MBP Retina screen questions

Texas_Toast

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What is the screen on a 2012 MBP Retina made out of?

I assumed that it was glass, but upon ooking closer it appears to be plastic?

I have some questions/issues with my monitor, but will wait to a rseponse first.

Thanks.
 

Texas_Toast

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Sorry, but the answer didn't jump out at me after skimming that long page.

Is the outer-most layer of my 2012 Retina screen glass por plastic?

And how should I clean it?

I am typing on my ancient 2009 (?) MBP and it defintiely has a glass screen.

The reason for my question is that whenever my Retina is off, the screen always looks smeared, even though it always sits on my desk at home and I don't believe I ever touch the screen.

Assuming it was glass like my old MBP, I used a little Windex on a paper towel to try and wipe off the greese or whatver is on it, but I can neve get it squeaky clean which annoys me!

Also as I try and remove the smears - which never come off - it appears that my Retina screen is pretty delicate which make me worry that maybe I have damaged it ro that it can't be cleaned like a more durable glass screen.

So what is the deal?!
 

Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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"The reason for my question is that whenever my Retina is off, the screen always looks smeared, even though it always sits on my desk at home and I don't believe I ever touch the screen.
So what is the deal?!"


Sounds like "StainGate" to me.

You used Windex on it?
Possibly with ammonia?
Egads !!!!
In that case, no wonder it's smeared!

The retina displays have a very VERY thin anti-glare coating that is sprayed onto them.

This coating is very fragile by nature. It's easily damaged, moreso in the earlier versions of the coating (such as on the 2012).
Hence, the origins of StainGate.

Apple has (had?) a program of free screen replacements for StainGate, but a 2012 may no longer be covered.

The best way to "maintain" one of the retina displays is to "clean it" AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE.
DON'T "wipe" it with any pressure.
Just "dust across it" with a soft cloth.

If you get something on it that won't "dust off", then use some water and a moist area of cloth, using as little pressure on the surface as you can get away with, then dust it dry.

Try to avoid touching the surface of the display, particularly when opening and closing the lid.

That's worked for me for 3 years with my 2015 MBP. No flaking.

If the anti-glare coating is already damaged or partially flaked off in some locations, there's NO WAY to "restore it" other than replacing the display.

Some folks have actually "rubbed off" ALL of the anti-glare material as a last resort. The end result is a glossy display, but with no "smears". I would try this only if it was really bad.
 
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cruisin

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Apr 1, 2014
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Is the outer-most layer of my 2012 Retina screen glass por plastic?
To maintain the thinness, there is a single layer of glass and the LCD is glued to the underside of the glass. The older MacBooks had a double layer of glass. No plastic.

And how should I clean it?
https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT204172
  • Use only a soft, lint-free cloth. Avoid abrasive cloths, towels, paper towels, and similar items that might cause damage. (paper is quite abrasive as it is just ground up wood glued together)
and
  • Don't use aerosol sprays, solvents, or abrasives. (Windex is based on ammonia, so it is a solvent)
A clean microfibre cloth (or better yet the glass versions that don't leave bits of the cloth fibres) lightly dampened with water has served me well for 6 years to get rid of smudges, dust, etc. If you need Windex levels of strength then you should stop eating so close to the screen.

The reason for my question is that whenever my Retina is off, the screen always looks smeared
To reduce glare the screen is treated with an anti-reflective coating like glasses have. So the way you clean the screen is gently and therefore it will look good for a long time. If it always looks smudged they you likely have eroded the coating in a few spots. Replacing it will be expensive (everything from the hinges upwards is replaced), but also the coating should go away by itself over time. As was mentioned, you can "encourage" the removal: https://www.ifixit.com/Answers/View/464586/Apple+"stainGate"+screen+problems+-+looking+for+quick,+viable+solution.
 

Texas_Toast

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Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
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"The reason for my question is that whenever my Retina is off, the screen always looks smeared, even though it always sits on my desk at home and I don't believe I ever touch the screen.
So what is the deal?!"


Sounds like "StainGate" to me.

You used Windex on it?
Possibly with ammonia?
Egads !!!!
In that case, no wonder it's smeared!
I assumed it was glass like my old MBP...


The retina displays have a very VERY thin anti-glare coating that is sprayed onto them.

This coating is very fragile by nature. It's easily damaged, moreso in the earlier versions of the coating (such as on the 2012).
Hence, the origins of StainGate.
What exactly is "StainGate"?

So did I f*** up my Retina screen?!


Apple has (had?) a program of free screen replacements for StainGate, but a 2012 may no longer be covered.

The best way to "maintain" one of the retina displays is to "clean it" AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE.
DON'T "wipe" it with any pressure.
Just "dust across it" with a soft cloth.

If you get something on it that won't "dust off", then use some water and a moist area of cloth, using as little pressure on the surface as you can get away with, then dust it dry.

Try to avoid touching the surface of the display, particularly when opening and closing the lid.

That's worked for me for 3 years with my 2015 MBP. No flaking.
Would be nice if Apple had told me that when it was brand new?! Bastards!!!!!


If the anti-glare coating is already damaged or partially flaked off in some locations, there's NO WAY to "restore it" other than replacing the display.

Some folks have actually "rubbed off" ALL of the anti-glare material as a last resort. The end result is a glossy display, but with no "smears". I would try this only if it was really bad.
Looking at my Retina screen when it is turned on, I can't say that I really have any complaints as far as it being readable.

