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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > MBP: Screen Tilt Angle Unacceptable To Some

MBP: Screen Tilt Angle Unacceptable To Some
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schalliol
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Feb 22, 2006, 04:45 PM
 
As originally noted deep in the MacBook Pro Hinge? thread by slffl and slightly later in the Shipment Thread by AShul007, people are reporting a maximum screen tilt angle of 120°. Some posters have noted that this is makes the computer "completely useless," while others haven't expressed a subsantial concern. I recall when the Ti came out that Apple was touting that it could go back to basically flat, now we're quite a bit off of that it seems. Thoughts?
( Last edited by schalliol; Feb 23, 2006 at 09:54 AM. )
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mrmister
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Feb 22, 2006, 04:51 PM
 
What is the maximum screen tilt on the AlBooks, for comparison?
     
Rumz
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Feb 22, 2006, 04:55 PM
 
I believe they're saying 135 on the AlBooks (17", etc). Correct me if I'm wrong. I wonder if this will be the case on all MacBook Pros (17" if and when they release it)... my chunky Dell Latitude D800 tilts all the way to about 180º-- it would be kinda strange to have it limited. I wonder if there's a reason for the restriction.
     
slffl
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Feb 22, 2006, 04:57 PM
 
I think I've seen 135 for all Albooks.
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schalliol  (op)
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Feb 22, 2006, 05:02 PM
 
I do know that my Ti's hinges are terrible and have broken 3x. Perhaps this was a way to strengthen the units, yet the Al books didn't seem to have that problem.

slffl: great, yet terrible quote
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uicandrew
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Feb 22, 2006, 05:03 PM
 
well, if it is physical constraint (ie - top half touching the bottom half) then i guess that might be a tradeoff of having the antennae built into the hinge?

when i've used my laptop, i can only think about about 10 instances or so where i needed to tilt the screen more than 120 degrees.

on second thought, when using an icurve with a laptop, the angle the screen is at is a rather large one (i don't know if it is 120 degrees) and i consider an icurve to be essential for ergonomic reasons. so i can see how this can be a big problem for other people.

well, on the "bright side" (depending on your point of view) since CTO laptops are non-refundable, maybe this will result in brand new mbp for sale cheaper than amazon. a silver lining for some. I canceled my mbp order to get a 20" intel imac. but if there are CTO available for cheaper than amazon, i might have to bite.
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John123
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Feb 22, 2006, 05:04 PM
 
Confirm 135 degrees on the 15" aluminums...
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cambro
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Feb 22, 2006, 05:04 PM
 
I think any limitation of this sort is inherently bad design.

For example, giving presenations while standing up with your PB on a table in front of you often requires more than 120º of tilt in order to comfortably view the screen. Even when my Ti PB is sitting flat on the desk in front of me, the optimal tilt angle is about 115º.

Hopefully there is a really darn good engineering explanation for why the tilt range has been hamstrung. If it's just lazy engineering or oversight, then shame on Apple!
     
slffl
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Feb 22, 2006, 05:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by uicandrew
well, if it is physical constraint (ie - top half touching the bottom half) then i guess that might be a tradeoff of having the antennae built into the hinge?
As far as I can tell it's not a physical constraint but a designed one.

Originally Posted by uicandrew
on second thought, when using an icurve with a laptop, the angle the screen is at is a rather large one (i don't know if it is 120 degrees) and i consider an icurve to be essential for ergonomic reasons. so i can see how this can be a big problem for other people.
Yes this is another reason. I use a Podium Coolpad on my desk.

Originally Posted by uicandrew
well, on the "bright side" (depending on your point of view) since CTO laptops are non-refundable, maybe this will result in brand new mbp for sale cheaper than amazon. a silver lining for some. I canceled my mbp order to get a 20" intel imac. but if there are CTO available for cheaper than amazon, i might have to bite.
Oh man are you serious? CTO's are non-refundable? Well looks like I'll have to get used to it or give the laptop to my boss.
"I'm the commander - see, I don't need to explain - I don't need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."

