mac screens are all consistent and the Alienware is different? Maybe it’s the Alienware. (I’m kidding. It’s really just your eyes playing tricks.)
The Mac screens are comparable. It's not my eyes playing tricks. These are real color uniformity issues.

I agree they are slight and not that noticeable in normal everyday tasks but they exist.
 

SDColorado

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Nov 6, 2011
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Well, a couple of possibilities. Apple has in the past used LG and Samsung. I believe 2018 models are all Samsung?

Alienware uses LG & Phillips? Could the difference be panel manufacturers?

Or could it be something to do with the Apple Color LCD Profile? I don't have any understanding of the meaning of the terms in the profiles such as "colorant tristimulus," "parametric tone response curve," "Apple display video curve table," "chromatic adaptation matrix" to know if any of that would make a lick of difference :)
 

chabig

macrumors 604
Sep 6, 2002
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I agree they are slight and not that noticeable in normal everyday tasks but they exist.
Of course they do. All LCDs are that way. It's the nature of the technology. Go to any computer or television store and look at the screens. They all exhibit similar behavior. Complaining about it is like complaining that a certain vinegar tastes sour.
 

pendragon1984

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
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Of course they do. All LCDs are that way. It's the nature of the technology. Go to any computer or television store and look at the screens. They all exhibit similar behavior. Complaining about it is like complaining that a certain vinegar tastes sour.
I know this. But I think the Mac's are worse! That's the problem!!!
 
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pmau

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2010
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I don't think apple uses the best screens. My Asus and my Dell have more uniform screens than this Mac.
The display as a whole is way too thin.
Apple's panels are fine, but the limited space to diffuse the light across the whole screen makers it harder to be evenly lit.
I also do prefer Lenovo or Dell, because they are more durable. The very thin aluminum display case is way to fragile.
[doublepost=1543939998][/doublepost]
I know this. But I think the Mac's are worse! That's the problem!!!
Yes. It is the thinness of the whole display.
 

pendragon1984

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
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The display as a whole is way too thin.
Apple's panels are fine, but the limited space to diffuse the light across the whole screen makers it harder to be evenly lit.
I also do prefer Lenovo or Dell, because they are more durable. The very thin aluminum display case is way to fragile.
[doublepost=1543939998][/doublepost]
Yes. It is the thinness of the whole display.
Interesting, so the thinness is what's causing the uniformity to be worse? Interesting!

I guess I can believe that.
 

pendragon1984

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
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Checked two in the local store. Hard to tell in all the light but they didn’t seem obviously better. One I think was worse!
 

metrocon

macrumors member
Jan 6, 2004
43
2
I checked in the Apple Store yesterday as well, they had three 15" MacBook Pros on display. One of them I felt looked similar to mine, one of them had color shifting but less severe, and one of them looked pretty much perfect.

I ran the LCD HD test video on all of them, which made it pretty easy to tell whether there was a color shift or brightness inconsistency.

I also compared mine to a 2017 MacBook Pro, and my old 2013 MacBook Pro. It looked worse than either, and the 2013 actually had the most consistent screen.

I returned mine this morning, have a replacement on order, hoping it's better.
 

pendragon1984

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
368
103
I checked in the Apple Store yesterday as well, they had three 15" MacBook Pros on display. One of them I felt looked similar to mine, one of them had color shifting but less severe, and one of them looked pretty much perfect.

I ran the LCD HD test video on all of them, which made it pretty easy to tell whether there was a color shift or brightness inconsistency.

I also compared mine to a 2017 MacBook Pro, and my old 2013 MacBook Pro. It looked worse than either, and the 2013 actually had the most consistent screen.

I returned mine this morning, have a replacement on order, hoping it's better.
It can be hard to tell in the store with the bright lights. Or that’s what I find.
 

pendragon1984

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
368
103
How could you possible judge this by eye. Yall be trippin.
It's easy to see if you use a LCD test image. On my screen it's as obvious as night and day.

Albeit not in super bright light at a store but home in more natural light.
 

GoldfishRT

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Jul 24, 2014
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Somewhere
I went through several Dell XPS in the recent past trying to get a perfect display. They don't exist.

I'd be thrilled to have a display as uniform as the one on your new MacBook Pro.
 
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