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eye strain and headache after using the new MacBook

14489 Views 40 Replies Latest reply: Feb 2, 2009 10:37 PM by Peter Jason RSS
  • andy08 Calculating status...
    It's interesting reading this. I have the new MB 2,4 and an "old" MBA. Working 2 h on the MB makes my eyes feeling strange. My screen does not flicker or something else. Besides, the quality of the MB's screen is worse than this of the MBA, but the difference is really not so significant. There has to be another reason. Maybe the eyes have to focus between mirrored elements on the glass and the content on the screen - I don't know. When using it in a dark environment it becomes better. Maybe you can try it. Not the solution, but it would be interesting to know.
    Macbook (Unibody), MBA, Mac OS X (10.5.5)
  • kusok Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 3, 2008 1:30 AM (in response to andy08)
    Are you sure you are not using it in a somewhat dark environment. I have an older MBP which is LED backlit and a Lenovo X300, which is also LED backlit and both cause eye strain only if used in the dark, like at night with not light. The reason is just high contrast with the surroundings. The display brightness should be just a notch higher, than the surrounding brightness to reduce strain on eyes.

    Try looking also at a different LED backlit device, like an iPod or a SatNav unit and see if that causes strain.

    Message was edited by: kusok
    Macbook core duo & MBP SR 2.4 GHz, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • andy08 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 3, 2008 7:19 AM (in response to kusok)
    Well, my MBA is also LED backlighted. But no problems at all with the display. Maybe because of the missing glass front?
    Macbook (Unibody), MBA, Mac OS X (10.5.5)
  • sathinator Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 14, 2008 11:24 AM (in response to andy08)
    I have both a Macbook Air and a new Unibody Macbook Pro - neither screen causes me problems, glass or no glass. There is just something weird going on with the new Macbooks, and it certainly has NOTHING to do with LED backlighting per se. I can look at both my MBA and MBP in any lighting conditions without problems.

    I could not stand to look at the screen on the Unibody Macbook I bought on launch and I found not only the viewing angle atrocious, but there was also a blurriness about it too. It was very hard, even painful to look at for more than a few minutes, and it had a strange blueish tone about it.

    Numerous people have returned their new Macbooks because of the panel in them. I can't see that Apple will have any other option but to replace the panels that they are using in these computers, because if there are people returning them in these forums, the returns must be pretty large on a global scale. The bean counters have got it wrong, and need to be sacked.
    UBMBP, MBA, Mac OS X (10.5.5), iPhone 3G
  • Hao Q. Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 14, 2008 1:47 PM (in response to David.)
    exactly. we deserve a better screen. if more and more ppl return their macbooks, apple will have to fix the problem. AFAIK, there are tons of people returning their MBs. so do not hesitate to return yours if you feel uncomfortable with yours. remember what happened when the white macbook had the random shut down problems?
  • Richard Cartledge Level 2 Level 2 (435 points)
    I was impressed with the screen at first but after a few hours I don't like it. I still have a black plastic Macbook which was new in September and have compared them side by side and run through the calibration on both many times. The result on the aluminium screen is inferior every time. Reading text is horrible, even if I dim the aluminum one to the same level as the old one and then run the calibration, the test is hard to read and photos look harsh and contrast in comparison. Worst of all, I hate the trackpad, it is giving me RSI and the noise it makes when I'm working late at night sounds like I'm operating some archaic contraption and it disturbs others. 3/10
  • sathinator Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    It is widely acknowledged that the screen on this new Macbook is probably less usable than the one it replaces, even if that one doesn't have LED backlighting.

    I also agree with you that the trackpad is also less than fantastic - why this no button minimalism? Look at the first iPod Touch, for example - at least Apple came to their senses with V 2.0.

    I have set my new MBP trackpad to tap mode for left and right clicks as I think the sound and feel of the new trackpad button is crude. Just go to the trackpad settings to do this, if you didn't already know. The multi-touch trackpad, WITH BUTTON, on the MBA is great.
    UBMBP 2.4ghz 4GB, MBA, Mac OS X (10.5.5), iPhone 3G
  • Pancenter Level 5 Level 5 (7,505 points)
    sathinator wrote:
    This is something that I experienced with my alum Macbook 2.4ghz too, before I returned it..


    I now have a new MBP with no such problems. Its viewing angles are also noticeably better. It is of course a large and heavy machine, and not what I wanted. I can't say I'm very happy about it all.


    So... Apple's strategy worked?

    (just kidding... kind of)

    pancenter-
    Power Mac G5 1.8GHz Dual, 4GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.5.3), RME Audio - MOTU MIDI, Mac (Logic 8.02), Athlon-64 PC
  • Richard Cartledge Level 2 Level 2 (435 points)
    I can't get on with the tap to click settings, but did you know that you can make an undocumented adjustment from the underside by turning an adjuster screw? The click is now much like previous macbooks and powerbook in feel and sound. It is a Y -tri-wing screw, but is not tight to turn so I used a small flat blade.
  • Torrance Hodgson Calculating status...
    I thought I'd chime in as I'm having similar problems. I only got the new MacBook last week, but since getting it I have suffered all week from headaches. Though the screen itself is nice, colours seem vibrant, and I'm noticing no flicker.

    At first I thought it was my posture, having previously been using desktop computers, but to no avail. So I'm keeping away from the MacBook today and testing whether or not the headaches stop. I'm currently writing this on my old iMacG5 and despite it being noticeably dimmer, this is a much more relaxing experience on my eyes.

    It should be noted that I spend a lot of time on a computer, currently writing my Masters, but I have never before suffered like this.

    Reading this thread I am at a loss precisely what may be the cause of the problem: the brightness of the screen, the highly reflective glass display, the characteristics (or flicker) of light produced by the LED backlights...
    IMac G5 17inch 1.8GHz
  • Richard Cartledge Level 2 Level 2 (435 points)
    I wonder if it is because LED light is somewhat polarised highly directional, whereas the fluorescent tubes on the old model are diffused. Maybe this is the problem even though I can't explain why.

    Message was edited by: Richard Cartledge
  • sathinator Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I really believe this headache/eye strain issue is specifically related to the new Macbooks alone - there is just something peculiar about the screen (at least on some of new panels, if not all of them). I have not experienced this issue using the new MBP, or the MBA, but suffered from it on the new Macbooks.
    UBMBP 2.4ghz 4GB, MBA, Mac OS X (10.5.5), iPhone 3G
  • palooka76 Calculating status...
    I just returned a Macbook and ebayed a new Macbook Pro for this same reason. The MBP display is much clearer, but gave me a headache just the same. I am convinced it was the coating on the LEDs. They just have a...strange...brightness to them. No amount of calibrating or fiddling with the brightness could get rid of it.

    Got myself a new Dell laptop...the 13" screen is AMAZING, and Vista is actually not bad at all. It runs Photoshop and of course Firefox without a hiccup, and DVD's look awesome on it! Oh and it was only $650 from their outlet.

    My name is Palooka, and I am a PC.
    Mac OS X (10.4.5)

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