New Macbook Pro models have bad color reproduction?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Matek, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. Matek macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2007
  2. lordthistle macrumors 6502

    Feb 29, 2008
    He's right about the reflections on the screen.
  3. Matek thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2007
    To be honest, I find this quite disappointing. The regular Macbook having a pretty average screen wouldn't be that surprising, but the Pro? At this price? How can it be on par with Dell's cheap netbook?
  4. drlunanerd macrumors 68000


    Feb 14, 2004
    This isn't surprising but it's nice to see someone who knows what they're talking about do some proper testing.
    Fact is no laptop screen is any good for colour critical work, and that includes Apple's entire range. They're all poor TN LCD technology with narrow colour gamut and viewing angles.

    Apple could really step up to the mark and start using IPS panels if they weren't so obsessed with "thin-form-over-function".

    The new 17" Macbook Pro's screen has yet to be reviewed though I believe and could possibly be a step-up, but I won't hold my breath.
  5. kasakka macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    The problem is that nobody makes *VA or IPS panels for laptops at the moment. Which is a shame because all laptops could benefit fr om the better viewing angles offered by those panel types.

    The reflective surface on the Macbooks is a stupid move from Apple because laptops are often used in environments where reflections may become bothersome.
  6. lordthistle macrumors 6502

    Feb 29, 2008
    Besides 'correct' colour reproduction, he said something that can clarify what he wrote. He prefers screens with 'better' colour reproduction and narrow viewing angles than 'worse' colour reproduction and wide viewing angle.

    I think that the MBP screen falls into the second category.

    In a dark environment, the screen on my Unibody MBP is better (= I prefer) than my old matte on an early 08 MBP. May be the colours are worse, but I really don't notice and don't care. Anyway, if there's a little bit of ambient light the reflections on the screen are too strong: those reflections are unacceptable even if the screen had a wide colour gamut. They can be tolerated only by those who will watch a DVD in the night. But there would be no sense in using panels with better gamuts if you put a piece of glass in front of them.

    It's the reflections on the screen that influenced the strong negative conclusion.

  7. Matek thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2007
    I'm not so sure about this, there are two lists at the end of the review - one listing tested laptops by color reproduction and the other one listing them by viewing angle. The MBP was bad in both areas, it came last in color reproduction and it only beat the Dell Mini 9 in viewing angles.
  8. lordthistle macrumors 6502

    Feb 29, 2008
    I agree. The conclusions are contrasting with what he wrote about the dell Mini.

    "Bad things happen when the viewing angle shifts up, down, left or right, with the up/down angles bringing about big brightness and colour shifts.
    [...] There is also some unevenness in brightness top to bottom, though this is mitigated by the fact the screen isn't terribly tall.

    Other than the restrictive viewing position, the only other sign the Mini 9 contains an inexpensive panel is the pronounced ghosting when moving windows around. "

    "On the other hand, the late-2008 MacBook Pro's gamut volume exceeds that of the Mini 9, but in reality it's the latter computer's display that is more colour accurate."

    I don't find the viewing angle of this monitor to be that terrible (the vertical one could be better, but...). I believe them when they write about color reproduction and gamuts: they measured them. Furthermore, Apple has always defined their glossy display as with rich colours, ideal for watching dvds. So their conclusion is not something terribly new.

    - thistle
  9. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    Rob Galbraith knows his stuff when it comes to photography, this was the guy that opened a can of whoopass for canon when the 1D Mark 3 came out. He actually proved that the AF system was buggy and even got canon to admit to it....

    When it comes to photography i think his review is spot on. I cannot see many pro photographers being happy with the new displays, its a shame a dell mini has a more accurate screen, a real shame.

    This just confirms what many people have been speculating. And now one of the best in the business has confirmed it.

    Be interesting how the 17" matte goes....
  10. Dreamail macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2003
    HP Dreamcolor?

    Would have liked him to test the HP Dreamcolor display as well. HP's desktop Dreamcolor displays are 10 bit and supposedly built for color sensitive work.
    And last August HP introduced a 17" mobile workstation model that also carries a Dreamcolor display as built-to-order option. It is not 10 but 8 bit, but still supposedly the best laptop screen out there currently, developed specifically for color critical work on the road.

    But his test only confirms what people have been suspecting for a long time: that Apple got a bit skimpy when it comes to LCD panels. We know that the 15" MBP is a gamble where you could end up with any of 3 LCD panels, one of which being rather bad.

    I do hope that in the future Apple will offer a built-to-order top quality LCD, as most other laptop manufacturers do.
    May this be a wake-up call.

    And finger's crossed, that Apple's LG display deal includes better quality laptop LCDs as well.

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