iPad mini’s tiny text causing eye-strain and headaches?

Image Credit: UberGizmo

Over on the MacRumors forums there’s a thread opened by a customer complaining at the iPad mini’s small text on display. The reader, “Martylaa” posted:

“I love the mini, much more than my ipad 3 but after a week I am realising this screen is hard work in my eyes for reading my books and when I load Internet sites up I have to expand the screen otherwise it’s a strain on my eyes.
My vision is perfect but this screen and the text size on pages is starting to make me think I might return it and get one in the future when the screen is retina.”

Many who responded were suffering with the same frustrations. Many of who are returning (or have returned) the mini for a full-size iPad 4. Personally, I’ve noticed that in certain apps (like comic book readers) text can get pretty difficult to read. The small text is difficult to make out, not only because it’s shrunk to fit the smaller display, but also because the lower resolution means it’s a little fuzzy. I don’t do a lot of comic book reading, and so didn’t notice it that much until David Beren pointed it out to me.

Sadly, and rather unfortunately, I’m the worst person to ask about eye strain and headaches with small text. I’m long sighted, and always have to wear glasses (with anti-glare) for anything computer-based. So, I’d have a headache with even the biggest text without my spectacles sat on the bridge of my nose.

So, I wanted to know: are any of you suffering from headaches due to the iPad mini’s display? Have you returned it for a larger iPad, or planning to return it? Let us know in the comments or tweet me: @TiP_Cam

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  • Grutty

    Not planning to actually. I really enjoy this device and I’m not experiencing these problems at all. Now using it for a week straight and no complaints. I love my Mini!

  • RyanGomez

    This should be titled, “People looking for anything and everything possible to complain about.” Have we all forgotten that before the iPhone 4 there was no such thing as a retina display? The iPhone 3GS was much lower resolution and was only 3.5 inches to boot. And I don’t recall many people complaining of eye strain or headaches as a result of trying to read text on that. So I’m calling shenanigans on all of this.

  • Digress

    @RyanGomez Your title suggestion is spot on. I have an ipad mini and never thought that text was too small to read. People can, and will find something to complain about…always.

  • Nicholas in Nola

    I processed a return within an hour of receiving the ipad mini. I bought it mainly to read books on. I have and iPhone 5 and an ipad 3. I thought the resolution on the ipad mini was unacceptible.

  • davem

    Gee really it’s smaller and no Retina display I can’t believe that one. How about the iPod and iPhone can’t say they cause eye strain oh know. Something new on the marker and people have to gripe about the littlest stupidest things……

  • Josh

    Got the mini for reading books, and already have an iPad 3, which I love. Used mini for one eve and then returned it; had a headache from the fuzzy, ragged fonts. I returned it the next day, very disappointed–Apple gouging its fans and I do not want to go backwards in my technology

  • lean6rtj2

    I had my iPad Mini for a week with the New iPad (4th gen) on standby before I got rid of the Mini. The non-retina and its grainy pixel appearance was horrible. The tablet otherwise was great to manhandle. Gone are the days of just knowing that something with an Apple logo on the back was worth the money. Let the buyer beware. Having said that, the iPad 4 is awesome!

  • lean6rtj2

    @RyanGomez I’ve had all versions of iPhone, including the iPhone 5. Before the iPhone 5 I had a Samsung Galaxy SIII. I bought the SIII with all intentions of getting the iPhone 5 when it was released. After about 2 weeks with the iPhone 5 and being bored out of my mind, I sold it for $800 (thanks to short Apple supply of iPhone 5s), and I bought another new SIII for $300 from Craigslist. Soon I’m going to pick up the Galaxy Note 2. Something changed over the past 12-15 months, namely Samsung put out some good Ice Cream Sandwich phones that made people acknowledge that they spend 85 percent of their time interacting with their displays and they could get more from a larger screen, Many people like me are now scratching the Apple itch with the iPad and enjoying 4.8 inch dynamic smartphones otherwise. Apple is blowing it big time. But…just as they put out the iPad 4 on short cycle after the iPad 3, they will have no choice but to put out an early larger display iPhone as well. Look for an iPhone 6 to come out in the Spring near the same time as the Galaxy S4.

  • Digress

    @Grutty I love it, too. I had a Nexus 7 and an Acer Iconia, and the Mini is just a better experience to use. Definitely better crafted than the others I’ve had.

  • RyanGomez

    @lean6rtj2 you’re talking to someone who has tried both the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy SIII as well. I personally don’t really care for the Android operating system overall and went back to my iPhone. The screen size isn’t a big deal for me. 4″ is a good size for me, I don’t like having to shift my hands around a phone all the time just to reach a certain point in the screen. However, how this relates to my original comment I’m not sure. I was referencing my opinion that people are ridiculous to complain of headaches an strained eyes on an iPad whose resolution isn’t any worse than the iPhone 3GS. And that there weren’t many complaints like this with that phone. I never even mentioned Android phones and I really think they’re pretty irrelevant to what I was originally saying. But thanks for your phone story, it was interesting if nothing else.

