Screen issues? Terrible luck? Or am I going mad/blind?

So, my last laptop (roughly 4 years old) had what I thought was just a somewhat defective monitor- even at 100% brightness, it was very dim (so dim I had trouble seeing where, for instance, the Steam window borders ended and my black desktop began), had low saturation for colors, and had a green tint to it. I fiddled with the Windows monitor calibration settings and got it looking sort of OK by boosting the gamma up really high and turning down the green color; eventually I physically replaced the screen due to unrelated damage (see below) and that was both a little brighter and had what I thought was a more normal color balance; however I still had to turn up the gamma very high to match the screen on my previous laptop.

Fast forward to this winter and I’ve upgraded to an Asus FX705G… and, much to my surprise, the screen is also extremely dim and has very low saturation with a slight greenish tint! I suppose it’s possible that the specific model of laptop I had before had some kind of general defect with the type of screen used, but that same defect appearing in a completely different model from a completely different manufacturer strains my credulity. These aren’t exactly low-end laptops (although since I work in an engineering department where the laptop must be carted around near a bunch of heavy and/or sharp equipment I kind of prioritize durability and portability over performance, hence the above issue with damage) so I don’t think the screens are somehow all of inferior quality… has anyone else experienced issues like this over the last few years?

I can’t exactly take screenshots of the effect since it is confined to this monitor and not the RGB values of the images displayed; external monitors or television sets connected to the computer show a more normal image (but I don’t have one on hand with factory default settings so it’s possible I upped the saturation on the available ones a long time ago). I am wondering if this has something to do with the Windows 10 features for color calibration since those were introduced at about the same time I began having these problems, but if that was the case it’d affect TV screens as well… wouldn’t it?

This is a particular problem for me because even with the inbuilt gamma settings turned up to maximum Black Mesa looks very dark and undersaturated- I can change the lower-level graphics settings in the console to compensate, but I can’t do lighting for my maps properly when I have no idea if what I’m looking at has any relation to what someone with a “normal” monitor would be seeing.

Have you thought about getting your eyes checked. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
But seriously, have you contacted the manufacturer, googled the problem and asked in the deep dark recesses of reddit (ok, don’t do the reddit thing) but maybe hit up the laptops forums. Crappy , cheap laptops have crappy EVERYTHING. (edit: just saw you said the laptops were not cheapies, but even Panasonic Toughbooks don’t have the best of anything, just the most bulletproof. You pay 1200 dollars over the price of what a similarly equipped medium priced hp pavilion would cost, but they are a TANK)
Brightness and color and saturation should be adjustable in the graphics setting (AMD, nVidia and iNtel all have a control panel for their respective gpu’s). At least that’s how it is with Windows 7.
With Windows 10 microsoft continually tries to hide all the settings an actual computer user needs. sigh

There is a glitch in the game called the OverDark bug, it’s easy to recognize if you have it.
The game starts out normal brightness but within seconds immediately goes very dark, so dark that the flashlight barely helps.
Here is the fix for that
To fix the OverDark glitch Type (or copy/paste) the following two commands into the console

mat_hdr_level 2
mat_tonemapping_occlusion_use_stencil 1

Enable the console in the advanced keyboard options.
To access the Black Mesa console go to the Options menu, then select Keyboard, then Advanced. Check the developer console option.
Press the tilde “~” key and the developer console should appear.
The tilde key ~ is the first key in the numbers row.

There is indeed an “Intel Graphics Settings” utility in Control Panel; I had originally dismissed it because it seemed to do the same thing the Windows calibration utility did except there was no way to adjust gamma; however returning to it with a second screen to compare to I realize two useful things: it affects only the laptop screen and not others connected, and it affects programs like Black Mesa where the Windows tool does not.

The problem is that there is no gamma control, just brightness, saturation, and contrast. Upping the brightness works reasonably well for web browsing and such, but in very dark areas in games it severely affects low-intensity or black parts of the screen, making the area look ‘foggy’. Continuing to investigate to see if there’s a combination of those three values that does work better.

In my experience, manufacturers tend to put unbelievably low-end screens in laptops anytime they can get away with that. And for some reason, the larger ones tend to be hit the worst.

We have nearly 2019, and still, if you won’t pay attention, you’ll end up with tiny 1366x768 resolution even in a 15" or 17" huge laptop, and the quality of color and contrast will be abysmal.

If your screen is strongly greenish/blueish, has very narrow view point (the colors and contrast fade in and out as you move your head left and right in front of the screen) and the like, yup, you’re still in the cheapscreen club. :​(

I’m somewhat surprised to hear that you got this kind of screen in an Asus, they tend to advertise their color quality for being better than in most other cheapish TN screens (both laptops and standalone monitors), under the “Splendid Color” banner. But, I guess this one was just expensive, not “expensive enough” to get a good display. :​(

As you already found out, playing with Windows and/or Intel’s color calibration sliders (note that the Intel driver in some cases tends to override Windows color settings, repeatedly) and turning down blues quite far down should make it more tolerable, but not good in any sense of the word. And there’s no way to get the contrast “range” up - so you either have everything dark or everything backlit.

I’ve heard some stories that this is a side effect of the TV panel manufacturing, with semi damaged panels being cut down to a smaller size and put in laptops. Maybe there’s some truth to this and they suck so much also because they were intended to be looked at from a larger distance… no idea.

Founded in 2004, became one of the first online communities dedicated to Valve’s Source engine development. It is more famously known for the formation of Black Mesa: Source under the 'Leakfree Modification Team' handle in September 2004.