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navaira

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2015
3,854
5,053
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Huh. I've been using mine for a few days and everything was perfect… until today. Basically, all of the above is happening, including slight dizziness. I added the SPF app, will see if that helps. Dark mode looks good, but the white colour in particular hurts.

Careful update: SPF + changing the white point + disabling TrueTone + disabling automatic brightness seem to have helped.
 
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ghanwani

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2008
3,158
3,548
A quick update.

I returned the machine today and decided not to get a replacement. I'm back on my 2019 MBA and no issues with eyestrain or headache.

Too exhausted to try a 3rd machine.
 
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TDDM

macrumors 6502
Nov 25, 2017
482
616
KA
A quick update.

I returned the machine today and decided not to get a replacement. I'm back on my 2019 MBA and no issues with eyestrain or headache.

Too exhausted to try a 3rd machine.
Mind sharing the specs of the 2019 MBA? Chip, graphics, etc? I’m surprised the M1 have you trouble but the 2019 one is fine for your eyes.
 

ghanwani

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2008
3,158
3,548
Mind sharing the specs of the 2019 MBA? Chip, graphics, etc? I’m surprised the M1 have you trouble but the 2019 one is fine for your eyes.
There was only one chip available on the 2019 (identical to the 2018). See attachment for specs. It is pretty slow.

Given the discussion with the Genius Bar the M1 MBA was probably defective. But after 2 defective units in a row (the first had the wobble because of the bent chassis) I was just tired and wanted to take a break.
 

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johnscully

macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2010
133
41
Would it be "safe" to use use the Macbook Air M1 with a brightness level above the percentage Notebookcheck claims has no PWM? How about the slight flickering at 60 Hz at all brightness levels? Wanted to buy one as I want a Mac without a fan but now I'm getting confused by these figures.
 
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ghanwani

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2008
3,158
3,548
Would it be "safe" to use use the Macbook Air M1 with a brightness level above the percentage Notebookcheck claims has no PWM? How about the slight flickering at 60 Hz at all brightness levels? Wanted to buy one as I want a Mac without a fan but now I'm getting confused by these figures.
The only way you can know for sure if it works for you is if you try one. Those of us experiencing problems are in a minority, or this thread would have been on fire. I don't think what I experienced was due to PWM.
 

turbineseaplane

macrumors G3
Mar 19, 2008
9,082
15,495
We have an M1 MBA in the house (since December) and the main source of eye strain for me is just the small screen.

I really wish they'd make a larger "Air class" MacBook.
 
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johnscully

macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2010
133
41
The only way you can know for sure if it works for you is if you try one. Those of us experiencing problems are in a minority, or this thread would have been on fire. I don't think what I experienced was due to PWM.
OLED iPhones make my eyes feel uncomfortable so I guess I'm sensitive to it. Would the MacBook Pro M1 be a better choice for PWM sensitive people? Notebookcheck doesn't mention anything about 60 hz flicker on the Pro model.
 
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TDDM

macrumors 6502
Nov 25, 2017
482
616
KA
There was only one chip available on the 2019 (identical to the 2018). See attachment for specs. It is pretty slow.

Given the discussion with the Genius Bar the M1 MBA was probably defective. But after 2 defective units in a row (the first had the wobble because of the bent chassis) I was just tired and wanted to take a break.
Thanks for the info. I'm going to look into the 2019 Air and see if it's any different symptom-wise.

Would it be "safe" to use use the Macbook Air M1 with a brightness level above the percentage Notebookcheck claims has no PWM? How about the slight flickering at 60 Hz at all brightness levels? Wanted to buy one as I want a Mac without a fan but now I'm getting confused by these figures.
In my experience, no. The slight 60Hz flicker causes me eye strain and headaches no matter which brightness level, regardless of PWM. I think you should try it out though, it seems like we all have different levels of flicker sensitivity, you never know what may end up working out for you.
 

ghanwani

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2008
3,158
3,548
Notebookcheck doesn't mention anything about 60 hz flicker on the Pro model.
Interesting. I didn't see that. Perhaps that is what was causing my eye pain and headaches. I've read many similar stories on reddit. Maybe the pro model is the way to go then.

I have decided to hold off on buying anything for now. I'm hoping the new MBA is released later this year with lower weight and the display issue fixed. My main concerns with getting the pro are added weight and touchbar. I have tried the touchbar and didn't like it and ended up returning the machine.
 

ghanwani

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2008
3,158
3,548
OLED iPhones make my eyes feel uncomfortable so I guess I'm sensitive to it. Would the MacBook Pro M1 be a better choice for PWM sensitive people? Notebookcheck doesn't mention anything about 60 hz flicker on the Pro model.
If you do try the M1 MBP, please report back on whether or not it worked.
 

ghanwani

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2008
3,158
3,548
I went to the store and played with both the M1 MBA and M1 MBP side by side. I turned off true tone and auto brightness on both and set the size to 1280x800 eq and did some browsing with both. There is a noticeable difference in the display quality and the M1 MBP looked better to my eyes. It's hard to be certain about headaches until I actually buy one and use it for at least a couple of hours but it looks like the M1 MBP may be a better option.

I'm trying to decide whether to get that or just wait till the new MBAs are out. Both the MBA and MBP feel so much bigger than my XPS 13 from work, not to mention the XPS 13 is lighter and I don't have any issues with headaches.
 

ghanwani

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2008
3,158
3,548
My curiosity got the better of me and I got an M1 MBP. However, I immediately noticed the same variation in display lighting that I had with the M1 MBA and ended up returning it. I'm so disappointed that there is no solution in the macbook lineup. Will keep my fingers crossed that whatever is released next will be better in this regard.
 
