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My new iPad Screen Has Jaundice



The biggest deal about the new iPad is the awesome, outrageous, amazing, beautiful, mesmerizing, pick your adjective, Retina display. Reviewers are wearing out the Thesaurus trying to find a way to describe it. I have to admit, skeptical as I am, I was a bit disappointed in what I saw when I first looked at the new iPad’s display. Many are comparing the significant change to what they experienced when the first Retina display appeared on the iPhone. I’m doing the same. My response then was the same as it is now. Yep. It looks better. But  it isn’t earth shattering. I’ve seen some folks saying this innovation is more than just resolutionary and is truly revolutionary. Perhaps beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Or maybe it is just my retinas.

Don’t get me wrong. The increase in pixels is eye catching. But I’ve got to wonder if Apple is placing the new iPad alongside the iPad 2 in its stores. When I place the two devices side by side the increased resolution is noticeable but to no degree that makes me want to jump up and down and proclaim a revolution. I’m guessing a lot has to do with lighting and brightness settings. (Turn the brightness up full on the new iPad and you can make your retinas burn.) And that feeling of seeing icons floating on the screen that some describe depends largely on the wallpaper you’ve chosen for a background. The one I like to use doesn’t show any real distinction between the iPad 2 or the new iPad.

More troubling, I also noticed that the color temperature of the display on the new iPad is warmer or yellower. In fact when the two devices are placed side by side the display on the new iPad looks like it has a case of jaundice. I don’t notice this as much when I am only using the new iPad, but only when they are side by side. But I will say that some images that have a heavily saturated yellow or green in them make this apparent even in isolation. Side by side viewing text the “paper” appears distinctly yellowed.

I mentioned this to the GBM gang and some are seeing the same thing. Xavier pointed to a thread on Ars Technica where at least one fellow seems to have a more distinct case of it than I do. (Or at least his camera captures it better than mine does.) I don’t know if this is an early run manufacturing bug, (that happens you know) or just what we’re going to see with these new iPads, so I’ll be keeping a watch on this in the days ahead. Bottom line, it leaves my reaction to the new iPad a bit tinged.

The pictures in the gallery below were taken with an iPhone 4S and the new iPad is on the right, so you can judge for yourself. Both iPads had auto brightness turned on.

UPDATE: See an update to this post here.



  1. Karlbowers2

    03/17/2012 at 9:31 am

    Yep, I’ve noticed this on my iPhone 4 vs my girlfriends iPhone 4. A yellow tinge right acorss the display. I’m really keen to splash out £700+ on a 64gb iPad 3. But err…. Nah…. :-/

  2. josheinstein

    03/17/2012 at 9:35 am

    Ew that is terrible. I really hope it’s a rare flaw and not a sign of slipping quality in the post-Jobs era.

  3. ol1bit

    03/17/2012 at 9:54 am

    Is the color temp changeable on ipads?

  4. Devnickle

    03/17/2012 at 10:02 am

    Yeah, not so pretty

  5. John Mangino

    03/17/2012 at 10:45 am

    Well that’s a bummer. Maybe it’s the apps coming. I imagine games and Avid editing will be fairly sweet on the thing. If it isn’t yellow anyway. 

  6. Dry_ice589

    03/17/2012 at 2:29 pm

    My new iPad has this yellowish tint.

  7. Nicehall

    03/17/2012 at 4:13 pm

    Mine has the yellow also.  I hate it.  It’s more concentrated at the top then fades to a more normal white towards the bottom of the screen.  I’ll be taking mine back.  To upgrade for a screen that is supposed to be better, but is inferior is unacceptable.

  8. TheRealCBONE

    03/17/2012 at 5:24 pm

    I checked the new ipad out at Best Buy last night. I did have to wait a minute and the sales guy had to show the people in front of me which was the new one. Once I got a look for myself, it actually was hard to tell. They need to have them looping high-res footage or something. Not worth it to me. If this fast jailbreaking continues, I’ll be in for one when they cave on their anti-stylus stance.

  9. Joshua

    03/17/2012 at 7:16 pm

    Talk around Apple support is that its a glue compound they used for the screen. It is supposed to go away after a few days of use.

