Want your MBA display to look "shaper" or have better contrast? Follow this

vanimal

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 12, 2014
650
85
This may be old news to some, but I'm sure there are a ton of people who unaware. Also can't edit the title it should be "sharper" lol :)

As a owner of a MBA and a MBPR i know the difference between screens fairly well. I am also used to TN panels from my gaming rig monitors, being they are the only type of monitors that offer low input lag and response time. IPS panels are not good for that.

Anyway, i often see people say the MBA screen is SOOOO BAD. And while yes its not the "retina" you can make the screen A HELL of a lot better. To me its not the grainer text that bothers me, its the contrast & color reproduction. But there are TONS of TV's on the market they actually aren't full blown IPS but can still give you a great picture if "calibrated" correctly.

Follow this link and if you happen to have the LG panel which comes shipped quite washed out, this will give you a NIGHT & DAY difference. It literally made my 2015 MBA look like i had the panel replaced with a better one lol. I see a lot of people return their MBA because it comes a tad yellow out of the box in exchange for another, playing the display lottery. When in reality, it could just not be calibrated from the factory.

Mine came a tad washed out out of the box but with this custom color profile it made a unbelievable difference. I wish i could show the difference but i doubt a screen shot wouldn't work


Apple does have its built in calibration, but it kinda sucks. While i never had to calibrate my MBPR, after downloading this custom color profile for my 2015 MBA, its unreal the difference it made for "color & contrast" reproduction. Give it a try. Going back to the old stock setting via display, made it look like there was a haze on the screen, as in washed out. I would love to see some peoples results.

It also boils down to "taste" some people prefer a warm natural color, others a more cool neutral.


http://theultralinx.com/2013/03/macbook-air-hack-screen/
 
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ron7624

macrumors 68020
Oct 14, 2011
2,228
437
Houston, Texas area
my new MBA is being delivered to the Apple Store on the 28th. I'll keep up with this and try it out probably. I know Yosemite has kind of a washed out look on both of my MacMini's and had to go into the display settings to increase contrast. I have no reason to doubt the mba will be kinda washed out looking as well.
Thanks for this.
 

SmOgER

macrumors 6502a
Jun 2, 2014
658
36
This is legit and really helps on some machines.

However another factor as to why rMBP looks sharper is simply because it has bigger text (scaled to 1280x800 and doubled) and bigger UI elements.

If you zoom-in in Safari to 106% on MBA (not sure if that's possible without extension (I'am using AllPagesZoom)) - the text becomes super sharp and much more readable. It kinda looks then like it supposed to look in the first place.
 

vanimal

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 12, 2014
650
85
This is legit and really helps on some machines.

However another factor as to why rMBP looks sharper is simply because it has bigger text (scaled to 1280x800 and doubled) and bigger UI elements.

If you zoom-in in Safari to 106% on MBA (not sure if that's possible without extension (I'am using AllPagesZoom)) - the text becomes super sharp and much more readable. It kinda looks then like it supposed to look in the first place.
Yup i noticed that from going back and forth from a MBA and a MBPR. I normally just used "command +" if i wanted the text and UI to zoom. Just one command + would bring it close to the text size on the mbpr. Would the all pages zoom be a better alternative?

I would normally just hit the command + once and that brings the text to a nice size as well as the UI.
 
Last edited:

SmOgER

macrumors 6502a
Jun 2, 2014
658
36
Well AllPagesZoom sets the zoom permanently for all the webpages to anything with 1% accuracy. And basic CMD+ zooms in a bit too much IMO.
 

z31fanatic

macrumors 6502a
Mar 7, 2015
867
325
Mukilteo, WA USA
What about us with Samsung displays?

I haven't done any calibration but there is no reason a screen would look this bad from the factory. Thinking of returning this thing.
It's a 2014 model by the way.
 

David58117

macrumors 65816
Jan 24, 2013
1,220
506
What about us with Samsung displays?

