PWM and flicker-free Librem laptop display

From what I can see it’s been awhile since this topic has been brought up. Displays that uses pulse width modulation to lower the brightness are a significant issue for some people, including myself and one of the reasons I have yet to purchase a Librem 13 laptop. So I have two questions:

  • Is there anyone else interested in a Librem laptop with a PWM free display?

  • @Purism, is there any chance of a PWM free display in v5 of the Librem laptops or a future revision?

I know there are some laptop displays out there that have been tested to not use PWM for dimming. I have no idea how difficult or costly it would be to source and integrate one though.

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good point. but eye strain does not come only from PWM type displays.
you can partially avoid eye strain by correctly calibrating your screen. >
also coming up in the near future >

Thanks for replying. I was concerned this topic might die a lonely death :sweat_smile:

It’s true for me that PWM is not the only issue I have with displays but it is probably the worst.

I personally think that something like redshift is more important than calibrating the display, although maybe that’s kind of what you meant.

Thanks for the link. I think I had read something about that recently. I would assume that those panels will probably use a fairly slow PWM since all Samsung phone panels I know of do. I do love OLED though.

The 15.6-inch UHD panel is designed to keep the complete DCI-P3 color gamut fully intact while emitting significantly less blue wavelengths that can potentially be harmful to the eye

I actually have a very wide gamut display which doesn’t use PWM but does cause me severe eyestrain regardless of calibration, colour settings etc. At least for me, the more intense the RGB colours, the worse it is for me. I wonder if by “less blue wavelengths” they mean a longer blue wavelength, further from violet?

These are some issues that I have discovered are a problem for myself, but I think that everyone would benefit from a display that doesn’t use PWM.

It seems like what people call eye strain is actually dry eyes as a consequence of the fact that we don’t blink as much when looking at digital displays. There are a lot of things that get blamed for eye strain and this article focuses on blue light, but it offers an explanation for the cause and some techniques that can be employed to reduce your discomfort.

Thank you for your comment although this thread seems to be derailing from the topic…

Speaking for myself at least, it is definitely not dry eyes. I have dealt with this issue for a long time and the information I posted was from personal experience, testing and deduction. I haven’t found this reasoning on the internet and assumed that was my problem. Slow PWM affects eye tracking and is quite commonly accepted as a cause of eye strain. LED’s are instantaneous in nature and are therefore more problematic when used in combination with PWM than traditional lighting types. Regarding very wide gamut displays being a problem for me, it is an immediate reaction I have to viewing certain displays, not a lack of blinking.

well regardless of blinking or not blinking enough there is still the issue of the humidity in the workplace or at home or wherever you use the laptop. also general diet plays an important part as well.
let’s not forget that you can also use special eye-glasses that reduce blue-light emission.
i know that this is not the issue at hand but still it’s good to follow this advice for eye care. our eyes are precious so lets try not to rely ONLY on PWM.

My bad.

No, not really. I’ve been using mine for months now, and I have no complaints.

Good luck with your eyes.

Yes, definitely. This and a Thinkpad-like keyboard would switch me immediately to the librem laptops. So long, I have to stay with the Thinkpad T and X series. Too bad.

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@reC I’m not trying to suggest people should only be relying on PWM free displays to prevent eye strain, but I started this thread specifically to raise awareness of and measure demand for PWM free displays and see if others might also like to have one in a future Librem laptop.

@pit thanks for your comment. :+1:

Thanks… :eyes: