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MacBook Airs plagued by gray lines

updated 11:10 am EST, Fri December 5, 2008

Gray lines on MacBook Air

Owners of some MacBook Airs have been reporting ongoing trouble with their displays, accounts say. The problems began to manifest in early November, and are said to consist of subtle gray or white lines spread across a screen, either horizontally or at a slight angle; the effect is said to give an Air screen the resemblance of paper. The lines also appear on first boot, eliminating the possibility of some later corruption.

No official response to the issue has so far been published, but Air owners do report that Apple engineers -- along with staff from AppleCare and Genius Bars -- are aware of the flaw, and that the issue is being investigated. Suspected causes are varied but currently revolve around either the anti-glare coating on the display or else glitches in NVIDIA's GeForce 9400M chip. NVIDIA has taken considerable flak for graphics problems in the past year, and its chips have most recently been accused of creating errors in the new unibody MacBooks.

by MacNN Staff



  1. MacAssemble

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It could be the LCD Display
    Display Cable
    Video Card
    Logic Board

    I think it is pretty slummy for MacNN to jump right to the conclusion that it is likely an NVIDIA problem!

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I agree!

    MacAssemble is right plus (as I've posted elsewhere) if a restaurant gives you food poisoning, it doesn't matter who sold them the chicken! This is an APPLE problem!

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Let me quote Apple here

    This is the same kind of problem as the 1.67GHz PowerBook G4 ("high resolution") final model.

    I have sent five different PowerBooks back for screen replacement. On one occasion, I had the same thing sent back four times. The final time, I marked on the screen:

    Replace this damn screen

    with a 1/2"-tip sharpie. They claimed that they replaced the screen previously, and they even transferred by marker dots in the corner (liar liar, pants on fire!)

    So they finally did.

    Previously, the Austin repair facility even issued a printed statement stating that "all Apple monitors have faint, white lines. It's normal".

    Let's see how they handle this one.

  1. bfalchuk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Not quite sure they're going that far. They're just offering a possibility. They also mentioned the screen coating.

  1. JuanGuapo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Ok, I must be blind....what am I looking for, and where? That picture doesn't show anything..

  1. brainiac

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Look closely to see the lines. It is not one single line that stands out, it is a bunch of faint lines, every other line, that creates a textured background. Copy the image to a graphics program and zoom in to see the individual lines. Like they noted, it looks like a slightly textured paper.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Come on. Where on Apple's MacBook Air pages does it say your monitor WON'T have these lines? It's a feature, dammit!

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The Macbook Airs aren't plagued by gray lines.. the USERS are. Ask any Macbook Air and it will tell you it could care less about the gray lines. The users.. well, thats a different story :)

    Dear Macnn writers: please start looking up big words you don't understand BEFORE you use them

  1. resuna

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Why is the Macbook Air in the photo up there running Tiger?

  1. JuanGuapo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Ah, I see... My black macbook has those lines as well so I'm guessing it's normal (?).

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