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Significant1

macrumors 65816
Dec 20, 2014
1,488
627
My curiosity got the better of me and I got an M1 MBA. However, I immediately noticed the same variation in display lighting that I had with the M1 MBA and ended up returning it. I'm so disappointed that there is no solution in the macbook lineup. Will keep my fingers crossed that whatever is released next will be better in this regard.
Did you mean M1 MBP?
 
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asus389

macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2019
109
62
USA
My curiosity got the better of me and I got an M1 MBP. However, I immediately noticed the same variation in display lighting that I had with the M1 MBA and ended up returning it. I'm so disappointed that there is no solution in the macbook lineup. Will keep my fingers crossed that whatever is released next will be better in this regard.

Hmm I was hoping the M1 MBP would be good. I currently have a 13 inch 2017 2TB3 MBP and its been great. I always felt the 2017 2TB3 MBP had a screen that wasn't very irritating compared to some of the other models. Since the current M1 MBP is the successor to this model, I wonder what they changed?
 
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ghanwani

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2008
3,158
3,548
Hmm I was hoping the M1 MBP would be good. I currently have a 13 inch 2017 non Touch Bar 2 port MBP and its been great. I always felt the 2 port non Touch Bar MBP had a screen that wasn't very irritating compared to some of the other models. Since the current M1 MBP is the successor to this model, I wonder what they changed?
Notebookcheck reported 60 Hz flicker for M1 MBA but not for MBP. Someone asked the question for MBP in the comments, but the author didn't respond. I too have had a 2017 2TB3 MBP and it was fine. I now have a 2019 MBA and that is fine too.
 

AndreyAzimov

macrumors newbie
Nov 21, 2017
6
3
Ukraine, Kyiv
Aug 24, 2021

I just bought MacBook Air M1 (Big Sur 11.3.1) today I have feel eye strain and a bit dizzy after 10 mins of using it, especially when I'm scrolling.

Before I had (and still have) MacBook Pro 13" Retina 2014 with Catalina. I could work on it for 8 hours+ without any problems.

I tried to use SPF app to make it dimmer (with and without Night Shift) but it didn't help much.

Any tips what else I can try to be able to fix it? Thanks.

MacBook Pro 13" Retina 2014 VS MacBook Air M1 2020

I compared these two MacBooks on the maximum brightness and I found out that the display of my old MacBook Pro Retina 2014 is more brighter and has warmer colors.
New Macbook Air has a bit darker display and a bit of blue-ish cold colors.

Interesting that MacBook Air M1 has 365 nits and the old Macbook Pro has 286 nits.

I like the display of my old MacBook Pro more. I would be curios to compare it with a new MacBook Pro M1

UPDATE: I found a way to fix it.

1. System Preferences -> Display -> Scaled -> Select "Looks like 1280 x 800".

It turns out that in my old MacBook Pro the default resolution was 1280 x 800 (I used it) but in a this new MacBook Air default is 1440 x 900 (everything is smaller). This was not obvious, because I just checked if it was set to default (I didn't compare the actual resolution).

2. Change the default red wallpaper to something more chill. I ended up just using a black color.

Other
- Brightness is ~65% (no auto brightness)
- I didn't change Color Profile and white point. In the new MacBook the white point is set to 6,507 and in old one it set to 6,509.
- True Tone and Night Shift are activated (it was also activated on my old MacBook)

I still have some eye strain but it much more less than before.
 
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ghanwani

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2008
3,158
3,548
The 3 things I've heard are:
- Turn off auto brightness
- Turn off night shift
- Adjust white point

They didn't work for me and I ended up returning mine.
 

Aleksid1

macrumors member
Nov 14, 2017
75
33
I just bought MacBook Air M1 (Big Sur 11.3.1) today I have feel eye strain and a bit dizzy after 10 mins of using it, especially when I'm scrolling.

Before I had MacBook Pro 13" Retina 2014 and I can work with it for 8 hours+ without any problems.

I tried to use SPF app to make it dimmer (with and without Night Shift) but it didn't help much.

Any tips what else I can try to be able to fix it? Thanks.
If you still have the old Macbook, put both Macbooks side by side and try to adjust a screen of the new Mac similar to the old one.

1. Disable True Tone.
2. Adjust (reduce) brightness (similar to the old Mac). I frequently recommend to reduce brightness level, because usually people set very high brightness.
3. Adjust white point and make it warmer (6000K for example). Personally I found that new Macbook have white with blue tint, and my old Macbook has more warm white color.
 

Expos of 1969

Cancelled
Aug 25, 2013
3,271
6,181
I don't have issues but the display is certainly inferior to my 2013 MacBook Pro. But my new MBA is better than what I considered to be a terrible display on earlier MBAs.
 

ghanwani

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2008
3,158
3,548
I don't have issues but the display is certainly inferior to my 2013 MacBook Pro. But my new MBA is better than what I considered to be a terrible display on earlier MBAs.
Earlier as in pre-retina or earlier as in intel rMBA 2019/2020 or 2018 (lacks truetone).
 

Expos of 1969

Cancelled
Aug 25, 2013
3,271
6,181
Earlier as in pre-retina or earlier as in intel rMBA 2019/2020 or 2018 (lacks truetone).
Not 100% sure, I only looked on occasion in my local reseller. But it was not too long ago. I found the display dull and text verging on fuzzy.
 
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