But hen I shut it off at night, I see all of these smears, and being a neat freak, I would try and get it squeaky clean - not knowing what I do now... 😱
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
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I assumed it was glass like my old MBP...
Don't use Windex on glass covered displays. Most displays have some kind of coating. They shouldn't be treated like normal windows. I would be surprised if many 2012 models exist today with perfectly intact coating. It wasn't durable at all.
 

Texas_Toast

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Feb 6, 2016
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  • Don't use aerosol sprays, solvents, or abrasives. (Windex is based on ammonia, so it is a solvent)
Oops!

A clean microfibre cloth (or better yet the glass versions that don't leave bits of the cloth fibres) lightly dampened with water has served me well for 6 years to get rid of smudges, dust, etc. If you need Windex levels of strength then you should stop eating so close to the screen.
I move my Retina before I eat suppe every night, BUT I am admittedly addicted to Gold Bond hand lotion and that is likely where most smudging comes from... 😊


To reduce glare the screen is treated with an anti-reflective coating like glasses have. So the way you clean the screen is gently and therefore it will look good for a long time. If it always looks smudged they you likely have eroded the coating in a few spots. Replacing it will be expensive (everything from the hinges upwards is replaced), but also the coating should go away by itself over time. As was mentioned, you can "encourage" the removal: https://www.ifixit.com/Answers/View/464586/Apple+"stainGate"+screen+problems+-+looking+for+quick,+viable+solution.
Would I have to get a whole new screen/display?

Like how much to get it fixed?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
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"Would I have to get a whole new screen/display?
Like how much to get it fixed?"


Take it to a brick-n-mortar Apple Store genius bar (NOT to a "3rd-party provider").
They -might- cover it under the "StainGate" screen replacement program.

I WOULD NOT tell them that you used Windex on it. They may deny warranty coverage if you do.

If they make you pay, expect to pay $700+/- for a replacement screen.
 
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Texas_Toast

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"Would I have to get a whole new screen/display?
Like how much to get it fixed?"


Take it to a brick-n-mortar Apple Store genius bar (NOT to a "3rd-party provider").
They -might- cover it under the "StainGate" screen replacement program.
Okay, thanks for the tip!


I WOULD NOT tell them that you used Windex on it. They may deny warranty coverage if you do.
Mum's the word! ;-)


If they make you pay, expect to pay $700+/- for a replacement screen.
Ouch... ;-(
 

Texas_Toast

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It's on the vintage list. I wouldn't expect that. Either it falls under a repair program or they're likely to offer depot repair, which is more like half that and covers anything that needs to be done overall. I'm not sure I would invest too much in a 2012 model, as you don't know how much life is left in it.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201624
Never knew there was a formal list and classification for this.

I will have to check with my local Mac store and see what they can offer.

As to your comment, "I'm not sure I would invest too much in a 2012 model, as you don't know how much life is left in it."

Last I heard, Apple build CRAP laptops...

My fear is that the two Retinas I have may be the last usable Apple laptops - if not the last manufactured laptops ever. ;-(
 

thekev

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Aug 5, 2010
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Never knew there was a formal list and classification for this.

I will have to check with my local Mac store and see what they can offer.

As to your comment, "I'm not sure I would invest too much in a 2012 model, as you don't know how much life is left in it."

Last I heard, Apple build CRAP laptops...

My fear is that the two Retinas I have may be the last usable Apple laptops - if not the last manufactured laptops ever. ;-(
Yeah I'm not a fan of the butterfly keyboards at all, and I had a terrible time dealing with them last time I owned an Apple laptop.

The 2012 models are likely to hit the obsolete list in the next year or so, as it will be seven years since they were last manufactured. At that point, your repair options are limited to diy solutions or third parties. Commenting on the age, I'm just saying that things may start to fail at this point, regardless of how you use it, because it's an old laptop.

In your situation, I would probably just live with it, but that's me. I have a pretty high tolerance for stuff like that on older gear.
 

Texas_Toast

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Feb 6, 2016
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Yeah I'm not a fan of the butterfly keyboards at all, and I had a terrible time dealing with them last time I owned an Apple laptop.

The 2012 models are likely to hit the obsolete list in the next year or so, as it will be seven years since they were last manufactured. At that point, your repair options are limited to diy solutions or third parties. Commenting on the age, I'm just saying that things may start to fail at this point, regardless of how you use it, because it's an old laptop.

In your situation, I would probably just live with it, but that's me. I have a pretty high tolerance for stuff like that on older gear.
My two Retina are the last ones where you can swap out the hard-drive. It concerns me greatly buying a laptop that is solid-state and where I can remove the HDD and my data. And from I have heard over the last 5 years, Apple laptops are crap - although a new batch is coming out so who knows.

Would you rather have a new 2020 Retina or my 2012 Retina?
 

thekev

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Aug 5, 2010
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Would you rather have a new 2020 Retina or my 2012 Retina?
Probably a 2020. In your situation I would keep the 2012 until it stops working, then move on from it to whatever option. I just wouldn't spend a lot to keep it going due to the uncertainty of things on a machine of that age. There's some amount of randomness, but it's likely that keyboard, display, logic board internals, ssd are not as they were when it was purchased.