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

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by vanimal, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. vanimal, Apr 24, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015

    vanimal macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2014
    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.

  2. ron7624 macrumors 68020


    Oct 14, 2011
    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.
  3. SSD-GUY macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2012
    London, UK
    This worked wonders for me on my old 2011 13" Air back in the day! Good find OP.
  4. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2014
    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.
  5. vanimal, Apr 26, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015

    vanimal thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2014
    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.
  6. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2014
    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.
  7. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2015
    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.
  8. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Jan 24, 2013
    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..
  9. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2015
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    Thanks. I will give it a try and report back. Hopefully it will get it to look tolerable because otherwise it's a great machine.
  10. Jacoblee23 macrumors 65816

    Nov 10, 2011
    Which one is it on the retina? Trying to find it for my MBPR.
  11. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Jan 24, 2013
    "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..
  12. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    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).
  13. John marts macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2014
    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.
  14. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2015
    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.
  15. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
  16. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    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.
  17. chrisrosemusic1 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2012
    Northamptonshire, England
    Thanks, bit cooler colours wise but a lot better none the less. Much appreciated, Sir.
  18. loby macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2010
    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.
  19. SmOgER, May 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 5, 2015

    SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2014
    Actually when you mentioned it, they DO have some minor text smoothening/rendering problems on their website lol

    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.
  20. jido macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2010
    Dunno, I find the built-in colour calibration utility useful. After using it it does seem to improve colour fidelity.
  21. RKID35 macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2017

    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.
  22. RKID35 macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2017
  23. Johnny365 macrumors 6502a


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

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