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Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch 2015

 


15-inch Retina screen review of the 2012/2015 Apple MacBook Pro
Published on July 15, 2017 / Updated on December 01, 2018

 

The laptop screens, even Apple, have a bad reputation. Basically, and to make a long story short, they can only be used to empty memory cards and surf the Internet. What if the deal had changed? What if their IPS panels are better than they are supposed to be? Let's check for ourselves by placing the famous i1Display Pro sensor on its pretty Retina panel...

 

For a very long time, even at Apple, laptops used so-called TN panels with a very limited viewing angle. This didn't make him the ideal choice for retouching photos on it. Then Apple started placing IPS panels, and Retina is very high definition, in these MacBook Pro. And then they became much more interesting. Even without knowing what values after calibration we would find, it was clear that we had before us a very beautiful panel... To edit our photos?


 
 

In a few words...

 

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Certainly a bright panel is very flattering in some circumstances (videos, Internet) but can be a brake for photo retouchers... and it's a shame because for the rest, Apple succeeds in placing in its recent MacBook Pro the best panels on the market simply, the level of an Eizo ColorEdge, no less! - Read my conclusion  

 
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Introduction to the Retina display on 15-inch MacBook Pro from 2012 to 2015

In the 2012s, Apple introduced IPS panels (whose angle of vision does not influence the vision of the image) and it was already a revolution in the world of laptops. When they added the high definition called Retina at Apple, it became clear to everyone that these screens could perhaps be used for something other than surfing the Internet. Photo retouching and connected shooting became possible.

   
Apple MacBook Pro 15 inch 2015   2015 Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch Pro Keyboard
Connectivity of the 2015 Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch   Connectique du MacBook Pro 15 pouces Apple de 2015
   
  Technical specifications
  15" MacBook Pro Average price: replaced by the 2018 model
Panel size
15-inch 16:9 - 2880 x 1800 - 220 ppi
 
Display technology
IPS white LED (New glossy panel)
  Uniformity check No
  Gamut 100% sRGB
  Certifications No
 
Brightness/contrast
350 Cd/M2 / 810:1 measured
 
LUT table
8 bits
  Response time -
 
Screen size
11.9 x 8.3 x 0.58 inches
  Border widths 8 mm
  Calibration software No
  Inputs MiniDisplayPort
  VESA compatibility No
  Shading hood No
  Warranty 1 or 3 years with Apple Care - Apple USA
  Company apple.com
 
 

What's in the box...

The screen is sold with:

  • The power cord... of course, even at Apple's!


The bulkiness and perceived quality

The screen has a 15-inch panel and is 13.7 inches wide (the panel is 13 inches wide). The screen has rather thin edges that will promote a multi-screen working environment!

   
Dalle sRVB du MacBook Pro 15 pouces Apple de 2015
   
 

As for the perceived quality, it is superlative, as always with Apple to such an extent that all the world's production is always comparable to Apple!

The 15-inch MacBook Pro display and its Retina panel

1 - Definition/resolution  - Apple Retina panels therefore use IPS technology, which allows the same vision to be displayed regardless of the angle at which it is viewed. This is the opposite of the panels usually found on laptops, which often use TN panels. These panels are also Retina, i. e. high definition in the Apple language. The definition of the 13" is indeed 2560 x 1600 and that of the 15-Inch is 2880 x 1800. This represents 220 ppi, which means that these are values that are only accessible to the 4K universe. The image is therefore particularly pretty and "shaped".

MacBook Pro 15 pouces Apple de 2015

2 - The sRGB gamut - The Retina panel of the MacBook Pro 2012/2015 displays the sRGB gamut. It is a great classic for the time.

3 - The panel and its anti-reflective coating - The Retina panel of the MacBook Pro 2012 / 2015 was a matte panel unlike the last MacBook Pro of 2017. For the photographers, this changed everything!

The connectivity

There were the classic HDMI and other MiniDisplayPorts (Thunderbolt 2.0).

Connectivity of the 2015 Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch MacBook Pro

The ergonomics (see pictures above)

The ergonomics of laptop screens is by definition absent or inappropriate here. As for the screen settings, they can only be made in brightness on the keyboard or in the System Preferences > Monitor. Very light but finally not at all embarrassing.

 

Monitor preferences for the 2015 Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch MacBook Pro

 

 

What is the Retina screen of Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro after calibration with the i1Display Pro worth?

So I calibrated a 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro 2017 with my i1Display Pro sensor. These are the P3 panel models.  

BEFORE CALIBRATING your Apple laptop - It is essential to first disable two display options on your MacBook Pro if you want to properly calibrate your Apple laptop. To do this, go to "System Preferences > Energy Saving" then "System Preferences > Monitors":

  • Disable the energy saving option of lowering the brightness of your screen when you are not connected to the power grid,
  • Disable the "Automatically adjust brightness" option.

 

Monitor preferences for the 2015 Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch MacBook Pro

Uncheck "Adjust brightness automatically" in "System Preferences > Monitors" of your MacBook Pro 2016 or 2017.

 

Économiseur d'énergie du MacBook Pro 15 pouces Apple de 2015

Also uncheck "Darken slightly when the computer screen is running on battery power"... at least for the calibration time if you are not powered at that time.

 

My recommendation! Once the calibration is done, you can still check these options if you want to manage your energy consumption as closely as possible, but at least you will have a correct ICC profile.