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John123
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Feb 22, 2006, 05:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by slffl
Oh man are you serious? CTO's are non-refundable? Well looks like I'll have to get used to it or give the laptop to my boss.
You forgot the second and clearly better option, which would be to give the laptop to me.
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mrmister
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Feb 22, 2006, 05:28 PM
 
Yeah, I use a Podium Coolpad--just eyeballing it, I think my laptop is pretty close to 120 degrees now, if not a little more. Man, that would be very problematic indeed, if it actually screws up my ergonomics.
     
iobuffa
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Feb 22, 2006, 05:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by schalliol
I do know that my Ti's hinges are terrible and have broken 3x. Perhaps this was a way to strengthen the units, yet the Al books didn't seem to have that problem.

slffl: great, yet terrible quote
Same here, my TiBook hinges were prone to breakage.
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cambro
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Feb 22, 2006, 05:38 PM
 
Could a MBP owner please post a picture of their machine opened up all the way from the side, as shown on the apple.com webpage right now?
     
schalliol  (op)
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Feb 22, 2006, 05:39 PM
 
Well, it's not an ideal scenario, but if you use the Podium Coolpad, could you prop the front up? I'd guess it'll work about right with my iCurve w/o modification, but that's to be seen.
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mrmister
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Feb 22, 2006, 05:46 PM
 
"Well, it's not an ideal scenario, but if you use the Podium Coolpad, could you prop the front up?"

Theoretically...but that is certainly a far from ideal situation. Also, part of what makes it work so well is the angle the keyboard is at...which would be, naturally, shallower if I end up propping up things.
     
uicandrew
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Feb 22, 2006, 06:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by slffl
Oh man are you serious? CTO's are non-refundable? Well looks like I'll have to get used to it or give the laptop to my boss.
cut and pasted directly apple's website: Configure-to-order, personalized or other customized product may not be returned for refund or exchange under any circumstances unless DOA.

from http://store.apple.com/Catalog/US/Im...spolicies.html

yeah, so we'll see if people start selling their mpb here. i already have seen people try to sell their Intel imac (CTO) here and other forums.

i can't imagine trying to alter an iCurve. I mean, they are perfect. they allow space underneath to store a keyboard, and it is at the perfect height so you look straight ahead to look at the screen instead of craning the neck to see a screen. Also, the keyboard is still accessible so occasional pecking at the keys is still convenient.
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schalliol  (op)
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Feb 22, 2006, 06:06 PM
 
Just heard from another user who finds it not a problem at all. He shall remain nameless, but said, "MacNN is a place designed entirely for incessant bitching"
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cambro
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Feb 22, 2006, 06:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by schalliol
Just heard from another user who finds it not a problem at all. He shall remain nameless, but said, "MacNN is a place designed entirely for incessant bitching"
Nice...

How DARE we start a thread discussing an easily measured design element on a newly shipping laptop that directly impacts how a user interfaces with a machine.

Do me a favor and deliver this message to your friend !!!!

Now, back on topic...could someone post a pic of a side view of the screen in its maximally opened position.
( Last edited by cambro; Feb 22, 2006 at 06:28 PM. )
     
inkhead
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Feb 22, 2006, 06:20 PM
 
My Dell laptops haven't had any problems and they allow me to bend them almost flat. It's one of my common complaints amoung my mac laptops. I think Apple did this because of a bad revision of powerbooks a long time ago that had hinge problems..
     
AShul007
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Feb 22, 2006, 06:27 PM
 
this is really a problem for me...(by the way I am the one who noticed this problem and posted it first...just want to take a litte credit...sorry
Anyway, it really is not a good scene. I wonder if there is a way to fix it...take out the safety ...or...if they do fix the problem eventually will there be a way for this generation of macbooks to have it remedied.
     
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Feb 22, 2006, 06:28 PM
 
I'm thinking the limited range may have to do with the airport/bluetooth antennae being moved to the hinge. Makes sense doesn't it?

If it means better reception I'll make the sacrifice (albeit a small one).
     
iobuffa
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Feb 22, 2006, 06:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by cambro
Could a MBP owner please post a picture of their machine opened up all the way from the side, as shown on the apple.com webpage right now?
I will when I get home.
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slffl
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Feb 22, 2006, 06:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by AShul007
this is really a problem for me...(by the way I am the one who noticed this problem and posted it first...just want to take a litte credit...sorry
I beg to differ

http://forums.macnn.com/showthread.php?t=286467
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Gee4orce
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Feb 22, 2006, 06:54 PM
 
Hmm. Let me think how many times I've wanted - let alone needed - to open my laptop so that it's flat....

