While calibrating a new MacBook Pro with miniLED display, BenQ ambassador Art Suwansang says, “A few things I wanted to share while this is flashing all these different cool amazing colors is that the way how the display behaves when you change into different reference modes is very similar to that of a hardware calibrated display where it’s loading the LUT data, that known data, somewhere. If you ask me, I really think that Apple have gone in to calibrate these panels really well from the factory and they store all these known values on the chip on a LUT somewhere inside the computer logic board and every time you go in and change all these modes it’s loading the data from that LUT. But what Apple has done here that’s different than external hardware calibrated displays is that because they built in the display, they built the laptop, they pretty much integrate everything from the ground up, they can go in and measure the LUT, not just only for the display that’s on here but on all the different reference modes. For example, in the gamma BT.1866 gamma, SRGB for instance, or in all the different color modes and also the different luminance. And this is really awesome because it’s really astonishing we can go in and customize a display brightness by just setting a value up pretty much right from the operating system. This pretty much will never happen with another external display and the reason why is because those external display companies have to constantly think about how this is going to integrate with PC, how this is going to integrate with Mac; because this display is already built in, I mean they can pretty much do everything.

So what Apple have done here is really amazing; they have changed the conversation, how we talk about these displays in general and how we go through color calibration in general. My feeling is that these displays, what we’re seeing now, the way how we’re going to calibrate these are going to be the standard going forward – where you just go in to adjust the white points choose the color gamut you want to use and you can get good colors from your display right away. Let me also say that these displays- the color response on them and the accuracy on these laptop displays – are much better than any laptop that have come before from Apple, and that is really saying a lot. And don’t get me started about PCs because I don’t think they even live up to this. So essentially, what Apple have done here is create a closed-loop system for color management that if you don’t want to own these devices, if you’re just using these displays to do your color calibration workflow, you can. I still recommend that if you’re a pro and you need color critical work, getting the external hardware calibrated display is definitely going to be worth it. But what I can tell you right now is once we have done the calibration fine tuning it looks really close to what my BenQ SW display can produce – and that’s a hardware calibrated display – the differences between them are so small that I would attribute that to different display, different backlight technology and also different LCD panel being used”.

Just imagine for a moment the brand ambassador for a camera manufacturer making a similarly bold statement to the effect that a rival’s approach is the one that will forever change the way cameras operate! We’re till awaiting a true test of the HDR capabilities of the MacBook Pro displays, but given that currently, the least expensive 27″ 4K HDR monitor runs $2,800, the display alone could justify the purchase of a Mac.

Nevertheless, it might be premature to tackle calibrating your brand new M1 Max MacBook Pro. Art Suwansang explains, “Now it may not be the best time to do just yet just because the programs and the devices that we have do not necessarily yet understand the way how these miniLEDs are emitting color information and also light information and it doesn’t understand what data is gathering and how to interpolate that and create a good profile”.

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