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Image Retention on Retina iPad Mini

Last week, a rumor came out that many Retina iPad Mini LCD panels manufactured by Sharp were suffering from image retention.

This problem was also present in many first-generation 15” Retina MacBook Pros, including mine, which I discovered by making a test page that first shows a large black-and-white checkerboard pattern for a few minutes, like this:

Then it switches to a solid gray:

If the LCD panel has an image retention issue, a faint impression of the checkerboard will still be visible on the solid gray image, usually fading over the next few minutes.

Well, I picked up my Retina iPad Mini tonight, and it failed:

A failed image-retention test on my Retina iPad Mini: note the faint checkerboard pattern in the solid gray area. It’s pretty hard to see in photos — it’s easier to see in person.

It’s not the sort of problem that I’m likely to notice in actual use — I’ve never noticed it on my Retina MacBook Pro, and it has worse image retention than this iPad on my test page.

Since Apple’s using multiple panel manufacturers, I could exchange it and hope for a better one. But it’s also possible that, given the extremely low volume that’s trickling into stores, any replacement I get in the next couple of weeks could be from the same batch with the same issue.

I had some friends run the same test on their new Retina iPad Minis, and they all passed — no image retention. So I’ll try an exchange.

(For whatever it’s worth, I also ran it on my wife’s new iPad Air and my iPhone 5S. Both passed with zero retention.)