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which laptop is good for reading

  • macbook pro with retina display

    Votes: 4 80.0%
  • windows surface laptop

    Votes: 1 20.0%
  • hp chromebook 14 with retina display

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 3, 2017
Hi, I bought a Macbook pro 13" retina display (early 2015) in february 2017. Previously I have used windows desktop with LG 15" monitor and another windows dell laptop with 15.6" screen. This is my first mac. 

Since I use the laptop mostly for reading, I find myself getting eye strain after using this laptop. The laptop is flashing on my eyes. I use brightness level at 4. If I use 3 as brightness level, it is very dull and cause strain. 4 is very bright and cause strain. I tried brightness in between 3 and 4 and that also causes strain. Since I use for reading, I keep target white point at 6000. I use native resolution. I always place tube light behind the laptop screen. (Or can I say I keep laptop screen before the tube light so that there is no glare. Is there anything I can do apart from these three things so that I can read without strain? Am I getting strain because screen is very small at 13"? If you have any link or webpage suggesting where the light should be placed compared to the computer, kindly tell. Will color sync utility help? What are other options to adjust monitor?


macrumors 65832
Aug 30, 2011
Outside of a larger screen maybe it's time for some computer glasses


macrumors member
Nov 1, 2012
Your eyestrain may or may not be because of the small screen, but I can tell you it happens on the 15" as well. This is my first Mac as well (15" 2017) and after my first day of use I started getting headaches and blurry vision when looking at the screen. I did some googling and found there's a 160+ page discussion on this on apples discussion form. This seem to be an issue with the retina displays. During my research for solution I came across many "solutions" but there doesn't seem to be a one-solution-fits-all answer to this. In the end, I bought an antiglare screen protector (this) because one of the "reasons" I came across was the screen reflecting the background that it causes the eye to strain figuring out where to focus. Another thing I did was change the native resolution, which I was changing almost every day because I couldn't find a solutions and just when I think I found it, a few hrs later my eyes would hurt again, and then I came across this article from 9to5mac, which confirmed my suspicion. At one point, the resolution all the way to the right helped my eyes the most, another time the resolution all the way to the left, then the second from left. I've tried every which way because I only had 14days to decide if I should keep it or not.

I couldn't spend more than an hr or two on the MBP without taking a break. If I spend more time than that, I end up with a headache for the rest of the day and I'm out of commission. Not sure if it's the antiglare, which I love cause it kind of gives a space gray look to the screen, which is aesthetically pleasing to me, or if my eyes just adjusted over time, but I've had it on for a little over a week and in the beginning my eyes were still having issue, but now, 10days after having the anti glare on I have the screen resolution at default and I don't have much issue. I wouldn't say it's 100% resolved, at time still have some blurriness, but I would say it's 98% resolved.

Again, not sure if this the anti glare, or if my eyes got used to the screen, but I read others say that after a few weeks their eyes didn't feel strained. I even read a post from a programmer who said he went to the eye doctor multiple times, and they said his eyes were fine and all other computer screens his eyes were ok but when looking at the Retina display it would hurt. So no, it's not just you or the screen size, it seems to be affecting certain people but there's no one cause for it.


macrumors 68020
Jun 18, 2014
Did you guys try the night shift? It's permanently on my iPhone and when it's turned off, the display seems very, but very blue-ish and it's uncomfortable to look at it and when I turn the night shift it makes the display so natural and kinda orange looking, I'm so used to it. I'm also using flux on my Windows laptop. Haven't seen a display without those two in years lol.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 3, 2017
Hi alpi123, are you saying about reading mode available in phones? It is also reducing blue light and giving brownish light.


macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2016
Hi alpi123, are you saying about reading mode available in phones? It is also reducing blue light and giving brownish light.

Try upping the resolution or making system fonts larger, and get an eye test. Screen size makes no difference to eye strain, it's to do with how large things are on the screen relative to your distance away from them.

I wear glasses for computer work and only have the slightest astigmatism in one eye, but it's enough to cause that eye to strain a little which when applied over the course of the day turns into eye strain.
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