I haven't done any calibration but there is no reason a screen would look this bad from the factory. Thinking of returning this thing.
It's a 2014 model by the way.
It runs fine on Samsung too in my experience.

All this website did was steal the profile from a thread that was here a few years back. This is an old color profile (but a very good one) when macrumors was going through the "share your color profile" phase.

I've installed this profile on roughly 6 airs over the years with various screens - and it always works spectacularly.

The retinas also come with a washed out profile by default, but the improved one is included in the profile selector.

Definitely give this a try..
 

Jacoblee23

macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2011
1,125
357
It runs fine on Samsung too in my experience.

All this website did was steal the profile from a thread that was here a few years back. This is an old color profile (but a very good one) when macrumors was going through the "share your color profile" phase.

I've installed this profile on roughly 6 airs over the years with various screens - and it always works spectacularly.

The retinas also come with a washed out profile by default, but the improved one is included in the profile selector.

Definitely give this a try..
Which one is it on the retina? Trying to find it for my MBPR.
 

David58117

macrumors 65816
Jan 24, 2013
1,220
506
Which one is it on the retina? Trying to find it for my MBPR.
"Generic RGB Profile" is what I use. "Color LCD" is selected by default on mine (and all the retinas in the stores I've visited).

The Generic RGB Profile is more vibrant..
 

brdeveloper

macrumors 68030
Apr 21, 2010
2,547
200
Brasil
The thing that annoys me are the poooor viewing angles on the 2015 Air. My late-2009 Macbook looks better in this sense. The default "Color LCD" profile seems fine to me, since it's low contrast and best for most uses.

The custom profile linked above increases contrast and saturation, which make text look crisper and UI elements emphasized. But it's not good for image editing (grays become black too early) and watching videos (every movie get a "noir" feel).
 

John marts

macrumors member
Sep 20, 2014
79
3
I did this and thought it looked much worse. high contrast and saturation is only good for contrasting colors and colors that pop out. Anything in between gets lost. I'd rather see all of the details VS the stuff that pops. It reminded me of a poorly edited instagram picture.
 

z31fanatic

macrumors 6502a
Mar 7, 2015
867
325
Mukilteo, WA USA
Yeah, I too tried that custom profile and it was worse than the poor stock calibration. Videos became unwatchable with that custom profile so I switched back to the default setting.
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,428
150
Yeah, I too tried that custom profile and it was worse than the poor stock calibration. Videos became unwatchable with that custom profile so I switched back to the default setting.
To be clear, the process of calibrating a monitor requires a color meter, which is a special kind of device that usually costs hundreds of dollars. Alternatively you can also use color swatches designed for the purpose, and it's not unusual for these swatches to cost over a hundred dollars.

If somebody isn't using professional tools like this, I have very little confidence that he is actually increasing the accuracy of his display.
 

chrisrosemusic1

macrumors 6502a
Jan 31, 2012
693
21
Northamptonshire, England
This may be old news to some, but I'm sure there are a ton of people who unaware. Also can't edit the title it should be "sharper" lol :)

As a owner of a MBA and a MBPR i know the difference between screens fairly well. I am also used to TN panels from my gaming rig monitors, being they are the only type of monitors that offer low input lag and response time. IPS panels are not good for that.

Anyway, i often see people say the MBA screen is SOOOO BAD. And while yes its not the "retina" you can make the screen A HELL of a lot better. To me its not the grainer text that bothers me, its the contrast & color reproduction. But there are TONS of TV's on the market they actually aren't full blown IPS but can still give you a great picture if "calibrated" correctly.

Follow this link and if you happen to have the LG panel which comes shipped quite washed out, this will give you a NIGHT & DAY difference. It literally made my 2015 MBA look like i had the panel replaced with a better one lol. I see a lot of people return their MBA because it comes a tad yellow out of the box in exchange for another, playing the display lottery. When in reality, it could just not be calibrated from the factory.