Hmmmm... Nope.

Err.....Nah.

Mmmmmm. No.

Never. Zilch. Zero.

Now maybe I'm missing out on some wonderful new way to use a computer - or, alternatively, maybe you guys just need to quit complaining about anything you can think of and step outside and get some fresh air ?
     
slffl
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Feb 22, 2006, 06:55 PM
 
Well not being able to return a CTO item has really pissed me off at Apple. Especially when it's something like this screen angle. A spec that isn't posted anywhere and a spec that you think would be the same or better as the AlBooks because of the similiar design.

Maybe I'll take it into an apple store and demand they fix it because it's not possible to use it as a laptop.
"I'm the commander - see, I don't need to explain - I don't need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."

- Dictator George W. Bush, Washington Post, 11-19-02
     
cambro
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Feb 22, 2006, 07:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Gee4orce
Hmm. Let me think how many times I've wanted - let alone needed - to open my laptop so that it's flat....

Hmmmm... Nope.
Your criticism makes absolutely no sense.

Is a maximum designed angle of opening of:
180 degrees a problem....NOPE.
160 degrees a problem....????
130 degrees a problem....????
000 degrees a problem....YES

Clearly there is a VERY REAL issue related to the maximum screen opening allowed. Given that there MUST be an angle at which screen opening becomes a problem, would you please tell us EXACTLY what it is and WHY, all knowing one?
     
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Feb 22, 2006, 07:01 PM
 
Unnecessarily sarcastic post deleted, with apologies to those for whom this is a real issue.
( Last edited by bondsteel; Feb 23, 2006 at 09:18 AM. )
     
iobuffa
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Feb 22, 2006, 07:03 PM
 
I just surveyed 3 mac owners at work with the MBP angle and they all agreed with me that it's not a problem with them. Frankly guys, I don't see an issue here.
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slffl
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Feb 22, 2006, 07:16 PM
 
Side view for who requested. From the picture it looks like the angle is a physical issue, but in person it's being limited by something in the hinge.



And here's a view of the MBP while on my lap. I talked to 4 co-workers, they all said the angle sucked. So I guess it must suck.

"I'm the commander - see, I don't need to explain - I don't need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."

- Dictator George W. Bush, Washington Post, 11-19-02
     
jeebus
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Feb 22, 2006, 07:35 PM
 
Looking at both those pictures it seems like this shouldn't be a problem at all. I've used a powerbook for years and I never tilt the screen any farther back than where it is in that first picture. I don't have my MacBook yet so maybe pictures just don't do it justice, but from the looks of the pictures I really don't see what all the fuss is about.
     
cambro
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Feb 22, 2006, 07:45 PM
 
Wow...that is not good. Looks to be about 125º...maybe 130º...according to the old screen protractor trick.

Contrary to those who say it doesn't matter, simple logic demands that it does and Apple has left precious little room for flexibility in this department.

As mentioned, sitting on a desk in normal use, my PB screen is open about 115º to 120º. In order to keep this optimal viewing angle (90º), that means that the keyboard can be inclined towards you by no more than 5º or 10º. Anything beyond this and you will look down on an inclined screen.

So, the verdict is...
For those of you who plug your laptop in and leave it siting on your desk...you are right, no problem.
For those of you that like to prop up your keyboard, sit with the machine on your lap, use it to give presentations while standing, or use it in any setting that may make the keyboard non-horizontal, you may forced to view the screen in a less than ideal way. This is a constraint that should not be there, IMO.
     
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Feb 22, 2006, 08:10 PM
 
I'm typing this sitting on the floor with my tibook's screen tilted way back. This is something I've been able to do with every laptop I've ever owned. I've been toying with the MacBook and it did bug me. Especially as it runs so hot I prefer not to have it on my lap.

Some people don't tilt their screens back, but those of us who do are quite used to it, and it's vexing to lose this feature.
     
