Review and display complaints with Apple Macbook Core Duo 2

Here’s my review of a brand spanking new MacBook 2.4Ghz Core Duo 2 with 2GB memory, 160GB HDD, and Superdrive. Overall I’m very happy with the size, weight, craftmanship, OS, and performance. I’m comparing it to a 3+ year old PowerBook running the PowerPC 1.67Ghz chip. This machine blows that machine out of the water in every way but one. The display.

Now, to be fair the MacBook display doesn’t look all that bad to me when you’re just using it as a laptop and viewing the built-in 13″ screen. It’s not great, but not something I’d complain about. Hook up your MacBook to an external display though and you’re in for a very nasty surprise. It looks so bad running on my 22″ Samsung SyncMaster 225BW and my Sony 17″ LCD that I’m considering taking my new MacBook back and exchanging it for either the MacBook Pro or the 20″ iMac for $200 more (my MacBook cost $1,299, the base iMac is $1,499 and the base MacBook Pro is $1,999).

What I see on my external display is extremely bad pixelation of graphic images such as photos on iPhoto or on web pages (logos, fonts, images, etc.). It’s like seeing a highly optimized jpg file from a 1999 bannner ad gone wrong. Here are some example high resolution pictures of the display’s dithering problems I found on Apple’s forum. Here’s the forum thread where people are reporting all sorts of unexpected problems with build quality (inconsistency) poor display quality and pixelation like I talk about.

Frankly, I’m stunned that Apple has botched the implementation of the Intel GMA X3100 graphics processor with 144MB of DDR2 SDRAM so badly. You don’t read about these problem with other Wintel Machines with the same video card.

Formats available: Quicktime (.mov)

5 Replies to “Review and display complaints with Apple Macbook Core Duo 2”

  1. Hey, Thanks for the video post! I just bought the exact MB you spoke of. I had to exchange it due to very bad video/screen issues. When booting up I would get intermittent white lines on a black screen, then it would show the normal screen. After more time, it would just go black out of nowhere. The new one is working perfect so far. The screen looks pretty good to me and I’m a photographer. I don’t do critical adjustments on this, but I believe that I could do some.

    I have noticed some posts online about the wireless cutting out. I have tested this on two different Linksys systems at home and work and have had zero problems. I even removed one of the antennas and it still worked fine. So far, I’m very happy, but I can’t say for sure until 6-12 months.

    BTW, there are some stores with a $150.00 rebate on these.

  2. HI Julian,

    finnaly scrape enough money to buy my first mac laptop last xmas. macbook pro 2gb or ram 2.2 intel core 2 duo processor 15 inch wide screen glossy. I love this machine !!! I got it with logic pro to record and it works great. My only negative comment is that I dont think they have done anything about the heat issue or the fan(still very loud)…but greta machine non the less

    on a side note do you recommend the samsumg synchmaster monitor. I’m about to buy the model 24934M 499 24″lcd …any thougts?


  3. i bought four macs and two of them no longer connect to the home network. apple has no answer. i regret buying these inferior laptops. my husband’s dell has the best customer service because they will fix it immediately as soon as there is a problem. with apple, you spend hours on the phone and have to ship it off for weeks with the hope they will fix it.

  4. sorry really wanted to post somewhere:

    Apple removed your post on Apple Discussions titled "Re: MacBook Pro Battery Question…" because it contained the following:

    Rude or inappropriate language
    Non-constructive rants or complaints

    We are including a copy of your post at the end of this email for your reference.

    Our terms of use, which include helpful information about using Apple Discussions, is located here: We encourage you to continue using the Apple Discussions while abiding by our terms of use.

    If you would like to send feedback to Apple about a product, please use the appropriate selection here:
    As part of submitting feedback, please read the Unsolicited Idea Submission Policy linked to the feedback page.

    Kind regards,
    Apple Discussions staff


    A copy of your message for reference:

    I would just like to say that I think the batteries Apple provide are @£$% &**£. My Macbook Pro battery of 2 years died, would shutdown if power cable came out, so I bought a new battery for £85!!!! Now my girlfriends Macbook (not pro) 2 years old is also shutting down when power cable comes out. AND my brothers Macbook Pro (3years old) has the same problem!!!!!!

    BASICALLY YOUR SCREWED. Apple do not provide warranty cover for batteries. SO 3 Macbooks all under 5years of age all need / have had new batteries. HOPEFULLY my new mackbook pro will last longer. PLEASE. I DON'T WANT MICRO$OFT BULL$HIT.

    My insight to the unfair Mac battery problem.

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