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Eye strain from LED backlighting in MacBook Pro

434086 Views 1,985 Replies Latest reply: Apr 19, 2014 11:34 AM by Kxtr73 RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • Simacca Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Nov 7, 2013 11:07 AM (in response to Jessiah1)

    So far I have returned a retina macbook pro 13in, an iPad air, and now a Microsoft surface 2 tablet all because the screen causes tight head, tinnitus, eyestrain and nausea amongst other symptoms. This is all new to me as I love my gadgets. I am fine with my Samsung galaxy note 2, old Sony VAIO laptop, iPad 3 (pink tinted screen) and my 23in HP led monitor with matt screen. Its seems quite random and only started recently. I am thinking I have maybe developed vertigo?

     

    Would love to know the cause as I am at a point where I'm scared to buy a new LCD based gadget.

  • ArtechokiQ Calculating status...
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    Nov 9, 2013 9:16 PM (in response to Jessiah1)

    I think I found you, I registered but no password yet. Maybe shift(again)happened.

  • StefanD13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Nov 10, 2013 1:08 AM (in response to ArtechokiQ)

    Although I have no solution, would like to post a summary from side, it seems the color dithering didn't get much attention lately, so thought to bring it a bit back into focus...

     

    1) PWM - definetely an issue, but can be easily measured (see also prad.de or prad.de/en, backlight section for each tested monitor) and in the mean time there are many monitors without, also it seems not present on Apple devices. PWM manifests for me with pain in the eyes which goes away in a couple of hours.

     

    2) Blue light spectrum - seems an issue, for some f.lux helps. Blue light spectrum manifests for me with slight pain in the eyes which goes away in half an hour or so.

     

    3) Color dithering - although I cannot prove it, still seems the biggest problem for me. Maybe is not the dithering but it is something else originating in the graphic drivers.  This issue manifests for me with burning eyes, vertigo, difficulty to concentrate and eventually nausea, depending on the exposure time. It also may need days to go away.

     

    Following some facts which for me speak for color dithering or some other SW/driver problem:

     

         - work laptop: update from XP to Win7, problem occured, current solution is to use 16bit color depth - tried it on other computers without success, seems working only in some configurations (GPU dependent?), more over latest MacOSs and Win8/8.1 don't have the setting anymore

     

         - home computer with CCFL screen: when updating to latest nVidia drivers, problem occurs. When using latest Linux (Mint15) problem occurs (Mint14 was still OK). I did compare nouveau (nVidia) driver between the 2 kernels but there are huge differences...

     

         - tablet: I was using the first Surface RT with Win8 RT without issues. After the update to Win8.1 RT I had to sell it. Otherwise I could use only iPad1, which I gave away due to too old HW.

     

         - tv: using a plasma TV with no issues at all. However when routing the Apple TV image through the (Samsung) home cinema device, problem occurs. Also when using the Smart TV functionalities of the home cinema device. I have not tried watching a blue ray, I use the home cinema moslty just to improve the TV sound

     

         - beamer: using a DLP 120Hz beamer with a Sony blue ray player with no issues.

     

         - e-reader: using a Kindle Paperwhite with no issues. I do feel a slight burning eyes after some hours of reading, but it goes immediately away after stop reading.

     

         - lately I tried the new Vaio Pro 13 (triluminous display), it was OK for the first week (really!) then a firmware update came and I had to return it.

     

         - also I put some hope in the IGZO thing, mostly due to 10bit capability and hoping that due to panel self refresh capability, the graphic card would disable temporal dithering. I have bought the new Dell XPS 15 but problem occurs. It may be graphic card drivers are still not aware of the IGZO panel capabilities, battery life is very poor as well (no panel self refresh?) instead of the advertised 11 hours, it seems only 3 to 4 hours.

    (as a side note, the Dell XPS 15 does PWM below 40% brightness)

     

         - I have also lately spent some time in the Apple store with the new MBR 13 and the iPad Air. They seem better than previous versions, but would need to have them at home to tell more... The MBA 13 seems as bad as before.

