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Peter Mars Level 1 Level 1 (130 points)
Is anyone else seeing this? My 24" iMac Aluminum screen is a full f-stop dimmer on the right side! I am a photographer and so I took a light meter reading of the screen, with desktop image set to light gray solid background.

I took my trusty light meter to the Apple store and checked 2 more 24" iMacs on display... both had the same problem, but not quite as bad as mine. (see photo below)

Local Apple store manager says that if the iMac screen is not "professional" enough for me, they'll be happy to take it back and sell me a pro unit and separate monitor. I say there is something very wrong with these units. I would not be happy with this machine even just for web browsing, email and casual photos, let alone attempting anything even REMOTELY professional!

I advise anyone reading this to do the same test... set the background desktop image to a "solid color" and evaluate before buying! You don't need a light meter, anyone can see it immediately.

24" iMac Aluminum, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Peter Mars Level 1 Level 1 (130 points)
    The screen photo was illuminated by the monitor only. Room lights off. I used a Kodak easy share digital camera and no photoshop trickery. One f-stop brighter means twice as much light! Hopefully you all can see the difference in the photo as it is quite significant in person.

    I am particularly disturbed by this since the 2 display units at the Apple store showed similar brightness irregularities.
  • Lightz Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    This is scary....I am currently running a custom built pc with windows vista but like all others i hate it and im looking to convert.

    I was planning on getting the 24" model with the 2.8 extreme, 2 gigs of ram, and 320 gig HD.

    After researching the video card and finding that it is more or less a joke if you plan to do any form of gaming....and now the beautiful monitor having issues....i dont know. Altho you can apparently upgrade the graphics card i dont know if i would want to void the warrenty with all these issues.

    Please update us with any info on what could be the cause of your monitors problems.
  • macnation Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    If you need or like the imac form factor over the mac pro - I'd suggest returning the new version and looking for a new (still available) or used white (previous version) 24" 2.16 or 2.33 with the 7600 video card bto option, then adding 4 gigs of RAM yes the machines take 4- it 's a far superior screen to the new version with edge to edge sharpness and no banding minimal shift and the performance difference is negligible- The previous version is a better machine for professionals. I have junior designers and art directors using the 24" white with good calibration and results. We won't even consider the new imac until the junky screen issues are resolved.
  • Peter Mars Level 1 Level 1 (130 points)
    I will be returning it tomorrow for sure. I should have gotten the Mac Pro system in the first place. I understand that Dell makes a 24" monitor that compares favorably with the Apple but for a much better price. Wondering if I should try that monitor or go for broke (litterally) with the Apple?
  • ralph.s Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    same problem here. My 24 imac was half stop darker at the right, also an uneven white balance (left white right more yelloish). I called Apple care, im getting now a replacement Imac. I hope the next one is better.
  • Peter Mars Level 1 Level 1 (130 points)
    Previously: Monitor brightness ranges from light to dark, and blue to yellowish (in a left to right scenario) The glossy screen and glare situation is not an issue to me, and actually is a nice change. Problem isinaccurate calibration due to the above brightness and color shifting across the monitor.

    Update: Monday afternoon - I spent most of the morning at a second Apple store looking at and checking the brightness shift on the new 24" iMac screens. That makes 6 display models (3 each at 2 different stores) All show the same defect. Left side is noticably brighter than the right side. (desktop image set to solid, gray... the default blue swirls mask the defect)

    I demonstrated this to several Apple store employees in each store... their reactions ranged from shock to "Oh well, it's a consumer model, most people won't notice... buy a mac pro tower" Wrong answer Johnny!

    This model must have been cobbled together from production leftovers or surplus panels the manufacturer had laying around... why would Apple release such trash? This really ****** me off! I have been a loyal Apple supporter for 17 years and am personally on my 10th system purchase.

    The last time I can remember such an obvious screw up was with the release of the Power PC 7200, and believe me, that was a nightmare of epic proportion!

    Steve Jobs.... the buck stops with you buddy... time to wake up!

    Conclusion: I am returning this &^@$^% computer and I will wait until the bugs are worked out or another model is offered up.... I advise all who read this to do the same (unless you don't notice or care)!

    Oh.... the Apple store manager where I purchased this has graciously agreed to waive the "Restocking Fee" should I decide to return it... isn't that special!
  • Peter Mars Level 1 Level 1 (130 points)
    Another update: I'm writing this at 10:00 pm, after another full day of experimenting, driving to 2 Apple stores, endless tweaking, researching of Apple forums and numerous review sites, color adjustment and troubleshooting sites etc... I have discovered something very interesting.

