New MBA: improved viewing angle?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Roman2K~, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. Roman2K~, Jul 20, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011

    Roman2K~ macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2011
    Erik Lanigan has lamented on YouTube about the limited viewing angle of the 13" MBA (late 2010) compared to that of the 11".

    I'm afraid I have to agree with him. On my late 2010 13" MBA, the slightest tilt results in pretty significant color distortion. Other than that, the screen is absolutely gorgeous, I love the high resolution and lack of glass (no annoying reflections, despite the glossiness).

    Can anyone comment on the viewing angle of mid 2011 MBAs, especially compared to the late 2010 ones?

    A video I have taken of my late 2010 MBA to illustrate what I mean:

  2. Roman2K~ thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2011
  3. Philflow macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2008
    I doubt anything has changed. Apple still wants to sell the MBP.
  4. Roman2K~ thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2011
    Same here, but I ask just in case. Absence of improvements in this area would make for one less reason to be eyeing the upgrade :D.
  5. ghsNick macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2010
    How obvious is this problem?
    I want the base 13...but will sacrifice battery, trackpad, and screen size and buy the 11" if this is an issue.

    How bad was it with the "13?

    I saw his videos too, and he seems to hate the 13" and LOVE the 11".
  6. Starfyre macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2010
    Trackpad is the same.
  7. Roman2K~ thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2011
    It's not as bad as to be a deal breaker for me, but significant enough that I notice color distortion immediately when the screen is not tilted just right depending on which height I'm looking down from. It's most obvious when human skin is displayed.

    I will try to make a video tonight, but not sure it will render properly.

    For a long time I thought so too, but recently I saw a video review that stated the opposite. Haven't checked if that's true.
  8. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    I never used the 11", but switching from a 15" MBP to a 13" MBA last October, I never had any problems with the viewing angles of the Air.

    It did distort some if I pushed the screen back on a crazy angle, but sitting in front of it (or having it on my lap), it was great for me.
  9. Roman2K~ thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2011
    Hmm, interesting. I may have got a lemon LCD panel then. On mine, colors feel more accurate when the screen is pushed back a little.
  10. ghsNick macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2010
    I could have sworn the 13" trackpad was bigger.
  11. Cali3350 macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2009
    Id be willing to bet good money its the exact same panel.
  12. CapnJackGig macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2011
    Been using a 13 inch 2010 model for 10 months now and have no issues with the color, other than it getting really washed out on high brightness, but I never go that high anyway.
  13. Roman2K~ thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2011
    Here is a video to illustrate what I mean by distorted colors ("washed out" I guess?):

  14. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    Regarding the trackpad, I think he was saying that the trackpad on the 2010 and 2011 13" models are the same.

    I own both of the 2010 11" and 13", and yes the trackpad on the 13" is significantly larger than the trackpad on the 11" (larger in vertical size)
  15. myrtlebee macrumors 68020


    Jul 9, 2011
    Baltimore-Washington Metro Area
    The trackpad on the 11-inch is smaller in height. I know because we have a 13-inch MacBook Pro and an 11-inch air. The 13-inch MacBook Pro and Air have the same size trackpad. The only time it is slightly bothersome for me is when using the two gestures for opening and closing Launchpad. My fingers slightly brush the sharp-ish aluminum edges surrounding the trackpad on the 11-inch and they do not on the 13-inch. A minor gripe, but it's a cool gesture and I would prefer 13-inch's trackpad for it.
  16. Cali3350 macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2009
    Any laptop screen is going to look washed out at that angle, they are still TN screens.
  17. andmm macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    What screen dio you have:

    To identify your display
    open terminal , paste
    ioreg -lw0 | grep IODisplayEDID | sed "/[^<]*</s///" | xxd -p -r | strings -6

    the first line is your display model

    example: 13" ultimate - LTH133BT01A01
  18. Roman2K~, Jul 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011

    Roman2K~ thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2011
    Ah thanks for pointing me to this thread. I just bought the 2011 13" to try for 14 days (to compare battery life and screen quality in order to decide if loosing money selling the old one is worth it). I'll definitely check SSD and display panel models & manufacturers to make sure both are from Samsung.

    And tonight I'll post (here) the model number of my 2010.

    Washed out colors at maximum angles (or close to) are fine, I don't expect iPhone 4 or iPad levels.

    The problem is the color distortion after tilting the screen even just slightly. I don't know if you can tell watching the video, looking at human skin color tones. These change quite a bit over limited ranges of angle. That's noticeable unambiguously looking at the screen in real life.
  19. ghsNick macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2010
    Thanks for that video.
    Yeah I got the 11" to be safe and I live it (w/fullscreen).

    I checked out the angles on the 13" in store and could definitely see the problem...but I had to tilt it back a little further than I'm sure if it's at the right angle it looks fine.
  20. Roman2K~ thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2011
    (Sorry, I forgot to run that command yesterday evening.)

    Result: LTH133BT01A01
    I'm eager to find out if my new MBA will get a Samsung too...
  21. andmm macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    LTH133BT01A01 is the samsung display.
    Have you tried another macbook air in a store, to find out if these have the same problems?
  22. Saturn1217 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2008
    Looks pretty good to me

    I don't have a MBA (yet) but based on the vid and my experience in the apple store I'd say the viewing angles actually look pretty good.

    Does anyone remember the screen on the macbooks when they first switched to aluminum? Now THOSE were some bad screens. So bad that when they transitioned to 13 inch MBPs in 2009 Apple specifically advertised the increased color gamut. I remember checking out the old aluminum macbooks in store and being shocked by how washed out the blacks were at even very mild angles.

    I don't mean to belittle anyone's complaints here but well it could be worse ;)
  23. Adidas Addict macrumors 65816

    Adidas Addict

    Sep 9, 2008
    This is the reason I went back to a MBP, the 13" MBA screen is the worst display on any current apple computer. I got sick of having to adjust the screen constantly to get that tiny angle where the screen looked 'ok'.

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