I choose the following screen settings:

I calibrated this screen - like all the screens I test - with the best current sensor (except the superlative and very expensive Discus) in an excellent price/quality ratio: the i1Display Pro + logiciel i1Profiler software (version 1.7.2) in order to be able to locate this new screen compared to the screens on the market. You will see that the figures are already barely believable if you remain convinced that Apple panels are only used to look pretty on a desk!

  • Gamut: no choice! (DCI-P3 by default)
  • Gamma: no choice! (2,2 by default)
  • Contrast: no choice!
  • Color temperature: no choice (6500 K by default)

And as target values in i1Profiler 1.7.2 software... 

  • Display technology: Choose white diodes,
  • D65 or possibly a little less if you want a slightly warmer screen. (Note that at D55, the screen is really warm but not yellow like on cheap monitors),
  • Luminance : 100 Cd/m2 or more depending on your main use (printing or web) and especially the brightness of your room,
  • Contrast: Native,
  • Gamma : 2,2 – standard curve,
  • ICC norm: V2  (to avoid incompatibility problems with some image viewing software (images too dark) and obviously V4 if you know what you are doing).
  • ADC Function: enabled
  • Automatic room light control function: disabled.

And the result is?

First subjective impressions after this calibration...

Well, it's a real nice surprise, amazing even for a laptop. This is a very correct screen for any photographer who wants to start some photo retouching on the move or take pictures in connected mode. The combination: IPS panel, matt and Retina works really well, especially by displaying very subtle grayscales and without tone breaks!

Objective data : what does the final report say after calibration?

Before switching to Delta E, it is interesting to note the color temperature values achieved and the contrast of this Retina Apple panel.

 

Rapport final après calibrage du MacBook Pro 15 pouces Apple de 2015 avec l'i1Display Pro

 

My opinion: Achieving a color temperature (CT) of 6469K for 6500K requested is a nice score on a laptop screen! Note - and enjoy! - the 811:1 contrast on a laptop as well. You will therefore not have any contrast problems with this screen even this one does not use state-of-the-art technology.

Now, let's move on to the famous Delta E after calibration according to the 2000 standard which I use for the calibration of all the monitors on this site:

 

Delta E after calibration of the Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch Apple 2015 with the i1Display Pro

 

My opinion! The average Delta E standard 2000 is 0.94 ! and there is hardly anything but a patch at 3.62 that makes this very good average go down quite a bit and as this color is neither a flesh hue nor the blue of the sky so it will only bother very few photographers. Not bad for a laptop screen even if the latest MacBook Pro 2018 do much better.

Now the harmonization tests in luminance and color temperature:

 

Luminance uniformity after calibration of the Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch Apple 2015 with the i1Display Pro

 

Frankly, getting such values on a laptop screen was a nice surprise in 2012. In 2018, this is still quite commonplace and the latest MacBook Pro 2017s are really doing better. We can still continue to work on this screen even if a 15-inch remains very small... but it is another debate that I am addressing on this page dedicated to the 4K...! 

 

Color temperature uniformity after calibration of the Apple MacBook Pro 15 inch 2015 with i1Display Pro

 

The disparities are more marked there and even if it is not necessarily visible to the naked eye, this screen clearly marks the step compared to a good photo retouching screen. There is indeed 250K of gap between the center and the upper right corner. That's a lot.

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  15-inch MacBook Pro Retina from 2012 to 2015  
Color fidelity 7,0/10
Uniformity of the panel 7,0/10
Resolution 10/10
Reflections on the panel 10/10
Ergonomics - -
Connectivity 8,0/10
Manufacturing quality 10/10
Value for money - -
  I like it very much...  
 
  • Matt panel, IPS and Retina on a laptop!
  • Very beautiful grayscales after calibration,
  • Delta E below 1: 0.94 average!
  • Contrast of 800:1 better than on my Eizo CS240!
  • Really beautiful images for a laptop. We can therefore consider a certain degree of photo retouching on it if we do not work as a professional retoucher and obviously the connected shot!
 
     
  I regret...  
 
  • Delta E closer to a good desktop screen in 2018,
  • Unhomogeneity at the bottom of my test screen in brightness and even more marked in color temperature in all corners (without this being obvious to the naked eye).
 
     
  My overall rating...  
  7,5 / 10  
     
  My conclusion...  
  A laptop panel, even from Apple, should not receive a good grade... Well I will surprise you because this one is a very nice surprise. Yes it has become possible to do photo retouching or shooting connected to a laptop screen when they use a perfectly correct IPS panel if, of course, you do not work for Dior or Chanel! This is undoubtedly a striking quality of Apple's MacBook Pro when you can afford those with Retina panels.  
     
   
 
Apple 15" MacBook Pro 2018

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Here is my full review of the 15" MacBook Pro Retina 2015 display
 
- Full review of the 2015 15" MacBook Pro Retina display
  - Introduction to the 15" MBP 2015 display
- What are the 15" MacBook Pro worth after calibration?
- My rating and my conclusion
 

- My 21 monitor reviews!
- How to choose your monitor?
- How to calibrate your monitor?


 

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This site dedicated to color management for photographers and videographers, beginners or professionals, visited by more than 330,000 people last year, offers on the one hand to help you easily understand and put into practice the color management of your photos and on the other hand helps you make the best investments with more than 100 hardware or software reviews since April 2002 in French and 2014 in English! It is the result of a patient work and a long experience shared by a professional but above all passionate photographer !

 

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