Which screen is better, 13" MBA or 15" MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by xkmxkmxlmx, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. xkmxkmxlmx, Aug 25, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011

    xkmxkmxlmx macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2011
    What are the differences of the MBA and MBP 13 inch screens, if any?

    What about the hi-res 15" MBP?
  2. NutsNGum, Aug 25, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011

    NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    One is covered in glass, the other isn't.

    One has a high-resolution for it's size, the other doesn't.

    The 15 inch MacBook Pro screen is more or less the same as the 13 macbook pro in terms of quality, although the 15 hi-res will have a higher pixel density and appear sharper.

    All are TN screens and suffer from colour degradation at certain viewing angles.

    To me the glossy models look better, but it's fairly subjective, and I don't do any print work, so it's more or less irrelevant to me.
  3. No-Me macrumors 6502a

    Jul 3, 2011
    13" MBA has a way better resolution than the 13" MBP.
    in terms of quality the 13" MBP is probably slightly better.

    I'm in design, love the glass display, but hate the weight of the 13" MBP.
  4. karlth macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2010
    I prefer less glossy displays, due to glare, so I think the 13" MBA screen is better than the standard 15" MBP display. It is less glossy.

    On the other hand the matte high res display that you can optionally purchase with the 15" MBP is the best display I've ever seen.
  5. superego macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2009
    MBA vs. MBP 13" displays
    - MBA has better resolution (significant advantage)
    - MBP has better colours (colour gamut to be more specific)
    - MBP might have slightly better viewing angles
    - MBP is extremely glossy, because it has a glossy display AND a glass in front of the display which causes horrible glare. MBA has a glossy display too, but it's much less distracting, because there's no glass.

    MBP 15" hi-res matte
    - Clearly the best display of the lot, as it has all the upsides: good resolution, good colours and a non-reflective matte display.
  6. ihji macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2011
    Except resolution, MBP 13" screen is better than MBA screen.
    And hi-res matte 15" screen is better than MBP 13" screen.

    Hi-res matte 15" is the best TN screen I've ever seen.
  7. OSMac macrumors 65816

    Jun 14, 2010
    15" by far, it has better color reproduction and range when using color managed apps, larger viewing angle, and larger easier to read fonts.

    high dpi is over rated unless you can scale the ui and with lion you can not.
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    In terms of screen quality, here's what I can say:

    15" MBP high-res matte screen > 13" MBA screen > 13" MBP screen.
  9. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    The thread specifically asked about the 15" MBP.
  10. superego macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2009
    Yes, and in the first post the op asks the following:

    "What are the differences of the MBA and MBP 13 inch screens, if any?

    What about the hi-res 15" MBP?"
  11. surjavarman macrumors 6502a

    Nov 24, 2007
    Can people stop spreading false myths. It's starting to getting annoying and its just not true.

    First of all the the MBP13 is using different panels from different manufacturers. They all have different color gamuts!

    Second my panel from samsung actually has a crap color gamut thats way below average. It's something like 70%. I believe any panel that the MBA's are using would blow this out of the water in terms of color gamut alone. Let's not even start about the resolution. People are easily deceived by the glossy screen covered by glass that camouflage all the defects.

    Third I doubt you would notice the difference in color reproduction in any panel of any macbook anyway. Differences are so small that it becomes a matter of preferences. Only IPS is noticeably better.

    So yeah I want this false information to stop because its just not true.
  12. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    We have a 15" (samsung) AG HR, a 13" (samsung) Air, and a 11" LG in our house.

    Now, the 11" is actually the best as it's resolution is the highest (I believe ) which makes it more sharp IMO.

    Next up is the 15" (very nice). Then the 13.

    But really, they are all so close as it would be accurate to say that there is no difference at all. They all are equally bright and look almost identical in their qualities. You just have to calibrate them to your liking.

    (note: the 13,11" LG/Samsung difference is also non-existent)
  13. JasonR macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2008
    The 15" MBP should have a better screen than any of the airs. However, I cannot stand the ultra glossy laptop displays (but I do like the iMacs and Cinema Displays). I find the ultra glossy notebook displays unusable in an outdoor environment or any really well lit environment. Others don't mind it.

    I agree with the posts about the hi-resolution Macbook Pro 15" screen being Apple's best notebook display.
  14. stevey69 macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2009
    the 15" MBP screen (1440x900) beats the 13" MBA screen. i have them both and i just recently returned a MBA for a mbp 15" because of the beautiful screen. the 13" MBA screen looks/feels cheap... it felt like someone took the life out of the screen. the 15" mbp screen... no high-res screen... is ALIVE... colors more vibrant... and i don't get a headache( true story) . watch a 1080p vid on both the screens at a apple store... you will see how much more crisp the 15"MBP screen is... i don't even have the high-res screen for the MBP however, i don't even regret it because I'm so glad that its million times better than my MBA screen. seriously... apple messed up.
  15. JasonR macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2008
    Meh I think Apple screwed up offering crappy resolutions on the 13" Macbook Pro and based model 15" MBP.
  16. stevey69 macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2009
    the resolution on 13 pro is garbage i agree.. but the 15" inch screen has the same resolution as MbA 13" however the 15 looks alive and more vibrant than the 13" . one of the reasons why i chose to sacrifice portability over productivity.
  17. xkmxkmxlmx thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2011
    All interesting debates. There is a similar thread going on in the MBP forum.

    A good amount of MBA forum says the MBA has the better or is matched.

    Most of the MBP guys say the MBP.

    Hmmm... :p
  18. richpjr macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
  19. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    If you ask me, all MacBooks (Pros and Airs) have better than above screen by notebook standard, but crummy by external display standard. That has more to do with TN than anything, but I am often struck by how much better iPad and external IPS LCD looks compared to my MacBook Pro (15-inch antiglare high-res).
  20. Napolke macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2011
    MBP has a perfect screen, MBA has faulty screen (gradient at the bottom)
  21. lcseds macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2006
    NC, USA

    Oh god this is old. Anyone that may not be aware, ignore this user.
  22. Titanium81 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2011

    The MacBook Pro's screen is definitely a lot better than the MacBook Air's.

    Yes the MacBook Air's have High Resolution Screens, but they don't come near the Display Quality or Color Gamut that the MacBook Pro's have.

    Hints the name "Air" light portable that gets the job done. "Pro" for professionals that need more color accuracy and better over all display quality.
  23. jsolares macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2011
    Land of eternal Spring
    He's not wrong tho, probably his least inflammatory post on the matter too XD, most if not all have that gradient, but if you need great color reproduction even if it didn't have the gradient you wouldn't want the display in the air.
  24. misterneums macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2009
    +1. He's already locked many a thread. As a rule of thumb, most people believe the MBP's have better color gamut than the airs.

    I love my air--can't complain about it at all.
  25. Titanium81 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2011
    Yes the Air's are awesome, I was playing with one today at the Apple Store.

    They are great for their purpose (being a very quick ultra portable for everyday tasks), people should not compare an Air to a Pro or vice versa.

    They are two very different machines for different types of work.

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