Screen on MacBook 12 2015 vs 2017

radiologyman

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 23, 2011
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I am a proud owner of the 2015 MB 12 and just got 2017 model. I installed the same color profiles on both laptops and can tell there is a difference between two screens, likely due to different panels or graphic cards. 2017 model has slightly warmer panel look with boosted contrast, making colors slightly more saturated and text darker. While I think I like it, I wonder if text is a bit smudgy making it harder to read. Anything I can do to investigate it?
 

casperes1996

macrumors 601
Jan 26, 2014
4,103
1,998
Horsens, Denmark
Each display panel is different, even coming from the same line. Thus individual panel calibration varies. If you install your own colour profile without factoring in the panel differences in that profile the results will be different. This is irregardless of whether it is 2 2015 models, 2 2017 models, or one of each.
The colour profiles the computers ship with are calibrated for the specific panel on the laptop.

Panel calibrations will however shift over time. A brand new 2017 model will not look the same in 5 years as it does now if not recalibrated for its changing characteristics.

To achieve matching images on the two laptops, you will need a calibration tool.
 
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radiologyman

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 23, 2011
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Oh, found the issue. Display was supposedly set to default resolution but probably was scaled since it got back to crisp after I toggled it.
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
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Default resolution on the 2017 is scaled non-native at 1280x800. Plus, in this setting, text is smaller. Both factors would contribute to slightly less clear text.

To use the native 1152x720 (aka 2304x1440) resolution on the 2017, you have to select the non-default setting.

I usually use the scaled non-native resolution of 1280x800 for more screen space, but sometimes I'll use the native 1152x720 resolution for larger font size. Font clarity is good on the scaled non-native resolution so I have no complaints from that regard. It's really just the default text size vs screen real estate that is the concern here for me. However, it should be noted that even if you use the 1280x800 setting with default smaller font sizes, you can simply increase font size manually on a per app basis. eg. OPTION-COMMAND + in Safari to increase font size alone, or else COMMAND + to increase magnification level (decrease zoom) for everything displayed in the browser.
 
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radiologyman

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 23, 2011
639
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Default resolution on the 2017 is scaled non-native at 1280x800. Plus, in this setting, text is smaller. Both factors would contribute to slightly less clear text.

To use the native 1152x720 (aka 2304x1440) resolution on the 2017, you have to select the non-default setting.

I usually use the scaled non-native resolution of 1280x800 for more screen space, but sometimes I'll use the native 1152x720 resolution for larger font size. Font clarity is good on the scaled non-native resolution so I have no complaints from that regard. It's really just the default text size vs screen real estate that is the concern here for me. However, it should be noted that even if you use the 1280x800 setting with default smaller font sizes, you can simply increase font size manually on a per app basis. eg. OPTION-COMMAND + in Safari to increase font size alone, or else COMMAND + to increase magnification level (decrease zoom) for everything displayed in the browser.
Thanks, that really cleared things up for me, pun intended ;)
 
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