Thanks to its radically modern design and latest-generation A15 CPU, the iPad mini 6 debuted to much acclaim this week.
However, when users receive their new iPads, a common problem is becoming apparent. When content moves quickly — like browsing a web page — one side of the iPad mini display appears to refresh slower than the other, causing a noticeable wobbling effect down the middle of the screen.
One reader told us that when they returned to the Apple Store to repair their allegedly broken iPad mini, they discovered that all of the demo tablets on display had the same problem.
The right side of the display updates faster than the left side while gazing at the iPad mini in portrait mode with the camera at the top. When the page is turned upside down, the left side will now update faster than the right. Surprisingly, when using the iPad mini in landscape mode, the lag is much harder to detect.
Dieter Bohn, a reporter for The Verge, caught the situation well in a slow-mo video that he published on Twitter. Half of the screen updates while the other half lags behind, resulting in obvious judder.
Here’s a slow-motion video showing an iPad scrolling. In a frame-by-frame step through, I slowed down even more. Take note of how the right side rises faster than the left.
It’s scarcely perceptible in everyday use, although it pops up now and then. It completely vanishes in landscape pic.twitter.com/iq9LGJzsDI
September 22, 2021 — Dieter Bohn (@backlon)
It’s unknown whether this is due to a problem with the LCD screen, the display controllers, or a firmware or software issue. It’s possible that the display signals are just reaching half of the screen faster since the display controllers are located on the side rather than the bottom or top, in which case the problem is an inherent result of the hardware design. Other iPad models do not have this issue, or if they do, it is far less obvious. Apple’s displays normally meet a very high standard of quality, and other iPad models do not have this issue. The 120Hz refresh rate on iPad Pro models helps to disguise any sync difficulties when in motion.
It will be up to the user to decide whether the jelly scrolling issue is enough to make them abandon the iPad mini entirely. Of course, some people are more bothered by small aesthetic flaws like these than others. Many people will realize something is wrong, but their brain will acclimate. And they will be able to ignore it within a few hours. Others may experience headaches or nausea as a result.