Friday, May 18, 2007

Apple’s 6-bit Displays


Apple’s using displays that are literally dithering some colors for you.

From early day one—literally seconds after the setup assistant had turned over control to the regular Mac OS X, I noticed that the gradient in the menu bar was…notchy. One color did not turn into the other like on any other display. There was banding. Gradients of all sorts looked weird, and I was able to bring up colors in the color panel—light grey colors are perfect for showing it off—that in fact looked like a chess field with two alternating colors.

I noticed the graininess of my MacBook Pro’s screen the first time I turned it on. I thought it might be defective but confirmed that other MacBooks and MBPs also looked that way, so I figured that was just the way newer notebook displays were. Even with the graininess, I much prefer it to the PowerBook’s display, due to the increased brightness. But I agree that Apple shouldn’t get away with this.

It’s normal for batteries to expire if you suck at maintaining them—on the other hand, Apple were advertising that the screens can display millions of colors, and they can’t.

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After some investigation, this might not be Apple's fault entirely -- although they still retain some culpability.

My findings can be found here.

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