Santa Rosa MBP? No thanks!

Lone Deranger

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 23, 2006
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So today I decided to visit the Apple Store over on Regent St. here in London to check out the latest and greatest Santa Rosa MBP's with the possible intent of replacing my aging 15" PowerBook G4.
It's been getting a bit long in the tooth so to speak.

I was aware of the reports of the yellow screen problems posted by so many forum users and figured I'd check it out myself at Regent St. HQ.

Well... the good news is that of the many 15" SR MBP's I checked out, the yellow tint anomaly wasn't nearly as bad as I had figured. In fact, I had a hard time discerning any abnormal hue shifts after slapping on an all white single colour backdrop.
The bad news was the very dissapointing viewing angle on every single MBP I looked at. Glossy, Matte, even the non LED LCD screen of the 17 incher showed significant vignetting. There wasn't a single position/angle I could place my head in that would yield an acceptable (to me) result. And believe me, I tried.... I was bopping and swaying around like a mad man. :eek:
Convinced they must have a bad batch on display I ran over to John Lewis on Oxford Street.... same thing, Micro Anvika on Tottenham Court Road.... ditto... Square Group store... again... same result
I also made sure to run the checks to find out which panels where in the MBP's. It was a mixture of both the LG's and Samsung's. Both had the problem.
Disgruntled and disappointed I came back to my three year old PowerBook and layed in the same white backdrop to double check if I had been ignorant to viewing angles all these years with my PB. Ofcourse I hadn't. The difference is startling. The viewing angles are so much better. Sure, not as good as a Cinema Display, but perfectly acceptable to the point where I am really not bothered by it in daily use. I wish I could say the same thing for the new MBP screens. Heck, the MacBook screens in the stores showed better viewing angles! :eek:
In the end I just couldn't justify dropping down the cash for a laptop with such an inferior screen. Aside from the risk of getting a yellowed panel, the vignetting would haunt me too much. :(

I have to say I'm rather disappointed to see Apple take such a step backwards in terms of quality. For crying out loud, this is a laptop intended for professional photographers, editors, VFX artists. Come on Apple, give us something decent.

Anyway, apologies for this rant.... It's just been a long time since I've been dissapointed by an Apple product and it's a rather strange sensation.
 

LaMerVipere

macrumors 6502a
Jan 19, 2004
971
0
Chicago
I just got my MacBook Pro today and the screen is perfect. It's only yellow when viewing it from extreme side angles, from any otherwise "normal" position it's absolutely perfect.
 

PYR0M310N

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2006
543
0
I was in regent street apple store the other day and didn't notice this problem with the viewing angle
 

pieman02

macrumors regular
Apr 27, 2007
123
0
I just got my MacBook Pro today and the screen is perfect. It's only yellow when viewing it from extreme side angles, from any otherwise "normal" position it's absolutely perfect.
I don't think he was talking about the tint being the issue, but the viewing angle itself...

I just cranked up the LED display as bright as it will go, and swiveled it around in all directions a bit and to a certain extent I can see what you are talking about, but if I compare this to my MacBook or iBook g4, I would have to say it is MUCH better than either of those - more evenly lit, and more viewing angles.

Maybe bring in your powerbook to one of the stores and see if it is the lighting that messes with the displays or something, because I find the new displays perfectly acceptable :D
 

koops

macrumors regular
Jun 18, 2007
169
0
London
I was in regent street store today as well - bopping and looking like a mad man! didn't see anyone else looking like a md man though

I have to totally agee - I was pesimistic reading posts on this forum but every glossy / matte 15", 17#" had the yellowing from viewing at an angle which. You get the yellowing merely going 20 - 30 degrees to the side which is rubbish! - my MBP is on order I just hope this is corrected by time mine ships!

This is not me being fussy, trust me its there and previous screens have not had this so I don't see why it should be accepted in this revision.
 

Lone Deranger

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 23, 2006
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Really?

I'm guessing you were viewing it under more conventional viewing conditions. Displaying webpages for instance can camouflage this a little bit. The brighter and more even the screen content is, the more glaringly obvious it becomes.
Every single MBP I checked out (must have seen 15-20+ today) had the same narrow viewing angle problems when compared to the screen in my PowerBook.


