Dell XPS 14 Brightness Won't Change/"Paint Like" Image

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Dell XPS 14 Brightness Won't Change/"Paint Like" Image

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I just received a Dell XPS 14 with the Core i5 and the GeForce 630M. I have found that the brightness of the screen won't change even though upon pressing the buttons on the keyboard or adjusting the on-screen slider the correct brightness toggle comes. So, the buttons work. I have updated the drivers for the 630M, chipset, and Intel 4000 card. Also, I have flashed the BIOS to the latest version. The Dell representative I spoke to said that updating the drivers would fix the problem---it didn't. Then, through remote connection he did it for me. No luck. So, what's the deal? Also, I am experiencing a bizarre and potentially related issue. All of the on-screen images (desktop wallpaper, images in browser, picture gallery, YouTube, etc..) have a "painted" look to them. Videos are jittery and the images are very washed out. Again, after updating everything, the problem persists. I am concerned this is a hardware issue. Someone help!

Thanks

Verified Answer
  • System Type: XPS 14 L421X Detailed problem description:

    The display is poor quality with graphics, images, videos and text appearing pixelated and grainy. The problem is particularly noticeable for online/internet graphics. The contrast is also seemingly off, making images appear less detailed, almost like an older 256-color display. The issue persists when video output is connected to an external display via HDMI cable.

    The issue is subtle and may not be obvious to new users; therefore it may easily be overlooked if not carefully viewed. I would recommend comparing side-by-side simultaneous display of same image files on this computer and another computer. Also, displaying images at 100% actual size during comparison will help identify the problem. You should be able to see obvious color gradients with an almost "oil painting" like artifact.

    After months of useless efforts with XPS support replacing the LCD display, installing a fresh copy of Windows and video drivers, shipping my computer to Dell's facility for 'expert analysis' and even having the whole unit replaced, the problem did not resolve.

    Few days ago after updating my Windows to 8.1, I found the problem. Here is the solution: Right-click on the new start button click on 'Mobility Center', under 'Default display color' select generic color instead of splendid color. This will fix the problem.

All Replies
  • Hi iJake7,

    Please update the video drivers for your system. For uninstalling and reinstalling the video drivers you may refer to the article Here

    Note : Though, the article refers to Alienware systems, it is applicable to your system as well.

    If the issue persists, You may try running the Windows updates as the issue is related to a driver update and check if it fixes the issue.

    Hope this helps. Please reply with the findings.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Sundeep B
    #iworkfordell
    To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region USA;India For helpful Dell Support Videos, you may click Here.

  • Okay, I've done that. Unfortunately it did not do anything to fix the problem. That would be the third time I've updated the video drivers, not counting the two times a Dell technician has done it remotely for me.

  • Call and have the system exchanged for a working one.  There is no sense repairing a system that's defective on arrival.

  • Hi iJake7,

    Please observe the display at Dell logo (during startup). Also, check if the image(s) are displayed correctly in the BIOS environment. These environments are independent of the operating system. The display issues if duplicating here would point at a possible Hardware Failure.You may press F2 button, when you start the computer and see Dell logo onscreen, to enter BIOS.

    You may also run the diagnostics to check the hardware functionality.

    • Power on the computer
    • Press F12 button when you see Dell logo
    • Highlight Diagnostics option and press Enter
    • Check if the display appears correctly during the diagnostics or not

    For more clarity, would request you to share an 'impacted picture' on the laptop (display) using an external camera if possible.

    If the issue does not persist in BIOS and is only present in the operating system, please try installing windows updates to see if that helps 'may update an outdated device driver'.

    Please reply with the findings. Will take it forward from there.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Sundeep B
    #iworkfordell
    To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region USA;India For helpful Dell Support Videos, you may click Here.

  • Hi,

    I have just received a DELL XPS 14 (L412X) laptop with core i7 and Geforce 630M and I'M EXPERIENCING EXACTLY THE SAME PROBLEM!!

    Is there any solution or I should contact and return the product to the retailer?

    Thank you,

    Philip Azariadis

  • Hi Philip,

    Please share if you have observed the system under BIOS and during diagnostics? You may refer to my previous reply for details. You may try connecting the system to an external monitor to isolate the problem.

    You may also run LCD BIST to check the display. To run the LCD BIST (Built in Self-test) Press and hold the D key on the keyboard while pressing the power button, then release both simultaneously . You may refer to article Here.

    This will initiate a grey screen, then Red, then Blue, then Green then White, to allow you to inspect the entire LCD for color purity on each screen and to better identify defect such as cracks in the LCD or stuck pixels that may not be apparent in a normal viewing mode. 

    If possible please share an 'impacted picture' on the laptop (display) using an external camera.

    Please reply with the findings. Will take it further.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Sundeep B
    #iworkfordell
    To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region USA;India For helpful Dell Support Videos, you may click Here.

  • Hi,

    BIOS diagnostics report no problem. I did the LCD BIST test and I could barely recognize any colors. I never saw white and the colors where so dimmed that I had to do it 2-3 times to make sure that the test was running.

