0

I have a 2017 Macbook Pro and the tech specs online says it's brightness is 500 nits, but it seems very dim in any sort of outside light is nearby.

enter image description here

When looking at Macbooks, the brightest I've seen listed is the Macbook 14" and 16" and but the specifications are very confusing. They say they have one brightness setting for HDR that runs at 1000 nits and that can peak to 1600 nits (when?) and another brightness setting for SDR that is 500 nits. That's the same as I have right now.

What does that mean? What brightness level is it at for everyday use like surfing the web?

The Apple website shows this:

enter image description here

But it also says SDR is 500 nits:

enter image description here

When I was in the store there was no visible difference in brightness when compared side by side with other Macbooks.

18
  • 1
    Also, asking about what Apple will do in the future is off-topic in general.
    – nohillside
    Nov 28, 2022 at 16:09
  • 1
    @nohillside I've updated the question Nov 28, 2022 at 16:34
  • 2
    SDR doesn't need 1600 nits because there's nothing in an SDR gamut that can stretch that far. I think you're confusing 'potential peak brightness' for specific image types, P3 etc, with 'how bright can my screen go if I'm in the sun trying to read the web'. If you're doing advanced colour repro work, first you get out of the sun ;) You have controlled lighting. For this in SDR, 120 nits is the standard, which makes most screens cranked up to the maximum far too bright to be actually useful..
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 28, 2022 at 16:40
  • 1
    The DR part is Dynamic Range, S is Standard. X is eXtended. H is High. With an SDR image, if you lift the overall brightness, the blacks & dark greys get lighter too - this doesn't give better readability in bright light.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 28, 2022 at 17:22
  • 1
    The question is closed - but here is my answer: Remember when comparing the specs of old Macs with new Macs that brightness can actually deteriorate. Your old MacBook Pro has an LED-backlit display that won't dim over time as quickly as older display technologies, but it does actually still degrade. How much depends on how many hours the display has been on. As I read your question, you basically want to increase general brightness - you're not concerned with peak brightness in achieving optimal contrasts when viewing movies or similar. For your case, you can use the app "Vivid" [...]
    – jksoegaard
    Nov 29, 2022 at 8:44

1 Answer 1

2

The Mac with the brightest, built-in display is currently the 14" and 16" MacBook Pro. They have a display capable of 500 nits in SDR mode and 1000 nits sustained in XDR mode - with peaks of up to 1600 nits.

What you will experience in "normal usage" depends on what is normal usage for you. You indicate that this is browsing the web. That would usually be SDR content, meaning that if you set the display to full brightness, it would be 500 nits.

When you compare that spec to your old Mac - remember that the backlighting (and thus brightness) can actually deteriorate over time.

Your old MacBook Pro has an LED-backlit display that won't dim as quickly over time as older display technologies, but it does actually still degrade. How much depends on how many hours the display has been on.

As I read your question, you basically want to increase general brightness - you're not concerned with peak brightness in achieving optimal contrasts when viewing movies or similar.

For your case, you can use the app "Vivid" and other similar apps to increase the general brightness of your system on new Macs with XDR displays. Note that this requires a recent MacBook Pro with an XDR display - the app cannot increase general perceived brightness on your older 2017 MacBook Pro.

If you're often found using your MBP outside with lots of sun light, this can make a huge difference. Essentially you're going to experience something that comes close to a doubling of brightness. So in this comparison a new 14" MacBook Pro can have much higher brightness than your older 2017 MacBook Pro.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .