iPad Air 5. Generation Screen Shadow Final Update

Funny how things sometimes change.

Im my last two posts I reported on a screen shadow effect I was getting from my iPad Air 5. Generation.

I first got an iPad with a very bad shadow which I showed in my first post of this series.

I got a brand new iPad a couple days later but still had issues with it, which I said I wouldn’t investigate further.

The thoughts about it didn’t leave me alone though, so while I was near a Apple store a couple of days ago, I brought my iPad with me and showed it to the Genius bar. Here’s what they said about the issue:

They ran multiple tests and diagnostic tools on my iPad and checked my issue with their database of known issues. The employee then told me that while he sees what I mean, that this thing isn’t technically an issue and he has no references to this problem.

He even went around the store and checked multiple iPads for the same problem and consulted with his supervisor on this issue. He came back and told me that he will replace my iPad again, for free. Apple’s service is indeed simply the best.

Sadly, they didn’t have my color at the store and because they told me they could only replace my iPad with one with the same color, I had to come back another day to pick it up. Less than 48 hours later I had my mail that the new device was ready for pick up and that’s what I did today.

Here’s the funny story. It has the same issue again – but different. This time the shadow was even smaller, in fact so small that I can barely photograph it. But I tried and here’s how it looks like:

you can’t notice it from a normal use distance
this side has the screen shadow
this side not
This is as good as I can photograph it. It’s like a one nanometer gap.

The shadow is even smaller than the second iPad Air 5. Generation I got and is not visible if you don’t go closer than 10cm with your face to the display which in real life scenarios – you won’t.

Since this seem to be the problem with (all?) of the iPads, I decided just to roll with it. After all, I checked multiple iPad Airs and iPad Pros Apple had displayed in their store. They all had it. Some worse, some less noticeable but they all had it. I think if you want an iPad of the current Apple Lineup you have to live with it. Maybe upgrade in one or two years when new models come out if you currently have an older device and think about upgrading. I believe most people won’t even notice that this manufacturing defect is out there, but for those who do, like me, I feel you.

I will continue using my iPad Air and don’t let this minor issue consume any more of my time. After all, I’m currently trying out to switch my entire digital life from a 13″ Macbook Pro M1 to my iPad. I might be getting the iPad Pro for the better display or a brand new model if they release one this or next year. It is rumored that they will have an OLED display, so this issue might never appear again after they changed the display module on their devices.

I wish you all a lot of fun with your Apple devices and don’t let them turn your head on those little imperfections. There’s so much more in life.

iPad Air 5. Generation Screen Shadow Update

In my last post I mentioned that my new iPad Air 5. Generation had an annoying screen shadow. My Apple reseller send the iPad in for repair and it’s already back in my hands.

They told me yesterday, that they didn’t actually repair the tablet rather than just give me a new one. We checked the new device for any problems and after not finding any issues with the new device I went back home. It was only there, that I noticed a slight screen shadow again.

This time the shadow is much lighter though. I couldn’t notice it in the store. In the iPad setup process, the standard Apple wallpaper makes it hard to notice but using safari or any app with a very bright background after the setup is finished made it noticeable.

Left side of the iPad, with a tiny shadow on the edge
Right side of the iPad, perfectly laminated with a clear edge

However, I believe this is as good as it gets since the shadow is only noticeable if you really look hard at it. I can’t really tell if it’s the lamination again or just a tiny difference in dimensions between the case and the screen. If it was the later, the issue should be visible in a lot of iPad Air 5’s. I decided not to contact Apple again for another repair and just use it, since it works just fine. Through to my personal circumstances, I get 3 years of warranty on Apple products and feel quite safe knowing that I can just get a repair in the future in case this problem gets larger.

I need to mention too, that the pictures above were taken with my iPhone 12 mini from a distance of about 5 – 10 cm. If you use the iPad from a normal distance (maybe starting at 30 cm), you won’t notice it at all. The shadow from the last post was definitely visible from further away.

Maybe this post can help you identify a similar problem in your iPad. If you don’t mind you can activate dark mode since most of the time you can’t see the shadow on a dark background.

iPad Air 5. Generation display manufacturing defect

Yesterday was supposed to be the day that I finally got my new iPad Air 5. Generation. I headed into the city to our certified Apple reseller, picked it up and went back home. After finishing the setup I realized that the bottom left corner of my display had a small but noticeable shadow.

You can clearly see the shadow in the bottom left corner.
This is how it should normally look. Sharp crisp lines along the display edge.

This shadow starts in the bottom left corner and goes up to about half the height of the display. It’s not really noticeable at first but once you saw it you can never unsee it. Getting a laminated display for working with the Apple Pencil and then still getting a gap like the iPad 9. Generation is a bit funny though.

Kind of annoying too, but what can you do. It always strikes me how a product, so elegantly crafted, can have such manufacturing flaws. Apple’s durability is outstanding but I seem to get flaws in every third product I buy. My iPad Air 4 was heavily bent out of the box; two of my Macbooks had loose magnets in the display behind the camera which you can hear flying around inside while moving the device. But more on those storys in the future!

It is always a pleasure buying a new device full price cash and then sending it in for repair for two weeks while not being able to use it at all.

Anyway, Apple’s warranty service is now taking care of me and I hope to retrieve my iPad Air 5 by the end of the week (they told me it could be fast this time).

Talk to you soon.