    I did 3 more tests: (a) I used print screen and transferred the image to my desktop PC. The image was perfect, which means that video card renders framebuffer memory correct. (b) I connected the laptop to my desktop monitor and the image was perfect again. (c) I played a video with the laptop connected to the external monitor. I put laptop close to the monitor to see the differences easier. In the external monitor the video was perfect again, while on the laptop screen the images where again "pixelized" and the video was flickering.

    Based on my experience on computer graphics I can tell that the color depth is somehow significantly reduced in the laptop monitor causing this "pixelization" effect that has been described as "Paint-like" images.

    Note that I tried to put newer video drivers that I have downloaded from DELL website but without effect.

    I attach an image. If you look closely you will see some "white" shadow underneath the font characters and a "white" frame around the bookmarks button (under pointer). These "white" shadows shouldn't appear and they are a result of a reduced color depth. The monitor or the system is unable to reproduce the smooth fading effect around fonts and the grey fading effect around the button.

  • Hi Philip,

    I appreciate your efforts. It seems there is an issue with the LCD. Please try moving the display forward and backward to eliminate the possibility of a loose connection.

    Please ensure the resolution is set correctly to recommended (1600 X 900 32bit). As you also stated that the brightness is dim, you may increase the brightness by pressing the key combination <Fn> + <F5> 

    If the issue persists, you may reseat LCD cable (if comfortable) and see if it helps. You may refer to Owner's Manual Here.

    Note : Please follow the safety instructions given in manual before reseating/replacing parts.

    If the issue is not fixed, it might be a hardware issue and LCD may need replacement. Please share the Service Tag of system and name on account via Private Message (Click on my name and click Start Conversation). Will look into the details and determine further course of action.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Sundeep B
    #iworkfordell
    To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region USA;India For helpful Dell Support Videos, you may click Here.

  • Hi again,

    After replacing the LCD panel two times, the verdict from DELL is that "this is the best quality you can get with this panel". Indeed, after searching the internet I found out that XPS 14 has one of the worst screen panels in the market, clearly below the business standards and the entry price level of this laptop. I wasted more than 2K euros for this laptop since I cant do any graphics processing with this poor and grainy screen. The system has state-of-the-art processor, SSD, DDR3 memory, dedicated nVidia graphics, etc. etc, but it is equipped with a LCD panel that looks like the early LCD screens of 90's.

    DELL keeps advertising this laptop monitor using the following text in their official website:

    "Seeing is believing.

    Windows 8 with performance-class graphics and a 14" HD (high-definition) + (900p) display with 400-nit brightness, the XPS 14 Ultrabook™ delivers a viewing experience you’ll have to see to believe. "

    Indeed, if you don't see you wont believe; the worst laptop screen I've ever seen. Someone, has to take some measures against this heavy consumers misled by DELL.

  • So... I should just give up? I've had my 14" XPS for about six weeks now and I've tried every new driver and various settings to no avail. My webcam images are all "painted" and the graininess of my images when viewed on the screen (I'm a photographer) are overwhelmingly disappointing. I got this laptop because it was portable and was supposed to have a fantastically good screen. I bypassed many other models and manufacturers when purchasing solely due to the recommendations on this screen. And it's <ADMIN NOTE: Substitute character removed as per TOU>. I was about to see if it was a hardware issue but this thread seems to indicate it's just a matter of poor advertising? Of course, I've waited too long to return this to the big box store I purchased it from...

  • System Type: XPS 14 L421X Detailed problem description:

    The display is poor quality with graphics, images, videos and text appearing pixelated and grainy. The problem is particularly noticeable for online/internet graphics. The contrast is also seemingly off, making images appear less detailed, almost like an older 256-color display. The issue persists when video output is connected to an external display via HDMI cable.

    The issue is subtle and may not be obvious to new users; therefore it may easily be overlooked if not carefully viewed. I would recommend comparing side-by-side simultaneous display of same image files on this computer and another computer. Also, displaying images at 100% actual size during comparison will help identify the problem. You should be able to see obvious color gradients with an almost "oil painting" like artifact.

    After months of useless efforts with XPS support replacing the LCD display, installing a fresh copy of Windows and video drivers, shipping my computer to Dell's facility for 'expert analysis' and even having the whole unit replaced, the problem did not resolve.

    Few days ago after updating my Windows to 8.1, I found the problem. Here is the solution: Right-click on the new start button click on 'Mobility Center', under 'Default display color' select generic color instead of splendid color. This will fix the problem.

  • Burktech
    Few days ago after updating my Windows to 8.1, I found the problem. Here is the solution: Right-click on the new start button click on 'Mobility Center', under 'Default display color' select generic color instead of splendid color. This will fix the problem.

    Indeed, this seems to do the trick!! I don't believe that DELL was unable to recommend such a trivial solution to their screen problem. In generic color the screen lost a bit of its brightness but all the ugliness has been moved away.

    Thank you!!

  • Holy moly! That did the trick! The display is a little less "bright" but much much better! Thank you!

  • well .. i got a dell xps 15 from my uncle and reinstalled windows 8.1 on it 521x , i have notice the brightness  issue too .. its really bad coz i like the laptop and the warrently just expired 4/3/2014 .. it doesnt even give me a option to renew my waarrenty . 

    let me know . waht is the best solution for me .