This post is about a well discussed issue regarding the screen uniformity problem of the iPad Air. Below are some existing discussions:
The main issues associated with the screens are:
1) Darker vertical bar down the left edge (when holding in portrait), and/or a darker vertical bar about one inch into the screen from the left edge
2) Difference in color on the two sides of the screen. Warmer (more yellowish) left side and cooler (more blueish) right side.
There have been a number of photos posted by users of the iPad Air's screen to illustrate the problem. Many of them confirm the above two issues.
The issue seems to associate with the majority of batches of the iPad Air that are currently available. Users who report the problem are from different countries. Many users reported that the issue was persistent after a number of exchanges. There are also reports that the majority of display units at Apple Stores also have the same problem.
I personally bought an iPad Air in Australia on launch day. Noticed the screen issue fairly quickly after unboxing. The left side was more yellowish, and darker than the right side. I asked for a replacement on the same day. The second unit, unfortunately also had the same problem. The left side was warmer. It was fairly obvious when using the split keyboard (the left half is warmer than the right half of the keyboard, when held in portraint). When viewing a web page with white background, it is sometimes very obvious that the left side is different from the right side. Later I also noticed that there was a darker stripe down the left (slightly away from the left edge). There were also darker horizontal lines across. The horizontal lines were fairly minor but occasionally noticeable during normal use.
I asked again for a replacement. Sadly the replacement has more or less the same problem.
At the end of the post are some pictures that illustrate the problem. I took photos of my second and third units in a dark room using a DSLR camera. Pure white pictures were displayed with brightness maxed out. It was immediately apparent from my camera screen (and from the viewfinder) that there was a darker stripe on the left. Increase the contrast in Photoshop it is even more obvious. As for color shifts, I max out saturation in Photoshop and the result confirms what I, and many others see in daily use.
We should acknowledge that it's impossible to make a perfectly uniform screen. However the unevenness should not show up in daily use either. I myself often get distracted by the uniformity issue when using Safari to browse white-background web pages. This is not an isolated case and has been reported by many others. I hope Apple can rectify this. After all, I bought an Apple product partly because of the generally superior and more accurate screens compared to others, and most importantly Apple is a company about perfection.
My second unit, increased contrast:
My second unit, increased saturation:
My third unit, increased contrast:
My third unit, increased saturation: