A feature, not a bug: Apple says iPad mini 6 jelly scrolling is normal behavior for LCDs

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Last Friday, the new iPad mini 6 went on sale, and not long after, the internet was flooded with complaints about a “jelly scrolling” issue whereby the right side of the screen refreshes faster than the left in the portrait mode, resulting in an uneven scrolling experience. Any hopes of this getting fixed have been dashed as Apple doesn’t consider it a problem. 
The new iPad mini is a massive upgrade over the previous generation, offering a larger screen, a new design, 5G support, and the A15 Bionic chip that also powers the new crop of iPhones. 
Apple has told Ars Technica that the iPad mini 6 jelly scroll glitch is “normal behavior for LCD screens.” The company’s reasoning is that LCD panels refresh line by line and that’s why there is a small delay between when the lines at the top and those at the bottom are refreshed. This can result in uneven scrolling issues.

Narrator: It’s not normal behavior…

That matter-of-fact tone suggests that Apple doesn’t plan to do anything about the problem and it’s unlikely it will issue a software update for it.

Although Apple’s statement is technically correct, the effect is normally not as noticeable on other LCD devices.

The issue is subtle enough for many people not to notice, but for others, it is unacceptable. Our staff writer has also experienced the issue and for him, it’s like using a slate with a 30Hz refresh rate. For reference, the iPad mini 6 has a 60Hz screen. 

Speaking of which, other LCD Apple tablets with the same refresh rate, including the latest ninth-generation iPad, do not appear to have the problem, so, again, Apple’s explanation is a little hard to digest. 

People who have already bought the device and find the issue annoying will do best to return it within the standard return period. Otherwise, they will have to learn to live with it. The problem seems more pronounced when scrolling through a text document, and appears to go away in the landscape orientation. 

Whether this issue will prevent the iPad mini 6 from becoming one of the best tablets of 2021 remains to be seen.

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