White vs. RGB LED screens...oh boy.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by benpatient, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    So one of my coworkers got a new Dell with one of their 1080p "RGB LED" backlit screens.

    It is flat-out beautiful. Bright, huge gamut, and razor sharp.

    I thought it was just from being in a sea of crappy cheap LCDs in our office that made it stand out so much, so we went over to best buy and brought it in and compared it to the unibody MBPs.

    Keep in mind that this dell fully loaded is still cheaper than the cheapest MBP.

    The screen of the MBP looked positively WEAK in direct comparison. I set both of the screens to Adobe RGB profile just to "match" them, thinking that the calibration might be why the MBP looks so flat, washed out, and dare I say it...yellow.

    I don't know how they got RGB LEDs into a (relatively) cheap laptop, but they did, and Apple is going to have to do a mid-product refresh or they are going to lose some photographers here. I have a working hackintosh at home, but I don't really use it because it isn't a laptop and I have a perfectly good Mac laptop. The screen has always been one of Apple's best assets when it comes to laptop quality.

    i can't help but wonder why they didn't go for the RGB LED backlighting, when surely it was available if Dell already has several products to market with this screen. My co-worker said it was a 200 dollar upgrade to go from the standard CFFL backlight (at 720p) to RGB LED (at 1080p). That's a no-brainer upgrade, let me tell you.

    It's like seeing HD for the first time. Or wearing contact lenses for the first time after a life of being unaware of your vision impairment.

    OK, I will stop now.

    Seriously impressed with that screen. WANT.
  2. PeterQC macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2008
    Just a question, did you calibrate (by hand or by an hardware tool, not just switching to another profile) your MacBook screen? Or do you just use the default screen profile?
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Nice. I hope Apple starts using better screens as well. Why not, right?
  4. eldy macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2009
    The City
  5. cathyy macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2008
  6. mcpryon2 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2008
    Yeah, the Studio XPS 16's RGBLED display really is stunning. I have to say I was pretty impressed when I first saw it.
  7. MVApple macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2008
    I'm surprised you said that the MBP screen looked yellow. To me the unibody has amazingly bright whites. By the way the RGB color profile on the MBP looks like crap. I hope you didn't compare the RGB dell screen to a MBP set to an RGB color profile.

    Anyways, the RGB LED screens are very nice, but I hear they have some problems of their own. I really like the screen on the MBP, but an RGB screen would be better. I'd have to see the dell screen myself to see how much I did or did not like it, but one of the things I really like about the unibody MBP is that the glass screen gives images a very clear look. Several laptops have an odd film that adds a graininess to the screen.
  8. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
  9. barkmonster macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2001
    Could you install OS X on the system and then do a comparison?

    I was under the impression that the standard colour space of windows is sRGB so the difference could be even more substantial under OS X.
  10. darrenscerri macrumors regular


    Nov 15, 2007
    My MBP has some very good whites. I can't imagine and never seen a colour whiter than the white displayed on my MBP. But the only monitor with which I can compare my MBP's screen is a Samsung SyncMaster 940BW, which isn't quite a good monitor!

    Make sure you are comparing the MBP at maximum brightness as it really helps in the quality of the whites.
  11. mcpryon2 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2008
    Right now it's pretty much impossible to put OSX on the 16, it's too bad.
  12. benpatient thread starter macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    Don't have any photos, sorry!

    We had to take a bit of an "extended" lunch break to get to the store the first time. I don't exactly have a free supply of "extended" lunch breaks, if you know what I mean.

    Anyway, they were not calibrated with a calibration tool, of course.

    All that would show you is how well they calibrate, anyway. This was done with native white point and the color profile set to "adobe RGB" which is considerably wider than sRGB, but within the range of both displays (supposedly). Brightness was set to 90% for both displays.

    It seemed like a fair comparison point.

    For anyone who knows anything about calibrating a monitor, you'd know that running a standard calibration would actually make the monitors look less impressive by limiting their effective gamut and brightness.

    Monitor calibration is all about getting as close to a particular color/brightness/contrast delta as possible. Typically the target points are done with print design or web design in mind. Calibrating for either of those applications would be a good comparison for color accuracy, especially in print, but not really relevant to this purpose.

    Having read what I've read about RGB LED displays, I'm quite confident that that display will dial in more accurately than a white LED-backlit display.

    I'm typing this on a mac pro with a NEC 2070NX calibrated monthly by an EF-1000, since I'm sure a few "you don't know how to calibrate monitors" comments are waiting in the wings.


    Maybe the new apple netbooks will be RGB LED backlit...

  13. benpatient thread starter macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    OH, and just so you can have a reference point for a color "whiter" than your MBP....look at the sun.
  14. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Yet in the "dust in screen" thread you say you love them for their color accuracy. Its either a crappy TN panel or a color accurate panel. Can't have it both ways.

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