     

    Stefan

  • ArtechokiQ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Nov 10, 2013 7:21 PM (in response to StefanD13)

    Dear Stefan can you tell me which DLP beamer are you using?

  • StefanD13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Nov 10, 2013 10:35 PM (in response to ArtechokiQ)

    Hello ArtechokiQ,

    Sure, it is the eMachines v700, which is supposed to be same as the Acer H5360BD (eMachines is supposed to be the "cheap" brand of Acer).

    I suppose any 3D (120Hz) capable DLP would be OK. I have not yet used the beamer in 3D mode...

     

    Stefan

  • Scott98981 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Nov 11, 2013 2:24 PM (in response to StefanD13)

    I ended up having to return my new iPad Air. Despite being able to use my iPad 3 for at least 4 to 5 hours, developed severe symptoms after using the iPad air for more than 20 minutes. For some unclear reason I seem to be able to tolerate the MacBook Pro with retina late 2013 using for extended periods of time. The new iPad air seems to have a much colder temperature than the previous iPad. However I don't think this is the entire explanation as I can use my iPhone 5 which also has a very cool temperature without difficulty. At this point I think the only solution is to give any new device a trial to see if it works with your eyes.

  • Dave Nikkel Calculating status...
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    Nov 11, 2013 7:53 PM (in response to Scott98981)

    Scott98981, did you try the 13 or 15 inch late 2013 MBP?

  • Scott98981 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Nov 12, 2013 11:46 AM (in response to Dave Nikkel)

    13". LG screen. It works very well for me which is a great thing because I have been without a new computer for a long time due of LED induced eye strain.

  • d1a Calculating status...
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    Nov 14, 2013 9:46 PM (in response to mvanier)

    I'm on a powerbook G4 dinosaur with CCFL LCD Matte screen and within minutes my eyes get really sore and red and I get headaches too. I jumped on my bro's mid 2011 iMac and had no problem after 6 hours usage, but I did have difficulty sleeping that night (LED exposure maybe?). I'm confused what to do cause I want to buy a new computer... I think CCFL is also not good for me? Any suggestions?

  • ArtechokiQ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Nov 16, 2013 6:05 PM (in response to StefanD13)

    Thanks Stefan.

  • ArtechokiQ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2013 6:07 PM (in response to Eric Leung1)

    Do you know anything about this one:

     

    Eizo FORIS FG2421:

    http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/eizo_fg2421.htm

  • razureus Calculating status...
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    Nov 18, 2013 1:08 PM (in response to ArtechokiQ)

    Many of you would like to try what i did.

    I changed the resolution in my MBA to 1024x640 to make everything bigger. I don't strain my eyes on the small text that MBA delivers natively.

    The trick is, I did it using HiDPI, so basically I got retina-like quality, everything sharp as it should be.

    Try the same. Maybe it will work in your case.

    I totally don't get this crazy persue to deliver the highest resolution possible. There is a point where everything becomes too small to look at for extended period of time.

     

    Cheers

  • Give_me_a_break Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Nov 18, 2013 3:47 PM (in response to dmendel)

    I have exactly the same issue with a 27" iMac. I bought mine a few months ago and was wondering from the start why I always felt dazed looking at the screen. However, since I never used it for more than an hour, I didn't worry too much. A few days ago I started to use it for longer periods (6-7 hours) and now suffer from severe eye strain and I feel like I have been drugged.

     

    I have noticed that I involuntarily open my eyes wider than normal and that my forehead tenses up when looking at the screen (I have no such issues with a 11" MacBook Air or an older Sony Vaio all-in-one). One reason could be that the display does not render fonts really sharp (it always looks like there is some faint double-image present), but I also have the impression that the backlighting is to blame.

     

    I had installed f.lux from the start and I have now played around with the brightness level of the screen, but to no avail. My iMac is a fully specced out machine that cost USD 3,500 and which I cannot return anymore since the two week return period has long passed. Thanks, Apple, for building such premium products!

    iMac (27-inch, Late 2012), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.5)
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