The New MacBook Screen...

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by thepseudophone, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. thepseudophone macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2008
    Gizmodo's review of the MacBook contained negative comments about the MB's screen. Specifically, Gizmodo did not like its viewing angles, contrast, and black levels.

    When I read those comments, I had already placed an order for a MB, and began having reservations. So I went to an Apple store... and confirmed that Gizmodo was correct.

    My observations:

    1. The MB screen, without a doubt, is inferior in those three ways (viewing angles, contrast, and black levels) to the MBA and MBP screens. I am confident that screens in the MB and MBA are different.

    2. The viewing angles on the MB are fine. They are excellent on the MBP. I believe you can expect minimal distortion at up to an angle of 120 degrees. Beyond that, the image deteriorates badly.

    3. The contrast is fine and uniform throughout the screen. Unless your MB is next to a better screen, I doubt this will be noticeable.

    4. The black levels are also fine, but are nowhere near those of the MBA and MBP. To test the black levels, I played the trailer for The Dark Knight. I was able to distinguish the blacks and grays (which dominate that film) comfortably, but not as well as I could on the other notebooks.

    Because my favorite use of my notebook is to watch video, I decided to cancel my order for a MB, and instead bought a MBP.

    Honestly, I would have quickly come to terms with the MB's screen, as I imagine most of you will. But I just didn't feel comfortable settling for the MB's screen today. Of course, I had the money for the MBP.

    I urge those of you who are concerned about the screen and thus considering the MBP to take a look at both models in an Apple store.
  2. bidwalj macrumors 65816

    Feb 16, 2007
    regarding your first claim, having just sold my MBA, the screen on the macbook is the same as the airs.
  3. dougnewman macrumors 6502

    Aug 9, 2006
    Long Island, NY, USA
    The old MacBook also had a rather poor display for what was not a cheap notebook.
  4. duffyanneal macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2008
    You got that right. I owned one of the original MBs and I don't remember the display looking that bad. I bought my wife a MB last year and the display is pretty bad. She is fine with it and I think that is what Apple is thinking in the case of the new MB display. They are trying to walk the fine line between profit margins and user satisfaction.

    Regardless, of what the displays look like now I remember that the display on my 12" PB was horrible. It was dim, washed out, and had terrible viewing angles. Even a bad MB display is worlds better than that machine. ;)
  5. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
    Oh god yes, the 12" PB display was hideous. My last rev. blackbook's screen was not great either. Saw the new MB in the store today and it is definitely an improvement over the old Macbooks, but it isn't amazing or noteworthy.
  6. jigo macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2007
    I'm looking to replace my 12" PB with a MB. Good to hear of the improvement . I'm constantly moving the screen up and down. Just moving it a couple inches changes from washed out to too dark.
  7. Kendall015 macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2006
    The screen is much better than the BlackBook was, slightly darker than the MacBook Air, and not nearly as good as the UniMacBook Pro or the previous MacBook Pro...but that being said I think it is pretty good. Not bad, but not amazing either. It didn't stop me from buying one.
  8. tekmoe macrumors 68000

    Feb 12, 2005
    Man, you could not be anymore correct about the 12" display. LOL! The size of the 12" PowerBook totally made up for the crappy screen though.

    I pretty much feel the same way about my new MacBook. The screen does kind of suck compared to all of the MacBook Pro's I have owned...BUT the size compensates and makes me feel much better about my purchase. :)
  9. w00tini macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    i disagree.. i have both of them right next to each other here and the Air is noticeably better in contrast and color. the MB is still very nice, but the MBA is better.
  10. tafb macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2007

    Agreed, except that I did not find the MBA screen to be any better than the macbook screen. I wanted to switch from a last gen MBP to a new macbook, but I found the viewing angle issues on the macbook screen to be too annoying. an option for a higher quality screen on the macbook would be welcome as I really like the new form factor and build quality.
  11. robby818 macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2007
    No way...just go to any Apple store and you will see that they are different. MB is a little washed out even straight on, whereas the MBA has extremely rich colors. MBp and Air are very close in terms of quality but the MB is definitely a step down.

    I canceled my MB order for this reason. My MB already entered shipping so it will be here Monday but Apple gave me a return shipping label so it's going back on the fedex truck ASAP.
  12. dougnewman macrumors 6502

    Aug 9, 2006
    Long Island, NY, USA
    Oh yeah. The MB was a replacement for a 12" PB... I loved that little thing but that display was really poor (and the 12" and 14" iBooks were even worse, just awful).

