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Concerns mount over ghosting on Lenovo ThinkPad X220

By Agam Shah
August 2, 2011 03:33 PM ET

IDG News Service - Some Lenovo customers are concerned about ghosting on LCD screens in the ThinkPad X220 laptop, in which images temporarily remain fixed on screens, but the company tried to allay fears by saying that images dissipate in a short time and do not damage panels.

The ghosting phenomena -- commonly called image persistence -- are common to LCDs and do not cause images to burn into displays, said Ray Gorman, a Lenovo spokesman, in an e-mail. But some customers have raised concerns, saying the image persistence was prominent, and the issue was not as seemingly normal as projected by Lenovo.

Lenovo offers some ThinkPad X220 laptop models with screens using IPS (in-plane switching) technology, which provides richer color and better viewing angles. Lenovo has issued a X220 support document saying that image persistence can be prevented by using screen savers and power management tools to turn off the display when the screen is inactive.

Users create image persistence by disabling screen savers and leaving a fixed image on a screen for extended periods of time, Gorman said. The image can be viewed only with a very light grey or off-white background, and the image dissipates in a short amount of time. The persistent image is caused by the discharge of residual electromagnetic charges internal to the LCD panel, and the image goes away after the charge has dissipated.

Though common, ghosting is not usually easy to notice on laptop screens, said Josh Kaplan, president of computer repair firm Rescuecom. Ghosting can, however, be an annoyance if noticeable, as images could linger on screens for longer, Kaplan said.

Image persistence has been reported on other panels in the past. Apple has provided a support document on how to avoid image persistence on the company's LCD screens.

One Lenovo customer, Albert Chosky, purchased two ThinkPad X220T laptops and found the ghosting issues "prominent." He said Lenovo was trying to be ambiguous about the genuine issue with the panels.

"I have used several IPS screens, but never found a faulty one like Lenovo is attempting to sell," said Chosky, who is an artist and photographer with a studio in Ohio. He contacted Lenovo for help on the ghosting issue, but the laptop panels were not replaced.

"It seems as if they keep ignoring any important questions, and just hope the users of their laptops will stop complaining so that they won't have to recall and fix these faulty screens," Chosky said.

However, not all customers are dissatisfied. One customer who declined to be named owned three X220 laptops, and did not notice ghosting. The X220 is priced at a premium, which could make customers more sensitive to problems, the customer said.

Reprinted with permission from Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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