Macbook Pro - Eyestrain

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by hunterd, May 30, 2008.

  1. hunterd macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    #1
    I have a new Macbook Pro with matte screen that i am loving but my eyes definately bother me after a short time using it. I am a recent switcher and am coming from an IBM T42 with a 1024x768 resolution on a 14 inch screen. I have tried to lower the brightness (as others have suggested) but that does not seem to help. If I change the resolution then the fonts do not look very clear. I am wondering if I have to just live with it or if I should maybe exchange for a Macbook as the resolution seems my similar to my old IBM. Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly welcome.
     
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #2
    It is Apple's font smoothing, you can adjust it a bit, calibrate the screen ...

    But quite a few switchers complain about it and do get used to it.
     
  3. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #3
    To elaborate on what Sun Baked said, you're probably having a problem with Apple's font smoothing. Windows uses a different technique for rasterizing their font than OS X; one isn't necessarily better than the other, they're just different, and it may take your eyes and brain awhile to adjust.

    You may want to read this article, which I came across after a quick Google.
     
  4. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #4
    I don't see a point in replacing it with a MacBook. Both MBP 15" (I assume you have 15") and MacBook have the same DPI, but the MB has less pixels due to smaller screen.
     
  5. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #5
    OP, you mentioned that your eyes feel strained after using your mbp after a while. Do you use it in the dark frequently, or in a dimly lit place?

    I know that for myself, I need ambient light to help my eyes relax. It reduces strain and allows you to look at screens (including tv screens) for longer before your eyes strain.

    I don't know when you last went to an opthamologist, but they will advise you to not read computer screens in the dark and take off contact lenses if the strain becomes too great.

    If the matte screen itself is proving more problematic, try borrowing someone else's glossy screen to see if that helps (I doubt it).

    Like the others suggested, give it a little time and see if it persists. I could just be that your eyes aren't used to the font smoothing. :)
     
  6. hunterd thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    #6
    How would I go about trying to adjust the font smoothing or calibrate the screen? BTW I am loving the change already running Adium, Apple Mail, Growl, Quicksilver and TextExpander.
     
  7. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #7
    Look away for a few minutes from the computer every 30 minutes.

    I came from a UXGA 15" to a WSXGA+, so I didn't get any eye strain, but I also looks away once in a while.
     
  8. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #8
    You can't change the font smoothing (most likely the culprit), but to calibrate the screen colors, go to System Preferences > Displays > Color, and click the Calibrate button, ensuring you then check the "Expert Mode."
     
  9. redwarrior macrumors 603

    redwarrior

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    in the Dawg house
    #9
    For what it's worth, I recommend using it the way it is for a few weeks.

    I've had mine for about 3 months now. When I first started using it, it bothered me a lot. I was constantly trying to adjust font and sizes. I eventually reset all that back to the way it was meant to be, and I'm very happy with it now. No eye strain at all.

    Sounds weird that it's something that your eyes adjust to, but that might be it.
     
  10. WorldIRC macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    #10
    My eyes have been bothering me for months only on the MBP. I finally calibrated the colours a bit and I Feel at ease!
     
  11. redwarrior macrumors 603

    redwarrior

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    in the Dawg house
    #11
    Cool. Glad it worked out for ya. It would be a shame to not be able to stare at this awesome machine.
     
  12. WorldIRC macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    #12
    I wonder what about the colours it was. I adjusted the gamma a bit and it helped..
     
  13. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #13
    In System Preferences ...

    you can calibrate the display using Displays

    you can adjust the contrast [control-option-command-(period/comma)] I think that's the keys, otherwise current setting also seen under Universal Preferences.

    and you can also adjust some of the font smoothing/anti aliasing directly with Appearance. Don't know if you will notice a difference with the choices.

    ---

    In apps and finder ...

    Using view in the Apps to set make the text size bigger helps, along with adjusting the system font text size if needed.
     
  14. rjude02 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    #14
    The ever widening use of computers led to a marked increase in the reported cases of eyestrain. Still, too few computer users can identify the early symptoms of eyestrain. They stare daily at a lighted monitor, never noticing that their eyes have come under strain.
     
  15. groove-agent macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2006
    #15
    How about reducing the resolution in your screen preferences. I have bad eyesight and regularly run the screen at a lower rez so all the text is bigger.
     
  16. Check 6 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    #16
    I am in the early stages of Macular degeneration in both eyes (hell to get old) and I find the matte screen much easier on my eyes. I had a glass screen Imac that I quickly gave to my wife for that reason. The colors on a glass screen are more brilliant but the brightness ( and i had the brightness turned all the way down) plus the reflected glare quickly fatigued my eyes. My MBP is a anti-glare (matte) screen as is the display on my Mac Pro and i can work on either one much longer with less eye strain. Additionally they are easier to calibrate.
     
  17. kasakka macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #17
    This is a bad idea because LCD displays have a native resolution. Anything below that will have to be scaled and will be blurry. This would most likely cause more eyestrain because your eyes try to focus on text constantly because of the blurryness. I suggest keeping the display at the native resolution and if you truly can't see something then use the zoom feature in OSX (Ctrl+mouse wheel, don't know what's the touchpad equivalent).
     