I was in regent street apple store the other day and didn't notice this problem with the viewing angle
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,255
1,333
Anyway, apologies for this rant.... It's just been a long time since I've been dissapointed by an Apple product and it's a rather strange sensation.
My first Apple laptop was the last generation of PowerBooks they made -- a very awesome 15" with the (then) new hi-res screen. People complained about the screen on that (the horizontal banding issue) and have continued to complain about every screen that Apple's used in their Pro notebooks since then.
 

Lone Deranger

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 23, 2006
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Quite tempted to do this actually. Though doubtfull the store lighting had anything to do with it, it would be an interesting experiment.

I know I'm quite fussy when it comes to visuals (working in the VFX film industry, I have to be) and I guess some people will notice this effect to a lesser degree than others... just like I can't hear the difference between a 128kbps AAC or a FLAC like some people can. :D

Maybe bring in your powerbook to one of the stores and see if it is the lighting that messes with the displays or something, because I find the new displays perfectly acceptable :D
 

dcv

macrumors G3
May 24, 2005
8,021
1
I still can't understand why people try to view their screens at funny angles and not straight on :confused:
 

AppleIntelRock

macrumors 65816
Aug 14, 2006
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I still can't understand why people try to view their screens at funny angles and not straight on :confused:
i could understand someone's undying desire to be able to view their television screen at an obscure angle, but a laptop :confused:
:eek:
 

iBlue

macrumors Core
Mar 17, 2005
19,182
15
London, England
I still can't understand why people try to view their screens at funny angles and not straight on :confused:
I half wonder if these are the people who go to the doctor for things like: "It hurts when I bend my fingers backward..." (well don't do that)

It's laptop, wtf do these people expect?!
 

AppleIntelRock

macrumors 65816
Aug 14, 2006
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I half wonder if these are the people who go to the doctor for things like: "It hurts when I bend my fingers backward..." (well don't do that)

It's laptop, wtf do these people expect?!
religious clarity, contentment with their lives, and peace and love to envelop the world? some people just think unrealistically. :eek:
 

bartelby

macrumors Core
Jun 16, 2004
19,797
4
Some of these people obviously don't remember 'The Good Ol' Days' when you'd view a screen 0.5 degrees past perpendicular and the colours would practically invert!
 

Sbrocket

macrumors 65816
Jun 3, 2007
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I'm just waiting for the days when people complain that the color is a bit off when the screen is viewed at 180 degrees from perpendicular. :p

Seriously though, I see a lot of these types of posts now. When (aside from a group movie viewing session) are you ever going to need to look at your laptop at more than a slight angle?
 

AppleIntelRock

macrumors 65816
Aug 14, 2006
1,361
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I'm just waiting for the days when people complain that the color is a bit off when the screen is viewed at 180 degrees from perpendicular. :p
ZOMG! I didn't notice that! :eek:
I'm going to have to go to a genius bar tomorrow and have them replace my entire laptop!!!

all i see is a white apple :eek:

:p:D
 

Lone Deranger

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 23, 2006
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I'm afraid a lot of people misunderstand me. Pardon me for not being more clear. Let me attempt to clarify.
The problem with the SR MBP screens is that there is no angle, not even the most normal and ergonomically correct position to sit in that matches the PB15" screen in terms of vignetting (or lack thereof). I do not sit in front of my laptop at odd angles. Working with computers 9-10+ hours a day I'm very well aware of the benefits of ergonomics. However the light falloff on the SR MBP constantly made me feel like I was looking at the screen from a odd angle, which made me try and adjust my position to see if I somehow was looking at the screen from an incorrect angle. Hence the bopping and swaying... and alas to no avail.

So this has nothing to do with complaining as suggested by some. It is merely an observation of somebody that works with high end digital imagery for a living and expects a certain quality from a high end device.
As it currently stands I came to the conclusion that in terms of light fallof the current LCD's Apple uses are inferior to the one I have in my old PB.

I compared my PB to a collegue's MBP (non Santa Rosa) this morning and although his screen's viewing angle was better, it still was not as good.
We're both heading down to the Apple Store again today, PowerBook in hand, to do some direct side by side observations.

miniConvert: I work in the Visual Effects industry for film and television in case you're wondering. And although I would never rely too heavily on a laptop screen for colour accuracy (we still use CRT's for that) it would still be nice to use a display capable of rendering light evenly across the tiny surface of a 15" area. :) The only way I managed to get this (more or less) from the SR MBP screen was to move my head down to have the bottom half evenly illuminated and move my head up to get the upper half even.

