Apple's 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are equipped with a Liquid Retina XDR display that is capable of outputting HDR content at full screen brightness, and thanks to a third-party utility, it's possible to enable it system-wide when displaying only SDR content. Keep reading to learn how it works.

new macbook pro pink
Both the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro use mini-LED display technology, which allows HDR content to come to life with more detail in shadows, brilliant highlights, deeper blacks, and more vivid colors than were previously available. This is enabled through the 10,000 mini-LEDs that are grouped into individually controlled local dimming zones.

Like the Pro Display XDR, the MacBook Pro displays have a peak brightness of 500 nits for standard aka SDR content, while the MacBook Pro's advertised 1,600 nits of peak full-screen brightness is for HDR content only.

However, thanks to a third-party utility called Vivid, it's possible to unlock the peak brightness of these MacBook Pro displays for system-wide use, regardless of the quality of the content you are viewing.

vivid app
The neat thing about Vivid is that it does not technically make your display do anything it's not supposed to do. It simply enables the extra brightness range usually reserved for HDR content in exactly the same way as if you were editing HDR video, making it a great solution if you tend to use your MacBook Pro outside in bright daylight, without adding noticeable CPU overhead to your system.

Vivid costs €20 ($21.82) and, once installed, adds a simple toggle to your Mac's menu bar allowing you to quickly turn Vivid on and off. Note that Vivid is made for MacBook Pros with the M1/M2 Pro and ‌M1‌/‌M2‌ Max chip, as well as the Pro Display XDR display.


The developers also provide a free trial that lets you test Vivid in "Splitscreen Mode" on your machine to see if it works for your workflow.

Vivid is available to buy on the developers website as well as on the Mac App Store, where it is slightly more expensive due to Apple's fees.

Note: No compensation was received from Vivid for this article.

Popular Stories

Apple Vision Pro 2 Feature 2

Apple Reportedly Suspends Work on Vision Pro 2

Tuesday June 18, 2024 8:17 am PDT by
Apple has suspended work on the second-generation Vision Pro headset to singularly focus on a cheaper model, The Information reports. Apple was widely believed to have plans to divide its Vision product line into two models, with one "Pro" model and one lower-cost standard model. The company is said to have been deprioritizing the next Vision Pro headset over the past year, gradually...
Apple WWDC24 Apple Intelligence hero 240610

Apple Explains iPhone 15 Pro Requirement for Apple Intelligence

Wednesday June 19, 2024 4:48 am PDT by
With iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, Apple is introducing a new personalized AI experience called Apple Intelligence that uses on-device, generative large-language models to enhance the user experience across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. These new AI features require Apple's latest iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models to work, while only Macs and iPads with M1 or later chips will...
M4 Real Feature Red

M4 MacBook Pro Models Expected to Launch in Late 2024

Tuesday June 18, 2024 10:50 am PDT by
MacBook Pro models with an M4 chip are expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2024, according to display analyst Ross Young. In a tweet for subscribers, Young said that panel shipments for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are set to begin in the third quarter of 2024, which suggests a launch toward the end of the year. Apple started its M4 chip refresh in May with the launch...
2022 back to school apple feature

Apple's 2024 Back to School Sale Launching This Week

Monday June 17, 2024 12:27 pm PDT by
Apple will launch its annual Back to School promotion for university students in the United States and Canada this week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Apple's back to school sales provide students with a free Apple gift card when purchasing a Mac or an iPad, and this year's promotion could help Apple push the new M2 iPad Air and M4 iPad Pro models. Last year, Apple offered U.S....
iOS 18 Calendar Feature

iOS 18: Calendar App Design Changes and Reminders Integration

Tuesday June 18, 2024 6:16 am PDT by
Apple in iOS 18 has given the Calendar app a major update, adding some welcome interface design changes, not to mention long-awaited integration with Reminders. In the month-by-month calendar view, the month now appears in large bold font in the top left, while the Events list toggle has been replaced by a new button that lets you choose between Compact, Stacked, Details, and List views. ...
watchOS 11 Thumb 2 1

watchOS 11 Supports Automatic Nap Detection

Monday June 17, 2024 4:05 pm PDT by
watchOS 11 appears to include a new feature that allows an Apple Watch to automatically detect and record when you're taking a nap. As shared on Reddit, an Apple Watch owner took a nap and was able to see the sleep data recorded in the Health app, despite not putting the device in Sleep Mode. Right now, the Apple Watch only tracks and records sleep when it is in Sleep Mode, and there is no...