    • Stocklone

      03/18/2012 at 3:43 pm

      Haven’t we gone through the yellow screen thing with past launches? A new launch and nobody remembers? I can’t wait to read another yellow screen article at the next Apple launch.

  10. Guest Fly

    03/17/2012 at 9:51 pm

    Thank you for expressing my exact feelings, and my ipad is too warm/yellow too! I hate it! I want to keep my ipad2, but I have already sold it. Very very disappointed. This is the first time I have picked up any new product at launch and as of right now, I’ll never make that mistake again! It seems like its always something… This yellow tinged screen is really distracting and disturbing to me. ….goes away in a few days? I’m really doubtful. 

  11. Matt Sky

    03/17/2012 at 10:09 pm

    I saw the same thing… Maybe it was a dud, but the screen required you to turn new iPads brightness way up and while sharper didn’t necessarily look better in terms of color and vibrance. I feel like those raving are getting a tad bit of placebo effect or something, just wanting to believe it so ridiculously better when in some ways it isn’t,

  12. Tim Salomon

    03/18/2012 at 2:41 am

    heard that the apps that looked good on the iPad 2 doesn’t look too
    good on the new iPad. Owners of the new iPad will have to wait for
    the apps to be upgraded. 

  13. Tim Davies

    03/18/2012 at 3:18 pm

    I’m comparing mine to my iPad 1, both which full white back grounds and I don”t notice a difference. I guess I got a good one.(I have a white one with no bleed through either, as I remember they had that problem with the ipad 2’s)

  14. Wicked Lester

    03/19/2012 at 7:03 am

    Try burning it in by leaving it on full brightness for 24 hours or more.  Worth a try.  There’s a few threads on the go about this and it’s a real mess if it isn’t to do with the glue, i.e. it will wear off.

    I’ve a UK 64Gb, 4G and it’s spot on screen wise.  Very crisp and white.

    I’d be asking for a replacement if the problem continues.

  15. Catatonic

    03/19/2012 at 8:39 am

    Settle down, peeps. The yellow is from the bonding agent used to fuse the glass to the digitizer. These things were manufactured so recently that the tint from this adhesive hasn’t had enough time to dissipate. The same thing occurred with the previous iPads. Just give it a couple weeks to fade away. If you’re still not happy, Apple gives you 30 days to return it, so you can take it back if you’re not satisified. Mine has the yellow tint as well, but I’m just going to wait it out.

    • Jamesbaker

      04/07/2012 at 2:20 pm

      You only have two weeks to return it!

  16. Guest Fly

    03/20/2012 at 4:34 pm

    Update: I was looking for light leakage and accidentally grabbed my ipad2. It was perfect and flawless. With relief I come back to my desk only to realize I grabbed the wrong one. So I checked my new ipad, and HALF of the ‘top’ (short length) screen was leaking light. I didn’t even have to go in a dark room it was so obvious. So its going back for that. Will continue to update re: Screen color on my new new ipad.

  17. Darran

    03/20/2012 at 5:24 pm

    Being a graphic artist having white a warm color is better overall. It matches white of paper in conjunction with interior lighting better, movies use a 65k color temp as giving a warm white and it reproduces skin colors better. 93k color temp reproduces a blue white which by contrast looks brighter but the color shift isn’t great for matching work for printmaking, skin tones are off and such. Overall warm colors and more pleasing, this might sound like opinion but it’s bordering a matter of fact in the printmaking/graphic art world. It’s all just a matter of opinion but saying there’s jaundice is a bit ridiculous, the eye get used to it whatever white point your looking at if you give it a chance. I’m not an Apple fan, just a 65k fan. 

  18. Guest Fly

    03/22/2012 at 1:59 pm

    Followup: Got a new ipad and the screen actually isn’t quite as yellow as the previous one! Still warmer (colorwise) though. Also absolutely no light leaks on this one. The previous one also got glitchy and had white lines across under the icons at one point. I think I had a lemon before, and this one overall is definitely smoother. I guess I will adapt to the color change. Not a big fan of it though. Again: I do like the other improvements. This one also gets quite warm (temperature wise) but nothing terribly uncomfortable yet.

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