I purchased a new Macbook Pro (15.4" with 500GB HDD), and discovered it had a stuck pixel in the centre of the screen. This pixel was always lit green, and any attempts to resolve it myself didn't work. I took it back to the retailer, who happily exchanged it for another one (which had to be ordered). I picked up the replacement yesterday, and to my horror, its screen had the same problem, although this time the pixel was stuck on red, and was in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. Another replacement has been ordered, and I'm now a little concerned that this may have the same problem.

This obviously has me pondering the quality of the latest range of Macbook Pro laptops, and I'm wondering how many of you may have had the same problems with your ones. Please share if you've had a similar issue.

  • Dead pixels on current models are no more or less common than the previous units. It's rare, and quality is still at a premium. To obtain a virtually perfect record against these failures would increase cost significantly. – David Metcalfe Jun 7 '11 at 0:22
  • Yeah, I would've thought it was rare. But I had concerns when my replacement laptop had exactly the same problem (but in a different location). I've been using laptops for years, and this is the first time I'd ever encountered this problem. Thankfully my replacement replacement didn't have this problem. :-) – Cleggy Jun 7 '11 at 4:08

I've had a number of Mac laptops, starting with a PowerBook 100 way back in the dark ages. I've been fortunate, I guess, that I've never had a stuck pixel.

You're fortunate that your retailer is working with you, as Apple considers a single stuck pixel to be within acceptable limits. That is, they don't promise zero stuck or dead pixels, so generally you'd just be out of luck. [Worth noting: ISO 13406-2, the standard for flat panel displays (more analysis here)].

If you find this happening again, though, you might try one or more of the (non-Windows) suggestions at How to Fix a Stuck Pixel on an LCD Monitor.

  • One solution if your stuck pixel is within acceptable limits is to find a good Apple Authorized Repair shop in your area. These people are authorized to do repairs for free under Applecare, and can use some degree of discretion in doing so. Some will go strictly by the book, but some will get things like this repaired despite it being inside acceptable limits. – Fishtoaster Aug 26 '10 at 13:25
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    It doesn't really matter what Apple thinks, as this defect is covered by New Zealand consumer law. Under this law, Apples 1 year warranty is also much shorter than their actual legal obligations here. If it develops a fault within a few years after this period, I should still be able to get it resolved at no cost. We have a Consumers Guarantee Act that states that goods must be of a reasonable quality (which covers the stuck pixel) and last a reasonable amount of time before going to the dogs. I tried a few of the suggestions prior to contacting the retailer, but thanks anyway. – Cleggy Aug 26 '10 at 20:23
  • Who/what defines reasonable quality? Apple says one stuck pixel is within the spec, as does the ISO. Can you send a laptop back if it doesn't make you a good cup of tea in the morning? From what you write, it's irrelevant that the maker never said it would. Yikes! – Dori Aug 26 '10 at 22:30
  • The term reasonable quality is intentionally vague, as it has to cover a broad spectrum of consumer items. That is also why the CGA doesn't define a set period to cover goods for, and instead states they must last a reasonable time. After all, you wouldn't expect a $50 chilly bin to be as robust as, or last as long as, a $3000 refrigerator. Over here a $3500 Macbook Pro would be considered a high end laptop, and as such it would be reasonably expected that such a premium product would be free from any manufacturing defects, which a stuck or dead pixel would be considered to be. – Cleggy Aug 27 '10 at 20:01
  • And as for your tea making argument; that isn't a question of quality, but one of stated or expected functionality. It would only be relevant if the manufacturer had advertised that the laptop DID make a morning cuppa, but it failed to perform this advertised functionality (or if it was commonly accepted that laptops do indeed make cups of coffee). Likewise, it is expected that a refrigerator will keep your food cold. But if you bought one that doesn't, the manufacturer doesn't have an escape clause just because he didn't state that this particular model of fridge kept stuff cold. – Cleggy Aug 27 '10 at 20:04

My experience in Mac tech support over the course of a few years has shown this be be fairly uncommon. I only ever saw maybe two or three cases. It may be an issue with the very specific range you're getting now, and which Apple will probably fix pretty soon.

Until then, keep sending them in- you've got Applecare for a year, so use it. :)

  • Thats well and good, but in the meantime I have no work laptop. I'm also choosing to deal directly with the retailer here (not Apple), as New Zealand consumer law states that they should be responsible for redress in this situation. It also states that, regardless of any manufacturer warranty, the goods must last a reasonable time without failure (meaning that a NZD $3500 laptop is effectively warranted for much longer than 1 year). That is why extended warranties here are a real consumer rip off... but thats another story :-) – Cleggy Aug 25 '10 at 21:45
  • Well, it sucks, but statistically speaking, there are going to be people who get a few bum laptops in a row. As for the warranties, sounds like you've got a good thing going down there. Here, if your screen dies on a macbook pro out of warranty, it'll cost more to fix it than to replace the laptop- Applecare at $300 for an additional 2 years is a pretty good deal. – Fishtoaster Aug 26 '10 at 13:22
  • Yeah, consumers are well taken care of down here. Retailers still haven't cottoned on to this though, and still try to sell extended warranties when you purchase expensive goods, but us consumers have been well trained by consumer advocate groups that these are rarely necessary, and in fact the claims process is sometimes harder than getting redress under the Consumers Guarantees Act. I just hope that I'm not the fella solely responsible for keeping the screen quality metric down, and that my next replacement doesn't have the same problem. :-) – Cleggy Aug 26 '10 at 20:27

My Macbook Pro had a malfunctioning backlight so they replaced the top assembly. The screen in the replacement had a couple stuck pixels in the middle of the screen, so they replaced it again. THAT screen had a stuck pixel in the bottom right, which after a couple weeks had changed to a horizontal line of them about an inch long. SOoo, back to Apple I went.

The screen I've got now has been perfect, with no bad pixels. I figure between the bench costs and replacement top assemblies they lost money on this machine, but once again Apple showed me they're a class act by not balking at fixing things.


It doesn't surprise me that Apple would happily replace your computer, but for LCD screens (maybe LEDs too), it's not uncommon for companies to refuse to replace the screens if the dead pixels are a just a few.

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