Macbook Pro poor quality screens, what are the tech specs?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Jethryn Freyman, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    I've got a mid 2007 Macbook Pro. For a $3500 computer, the screen is pretty poor.

    I was wondering if anybody knows what the technical specifications of the screens for the current generations of Pros (13 and 15 inch) are.

    My 2007 model:

    262000 colours maximum (dithering is easily noticeable in photos and HD video.)

    16 millisecond response time (input lag is noticeable in some circumstances, terrible ghosting when watching HD video.)

    Static contrast is 500:1.

    Brightness is 300 cdm.
     
  2. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

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    Kitchener, Ontario
    #2
    Input lag? You shouldn't be experiencing any input lag at all since the computer is directly connected to the display, not through an input, if that makes sense. You're not going through a cable/port to get a picture.
     
  3. Jethryn Freyman thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    #3
    It takes the screen 16ms to change a pixel from one colour to another, which is where the input lag is coming from in this case.
     
  4. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

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    #4
    But that's not called input lag. That's just simply response time. They're different.
     
  5. Jethryn Freyman thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    #5
    Alright, I may have used the wrong word.

    A poor response time makes the display lag even further behind the keyboard and mouse input, and make ghosting and blurring in video.
     
  6. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816

    l.a.rossmann

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    Brooklyn
    #6
    Hi. Is that a 17" or a 15.4"? I am not familiar with what they use in the 17" regularly. The following information below applies to 15.4" models.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=8016284#post8016284

     
  7. Jethryn Freyman thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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  8. fpnc macrumors 68000

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    San Diego, CA
    #8
    Actually, LCD displays have both pixel response times and input lag but they aren't related. Input lag is caused by buffering and processing of the input signals which can actually take a fair amount of time on some types of displays. Anyone wanting a good overview of LCD display technology should take a look at the following article on AnandTech:

    http://www.anandtech.com/displays/showdoc.aspx?i=3584

    As for Apple's current MacBooks, I'm pretty certain that they all use 6-bit, TN panels which is not necessarily a bad thing. Probably the only weak point in these displays is their vertical viewing angle (which is fairly narrow, but still quite usable). Then there is the glossy versus matte issue but Apple has decided to leave little choice in that area (unfortunately).

    As for the 6-bit/8-bit debate and the resultant range of reproduced colors, it's becoming less of an issue as the TN panels are getting better and the display pixel densities range even higher (beyond 100dpi). In any case, let's not forget that LCD panels can in reality only produce three colors (red, green, blue). TN panels (which are predominantly the so-called 6-bit displays) use various methods to produce a perceived range of colors beyond what would be indicated by their 6-bit nature (the "262000" colors). However, 8-bit panels also rely on limitations in human visual resolution to produce a wider range of perceived colors (beyond just red, green, and blue). Six-bit panels also do the latter, but it's not really fair to criticize TN panels simply because they rely more on our visual limitations than do 8-bit panels (after all, the proof should be in the quality, not in the details of the technical implementation).

    I'm not saying that the color reproduction on 6-bit panels is as good as on 8-bit displays (all other factors being equal -- which they never are), but the truth is that a 6-bit, TN panel can be a pretty good display.
     
  9. Jethryn Freyman thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    #9
    Thanks for the link.

    The only advantage a TN panel has is a low response time.

    Actually, LCD panels use monochrome pixels, not just RGB.
     
  10. fpnc macrumors 68000

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    #10
    Well, the physical liquid-crystal cells are monochrome, but the pixel elements that create the image are seen through RGB filters so for all intents and purposes the panels themselves (and their "pixels") are RGB.

    I should add that by "RGB" I mean red, green, and blue -- not a full RGB spectrum. Similarly, when I said "monochrome" I mean grayscale not a single color (the latter being a single shade of red, green, or blue). Thus, the individual sub-pixel elements in an LCD display emit differing shades of red, green, and blue which are combined by your eye and brain to produce a full spectrum of color. Of course, these "shades" of red, green, and blue are what we're talking about when we discuss 8-bit versus 6-bit hardware.
     
  11. fpnc macrumors 68000

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    Oct 30, 2002
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    San Diego, CA
    #11
    This appears to be a pretty good reference (or tool) for checking display quality:

    http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/

    It relies on the web browser and java script (for some operations) but it seems to offer some pretty good tests and images.
     
  12. Moriarty macrumors 6502

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    Feb 3, 2008
    #12
    ALL laptop displays are horrible quality... there were a few 15" IPS (similar quality to an Apple Cinema Display) laptop displays manufactured but they have since stopped. You won't find a laptop with a good LCD nowadays.

    A lot of cheaper laptops have contrast ratios in the range of 150 or 200 to 1 and brightness of about 200 candelas per square metre so your Macbook Pro screen is actually one of the best you can get, for a laptop.
     
  13. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816

    l.a.rossmann

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    #13
    Just like most DACs inside of a laptop/portable devices suck, the LCDs all suck to an extent as well.

    However, there are different degrees of suck, and some are well worth avoiding.
     
  14. Jethryn Freyman thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    #14
    You're right, that's what I get for just skimming over the first sentence of a wikipedia article.
     
  15. NeoCracer macrumors member

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    Jun 29, 2009
    #15
    Your eye can't see 16ms, so you can't experience lag at 16ms...
     

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