Notebookcheck

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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      ModelScreen ResolutionScreen TypeResponse Times PWM Frequency
 Asus ZenPad 3S 10 Z500KL2048x1536IPS
142900
 Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR1920x1080IPS
128000
 Acer Aspire 7 A717-71G-72VY1920x1080IPS
125000
 Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L1920x1080aSi TFT, IPS
122000n2
 Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-52-51M61920x1080IPS
122000
 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
 Acer Predator Helios 3001920x1080AH-IPS, WLED
119000
 Asus ROG Strix GL703VD-DB741920x1080IPS
119000
 Medion Erazer X78571920x1080IPS
119000n2
 Schenker XMG A707 Coffee Lake1920x1080IPS
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 12 20172304x1440LED IPS
116000
 Apple MacBook Air 20182560x1600IPS
113600
 Fujitsu LifeBook U7281920x1080IPS LED
111100
      ModelScreen ResolutionScreen TypeResponse Times PWM Frequency
 Lenovo IdeaPad 330S-15IKB-81F500N5GE1920x1080IPS
86000
 Amazon Fire HD 10 20171920x1200IPS
80650
 Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR1920x1080IPS
65000
 Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)1440x900TN LED
58000
 Lenovo ThinkPad 13-20J2S00G001920x1080IPS, LED
30860
 HP 15-da0405ng1920x1080TN LED
29000
 Acer Aspire E15 E5-553G-109A1920x1080TN LED
28740
 Dell Vostro 15 35681920x1080TN LED
28410
 Acer Extensa 2540-580K1920x1080TN LED
27000
 HP 255 G61920x1080TN LED
26320
 Lenovo ThinkPad T570-20H90002GE1920x1080IPS
26040
 Lenovo ThinkPad X270-20HMS00T001920x1080IPS LED
26040
 MSI GS73VR 7RG1920x1080TN LED
26040
 HP Elitebook 1040 G4-2XU40UT1920x1080IPS
26040n2
 Asus GL703GE-ES731920x1080TN
26040
 MSI GP63 Leopard 8RE-013US1920x1080TN LED, 120 Hz
26040
 HP EliteBook x360 1030 G31920x1080IPS
26040
 HP EliteBook x360 1030 G3 45X96UT1920x1080IPS
26040
 Gigabyte Aero 151920x1080IPS
26000
 MSI GE73VR 7RF Raider1920x1080TN WLED
26000
      ModelScreen ResolutionScreen TypeResponse Times PWM Frequency
 Gigabyte Aero 15X1920x1080IPS
26000
 MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider1920x1080TN LED
26000
 Dell Vostro 15-55681920x1080TN LED
26000
 MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan1920x1080TN
26000
 HP ProBook x360 440 G11920x1080IPS
26000
 Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-509A1920x1080TN
25970
 Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD1920x1080IPS
25910
 Lenovo Ideapad 110S-11IBR1366x768TN LED
25770
 PC Zentrum Defiance IV1920x1080TN
25770
 Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IKBRN 81BG001KGE1920x1080TN LED
25770n2
 HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA1920x1080IPS LED
25770
 Lenovo Ideapad 530S-15IKB1920x1080IPS
25770
 HP ZBook 15v G51920x1080IPS
25640
 Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X71920x1080IPS
25510
 Sony Xperia L11280x720IPS
25510
 MSI GS63VR 7RG-0051920x1080TN LED
25510
 MSI GF62VR 7RF-8771920x1080TN LED
25510
 Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T1920x1080IPS
25510
 Sony Xperia L21280x720IPS
25510
 Asus Strix GL703GM-DS741920x1080TN LED
25510
      ModelScreen ResolutionScreen TypeResponse Times PWM Frequency
 MSI GT63 Titan 8RG-0461920x1080TN
25510
 MSI GE63 Raider RGB 8RF-0081920x1080TN
25510
 MSI GS73 Stealth 8RF-0111920x1080TN
25510
 Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N001920x1080IPS LED