Anyway, don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are a lot of owners outthere that are perfectly satisfied with the current displays as they are and I'm happy for them. I just wasn't expecting a step backwards with the introduction of the much heralded LED technology. I shall patiently wait and hope better screens will be introduced at some point. :)

I still can't understand why people try to view their screens at funny angles and not straight on :confused:
 

MacDonaldsd

macrumors 65816
Sep 8, 2005
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London , UK
My screen is slightly off colour from the side, but two key points.

1. I don't view it from a angle
2. If I view my PowerBook from an angle, I can't even see it let alone off colour
 

Lone Deranger

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 23, 2006
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1. As you'll see from my previous post, nor do I. (This is something others in this thread have incorrectly assumed I do).
2. My PowerBook held up better when viewed at angle (slightly darker and more yellow) than my collegue's MBP. (which make PB have you got?)

Anyway, just came back from the Apple store and my collegue agrees that indeed the screen has a falloff in illumination levels to a greater degree than my PB we had set up next to it. Although he did say it bothered him not enough to prevent him from upgrading his MBP... so make of that what you will... :)

Anyway... I guess I can always pick up one and return it if my reservations get the better of me after a few days of trying it out. I do after all love pretty much everything else the MBP's have to offer.

addendum: In all fairness, I have to point out that the overall brightness of the new screens is far superior to the PB's.

My screen is slightly off colour from the side, but two key points.

1. I don't view it from a angle
2. If I view my PowerBook from an angle, I can't even see it let alone off colour
 

Sopranino

macrumors 6502
Sep 27, 2006
348
0
Alberta, Canada
I still can't understand why people try to view their screens at funny angles and not straight on :confused:
Yeah, baffles me as well. From the way a lot of people are bleating about this non-issue you would think that they have to have a completely clear view of the screen for 360 degrees. It is absolutely nuts! Any NORMAL person I've ever observed using a laptop tend to be looking at the screen straight on (okay, a novel concept). And then on top of that laptops tend to be very personal computers and are not often used with a crowd of people all trying to see the same screen.

Sopranino
 

Lone Deranger

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 23, 2006
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Tokyo, Japan
Hi Sopranino,

might I suggest you read(!) my observations thoroughly before jumping to conclusions and insinuating people are abnormal. Hmm? :)


Yeah, baffles me as well. From the way a lot of people are bleating about this non-issue you would think that they have to have a completely clear view of the screen for 360 degrees. It is absolutely nuts! Any NORMAL person I've ever observed using a laptop tend to be looking at the screen straight on (okay, a novel concept). And then on top of that laptops tend to be very personal computers and are not often used with a crowd of people all trying to see the same screen.

Sopranino
 

Squonk

macrumors 65816
Mar 15, 2005
1,365
14
Just a little humor...

Isn't it a good thing if the video quality drops off at obscure angles? That way the people around me in the coffeehouse won't see my household budget numbers... :rolleyes:

Glad to hear the illumination is way better than the PB's. I'm on deck to replace my PB with a MBP in December or January.
 

Lone Deranger

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 23, 2006
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Hi Squonk,

I seem to remember you can buy special adhesive filters that go over the LCD and would cut off the viewing angle beyond a certain point to ensure privacy. :)

But yeah, the overall power of the backlighting is much stronger in the new models. I had to lower the brightness settings on the MBP's about 5 or 6 (out of 16) bars to even it out with my PB.

Isn't it a good thing if the video quality drops off at obscure angles? That way the people around me in the coffeehouse won't see my household budget numbers... :rolleyes:

Glad to hear the illumination is way better than the PB's. I'm on deck to replace my PB with a MBP in December or January.
 

MovieCutter

macrumors 68040
May 3, 2005
3,342
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Washington, DC
Hi Lone Deranger,

I say you're being overly picky.

addendum: I've been editing HD footage and doing visual work on every Powerbook and MacBook Pro revision since the Aluminum PBs were released, and haven't noticed any degradation in quality from one revision to the next. But that's me...

addendum #2: You could buy a MacBook Pro and swap your "perfect" PB screen into it...just a thought.