Enlarge / Stuck pixels on LCD displays are undesirable, but they are definitionally “normal.” (credit: Mark Walton)
Some early Nintendo Switch buyers are complaining of dead or stuck pixels on the tablet’s display, according to a report in The Guardian about a fairly active Reddit thread. A pixel is considered “dead” if all or part of it never lights up at all, while a pixel or subpixel is considered “stuck” if it’s always lit up no matter what’s being displayed onscreen. Pixel defects can be annoying and distracting, but Nintendo indicates that it won’t be replacing these tablets under warranty any time soon.
“Small numbers of stuck or dead pixels are a characteristic of LCD screens,” the company said in a statement. “These are normal and should not be considered a defect.”
This is a classic case of “two things can be true.” Dead or stuck pixels are a manufacturing defect, but what is “normal” is that most LCD manufacturers allow for an “acceptable” number of dead or stuck pixels before they’ll replace screens. The ISO 13406-2 standard defines different Pixel Fault Classes and how many pixel defects are allowed for each class; Class I displays aren’t allowed to have any defects at all, but the more common Class II displays allow for as many as two dead or stuck pixels and as many as five subpixel defects.
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