  18. groove-agent macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2006
    #18
    If you bump it down a couple notches it really doesn't appear blurry. Besides, it's not the blurriness that causes eyestrain, it's not being able to see and make out the letters that causes you to focus harder. As long as you can make out the letters effortlessly, you'll be ok.
     
  19. rmcusc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    #19
    This might not help most of you, but it helped me. I am a medical student and I spend most of my day reading text on my computer- trying to memorize it. I started getting eye strain headaches, so i searched for a solution. When you are reading strictly text you may want to invert the screen colors to that you are reading white on black. This makes pictures look ridiculous but you can easily switch back and forth. Make sure you make the windows large enough so that you cannot see the desktop background. It also really helps when I am studying while my wife is sleeping, because the screen does not light up the entire room.

    press control-option-command-8

    repeat to go back

    I hope this helps some of you
     
  20. montom macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    #20
    I'm getting eyestrain, headaches, and mild motion sickness with my 13" Macbook Pro Summer 2009.

    So far I have traced it down to the following causes:

    1) The mirror-like gloss: Each eye sees two different reflections, which is disorienting, and the reflection bounces when the laptop is in motion, like when typing on a table that wiggles a little. This causes motion sickness, as in headache and nausea. The reflections these MBPs are much higher than the white Macbook, I'd say about 5-10x brighter.

    2) The black bezel, high brightness, and high contrast: the blacks are really black, meaning your iris opens wider to let in more light, but then the brights are really bright, so your retina gets hit with sharp patches of light, causing eye pain and headaches.

    3) Strong pixel-walk issue: Versus my old powerbook, there is a noticeable flicker or shimmer on the MBP due to uneven common-voltage being sent to the LCD pixels. The flicker is 30Hz, imagine what that's doing to your brainwaves. See explanation here: http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/inversion.php

    Short of returning this MBP, I have handled the above effects by:

    1) turning down brightness to 50%

    2) then calibrating using advanced settings, making sure that white point is made warmer (6000k) and that the gamma is set around 2.0-2.2.

    The gloss glare is still a problem. I haven't tried an anti-glare film yet, though I heard it makes everything look grainy. Anyone have experience with that?

    Also the 30Hz flicker remains a problem, although turning down the brightness and calibrating the gamma to make lower contrast reduces it somewhat.

    Apple needs to do something about the gloss on these 13" MBPs, like offer a matte option, or some anti-glare coating on the glass. Had no idea how glossy these things were. I'm contemplating returning this laptop still, since my G4 Powerbook is so much easier to look at... can stare at it for 10 hours straight and not get eye strain. Yet this MBP, just 10 minutes at factory settings causes my eyes to feel like they're getting gouged out with a spork. After applying the above changes, now I can look at it for maybe an hour before the same happens.
     
  21. JajoPGH macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #21
    I am also feeling eyestrain with my new Macbook Pro. At first, I thought it was because it is just a 13 inch. Should I have bought a 15 inch for more real estate? I figured I could use the money saved for an Apple Cinema Display.

    The more I think about it, the more I realize it has nothing to do with the screen size. I could stare at my iPhone ALL DAY and I have never ever had a problem with my eyes. Matter of fact, my eyes are in terrific shape (knock on wood, of course)

    Is it the glossy screen? The way the text is rendered? I am not sure, but I am hoping I get used to it ASAP. I love this computer otherwise, but if it doesn't cooperate with me, I'm not sure what to do. :(
     
  22. dennis123123 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    #22
    Find out which by switching off antialiasing for fonts, and try it for a day or two. If you have Windows on bootcamp, try that and see if the problem persists. if it does, then you have a problem with the glossy screen.
     
  23. JajoPGH macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #23
    Thank you for the information.

    I changed the text rendering options for the computer, but what about when I'm browing the internet. For instance, if I'm looking at MacRumors, I'll feel eyestrain and perhaps it's the text. How do I change that? I can't find the option in Firefox or Safari.
     
  24. dennis123123 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    #24
    It is changeable globally through a dialog (only up to font size 12) or a terminal hack:
    http://macosx.com/forums/234810-post5.html
    (use at your own risk blah blah)

    That guy reckons its ugly, but his link to the screenie is dead :(


    EDIT: found a better hack http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20010605121335261

    I'd suggest disabling AA for below 12/14pt text rather than a complete disable, large fonts do look ugly without it, but I personally hate small fonts which are AA'ed
     
  25. montom macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    #25
    I edited my previous post with new information, and suggestion for solution.

    Basically, try turning down brightness to 50% or below, then do System Preferences -> Display -> Color -> Calibrate, with advanced settings, and make sure the gamma is 2.0-2.2 in order to reduce overall brightness, and also turn the color temperature toward 6000 to make it warmer.

    This made it a bit more tolerable for me, but the extreme glare is still an issue and I may end up return this MBP because of that.
     

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