MBA 13" display compared to MBP 13"

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by erasr, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. erasr macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2007
    Well, as little as 30 minutes ago I was about to post a thread to say I'm disappointed with my new MBA 13" display. Washed out colours, resolution taking ages to get used to, being the areas of concern.

    I've just spent 30 minutes lining up my MB PRO 13" of 2010 (which apparently has just as good if not better display than 2011 MBP) and my new MBA 13", comparing colour quality and brightness.

    I believe I have a good eye for detail and at first it was obvious, and I mean obvious, the PRO had far better colours. Even on a site I'd made myself I saw the yellows were almost completely different in tone. As in, a completely different yellow!

    Here's the bit you guys will like though....

    After that disappointment, I went onto my iPhone which I rate as a very good quality screen. The colours on that are almost identical to the AIR colours. I suddenly realised, the PRO colours are almost 'wrong' if anything. While vibrant, they are TOO vibrant and distort the actual true colour. Almost like raising the 'colour' setting on your TV, it may look bright and colourful but the colours are over the top.

    Also, the whites on the AIR are FAR BETTER. The Pro looks yellowy now.

    So yes, colours are vibrant on the Pro, but are they actually 'true' colours to real life? ... For me no.

    Now I just need to get used to this resolution...
  2. iamBrian macrumors newbie


    Sep 1, 2011
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'm liking my 13's display a lot. It is probably one of the most neutral toned display I have used, and having it side to side with other monitors shows me how cool/warm they are.
  3. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
    The high resolution is the best part of the Air's display. I would rate the colors as mediocre. The Pro's color gamut is much higher. Having said that, I would take the high resolution of the Air over the Pro's better color any day. Ideally i'd like both :)
  4. adammade macrumors newbie

    Sep 2, 2011
    I work in photography and print, MBA display beats that glossy screen hands down.

    The 15" anti glare screen on the MBP though... that's another story.
  5. treestar macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2010
    What's the story?
  6. jmpnop macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2010
    I still prefer the Pro's display, its personal choice though. Hopefully the next MBP revision will have higher res. screen and option for anti-glare on the 13" models

    To the OP: MBP 13 has better gamut but the glossy thing is annoying. Otherwise, its a lot better than MBA 13.
  7. CardboardGiant macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2011
    The first 2 nights I used my MBA 2011 13'', I started feeling a headache because the text was too small and the colors on the air feels so different from my MBP 2010 13''.

    Also the resolution is changed (1280 x 800 versus 1440 x 900).

    After about a week, I got used to my MBA and when I tried going back to my MBP, my MBP felt "cheap".
  8. Titanium81 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2011
    So you prefer the the MBA Display or the 15" Anti Glare?
  9. adammade macrumors newbie

    Sep 2, 2011
    If I was choosing between the 13" I'd go for the air.

    Out of all the displays, the 15" anti glare is the best I've seen on the macbook range.

    But the OP had asked about the 13" mba vs mbp
  10. EvenStranger macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2003
    The glass on the glossy displays acts like a polarizing filter, causing the colors to "pop" more, but you're correct, they aren't accurate. We used to recommend photographers keep this in mind when color correcting or adjusting light balance, as the images printed would be slightly blown-out if corrected for the glossy screen.
  11. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    If you care about color accuracy, perhaps you should invest in color profile hardware tool, such as X-Rite i1 series or Datacolor's Spyder3 series.

    I own X-Rite i1Display Pro and I have calibrated many displays and frankly, even the lowly 2007 MacBook that my wife often uses now have pretty accurate color (viewing angle, banding issues, uniformity, gamut range, etc. are other matter entirely though).
  12. erasr thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2007
    Thank you. While I do think the MBP colours are vibrant and stronger, they aren't accurate.

    To 'jmpnop', you're saying it's much better, but my point was yes they have stronger colours but those colours aren't accurate to real life! There's 2 people here saying the same (photography use).

    I loved my MBP display, even the glass. But I've moved house, sitting in front of a window is impossible. And now I compare to the MBA, it's the MBA's colours that are less exaggerated (probably from the glass) and better for web design/photography.
  13. jmpnop macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2010
    Its true that the glass makes the colors 'pop' more which alters the accuracy, thats one of the reasons why photographers go with high-res antiglare MBP 15" so they get the best of both worlds, high res. + good color reproduction. MBA colors look slightly washed out. So I prefer MBP's screen over MBA's.
  14. Titanium81 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2011
    I agree with this!

    It should be known that the MacBook Pro High - Res Glossy and Anti-glare use the same panel, just one has a piece of glass in front of it which makes it appear different.

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