  • davem

    @lean6rtj2 so cerious I have the third gen iPad 4G how is it compaired to the 4th gen iPad? Are they the same except the lighting and the processor? Or can you tell a noticeable difference between the two?

  • lean6rtj2

    @RyanGomez Not sure why you can’t connect to the original post. The point is that there are frames of reference all around us now that make the iPhone experience relatively tougher on the eyes…not to mention that there is considerably more interaction with mobile devices in 2012 than when 3.5 inch displays were standard. Someone picking up a tablet today is inclined to use it more since there is decreasing usage of desktops, and with a Mini there’s more opportunity to experience discomfort. If I’m putting down my 9.7 inch iPad and powering up my computer, it isn’t because browsing or reading is uncomfortable; it’s because i’m needing to do something that I cant do on my iPad. People seem to be saying that the smaller non-retina has them powering up the computer to do things that a tablet should be able to handle…and I can see how that could be the case for some.

  • RyanGomez

    @lean6rtj2 that’s cool. I respect your opinion I just don’t agree with it. Lets just leave it at that.

  • lean6rtj2

    @davem The processor is noticeably faster, making for a smoother experience. Not something that I would upgrade from an iPad 3 for though…after a day it just feels like an iPad. I had gotten rid of my iPad 3 because I was planning to go with the Mini and a Galaxy Note 2…which is scheduled to be available a month later than I anticipated. Having gone without an iPad for a few weeks, an unacceptable 2-3 week delivery of a Mini at the Apple website prompted me to get the surprise iPad 4 instead. Curiosity got the best of me anyway and picked up a Mini at the local Best Buy the next day. Lol. I knew that if I didn’t want it I could either return it, gift it, or quickly sell it because of short Apple supply.

  • Nottingham_sel

    The iPad mini is my third apple tablet, I sold my iPad 3 for the mini, I was able to get a larger gig size for less. I have suffered from headaches but not from the mini, it’s not a deal breaker for me. I love it actually, and guess what, when the font is too small I expand it! I wouldn’t trade it in for the world, I read A LOT of EBooks on mine. If the retina comes out, then we’ll see!

  • MTOMPBladesmen

    @RyanGomez Perfect Title suggestion! i have the 3GS and NEVER in my life have i had any eyestrains or headaches. I have an iPad 2 and an iPad Mini. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the iPad mini and thats that. I care nothing for the android operating system and i dont mean to play fanboy. The S3′s screen is to big to be comfortable and the Note 2 is just a BLOWN up S3! I care NOTHING for Samsung and i agree fully with your opinion. You all are just android lovers that just can’t admit Apple iPhone is better. Just quit making up crap about the iPhone because atleast it’s comfortable to hold AND IT’S NOT MADE OUT OF PLASTIC.

  • Nottingham_sel

    Incidentally, you can change the settings for your iPad Mini and adjust all of the font sizes, that is what I have done. EBooks readers give you the option of larger fonts… Even on Flipboard you can make the font extra large! The only thing I hate about my iPad mini is the case I bought for it which is easily remedied by waiting for the new one!!!!!!

  • Stop bitching

    Bunch of BS. I got a iPad, ipad2 and iPad3…. To be honest I never saw a huge difference between the 2 and 3… Yes there is a difference but come on!!! It’s not that huge.
    So I went to the apple store to get an ipad4…. Saw the mini and …. Was sold … Haven’t used my ipad3 since I purchased it.. It’s light it’s bright and fast enough to surf the web and answer emails…. Fuzzy fonts?!? Come on!! Seriously ?? Get your eyes checked.
    Stop bitching and start enjoying and embrazing new technology so in a couple of years we can wifi charge our devices and beam ourselves to vacation destinations instead of standing in line to get a cavity search by a big dumbass TSA idiot…

  • LowellAhee

    @Stop bitching  You’re stupidity and ignorance probably voted for Obama too, right? Idiot,

  • Grutty

    @LowellAhee @Stop bitching Wow. That didn’t made sense at all.

  • RyanGomez

    @LowellAhee really? Wow. Way to turn a discussion about an iPad into a political attack. Why do you need to be so belligerent? There’s no need nor place for that kind of crap here. Please take it elsewhere.

  • Jimmy D at 43

    @lean6rtj2

  • Jimmy D at 43

    I have the iPad Retina and love it. However I can’t seem to increase the size of the fonts for my Gmail in and outgoing mail. I realize that I can change fonts in my default email account by going to >Settings>Accessibility> Large or Giant etc. But nothing happens to little font size in my gmail account which has now become my main one. Can anyone help ?