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PWM Ranking - The Best Displays for the Eyes

Typical PWM graph of the luminance, in this case from the HP EliteBook 840 G3 at 200 Hz
Typical PWM graph of the luminance, in this case from the HP EliteBook 840 G3 at 200 Hz

PWM is short for pulse-width modulation and describes a flickering of the background illumination to reduce the luminance. Sensitive users may see this flickering below a certain frequency and get tired eyes or headaches. These problems might not even be obvious. More than 500 Hz are generally not an issue, but there seem to be many users with problems below 250 Hz. Beware, there are even reports from readers that suffer from frequencies above 10k Hz. These users should look at the individual reviews and look out for completly flat lines in our measurements as small brightness changes may lead to sore eyes, headache ... for them.

We use the following table to show the measured frequency of the flickering. Some devices do not use PWM at all, but still showed a measurable brightness flickering during our review (e. g. poor shielding of the power adapter). Those devices are listed here as well. Devices listed with a "0" did not show big brightness fluctuations in our measurements. A detailed analysis and a screenshot of the measurement is available in the linked review.

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PosModelScreen ResolutionScreen TypeResponse Times PWM Frequency
CAT S521440x720IPS
2500000
Sharp Aquos V2160x1080IPS
2358000
Motorola Moto E6 Play1440x720IPS
1923000
Blackview A80 Pro1560x720IPS
1562000n2
Asus ZenPad 3S 10 Z500KL2048x1536IPS
142900
Dell Inspiron 13 7386 2-in-1x
135000
Dell Inspiron 13 73801920x1080IPS
135000
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M3072x1920IPS
131700
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13IKB1920x1080IPS
131000
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR1920x1080IPS
128000
Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY1920x1080IPS
125000
Asus GL702ZC-GC104T1920x1080IPS
122000
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L1920x1080aSi TFT, IPS
122000n2
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-52-51M61920x1080IPS
122000
Fujitsu Celsius H9801920x1080IPS
120500
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.9 GHz, 460)2880x1800IPS
119000
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)2880x1800IPS
119000
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i52560x1600IPS
119000
Lenovo V320-17IKB 81AH0002GE1920x1080IPS
119000
PosModelScreen ResolutionScreen TypeResponse Times PWM Frequency
Acer Predator Helios 3001920x1080AH-IPS, WLED
119000
Asus ROG Strix GL703VD-DB741920x1080IPS
119000
Medion Erazer X78571920x1080IPS
119000n2
Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705UD-EH761920x1080IPS
119000
Schenker XMG A707 Coffee Lake1920x1080IPS
119000
Lenovo V320-17IKB-81CN000MGE1920x1080IPS
119000
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i52560x1600IPS
118000
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.6 GHz, 450)2880x1800IPS
117000
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)2880x1800IPS
117000
Apple MacBook Air 2020 i52560x1600IPS
117000
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 2TB32560x1600IPS
116300
Apple MacBook 12 20172304x1440LED IPS
116000
Apple MacBook Air 20182560x1600IPS
113600
Fujitsu LifeBook U7281920x1080IPS LED
111100
Apple Macbook Air 20192560x1600IPS
111100
Lenovo IdeaPad 330S-15IKB-81F500N5GE1920x1080IPS
86000
Amazon Fire HD 10 20171920x1200IPS
80650
Poptel P602160x1080LCD IPS
70920
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR1920x1080IPS
65000
Huawei Matebook 13-53010FYW2160x1440IPS
60240
PosModelScreen ResolutionScreen TypeResponse Times PWM Frequency
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)1440x900TN LED
58000
Lenovo Tab P101920x1200IPS