Jan:
It's a problem I've always had with monitors. Do you have an astigmatism? Ages ago I had an eye doc who told me that my astigmatism "matched" the flicker rate of fluorescent bulbs and many monitors. Before LED and Retina displays I had all kinds of ways to play with the screen refresh rate. I find the Retina displays are a little bit better. Now, I make sure: 1) to never work in a room with fluorescent bulbs -- full range daylight bulbs help a lot; 2) to lower the brightness level to as low as I can possibly stand it; 3) to sit as far away from the screens as possible; 4) to make sure to look away at a distant object at least every 20 minutes (I sometimes have to set a reminder if I'm in the middle of a big project).

I find my eyes get tired more easily if I use the computer while wearing contacts. My ophthalmologist had me measure the distance from my monitor to my eyeballs and she made me a set of glasses specifically for computer use. It supposedly has a special coating to reduce computer glare and eye strain (probably just marketing hype that ups the price -- but it seems to work). 

If I'm doing a large color correction/Photoshop project, I do have an older, flat screen desktop monitor, color calibrated, with a hood, that has a 60 Hz refresh rate. That monitor is perfect for color and staring at intently for long periods of time, but it bugs me because it's not as sharp and crisp as I'm used to with the Retina. Sigh. Nothing's perfect.

I think it's a common problem. I think you're onto something with the refresh rate. Wish I had some better answers...

Good luck,

Deb


On Feb 1, 2014, at 12:14 PM, Veneliza Salcedo wrote:

Try f.lux?  It adjusts the color of your monitor depending on the time of day.  It will affect color work, though, but it does have hotkeys to turn it off.  http://justgetflux.com/


On Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 6:24 PM, janlan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hello,

Has anyone had a laptop or seen laptops that hurt their eyes?  I'm trying to find a new laptop and I am having trouble replacing my 3 yr old HP Elitebook, which HP gave me a full refund on, due to it being a lemon.  To get a new HP Elitebook and a low resolution screen, I will sacrifice an i7 and most likely a discrete graphics card.

When I look at MacBook Pros and now Lenovo Thinkpads the screens hurt my eyes after a short period of time.  There are long forums of people complaining about the MacBook Pros hurting their eyes, even with the Retina display.

I'm trying to figure out what aspect of the screen specifications hurt my eyes.  If I knew this it might be easier to find an appropriate laptop.  I think screens with a lower pulse width modulation, (PWM) may be harder on the eyes.  It sounds like Apple uses very strong LED's, so they have to reduce their brightness by flashing them on and off.  The pre- Retina display MacBook Pros were harder on my eyes, than the Retina Display models.

I would guess that I'm sensitive to the PWM, (similar to fluorescent lights).  A PC, with integrated Intel graphics has an option, to save battery life, which decreases the frequency of flashes, in the power save mode.  This can be disabled if one does not have a discrete graphics card.  Someone said some gaming computers, like Asus may have a 120 hz response time. Does anyone know if this is similar to the PWM?

It may be PWM is the problem, or it could be that newer screens are LED based, with passive reflex technology rather than TFT active matrix technology (which I think is related to the PWM), or it maybe that newer displays have a higher brightness/nit, contrast ratio.  An Acer Aspire does not hurt my eyes as much, as it is a glossy 1366x768 low resolution TFT active matrix screen.

Has anyone found a certain style laptop that is easier on the eyes and still retains good color values?

Thank you,
Jan

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