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Reports: iPad 2 replacements still bleed light

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Thursday, March 17, 2011
News Categories: iPad

iLounge has received multiple reader reports regarding problematic iPad 2 replacements due to edge-of-screen light bleeding, an issue that Apple now appears to be acknowledging and attempting to resolve with hardware swaps. Several readers have reported that the replacement units they’ve received exhibit the issue at least as badly, and in some cases, more noticeably than the original ones, as seen in the photo below (original unit on the left, replacement on the right).

iLounge’s editors have tested seven iPad 2 units, including one that does not exhibit any form of lighting problem under any conditions, three that barely exhibit any problem until they’re used in nearly complete darkness with the brightness turned up, and several more in which the issue is noticeable on dark screens used in broad daylight. Should your iPad 2 happen to exhibit the issue, it might be advisable to wait a little longer to give time for Apple to—hopefully—iron out the issue in later production runs. [Thanks, Derrick]

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Comments

1

This is disappointing ...

Posted by Dennis on March 17, 2011 at 12:18 PM (PDT)

2

Ilounge-there have been numerous discussions/pictures across the internet and nobody has been able to post a picture of an iPad 2 that does not exhibit this problem, albeit outside of normal viewing conditions.  Can you post a picture of the iPad that you have that does not have a bleed issue?  I think there are many that would like to see that one exists.  Thank you!

Posted by Bob Taylor on March 17, 2011 at 12:50 PM (PDT)

3

I have a brand shiny new iPad 2. I use it like an addict and have never seen this problem. Strange…

Posted by VULTR3 on March 17, 2011 at 4:59 PM (PDT)

4

I just ran upstairs (office) and opened up ~8 iPad 2’s (3G, 64GB) and turned them on.  With the lights in the room out, none of them had this problem.  All were the white bezels, FWIW.
So, not all units have this issue #2.  Quit trolling.

Posted by sb on March 17, 2011 at 5:55 PM (PDT)

5

The problem is being widely reported as a “light leakage” issue, as if the backlight was bleeding through from the bezel’s edge… That is not the case at all. The problem is that there is pressure being applied to the edge of the screen and it is causing the LCD to distort and change color, just like when you press really hard on an LCD and it goes all rainbow effect. Try picking up your iPad while you have it on a dark screen and “twist” the device like you’re trying to ring it out and you’ll see what I’m talking about. The yellow splotches will change size, move or disappear temporarily. I think there are some leftover stresses from manufacturing in either the glass or aluminum components.

Posted by Michael on March 17, 2011 at 11:03 PM (PDT)

6

Reminds me of the same “issue” with the iPod Touch 4G. It’s only noticeable in a completely dark environment and when the unit’s backlight is turned to max. Many didn’t even know until they read about the issue. I’m wondering it’s the same thing here.

Options:
1. Be ignorant and enjoy the iPad 2 under normal usage environment
2. Scrutinized your iPad 2 and exchanging it, while risking getting a device with worse problem under the same scrutiny.

Posted by pika2000 on March 17, 2011 at 11:47 PM (PDT)

7

My ipad 2 got this problem too. I went to apple store and requested replacement. They had to order a new one for me which I just picked it up this evening. I didn’t check the new one good enough it still got the same problem but not as bad as the old one.

Posted by Joe on March 18, 2011 at 12:11 AM (PDT)

8

Is this really a problem, or is it blown out of proportion like “glass-gate”. (You mean if I drop my glass backed phone on a rock it will break? Sue the bastage!)

Out of honest curiosity, what would the ramifications be, long term, of the light bleed? Will it shorten the life of the product? Will it eventually cause some form of distortion to the screen?

My white wifi 64 doesn’t have this issue. I just checked it. I’ve used it daily in all sorts of environs. None of my friends have the issue. That doesn’t mean jack, obviously, but I wonder what the return rate is for this? Is it really an “issue”? or is it another blown out of proportion freak out?

Posted by Teechur on March 18, 2011 at 7:03 AM (PDT)

9

@Teechur:  I just went to my local Apple Store, and the Genius guy took my iPad2 to check it in the back and he said that it’s normal because his friends’s iPad 2 and his manager’s iPad 2 are just like that too also the ones that show in the store, but he’d order a replacement for me anyway which he said it’s likely to have the same problems again, but in reality my friend’s white ipad 2 doesn’t has this problem.

Posted by Joe on March 18, 2011 at 4:11 PM (PDT)

10

I had this problem with my 2 ipads (1 16gig - 1 64 gig 3G ATT) and I got them the day of release. I stood in line for 9 hours.. Got home and they had this issue.. Called apple and they had me go back to the store.. I got back in 3 days later and had them swaped out (they had them ready in the bag) got home and took them out and found out the 3g ATT was actually a 3G Verizon.. Also the 16 gig was worse then the original one. Called Apple and they put me on a waiting list. Finally today they are sending me 2 more from Apple Direct and I should have them on Monday.. Well I got notified tonight that the 16 gig is on the way but the other is still waiting. hmmmmmmmm… Also They said they know about the problem and they are trying to figure out what to do. Also they said if I know anyone that has this they should call in. This shouldnt be happening at all and they need more people to call so they actually know something is going on… Why dont people call in when they have them.. hmmm.. anyway I am still waiting and will have to wait and see..

