Three Out of Six MacBook Pros In the Apple Store Have Horrible Screens

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MICHAELSD, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    Jul 13, 2008
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    NJ
    #1
    I know that this doesn't matter to most people that buy a MacBook Pro, only those that know that Apple uses different LCD manufacturers for the screen. From the six MBPs at the Apple Store by me, three out of the six of them had horrible screens.

    The first two that I'll complain about were just mediocre compared to the two good ones. They were a little above average compared to most other laptops, but compared to other screens you would have a chance at getting, I wouldn't want to stick with these. They had a flat contrast ratio (blacks and whites that aren't pure) and just wasn't vivid, compared to the good screens, at least. Colors were noticeably off, too.

    Two of the screens, though both looking different, one with more vivid colors and the other with a deeper contrast ratio, looked amazing and were the best screens I've seen on a laptop. The first screen I saw was that one that I want to have in my MBP.

    One of the screens I saw was calibrated with very cool colors instead of warm like the other MacBook Pros. This screen wasn't regularly cool either, it was overly blue with a blue dominance so bad that it makes the top bar look blue instead of silver and messes up the colors and the screen had whites and blacks that were a lot less deep and pure than the rest. You really have to see it to get an idea of how bad it is, but I can't believe Apple would use a screen that looks so much worse and is calibrated so differently. In my opinion, that screen should be considered defective. I asked an Apple Genius if they would return my MBP if I got the screen and she said probably not since it was in spec.

    I'm really disappointed with how different the screens are in the new MacBook Pro. Some of them are mediocre, some are horrible (the horrible screens are really bad), and if you're lucky enough, some are amazing. I wish that there was a way to request one of the screens, if you're paying $2k for something, you shouldn't have to get lucky to get the better screens. Apple shouldn't use screens that look so different, anyway. By the way, I've noticed the same thing with the MacBooks using screens that look a lot different, too.
     
  2. Romanesq macrumors 6502a

    Romanesq

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    Jun 16, 2003
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    Hoboken
    #2
    you can...

    Examine the machine of your choice at purchase in the store.
    I understand that's not a problem.

    So if you are fortunate enough to be close to the store, then you have that option.
     
  3. sonia1234321 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    #3
    Kind of out off topic, but why don't you just say 1/2 or 50%?

    Sorry... Just had to point it out :p
     
  4. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    #4
    The title sounded better by saying "Three Out of Six MacBook Pros In the Apple Store Have Horrible Screens" instead of "Half Of the MacBook Pros In the Apple Store Have Horrible Screens" :p.
     
  5. Kadman macrumors 65816

    Kadman

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    Sep 22, 2007
    #5
    7 out of 10 MacRumors readers prefer stats presented in this fashion. :D
     
  6. oncdoc macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Providing the sample size is much more informative than saying 50%.
     
  7. MowingDevil macrumors 68000

    MowingDevil

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    #7
    To the OP, isn't it possible that the hundreds of Looky-Lous coming through the store are messing w/ the settings and that explains the discrepancies?
     
  8. Atomic Ed macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    #8
    I know from the previous models that Apple was using screens then from different vendors and it was luck of the draw as to which brand you got in your MBP. There was a way to look at the properties somewhere and it would tell you which model you have. I don't remember where this property setting is anymore. What we found were people had drastically different screen quality some where samsung and others were LG and I think there was one other. So maybe Apple is still doing the same practice on the new models too.
     
  9. Jeff Barlow macrumors member

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    Apr 27, 2005
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    United States
    #9
    I work in a manufacturing environment, and Apple would never let product with a 50% failure or defect rate out the door otherwise they'd be heading towards bankruptcy. What you're seeing is variations caused by people messing with the settings and calibration on a showroom floor.
     
  10. Atomic Ed macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    #10
    As I said, Apple used different brand screens in the last model so I would think this is probably the case here again. They are not defective but variation of screen quality due to different manufacturers. Like a Sony TV compared to a RCA, your going to see a big difference in the quality of the display. In other words some get lucky and get a better quality panel in their machine from the lowest bidder pool of parts in the factory assembly area. They are not using the exact same brand and model panel in every MBP plain and simple. Garmin is notorious for this and I returned 7 units till I finally got one with the good brand LCD in it. Alot of manufacturers are using lowest bidder vendors every batch to replenish their assembly stock. If I were to buy a MBP I would definitely look at them in the store before I left to make sure I got a good one. The difference in the old models between the Samsung and the LG was drastic. Just look for the old threads on this and you will see what I am talking about.
     
  11. kobefan234 macrumors 6502

    kobefan234

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  12. Jeff Barlow macrumors member

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    #12
    I can't buy that. Apple has a published specification and a list of qualified vendors to provide products against that specification. If a vendor isn't providing product that meets their signed quality agreement then they are going to be looking for new customers.

