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iPad decision time: 60Hz or 120Hz better for the eyes?

Crunch

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Jun 26, 2008
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As part of my decision as to which iPad to get, I'd like to know if any of you happen to know if 60Hz refresh rate in displays is better on the eyes vs. 120Hz ones?

I've found proponents on both sides, but only one can be correct. If a screen flashes at your eyes 60 times every second, as opposed to 120 items every single second, which is worse for your vision and overall health?

The ProMotion feature of the newer iPad Pros was one of the features I specifically wanted to get, but given what we know about LED displays and blue light after dark, it has to play a role in the decision!


Thanks!! :)
 
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TheRealAlex

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Sep 2, 2015
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As part of my decision as to which iPad to get, I'd like to know if any of you happen to know if 60Hz refresh rate in displays is better on the eyes vs. 120Hz ones?

I've found proponents on both sides, but only one can be correct. If a screen flashes at your eyes 60 times every second, as opposed to 120 items every single second, which is worse for your vision and overall health?

The ProMotion feature of the newer iPad Pros was one of the features I specifically wanted to get, but given what we know about LED displays and blue light after dark, it has to play a role in the decision!


Thanks!! :)

I specifically stayed away from the 2017 10.5” IPad Pro. Because it break a cardinal rule of Apple products which is Never Buy a 1st Gen Apple product. And the 120hz ProMotion was exactly that. It exists no where else on any other product and you know Apple is improving it.
I like the smoothness but so many different devices at different refresh rates messes with you.

Home TV 60hz
Cellphone 60hz
Work laptop 60hz
Gaming home PC 144hz
IPAd Pro 10.5” 120hz
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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Because it break a cardinal rule of Apple products which is Never Buy a 1st Gen Apple product.
Not for nothing, but Apple's first gen products have been by and large problem free. The one's with issues are the exception not the norm.

And the 120hz ProMotion was exactly that. It exists no where else on any other product and you know Apple is improving it.
Technically speaking, the 10.5 is a second generation product. it has a new feature but then many product revisions from apple include new features and we don't consider them first generation. I think in not getting the 10.5, you missed out on a fantastic device, I absolutly love my 10.5 iPad Pro.
 

CrazyForCashews

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Apr 1, 2018
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I had a 10.5" iPad Pro for a limited time but sold it in anticipation of the 2018 iPad Pro, and as far as I remember I didn't have any eye strain or feel uncomfortable when using it.

The 120Hz screen is a pleasure and joy to use. It was marvellous. It needs to be on every Apple product. Kudos to Apple for pushing screen tech.

If the 2018 iPad Pro has a notch I will run out and buy the 2017 iPad Pro. I regret selling it as it was pretty much perfect.
 

MacDevil7334

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Oct 15, 2011
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One thing to keep in mind is that the 2017 iPad Pro has a variable refresh rate. It’s only at 120 Hz when it needs to be, such as when the pencil is being used or a game is being played. When you are reading text or watching a movie (which has a lower frame rate), the screen refresh rate slows way down to save battery. So, the amount of time the screen is actually refreshing at 120 Hz is probably pretty small.

All that being said, I don’t think a 120 Hz refresh rate is going to cause any eye strain issues.
 
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rui no onna

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Oct 25, 2013
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The 120Hz screen is a pleasure and joy to use. It was marvellous. It needs to be on every Apple product. Kudos to Apple for pushing screen tech.
That it does. Mind, I have it disabled on my Pro 12.9 because it makes my other devices feel slower/less responsive. I'll enable it once all my iOS devices have it. :p
 

d5aqoëp

macrumors 65816
Feb 9, 2016
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That it does. Mind, I have it disabled on my Pro 12.9 because it makes my other devices feel slower/less responsive. I'll enable it once all my iOS devices have it. :p
That is a funny post. I use my iPad 10.5 Pro at its maximum refresh rate of 120hz. After a few days, our eyes adapt to smooth animations. Suddenly using my iPhone 7 or other Air 2 doesn’t cause a jarring effect. It is so subtle as if the 60hz animations....they go unnoticed.

Who disables the best features and tortures oneself? Lol
 

Radon87000

macrumors 604
Nov 29, 2013
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One thing to keep in mind is that the 2017 iPad Pro has a variable refresh rate. It’s only at 120 Hz when it needs to be, such as when the pencil is being used or a game is being played. When you are reading text or watching a movie (which has a lower frame rate), the screen refresh rate slows way down to save battery. So, the amount of time the screen is actually refreshing at 120 Hz is probably pretty small.

All that being said, I don’t think a 120 Hz refresh rate is going to cause any eye strain issues.
It's definitely at 120hz while web browsing because it's an immediate difference when placed against my Air 2.
 
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simonmet

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Sep 9, 2012
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I've found proponents on both sides

Really? This is news to me. I’ve never heard, nor can I think of, any reason why the faster refresh rate could be worse on the eyes. It’s been universally praised, to the point that some people like rui no ona above say it makes their other devices look bad. Faster refresh rates are going to make the UI appear more fluid and life-like, and as has been mentioned is only used when needed to avoid unnecessary drain on the battery. I too wish it was on every Apple product; it’s a major draw card for the iPad Pro. But Apple hasn’t yet got every device to DCI-P3 colour gamut, so that’ll take a while. Also, the device needs to have the graphics power to support 120 Hz well. You do know that the 10.5” iPad has “TruTone” and even those devices that don’t let you modify the colour temperature in display settings?

Not for nothing, but Apple's first gen products have been by and large problem free. The one's with issues are the exception not the norm.