    Out of the box, the 24" iMac comes with a pre-made monitor profile that may very well be the cause of most of the brightness/color issue.

    I have found that turning the "brightness" (in the displays control panel) back up to full and then creating a new profile, which helps compensate for the increased brightness, actually improves the color/brightness issue substantially.

    I believe that by turning down the brightness slider, the color/brightness issue is aggravated somehow. Perhaps the brightness slider actually controls the bulb illumination, while the profile controls the "Liquid Crystal" layer. Full brightness evens out the bulbs, while the profile lowers the brightness and corrects the color!??

    Anyway... Someone please try this and let me know if you get similar results. The irregular color and brightness issues are much less noticable!

    I used 6200K for white point... Gamma at 2.0 (uncheck "use native gamma" and uncheck "use native white point")

    Practice with the Calibrator makes perfect, it's not that difficult. Don't make a bunch of profiles, just keep re-doing the same one until you feel comfortable that you've got the color tweaks right.
  • Moon_Dust Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I noticed the same "problem". I also noticed that the problem is bad at a cold startup. When the imac is on for some moments the problem almost dissapears.
    Tweaking with the profiles helped a lot with me.

    There is only a small difference in collor temp. between the left and right.
  • Fred Williams1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Alas, same problem here with a refurb. white 24" 2.16. In addition, I couldn't drop the brightness down enough to properly calibrate the display with a G/M i1 colorimeter. Also I saw a very slight yellowish tint in the lower central part of the screen on my solid mid-grey desktop. The unit went back and I'm awaiting a replacement of the same model. I fear we see the problem because we choose to use a solid grey desktop. Regretfully, I have a 20" LCD G4 iMac with a perfect screen and I know what is possible.
  • mattnedgus Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Apple need shooting. I had noticed this, but I put it down to my viewing angle...

    The viewing angle does have a slight effect, but the difference between centre and edges is still off.

    £1149 and Apple STILL can't get it right. I took back a 20" yesterday and exchanged it for the 24" because of the 20" horizontal gradient issue so I'm looking closer than I might have otherwise, but from what others have said, it supports the things I have been seeing - so I'm not going crazy!!

    Apple should be ashamed of themselves!

    I will consider 'managing' with it - but £1149 would buy me one heck of a computer built myself with Vista - I moved to Apple to try and move away from Microsoft. Oh the irony!
  • apoppe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have this same problem, but all over the screen. It seems to occur after a hour or more of use. The screen will just go from looking great to having lines and various color irregularities. It appears to be a problem with the video card or driver. Anyone find any fixes?

  • edwinsail Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Peter, how do I set a new profile after raising the brightness slider all the way up?
    Brightening it all the way seems to lessen the left-right gradation a bit, but I sure can't operate with that intensity.
    I'm also seeing a yellow cast in the center of the display.
  • mattnedgus Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    What did you do with your iMac in the end? It sounded as though you might still have one (given the day you mentioned you spent testing).

    You mentioned the monitor improved when you altered the gamma etc. I altered this with some slight improvement. I also installed Vista via bootcamp and the gradient looks more 'gradual' and not as sharp as in Mac OS X originally, although it's still there - I guess because of the location of the backglights.

    I'm interested to know what you did decide to do in the end since this is my first Mac (after swapping it from a week-old 20"). I'm trying to convince myself to keep it - I really don't want to have to rely on windows - but from what I've read, I keep thinking that for the money, we didn't ought to be trying to convnice ourselves (myself )


  • rainydays357 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    I had the same issue and returned it the next day. Still waiting for my replacement to ship.

    It doesn't seem like all the new iMacs has this problem, I think the amount of reports would have been more if that was the case. I wonder if this issue is just on a certain batch of iMacs produced at over a certain time. Could all the people who has this problem post when it was bought/shipped/delivered?

    It's probably true that most people won't notice it or perhaps just accept it. But it's quite arrogant to just assume that "consumers" won't have a problem with it, and if it bothers you then you should get a Mac Pro.

    I like many others will use the iMac professionally, and I much more prefer the form factor of the iMac compared to a tower/display setup. And I can't really justify the cost of a Mac Pro since the iMac is fast enough for me.
    I sure hope that Apple just got a bad batch of panels and that they haven't intentionally bought defective panels to cut down the costs. If they have, I would much rather pay the $100-200 extra to get a good screen.
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