Mine came a tad washed out out of the box but with this custom color profile it made a unbelievable difference. I wish i could show the difference but i doubt a screen shot wouldn't work


Apple does have its built in calibration, but it kinda sucks. While i never had to calibrate my MBPR, after downloading this custom color profile for my 2015 MBA, its unreal the difference it made for "color & contrast" reproduction. Give it a try. Going back to the old stock setting via display, made it look like there was a haze on the screen, as in washed out. I would love to see some peoples results.

It also boils down to "taste" some people prefer a warm natural color, others a more cool neutral.


http://theultralinx.com/2013/03/macbook-air-hack-screen/
Thanks, bit cooler colours wise but a lot better none the less. Much appreciated, Sir.
 

loby

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2010
975
675
Seem to work good with my MacBook Air 2013 as well. Decent screen on the Air, but when I compare it with my iPad I can notice differences in grey colors. Best thing to go is NOT compare Retina with the Air screen. Apple calibrated their website to the retina so non-retina screens look bad to make us buy new systems, including calibration of OS X Yosemite.
 

SmOgER

macrumors 6502a
Jun 2, 2014
658
36
Actually when you mentioned it, they DO have some minor text smoothening/rendering problems on their website lol
https://www.apple.com/watch/

the text where it says "See all models" etc. it's all jagged and certainly not because of the display.



Retina in theory can hide these issues and make them look like they are supposed to on non-retina displays in the first place.
 
Last edited:

jido

macrumors regular
Oct 11, 2010
125
2
To be clear, the process of calibrating a monitor requires a color meter, which is a special kind of device that usually costs hundreds of dollars. Alternatively you can also use color swatches designed for the purpose, and it's not unusual for these swatches to cost over a hundred dollars.

If somebody isn't using professional tools like this, I have very little confidence that he is actually increasing the accuracy of his display.
Dunno, I find the built-in colour calibration utility useful. After using it it does seem to improve colour fidelity.
 

RKID35

macrumors newbie
Mar 26, 2017
3
0
This may be old news to some, but I'm sure there are a ton of people who unaware. Also can't edit the title it should be "sharper" lol :)

As a owner of a MBA and a MBPR i know the difference between screens fairly well. I am also used to TN panels from my gaming rig monitors, being they are the only type of monitors that offer low input lag and response time. IPS panels are not good for that.

Anyway, i often see people say the MBA screen is SOOOO BAD. And while yes its not the "retina" you can make the screen A HELL of a lot better. To me its not the grainer text that bothers me, its the contrast & color reproduction. But there are TONS of TV's on the market they actually aren't full blown IPS but can still give you a great picture if "calibrated" correctly.

Follow this link and if you happen to have the LG panel which comes shipped quite washed out, this will give you a NIGHT & DAY difference. It literally made my 2015 MBA look like i had the panel replaced with a better one lol. I see a lot of people return their MBA because it comes a tad yellow out of the box in exchange for another, playing the display lottery. When in reality, it could just not be calibrated from the factory.

Mine came a tad washed out out of the box but with this custom color profile it made a unbelievable difference. I wish i could show the difference but i doubt a screen shot wouldn't work


Apple does have its built in calibration, but it kinda sucks. While i never had to calibrate my MBPR, after downloading this custom color profile for my 2015 MBA, its unreal the difference it made for "color & contrast" reproduction. Give it a try. Going back to the old stock setting via display, made it look like there was a haze on the screen, as in washed out. I would love to see some peoples results.

It also boils down to "taste" some people prefer a warm natural color, others a more cool neutral.


http://theultralinx.com/2013/03/macbook-air-hack-screen/


Hello everyone! The link to the custom profile on the ultralinx website is no longer active. Does anyone know where I can find an active link? Been looking everywhere! Thanks in advance.
 

Johnny365

macrumors 6502a
Nov 30, 2015
746
332
I noticed a shift in colors (checking on a color wheel image search on Google) but beyond that, nothing major.
 
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