I disagree with the premise that the 10.5” iPad should be avoided or considered a first-gen product, but also with your statement that first-gen Apple products have been by-and-large problem free.

I and people I know have had terrible experiences with first-gen Apple products, and though I only count for one point of annecdotal evidence, you only have to read forums to get a sense of just how problematic they can (sometimes) be. I could make a huge list of such problems but recently the poor 1st-gen butterfly keyboards come to mind, as do a multitude of launch problems with the 2016 MacBook Pros, as does BendGate when Apple first launched >4” iPhones but failed to accommodate for the structural integrity required. Also AntennaGate. My first-gen iMac G5 was DOA after a couple of hours and the replacement unit, though working, was a POS. My brother’s first-gen rMBP had to go in for numerous repairs for things like a display with image-retention and later a complete logic-board failure. I could go on and on and on.

In contrast, my last-gen 2015 MacBook Pro was a dream machine and problem-free. There are reasons to be skeptical of first-gen Apple products. Apple likes to push technology to the market quickly and let its service and support take care of any higher rates of failure and other problems. These tend to settle down over the course of the first generation but sometimes require a major revision to change components and design, or even several.

I specifically stayed away from the 2017 10.5” IPad Pro. Because it break a cardinal rule of Apple products which is Never Buy a 1st Gen Apple product. And the 120hz ProMotion was exactly that. It exists no where else on any other product and you know Apple is improving it. I like the smoothness but so many different devices at different refresh rates messes with you.

I think Apple has done far more advanced stuff with the display controller on the iMac 5K. I wouldn’t worry about 120 Hz being relatively rare. I’ve not heard of any problems.
 
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rui no onna

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Oct 25, 2013
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That is a funny post. I use my iPad 10.5 Pro at its maximum refresh rate of 120hz. After a few days, our eyes adapt to smooth animations. Suddenly using my iPhone 7 or other Air 2 doesn’t cause a jarring effect. It is so subtle as if the 60hz animations....they go unnoticed.

Who disables the best features and tortures oneself? Lol
The problem is for me, after two weeks with ProMotion on, using my iPhone 7 and Pro 9.7 feels like torture (well, not quite but they do seem to lag noticeably). Kinda like going to HDD once you've gotten yourself used to SSD. Or like going back to economy when you're already used to business class.

Keeping the Pro 12.9 at 60Hz isn't really torture because I don't know what I'm missing (or at least I've already weaned myself off 120Hz and re-adapted to 60Hz so 60Hz feels normal again). It's the switching back and forth between 60Hz and 120Hz that would feel like torture for me.
 

simonmet

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Sep 9, 2012
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The problem is for me, after two weeks with ProMotion on, using my iPhone 7 and Pro 9.7 feels like torture (well, not quite but they do seem to lag noticeably). Kinda like going to HDD once you've gotten yourself used to SSD. Or like going back to economy when you're already used to business class.

Keeping the Pro 12.9 at 60Hz isn't really torture because I don't know what I'm missing (or at least I've already weaned myself off 120Hz and re-adapted to 60Hz so 60Hz feels normal again). It's the switching back and forth between 60Hz and 120Hz that would feel like torture for me.

This makes complete sense to me.
 
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MacDevil7334

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Oct 15, 2011
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It's definitely at 120hz while web browsing because it's an immediate difference when placed against my Air 2.
Sorry, I should have been clearer. When you scroll or pan around the page, the refresh rate speeds up to 120 Hz to give the UI that fluid motion. But when you are just reading static text or watching a video on a page, the refresh rate slows down to save battery life.
 
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turbineseaplane

macrumors 603
Mar 19, 2008
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You have to test for yourself...
I literally can't look at the ProMotion display for more than about 10 min before my eyes are bothered.

I have no clue why - I just totally prefer my 9.7" iPP with normal display.
 

Crunch

macrumors 6502a
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Jun 26, 2008
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That it does. Mind, I have it disabled on my Pro 12.9 because it makes my other devices feel slower/less responsive. I'll enable it once all my iOS devices have it. :p

Wow, that's interesting. You and at least two other members mentioned that viewing your devices with different refresh rates (i.e. 60Hz and 120Hz) is "torturous" and obviously highly uncomfortable.

It's also good to know that you can disable 120Hz mode, is that right?

It surprises me somewhat, but at the end of the day not really, that this is apparently an issue, at least for some people.

Are we being experimented on? How come this ProMotion technology didn''t make it into the iPhone 8/8 Plus or iPhone X? They were released months after the iPad Pros with ProMotion displays! Hmmm....
 

Crunch

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I love it. Do 120hz OLED screens even exist on any products yet?

Not that I'm aware. Is the 120Hz bothering you ever? They're selling it as this great thing when it very well might not beam which is what I'm trying to ascertain here. :)

Thanks for your input!
 

CrazyForCashews

macrumors 6502a
Apr 1, 2018
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They're selling it as this great thing when it very well might not beam which is what I'm trying to ascertain here. :)
The 120Hz screen on the 2017 iPad Pros are not great, they're fantastic, marvellous, mind-blowing, and the list goes on.

It's one of the biggest improvements and upgrades Apple has released on their products in a very long time. It's even better than the OLED screen on the X in terms of utility. I would say the 120Hz screen is on the same level as the introduction of the Retina screen in terms of "WOW" factor and benefit to the consumer.

You really need to see it to appreciate it. Why don't you go to an Apple store or your local electronics shop to check it out? You won't understand until you've seen it.
 
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