Day 7: Monitor display colors

tags:: post
series:: advent-of-writing-2022
date:: Dec 7th, 2022

This is part of a series where I post every day for 24 days. See Advent of Writing: 24 days of posts.

On the 7th day, I agonized over colors on a computer screen.

I have two computers. They are both exactly the same: MacBook Pro 14". One of them has a model identifier of “MacBookPro18,4” and the other “MacBookPro18,3” so I guess they are a minor version off. Each use macOS 12.6.1.

One of them is my work computer, and the other my personal one. I frequently work with them beside each other. I frequently journal and or need access to my personal computer for various reasons.

Something is driving me crazy: the colors are slightly different on the monitors. If I have the same page open on both, the “white” on my work computer is softer than my personal one. I prefer the softer white, and I hate having to adjust my eyes when switching between the two.

Both displays have exactly these same settings:

Notably, True Tone is on. If I turn it off, the colors seem to even out and look the same. That means it’s the adjustment of colors for the ambient lighting conditions. I really really wish these worked exactly the same way.

I tried to take a picture of the laptops side by side but the differences don’t come through. To make sure it’s not a rendering issue I took a screenshot of the same program and put them side by side. I don’t see any different here (aside from the top title feeling slightly bolder, but that’s something else). Both whites look exactly the same. It’s a monitor issue.

The only thing I can think of is the hardware sensor for ambient light changed. Is there anything else I should check?