Buyer Beware: 13.3" MacBook Pro can't show "millions of colors"
7/7/2009 by: Theo Valich
Recently, we heard a case from Louie Mantia, an icon and interface designer from North Carolina and his unfortunate experience with the 13" MacBook Pro. According to Louie, he claims that Apple misleads the market with a false statement on their website, claiming that all MacBook Pros are the same.
According to his story, he decided to sell a 17" MacBook Pro and purchase a brand new 13.3" MacBook Pro sporting nVidia GeForce 9400 graphics, more memory etc. Things started to go awry when sales staff had no idea whether 13.3" MacBook Pro has the same 6-bit screen as the regular 13.3" MacBook or a "professional", 8-bit spec. Long story short, he was lead to believe that the screen was "upgraded from the 13" MacBook screen, it had a "wider color gamut" so... it must have been?"
Unfortunately for him, after purchasing the wrong DVI adapter [as advised by Apple Store crew], Louie found out that the screen is 6-bit, capable of displaying only 262,144 colors. Just like other notebook makers, they can "cheat" their way of claiming "displaying millions of colors" through dithering, but if you're a designer or working a job which requires you to be precise with colors - you're as good as gone.
Apple MacBook Pro line-up - the difference in spec isn't there, even though one comes with 6-bit, two come with 8-bit panels.
Can you say, "misleading"?
Louie continued the story with his experiences with Apple Engineering, Customer Relations and all-in-all, he was promised a free dual-link DVI adapter [to sort out the store SNAFU] and a refund on the 13.3" MacBook Pro, paying for an upgrade to a 15.4" or a 17" one. The way how Apple dealt with the issue was very interesting, with statements varying from "We are not able to provide this information to you." to "You’ve exhausted all your resources at this point."
When it comes to MacBook Pros at BSN* we exclusively use 15.4" MBPs and their 8-bit panels. By default, we hadn't thought that a 13.3" MacBook Pro would be any different.
But when it comes to Apple, it's not the first time that the company is playing tricks on its customers. The only thing you have is - choice. You can simply choose not to support the company and purchase their products. In a way, it is sad to see Apple becoming a mainstream company and losing quality on different parts, all for the sake of being "more affordable". We know for sure, a 6-bit display is not going to be on our purchase list. Ever.
apple, apple computer, mac, macbook, macbook pro, mbp, 13.3" MBP, misleading advertising, lying, lie, 6-bit, 8-bit, 262,144 colors, 16.7 milion colors, 6-bit panel, 8-bit panel, LCD, LG Philips, LP133WX3-TLA1
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