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Feb 22, 2006, 08:22 PM
 
Good grief. It looks no different to the current model powerbooks and people have been using them for years without any problems.
     
iobuffa
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Feb 22, 2006, 09:12 PM
 


I just took this. In my lap, I have to move the screen UP.
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Feb 22, 2006, 09:26 PM
 
This would be a non-issue for me, since I use my laptop nearly 90% of the time on a desk and with the screen tilted at approx. 115-120degrees. Maybe this was an effort by Apple to force people into GOOD ERGONOMICS. No more wrist and neck strain, maybe that is their fun new marketing campaign they are announcing next Tuesday. . .

Just think of it . . . everyone must use their computers on a desk. What a limitation. I understand the presentation complaint, but really, you're supposed to be addressing your audience anyway. Remember the good presentation skills you learned in college?
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iobuffa
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Feb 22, 2006, 09:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by slffl
And here's a view of the MBP while on my lap. I talked to 4 co-workers, they all said the angle sucked. So I guess it must suck.
Man, it looks nothing like that in my lap unless I'm a giraffe!





How tall are you??
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iobuffa
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Feb 22, 2006, 09:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by cambro
For those of you that like to prop up your keyboard, sit with the machine on your lap, use it to give presentations while standing, or use it in any setting that may make the keyboard non-horizontal, you may forced to view the screen in a less than ideal way. This is a constraint that should not be there, IMO.
I disagree with this assessment. I give presentations all the time and I never need my screen to be no greater than the MBP's limitations. Ever. When I give demos of a product, provide death by powerpoint, or I'm in a warroom with several co-workers in a room, the screen NEVER goes beyond this 130-135 degrees.

I don't think this is a constraint. Take a stroll through the airport someday (something I've done a LOT of) and take look at the laptop angles. A vast majority of them are not what you all are describing. I'm not saying you guys are wrong for using it the way you do, but I doubt this is a "mistake" by Apple to make this design change.
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Feb 22, 2006, 09:38 PM
 
I just took a trip to the Apple Store to look at 'em...looking at my own PB G4 1.67 before and afterward.

YES, the screen angle is more narrow on the MBPs. 20 degrees or so might be my estimate, although I neglected to bring my protractor with me to the store. But it is noticeable. Whether noticeable = a big deal is an individual opinion, though.
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Feb 22, 2006, 09:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by slffl
you beg to differ? your evidence is of a different issue...not the angle.....
     
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Feb 22, 2006, 09:59 PM
 
Let's not forget, the macbook seems (in my brief experience with one) to be a good deal hotter than the previous albooks.

It is noticeable. Unlike with the albooks I went "whoa, this is it?".
     
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Feb 22, 2006, 10:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by slffl
Side view for who requested. From the picture it looks like the angle is a physical issue, but in person it's being limited by something in the hinge.
I don't know what you are looking at but if I look closely on mine it is most certainly the base of the screen hitting the back of the base of the laptop just as it looks in your picture. Maybe I could slide a hair in there, but that's good, don't want the parts rubbing together and tarnishing this beauty.

Oh, and I'm slouching on a sofa at a horribly ergonomically incorrect angle and I find tilting the screen forward a little from fully open to be optimal.
     
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Feb 22, 2006, 10:14 PM
 
remember everyone, heat sources placed on the pelvic region is bad for the swimmers . . . .

at least for those of us with swimmers . . .
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slffl
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Feb 22, 2006, 10:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Enigmaaron
I don't know what you are looking at but if I look closely on mine it is most certainly the base of the screen hitting the back of the base of the laptop just as it looks in your picture. Maybe I could slide a hair in there, but that's good, don't want the parts rubbing together and tarnishing this beauty.

Oh, and I'm slouching on a sofa at a horribly ergonomically incorrect angle and I find tilting the screen forward a little from fully open to be optimal.
Well mine doesn't hit the base.

And sitting proper on a couch, knees at 90 degrees, with the laptop perfectly flat on my legs, the screen is perpendicular to my CHEST! I'm only 5'10". I would love to see some photos of people who are doing this with the screen perpendicular to your eyes.
( Last edited by slffl; Feb 22, 2006 at 10:25 PM. )
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- Dictator George W. Bush, Washington Post, 11-19-02
     
slffl
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Feb 22, 2006, 10:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by AShul007
you beg to differ? your evidence is of a different issue...not the angle.....
Um, whatever, I seem to be talking about the angle to me.