Posted by Patrick on March 18, 2011 at 9:49 PM (PDT)

11

What;s the best way to get a dark screen to test this?

Posted by sallenmd on March 19, 2011 at 10:11 AM (PDT)

12

Okay, just tested mine. It has some slight bleed in a few places when the screen is completely black and the brightness is maxed. Given that I had not noticed it during normal use, including watching widescreen video, I don’t think I care.

Posted by sallenmd on March 19, 2011 at 11:06 AM (PDT)

13

@Patrick: you are so lucky. The Apple guys I talked to (both on the phone and in store) tried their hardest to convince me that it’s normal.

Posted by Joe on March 19, 2011 at 5:17 PM (PDT)

14

I have a 64GB Wifi model in Black. It does display the slight bleed effect on dark screens.  However, it doesn’t rise to the level of being a problem for me.  It doesn’t distract from watching movies, which I’d only do when I travel (and not that much).  I can live with that rather than hassle with tried to get a replacement.

Posted by RogerZoul on March 20, 2011 at 7:09 AM (PDT)

15

If you have to really look for it, it’s not a problem.

However, if under normal use (dark screens, widescreen movies, etc) it’s noticeable, then it’s a problem.

I don’t think it’s being blown out of proportion, nor do I believe people are making a bigger deal out of it than there needs to be.

When you spend money on a device, it shouldn’t have these kinds of defects. Period! If they do, people shouldn’t be made to feel like they’re being fussy because they’re unhappy with it.

I’ve had quite a few devices with LCD screens that had light leakage, and it always bothers me. I find it very distracting while watching movies. It’s just plain ugly.. a black screen is supposed to be black, not blotchy.

Though as #5 posted, this might not be light leakage at all, but something else.

In any case, it’s typical of the same crappy QC issues coming from these factories.

Posted by kloan on March 20, 2011 at 9:43 PM (PDT)

16

Dear Apple,

iPad number 1.For my 30th bday, March 27th, I sold unused junk to raise money for an iPad2. It’s all I wanted for my bday. After waiting in line a total of 6 hours on 2 separate occasions, literally through rain and shine, I was the lucky recipient of the coveted white ticket for my 32 gig black iPad 2. My pregnant wife and toddler then went back to the store to pickup my iPad while I was at work. With great excitement I bolted home from work. I couldn’t wait to test out the Logos Bible App on that big beautiful screen. I began downloading apps like a ravenous beast: imovie, garage band, pages, games, netflix, and more games… excitement was bursting out, and my wife’s pregnancy hormones tolerated my single mindedness the fist night. Then I saw it. In the dark watching netflix as my wife slept beside me; a strange yellow glow. I began googling. Ok, this is a problem, but I know apple will fix it. They are “good people”.

Genius Bar Appointment #1/iPad number 2: I don’t know my genius bar buddy’s name, but he was great. He took my iPad to a dark room, verified the problem, and replaced it on the spot. I went happily on my way to restore my iPad and continue on in my birthday bliss despite this minor hiccup.

Later that night, like a terrifying episode of dejavu, I jump in bed next to wifey and tapped on the netflix app. You can guess what happened next. Light leak, that’s the official term to google. A different spot on the screen, but the same same yellowish glow oozed all over my tech-happiness.

Genius Bar Appointment #2/iPad number 3: So today, March the 26th a.k.a. the day before my bday, I find myself at the genius bar again. I was conveniently paired with the same genius bar buddy and once again introduced to yet another iPad2. Third time’s the charm??? I think not. Lesson learned from my last attempt, do not leave the store without checking the light leak status of my iPad. As my genius bar buddy walked to the back room with my 3rd iPad in hand I crossed my fingers and prayed. Reemerging with a grim look under is disheveled beenie I attempted to stifle my rage with thoughts of how stupid it would be to sin over an iPad. I asked where we go from here and he recommended I try next week when perhaps an new manufactured batch would be in stock. To his credit, his apologetic demeanor assisted my rage suppression.

Currently: Over $700 bucks+ 10 hours of my life + 1/2 tank of gas=  my 3rd defunct iPad2. The voice of reason is beckoning me to only allow 1 more chance for the iPad to stay in my home. The voice of my pregnant wife’s hormones, which I value more than the voice of reason for my own safety, will not let me continue wasting gas, time, and money in this seemingly futile venture. Dear apple gods, please let the next iPad be leak free, and if you could throw in an itunes gift card a truck load of accessories I won’t begrudge you.

Apple Bitten,

Ryan Tirona

Posted by Ryan on March 26, 2011 at 1:32 PM (PDT)

17

I bought an iPad 2 on April 3 and it has light leak. Just got back from Apple store to replace unit but genius said I would only get once chance at swapping it out and I couldn’t test the new unit in the store. A bit like gambling really because they wouldn’t let me return the new one if it was worse. Genius suggested waiting till my year is almost up and try then, or return it for a refund. Perhaps by then the iPad 3 will be out.

Not very happy with apple right now.

Posted by Keith on July 28, 2011 at 5:06 PM (PDT)

18

I honestly do not see a problem on my iPad2. I’ve watched movies at night in bed, have maxed out the brightness and can’t see anything out of the ordinary. Now, I’m not going to say I’ve got the only perfect iPad2, but again, I’m just not seeing it.

Posted by Joe on July 30, 2011 at 5:53 AM (PDT)

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