Friday, November 15, 2013

First Problem With iPad Mini With Retina: Image Retention

Reports are surfacing that the new iPad Mini with Retina Display has an issue with image retention. Image retention is where your screen retains shadows of a previously viewed image. Marco Arment created a grid test to check for this problem in the Retina MacBook Pros, noted that his new iPad Mini with Retina Display does in fact have the issue.
The first hint that this could be an issue in the iPad Mini model came last week, when rumors began making the rounds that Sharp’s IGZO panels suffered from burn-in, the condition that causes image retention. The rumors said that this problem was part of the holdup in production on the iPad Mini with Retina Display, and could also be a main contributor to the fact that the device was quietly released online without much fanfare.

Which Devices Are Affected?
The number of devices that are affected by this issue is still not known, but several iPad Mini owners on Twitter have used the grid test and determined that their devices do indeed have the problem. It’s also unclear as to whether this problem stems from specific display suppliers like Sharp, or if it runs across each of the suppliers screens. The reason for this is that not every one of the tablets has the problem, and devices from the same manufacturer often function perfectly, while others may experience the problem to some degree.

Apple Has Seen This Before
Image retention in products with the Retina Display screens has been a problem for Apple Inc. since the original Retina MacBook Pro displays were afflicted with the problem. The MacBook Pro issues were severe, with pieces of images from previously viewed screens hanging on into other screens for several minutes. One important thing to know about image retention is that it is not permanent, like the burn-in often seen on plasma displays.

Most of the time, the image retention problem is not noticeable, and is not necessarily a cause for alarm. However, if your iPad Mini with Retina Display does have the issue, you can return it for another unit, as you’re still in the window to exchange it.