Welcome to the world of strange surprises. Where gravity ceases to exist, where the sun no longer rises from the East, and where the Apple 15″ MacBook Pro Retina IPS display apparently calibrates worse than our non-IPS ASUS G75 sporting an FHD TN LED display.

From Apple vs ASUS and our Favorite Laptops for Creative Professionals articles, you should all know that we have just received our latest MBP Retina and our latest ASUS G75VW-DS73 laptops. In the process of setting up my new babies, I broke out my Spyder 4 Elite calibration device to begin calibrating the monitors for still image editing. This article details the surprising results.

What I Was Expecting

The 15″ Apple MBP Retina sports an IPS display with a native resolution of 2880×1800 while the ASUS G75VW-DS73 is built with a FHD TN LED with an native resolution of 1920×1080. At this point, hopefully you know what TN vs IPS is from our previous article on Understanding Display Technology.

Out of the box, the Apple MBP Retina’s native calibration is far closer to being “color correct” than the ASUS G75. However, we know from past experience that the ASUS G7 series of laptops have very nice displays that work quite well for image editing once calibrated. Our overall expectation was that after calibration, the Apple MBP Retina would be able to display a much broader color gamut than compared to the ASUS and that both displays would work well for image editing with the MBP Retina being the slightly more color accurate display.

Calibration Results

Did I mention I was surprised? No? Ok, so surprisingly the MBP Retina displayed a shorter color range after calibration than when compared to the ASUS G75. Don’t believe me? Here are the reports directly after calibration with our Spyder 4 Elite.


The screenshot from the calibration report above shows that the ASUS G75 displays 97% of sRGB, an 8% improvement over the MacBook Pro Retina’s 89%. The next screen shot shows that the ASUS G75 displays 72% of the Adobe RGB color gamut, a 6% improvement over the MacBook Retina’s 66%.



Let me conclude this comparison by stating that both displays are wonderful and they both work well for image editing. This testing itself was also rather limited given that we only tested overall calibration with the Spyder 4 Elite. That being said, to see the ASUS G75 display perform so well compared to the MacBook Pro Retina was, well… surprising.

In the end, placing each calibrated screen side by side, I am unable to perceive virtually any color differences when both displays are showing the same image. I will be rendering an overall review opinion on the ASUS G75 and the MacBook Pro Retina later on, but for now, I am content to say that the ASUS G75VW-DS73’s FHD TN LED is just as good for still editing if not better than the MBP Retina.