" Yesterday, 06:12 AM

I dont know how the 15 and 12 are, but coming from a 17, the MBP cannot open as far and gives a very poor viewing angle when used as a LAPtop."
"I'm the commander - see, I don't need to explain - I don't need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."

- Dictator George W. Bush, Washington Post, 11-19-02
     
action
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Feb 22, 2006, 10:21 PM
 
thank god i saw them in person. i cancelled my cto immediately. i travel quite a bit and i have to have my 12 inch powerbook tilted as far back as it will go and pushed as far back as possible for me to see the screen decently.

anything less would have been an issue and i'm glad i saw them in person.

i tested the macbook by having it flat on the desk at waist level and the screen as far back as it would go. i was in a normal typing position square and to the computer.

i could see the screen but the image was dimmed and when i tilted the entire computer about 5 degrees the screen looked like what i expected to look like. so for me it's an issue and obviously for some it's not.

hope this get's addressed.

cheers,

chung lee
     
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Feb 22, 2006, 10:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by iobuffa
I disagree with this assessment. I give presentations all the time and I never need my screen to be no greater than the MBP's limitations. Ever. When I give demos of a product, provide death by powerpoint, or I'm in a warroom with several co-workers in a room, the screen NEVER goes beyond this 130-135 degrees.

I don't think this is a constraint. Take a stroll through the airport someday (something I've done a LOT of) and take look at the laptop angles. A vast majority of them are not what you all are describing. I'm not saying you guys are wrong for using it the way you do, but I doubt this is a "mistake" by Apple to make this design change.
It sounds like you just said the limitations of 120 degrees might not work for you. ? Is or is not this a constraint?

I picked up my Aluminum in Oct 2003. The limitations of the angle was immediately apparent to me over my Tibook. In fact, while I was transferring data from the Tibook to the Albook, I often had to pick it up to view the screen. In that particular apartment, I had zero table/desk space to I arranged the laptops on the floor and sat in a chair most of the time. Way easier to see the Tibook.

I'm probably weird about this, but I fairly often read in my bed flat on my back. For several reasons including keyboard access and heat, I always extended my Tibook fully. Can't do that with the Aluminum so I've had to adjust to a less than ideal position with it at 90 degrees - can't see the keyboard from that angle.

But other than that, 135 degrees work OK, still haven't adjusted fully after over 2 years though. Most of the time, I use it as a laptop, more comfortable typing than on a table for me. And for that, 115 degrees is enough (I just checked). But since it takes all types (including me), it would be better if the design opened more fully. That would satisfy everyone. Unfortunately, those of us committed to the Mac OS have no choice.
     
Commodus
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Feb 22, 2006, 10:45 PM
 
Having spoken to an Apple worker, he claims that the difference is very small - more like 130 degrees on the MBP versus 135 on the PowerBook G4. It may be more a matter of the screen ratio (which makes it wider, but shorter) than the actual hinge.
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SpinCycle
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Feb 22, 2006, 10:59 PM
 
Is anyone able to post a pic of a 14" iBook to compare to the picture below.. Preferrably the same camera angle? That is what I sold to get one of these. I used to use it in bed many times while it was sitting in my lap with legs bent and head on pillow. I could open the screen for a good view. Just wondering how this would compare to the angle of the above. Thanks.

     
John123
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Feb 22, 2006, 11:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Commodus
Having spoken to an Apple worker, he claims that the difference is very small - more like 130 degrees on the MBP versus 135 on the PowerBook G4. It may be more a matter of the screen ratio (which makes it wider, but shorter) than the actual hinge.
Nah, that ain't right. I looked at them within 5 minutes of each other today. It's more than 5 degrees.
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iobuffa
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Feb 22, 2006, 11:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by yticolev
It sounds like you just said the limitations of 120 degrees might not work for you. ? Is or is not this a constraint?
I don't know what the exact angle is, so I refer to the MBP angle as 130-135 degrees. If it's 120 degrees, then that's what I mean. As you can see, the actual number really means nothing to me.
iobuffa
switcher as of oct 2001
     
 
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