    I am really looking forward to the display of my new MBP. :)
  13. interpunct macrumors newbie


    Oct 2, 2008
    portland, or
    thank you for posting this! i noticed the same thing, and i've been trying to get a straight answer about the difference between the two lcd panels since, with no luck.

    as much as i would love a macbook because of the small size (i'm ugrading from a 12" ibook), i don't know if i can handle the screen. my ibook screen doesn't even seem that bad. though i guess i should take it to the store to compare before i really say that.

    it's a shame. and i doubt they'll be "fixing" the new panels anytime soon, either. :(
  14. me_94501 macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2003
    By itself the new MacBook's screen is pretty good: it's bright, evenly-lit, and vibrant. That said, I haven't seen the MacBook compared to other notebook screens, aside from the older Mac notebooks I have around the house.
  15. foudordi macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2008
    white macbook vs macbook uni, air and pro

    Went to the App Store the morning:
    - new macbook has better backlight than previous one (thanks to LED) but colors feel blueish and cold. When watching dark movies or pictures, the new macbook has a white glare that is clearly WORSE than the previous one. Maybe this is because the backlight is stronger.
    - Macbook air and Pro are loads better: blacks are truly black, and colors are warmer (but still a little too 'blue' to me).

    But the MBAir has too little memory capacity, and MCPro is very expensive and heavier. I don't know what to do... Maybe keep my current macbook.
  16. DaveOZ macrumors regular

    May 13, 2008
    Buy a new MacBook and calibrate the screen. Sorted.
  17. foudordi macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2008
    not a calibration pb

    No, this is not the issue.
    I assume you could eliminate the blueish color by re-calibrating (not even sure, apple usually calibrates the screens at their best capability).

    But the white glares are not a calibration problem. It is entirely because of the screen's poor quality.

    See the pictures here :
  18. The Samurai macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

    Dec 29, 2007
    Love the new screens. I think they are definitely better than the old MB's.

    People are going to moan at the slightest (including me :D ), remember everyone is different and works differently. A pro user will look at things differently as required by his/her needs.
  19. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    There is at least one profile floating around the forums called Supercal that pretty much makes the screen color issue a non-issue. However, you cannot calibrate a screen to wipe out a glaring white or negative black issue, it's just not physically possible.

    I'm pretty certain as I sit here and watch a movie (not full screen) on my MB by way of a DVD I'll be returning it by Wednesday (my last possible day to return it). I think, because I simply can't see myself going back to a 15" display, I'll be getting the Air. It's more money but this MB is perfect for everything but watching movies ... which is something I fully intended to do. I'll have to change my way of thinking with the Air, but I believe the teraserver I just bought will help me accomplish computing without an optical drive. FW is a non-issue for me and I have a desktop machine for the heavy lifting.

    I'm not even looking at this as a "pro" user. If I want to truly edit my photos I have a $3k machine sitting just across the room. In other words, I bought a consumer laptop as a consumer and for consumer needs. However, I'm having a hard time accepting the issue with the movies. To each is own though.
  20. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.
    I'm not a whiner (or moaner for that matter..)

    I'm not talking pro user b.s. here. I do believe watching a DVD is what the machine was minimally designed for and it can't display that DVD adequately.

    Hardly a pro function. The new MB screens are only better in brightness. Everything else I've seen is worse even though the poor colors can be mitigated with a better calibration.
  21. The Samurai macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

    Dec 29, 2007
    Bud, I didn't mean to point at you (apologies if it came through to you in that way). I said it in pure humorous terms.
  22. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.
    No offense taken.:D

    Back on topic, the screen for video viewing is horrid.
  23. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    Amen except i'll be getting an iMac at some point in the future. However my macbook is currently on ebay...i'll try to return it but i have a feeling it wont be easy because i got an iPod with it, (student promotion) even though i haven't sent the rebate form i've peeled off the label...which might be a problem. So ebaying it as a backup plan

    I currently have an Air (last gen) in my possession which was due for return but i might just cancel that RMA and keep it.

    I REALLY wanted to like the macbook but it just wasn't happening...the issue that bugs me the most is the negative...washed out blacks and the greenish/blueish hue
  24. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I've been sitting here all morning pretty much tossing my thoughts back and forth considering a return. I do not so much mind the additional money I'll have to shell out for the Air, it is just that in my mind I want this machine to be perfect. I've used this machine in the last week more than I even thought I would. My MacPro is happily running transferring files from one drive to another. The fans are allowing for some nice noise in my otherwise very quiet house. (that is until drunk jacuzzi night comes back around). It is just that for some reason I want to keep this machine but I want to watch a movie on it too.

    I'm not even worried about the glare. I can see glare now and somehow it's a non-issue to me. I posted another profile made last night and I love it. It is exactly what I needed. Sad to say it took a few tries and even now I'm certain someone won't like it. But it solves my issue with color.

    I'm beating a dead horse here but I think that is because I am truly happy. No scratches, no dents, no crooked keys, no oddly set ports or optical drive. Just the ****ing blacks! It is such a beauty and a shameful attempt by Apple all in one.

    Since Apple is keen on their marketing tag lines "the funniest iPod ever" I
    I'm thinking this will soon be dubbed "the crappiest screen we could have pushed out the door ever!"

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