Thinking of switching from MBA to MBP (screen question)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by nvcplus, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. nvcplus macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2011
    So, I have debated back and fourth about this. I have come to the conclusion that the 15"MBP might be the one for me.

    I will miss the lightness, and speed of the SSD on the Air, but I won't miss the screen size. Those two inches make a huge difference.

    But what may make or break my decision is if the screen. I have a 2011 13" MBA and the screen just does not seem as good as my friends 2009 MBP, even.

    Are the screens different between the 2011 MBPs and MBAs? Are the actual screens different types? Would you suggest doing the hi-res upgrade?
  2. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
    Yes, the MBP screens are superior. Hi-res is the way to go IMHO :D
  3. xkmxkmxlmx macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2011
    Was just coming here to ask the same question haha.

    In what way are they superior? They both run the same resolution(1440 by 900). What about past that? Does the Hi-res really make that much difference?
  4. thinkinblue613 macrumors 6502


    Dec 13, 2010
    Planet Earth
    It's like asking the difference between the size of a bagel bite and a hot pocket. Of course it will make a difference. The thing you need to ask yourself, does it matter to you?

    For me, it didn't. I just bought an external monitor and that was good enough.
  5. xkmxkmxlmx macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2011
    Wow, thanks again for the abrasive and (non)response. OBVIOUSLY it will make a difference. I understand that. I am asking what the gains are from people who have used both; and hopefully not in junk food analogy form.
  6. thinkinblue613 macrumors 6502


    Dec 13, 2010
    Planet Earth
    I apologize for being 'rude'. I guess you don't have much humor, eh? It's okay.

    The stock MBP 15" and MBA 13" have 1440x900. Although, they may have the same amount of pixels, the screen size still matters. In this case, the 15" is a little easier on the eyes than the 13" Air would be if one was a heavy graphic designer or photographer.

    The Hi-resolution (anti-glare or not) is 1680 x 1050. That is about a 16-17% increase in pixels. Even adding more depth, crisp and sharpness to the image. If every detail matters, the 15" will be the way to go.

    The thing you might want to ask is, how much are you willing to spend for more real estate?

    Baseline 1.7 Ghz i7 Macbook Air 13" - $1,299.00

    2.0 Ghz i7 MBP 15" - $1,799.00 + $150.00 = $1,949.00

    2.2 Ghz i7 MBP 15" - $2,199.00 + $150.00 = $2,349.00

    Aside from the processor, HD's and all that.. You're looking at spending around $650.00 - $1,050.00 more--without taxes--for 2 more inches and a better screen resolution..

    Some people may be better off buying an Air and the Apple Cinema monitor.
  7. dusk007, Aug 25, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011

    dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Yes of course resolution makes some difference but not in actual display quality. From a certain distance you can distinguish a bad from a good panel but not a high res from a low res screen if it just displays the same picture on the same zoomlevel.

    The real noticeable difference is color gamut. MBP screens while not as good as the real high gamut screens (such as HP Dreamcolor, Dell RGB Led screens ..) are much better than most displays and probably among the best TN Panels with WLEDs.
    The MBA on the other hand has only average color gamut which means it will always look a much worse than a MBP in direct comparison, regardless of the resolution. Contrast and brightness is still good just the colors suffer.
    This is 2010 MBA review but in the 2011 nothing changes. The whole MBP line has similar quality displays the Air are worse.
  8. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    The hi-res anti-glare display on my 15" MBP is vastly better than the display on my 13" MBA. Therefore if one wants a truly useful and spacious work area there's no contest.
  9. nasterisk macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2011
    1440 x 900...

    If I were you, I'd go all out and get the 15" Hi-Res Antiglare. It's a bit pricier, but you're going to kick yourself later for not shelling out the extra money for the far superior screen resolution/size.

    A friend of mine has a 1440x900 res on his PC, while I have a 1680x1050, and everytime I use his computer I want to cry at how obtrusive icons and the like are. :mad:
  10. xkmxkmxlmx macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2011
    I love how the MBA forum is biased to their screens as well as here.

    Though, it seems the MBP's are "winning" as some people over there admit to the pro being the better screen overall.

    Hi-res excluded, because everyone agrees that they are better.
  11. DWBurke811 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2011
    Boca Raton, FL
    There's nothing to debate, the screens on the pros(even the 13", since it's not resolution we're talking about) are better than the Airs.
  12. xkmxkmxlmx macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2011
    But that is my question. How exactly are they different? They use a different type of panel? What kind of panel is it? Why is it better if it is the same resolution?
  13. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    I plug mine into a 24" display..I like the bigger icons and text of the 13" MBP screen..When multitasking I use different desktops in the small screen, on the big i use smaller windows.
  14. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Think of it in terms of quality, not quantity.

    Pixels themselves don't make or break a display.

    There are many other comparisons to make. Know how a Samsung or Sony television of the same pixel density looks better than some off brand version at Walmart?

    Same reason here. The quality of the panel itself is better.

    Now I don't know how to explain it on technical terms, but the bagel/hot pocket analogy makes sense.

    Are you too far from an Apple store to go check them out?

    If you are, try looking at videos on Youtube... although watching a video and trying to use that to compare quality in screens isn't the best way to do it, obviously.

    All in all, the screen quality is better, everybody knows (or should know) that.

    Depending on the quality of your eyes, however, that may or may not be of importance to you.
  15. wankey macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2005
    I use a macbook air 2009 and my Macbook pro 2008 screen obliterates the macbook air screen to every degree.

    Although my IPS Ultrasharp obliterates both screens without question
  16. TheBuffather macrumors 6502


    Jul 19, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    The MBP screens are indeed much better, and personally, I would highly recommend the MBP over the AIR.
  17. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    i don't know if anyone has clearly answered the original question about why the mbp is better than the mba screen. i am afraid i can't either.

    but, as an owner of an mbp 13 (the black sheep of the pro family and much-maligned by 15 an 17 inchers), i chose the mbp over the mba partly because it was so much more pleasant to use. the mba looks washed out to me, and the mbp really seems to pop.

    i am well-aware that the mbp 13 has lower resolution, but i have not found it to be an issue at all. of course, some people have valid issues with the lower resolution, but i think some people just look at the numbers and get it lodged into their heads that it simply must be inferior.

    i am not anti-air or anything, because the airs have a lot to recommend them, but the screens (in my opinion) are not their most appealing features.
  18. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    You people can't read. Can you.

    I wrote exactly what is the difference in quality. Just read the anandtech article.
    IT IS 45% (MBA) versus 75% (MBP) AdobeRGB98 color space.
  19. bdodds1985 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2011
    i had this dilemma. im not sure where this is question is being diverted to, seems like a cat fight now for people who don't care about resolution but instead want portability and expect the best 1080p in the same package. it's still in the works and has a long way to go i'm sure.

    i originally wanted an air, but for lack of usb ports, firewire, disc drive (even though i rarely use it any more) and most importantly the resolution (TO ME! not everyone!). I ended up getting an all out 17" MBP. matte screen. I can say it's amazing. I have no regrets. Its hot as hell at times and i guess the MBA doesnt have that problem.

    but in terms of resolution, pixels, screen size, picture quality... i am so ***** happy i did this. This thing is amazing. so its either portability with a decent picture quality or a bigger notebook with really good resolution. I went big. let me know what you decide to do because i still have plans of buying a MBA just because they are awesome and so small.

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