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Old 06-11-2007, 07:11 AM   #1
ktinkel
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Default 15" MacBook Pro/LED review

Macintouch has a detailed review by Robert Mohns of the new LED version of the 15-inch MacBook Pro. It seems to cover everything, and ends up a long list of pros and a few cons.

There are quite a few advantages to the LED display beyond the lack of mercury — more stability, for one thing. Greater durability, for another.

One of the topics is 18 vs 24-bit color (many laptops, including the MacBook, have 18-bit, which means there is some dithering). Besides comments on this, there are links to a site where you can check your own monitor, which is amusing if nothing else.

He also explains the difference between glossy and matte displays — the former has darker blacks and more saturated color, and it is recommended for games and other entertainment. For calibration, the matte (which is like the current Apple LCD monitors) is preferable.

Really a good read.

   
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Old 06-13-2007, 10:59 AM   #2
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KT, you frightened me there for a minute.

The new laptop doesn't have an LED screen--it just uses LEDs instead of a fluorescent tube for the backlight.

Interesting idea, just nowhere near as radical.<G>

Also a small note about 18-vs-24-bit color, IIRC Google Earth requires 24-bit color for full functionality, at least on the Wintel side. I notice most digital camera reviews also ignore the bit depth for color...such a shame, when it can bring so much more snap to an image when they exceed the old limits.
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Old 06-13-2007, 11:38 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by groucho View Post
KT, you frightened me there for a minute.

The new laptop doesn't have an LED screen--it just uses LEDs instead of a fluorescent tube for the backlight.
We had already discussed what it was in other threads; yes, it is used as backlighting.

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Also a small note about 18-vs-24-bit color, IIRC Google Earth requires 24-bit color for full functionality, at least on the Wintel side. I notice most digital camera reviews also ignore the bit depth for color...such a shame, when it can bring so much more snap to an image when they exceed the old limits.
That is interesting. I wonder what the maps look like on an LED-backlit laptop, then — as those most often offer 18-bit color.

   
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Old 06-13-2007, 01:08 PM   #4
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Apparently there's a crippled version for lesser displays.

"LED-backlit laptop" The backlight technology makes no difference, it could be candles. Won't matter.
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Old 06-13-2007, 02:09 PM   #5
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'Groucho':

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The backlight technology makes no difference
It makes a considerably difference to the colour range, because there are more limitations on the output of luminescent devices. The greater dynamic range of LEDs will also make a difference.

I don't think dispensing with mercury will make all that difference in how old lighting devices are disposed of: one of the elements used for LEDs is arsenic (though that was reckoned to be good for the complexion).

   
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Old 06-13-2007, 02:46 PM   #6
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Michael-
To say that LEDs are a problem because of their color range, is to say that they are substantially the same as fluorescent tubes. Fluorescent tubes also have a problem because of the "color" of the tube, which is not a matter of the base technology but rather a matter of how clever someone has been about getting a rich phosphor mix in them to supply a suitable color blend.

Since one way of making "white" LEDs (there are multiple technologies) is to use phosphors in front of a UV-LED, one could in theory use the exact same phosphors that fluorescent lamps use, and get the exact same spectra from either technology.

Whether they will or not, makes no difference to the user as long as they have taken adequate steps to get the right colors on the screen. I don't care how the cat is skinned--I just want to know if it is being served for dinner.

And as I think of it...the Google Earth problem is that they want 32-bit video, not just 24 bit, for the full monty. So I guess even a 24-bit video driver will be problematic for some purposes. (I know, 32 bit is really 24 bit in a wrapper, but apparently the difference sometimes matters.)
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Old 06-13-2007, 03:18 PM   #7
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'Groucho':

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Since one way of making "white" LEDs (there are multiple technologies) is to use phosphors in front of a UV-LED, one could in theory use the exact same phosphors that fluorescent lamps use, and get the exact same spectra from either technology
I don't think white LEDs are of much interest for TV or computer monitors: each LED emits red, blue, or green light, doesn't it? I don't know anything about the spectral distribution of the light from a LED, but they are said to be less problematic than re-emitted light-producers (for one thing, their spectral distribution is less dependent on temperature).

The interesting thing is that Apple should be introducing LED-backlighting when NEC and Samsung have so far only produced LED-backlit screens costing several thousand dollars.

   
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Old 06-13-2007, 03:33 PM   #8
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"I don't think white LEDs are of much interest for TV or computer monitors: each LED emits red, blue, or green light, doesn't it?"

You're confusing two different LED applications. Using clusters of r+g+b LEDs for displays like a "jumbotron" is one thing. Using WHITE LED's to backlight an LCD screen--as Apple is going--is something entirely different.

Apple is not releasing an LED screen. They are just using white LEDs as a white backlight, for a conventional LCD screen.
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:28 AM   #9
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'Groucho':

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Apple is not releasing an LED screen. They are just using white LEDs as a white backlight, for a conventional LCD screen
If Apple is simply using white LEDs as sources for ordinary devices (filters etc.), then that would explain how it's managing to keep the price down: 'conventional' LED/LCD is generally understood to be a highly desirable but very expensive way of making monitors. Obviously you're much more accustomed to interpreting Apple's announcements than I am!

   
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:31 AM   #10
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"Obviously you're much more accustomed to interpreting Apple's announcements than I am!" Thank you, but it was simply the result of a random Highly Caffienated Moment so I picked up on the word "backlighted" stuck in there.

Heck, now that they'll dual-boot into NT, even I am forced to glance at Apple products from time to time.<G>
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