    It doesn't come down solely to the price of the components, and also takes into account the failure rate of the parts being supplied, the ability of the supplier to meet Apple's capacity requirements, and the relationship between the vendor and Apple.

    The manufacturing engineer running the line can shut it down in a minute if he feels that he's shipping bad product, and Apple's got a system in place to test a statistically valid amount of product both during the assembly process and before it leaves the factory. Customer complaints are measured and tracked based on feedback to Apple's help line, customer returns, and forums like this one and people are held accountable and lose their jobs if the issues rise above a specific threshold.

    Like I said, I work in a high-end manufacturing environment, and see these issues daily.
     
  13. ageha macrumors regular

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    Jan 30, 2008
    #13
    Every maker does that. Although when you buy a better notebook from makers like Sony or Dell you know what screen you get.
     
  14. Atomic Ed macrumors regular

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    Jun 5, 2007
    #14
    I also worked for over 20 years in a high tech Aerospace manufacturing environment myself, so I understand what your saying but your missing my point. My point is the screens are not defective but lesser quality in design. Think of it like a very fancy dish a chef prepares where one is using a certain meat like Angus Certified beef and another from a bargain butcher using totally different species of cow. Both still pass USDA both are still beef and are used to make the dish. However anyone tasting both dishes will realize a marked difference in the overall flavor of the dish. It does not mean one beef was defective, just lower quality. Hope that helps.
     
  15. ageha macrumors regular

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    #15
    I think that's not a business secret. Why does Apple never release the technical details for their laptop screens? Because every shipment contains another screen.
     
  16. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    NYC
    #16
    How many other manufacturers go around listing the technical details of their displays. AFAIK Dell used to list the panel information on their LCDs, but they no longer do that; now they just say TN/IPS/MVA…
     
  17. ageha macrumors regular

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    #17
    Sony gives details for their better displays like the RGB LED backlit screens.
     
  18. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

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    #18
    I emailed sjobs@apple.com about it so we should get a response about the different quality of the screens that Apple uses during the next few days. In case anyone's wondering what my message sent to him (or Apple ;)) said:

     
  19. Atomic Ed macrumors regular

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    Jun 5, 2007
    #19
    I liked your email and thought it was really good but I have to wonder if Steve will ever actually read these emails. He must get like a gazillion fro people on all different things. I sure hope he does though and he whole screen thing is a major irk to me on laptops. Good job.
     
  20. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #20
    I like the premise of your letter, but you could have said all of that in a single paragraph (two at most), which would increase your chances of getting it read. It's best to keep these things short and to the point. Be pithy!
     
  21. ageha macrumors regular

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    Jan 30, 2008
    #21
    I think the student who's going to answer your e-mail will not care. You cannot expect a constant quality from an Apple AU$4000 notebook. :apple:
     
  22. pufftissue macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    #22
    There is no way to guarantee that you get the coveted LG screen that people love. But the OP is right that some screens are simply better than others, and you can't control which one you get.

    My solution is to order from a place where you can return no questions asked with no restocking fee. There are no places like that anymore, though.
     
  23. hitman45400 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    #23
    My New (To Me) MacBook Pro =D

    is on it's way, i know it's not as cool since the new ones came out, but hell, i think they're to many things that might go wrong and cost with the new ones..
    i thought i might share my joy =D
     
  24. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #24
    Thank you for this information. I had no idea that Apple's laptop displays came from a grab-bag of possibilities. I'm going to search now for threads on the Samsung and LG displays in the old models. I wonder which one I got.
     
  25. Atomic Ed macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    #25
    Your welcome and I had a hard time understanding manufacturers using this concept when I first learned about it a few years ago. However manufacturing today is basically run by the bean counters and no longer by Quality and Design engineers. Marketing today basically is told to sell whatever the accounts decide they can get away with even though they themselves possess no product knowledge at all. I believe this is what destroys most US companies today. o be fair to Apple they are by no means the only ones doing this, but it does surprise me that with their customer base being quality minded people willing to pay more for decent quality, they would tarnish their rep by doing this. I understand HP, Del, Etc doing it because they are al about low cost in the business models but to me Apple doing this is like Rolls Royce using chevy engines to save a buck. In the end it will bite them and I think people are starting to catch on in larger numbers about this practice nowadays.

    Anyway there used to be a way to find out the display model in your system by going to certain area in the properties. I wish I could remember where it was now. It was back in mid 2007 when I tried it last. From what I remember, what you want to have is the LG model and not the Samsung. The LG was light years nicer quality. If I figure out where this property is located again I will post it back for you or if one of the other knowledgeable members here can tell us, that would be great.
     

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