Easiest monitor on eyes for daily usage

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Buying a monitor? Please refer to this post before purchasing.

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      Hi Everyone,

      A few years back I had an eye surgery(I had high myopia/near sighted before Lasek) and when I look into a monitor at the office, even if I use refreshment tears , I get eye dryness and strain with red eyes at the end of the day. The monitor that I am using is an LCD monitor of Lenovo Thinkvision 19″. Not sure about the model number but most likely a 7-8 years old LCD.

      I addressed this situation to the management and I just got an approval from my company that I can buy a better monitor for eyes. My daily work in the office mainly involves in reading (lots of lotus notes emails, spread sheets, text typing and web browsing) – No graphics,gaming or 3d for sure.

      I did my due diligence via google and found out that a few major criteria cause dry/strained eyes (Tom`s Hardware forums)

      1) The monitor is too bright. Most calibrators set it at 120cd/m2.
      2) The monitor is set to a cool color temperature. A slightly warm (or amber) temp reduces eye strain.
      3) The monitor has pixel inversion (pixel walk) issues. TN panels are much worse for this than IPS panels. Test it here.
      4) The pixel pitch isn’t right for you. In most cases a larger pixel pitch reduces eyestrain, though try not to go over .29
      5) The backlight is bad and flickers.

      After I searched further I found out that IPS panel based monitors are easier on the eyes (hopefully I am correct with my knowledge)  Therefore, I am focused on 3 monitors:

      I am between HP ZR2440W , Dell U2410 and Dell U2412m. Either of three monitors will be easier to my eyes than the current Lenovo that I am using I guess but which one would be the easiest on the eye?

      ZR2440W is using E-IPS whereas U2410 uses H-IPS? What about U2412m? Is it also H-IPS
      ZR2440W is 350 cd/m2 vs U2410 400 cd/m2  and U2412m 300 cd/m2

      What is the difference between E-IPS and H-IPS? I mean more importantly, do I need to worry about slight differences here such as 300 to 400 brightness or should I go with a monitor with higher hz such as 120 hz Benq and similar monitors?
      Sorry for too many questions  but the bottom line for me is that I just want to buy a monitor that does not tire my eyes that easily as I will be spending 8 to 10 hours a day in front of that monitor. Any other brand and model is welcome , does not have to be a monitor among the ones above, I am noob when it comes to monitors.

      Thank you

      Appreciate your kind reply



        Edit: There’s now a detailed article related to this topic with an accompanying video article, embedded below.

        Hi canuck (Declan) and welcome to the forum!

        It sounds like you’ve already done some good research and some important points have been covered. I wouldn’t actually agree with some things, though. Pixel inversion only becomes problematic in very specific circumstances and I haven’t come across a modern monitor where this would be significant enough to cause eyestrain. There also isn’t any correlation between panel type and inversion severity/likelihood – I’ve seen a pretty even spread of decent vs. poor performance on monitors here over the past few years.

        One area that IPS panels are certainly stronger for, though, is presenting colours accurately and consistently. I wouldn’t say that this makes a scrap of difference to eyestrain on the surface, but there is something which many monitors use called ‘dithering’ to consider. It’s effect can be similar to pixel inversion problems but more generally more widespread and noticeable. Many modern monitors, especially cheaper ones, use something people refer to as ‘FRC’ (Frame Rate Control) to simulate a greater number of colours than the display can actually produce. This is explained nicely on Lagom which you’ve already visited. Many modern Full HD monitors use ‘6 bit+ FRC’ (i.e. use dithering). Most higher resolution models and modern VA panels are true 8-bit and use no dithering. Higher resolution models (WQHD+) tend to be 8-bit with no dithering or 8-bit with extra dithering to make up to 10-bit (with extra fancy processing on top sometimes). I wouldn’t get too bogged down in dithering though. I only mentioned it because IPS panels that use it seem to use much finer and less noticeable dithering (if at all) than TN, which is a plus. Full HD VA panels are relatively cheap and don’t tend to use any dithering which is a plus.

        Pixel pitch is certainly important and a larger pixel pitch can reduce eyestrain. I would refute the ‘try not to go over 0.29’ right off the bat, though. 27″ monitors with a 1920 x 1080 resolution are increasingly common and do not make everything uncomfortably large nor would most people strain to see anything. Some people are sort of ‘Full HD o-phobic’, usually without any actual experience of monitors that are this size and pixel pitch. The 2560 x 1440 resolution can definitely bring benefits to the desktop but reducing eyestrain isn’t one of them.

        The backlight being ‘bad’ and flickering can be an issue, but I wouldn’t really use the word ‘bad’ to describe this. Although not always desirable, many modern backlights use PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) to dim the backlight. Essentially this causes extremely rapid ‘on-off’ pulses with decreasing frequency at reduced brightnesses. You can capture this using most smartphone cameras where it will appear as a relatively slow strobing. To the eyes it may appear as a rapid flicker. A video demonstrating what to look for below.

        Your office monitor will most likely be CCFL-backlit and shouldn’t really have noticeable or problematic PWM. Most office lighting causes more issues with this than your average monitor – even the ‘bad’ ones ;). I definitely agree with brightness being an issue – office monitors tend to be far too bright or are models with poor brightness control. 120 cd/m2 is too dim for many conditions, including bright office lighting and daylight. This is really the lower end of monitor calibrations and many would aim for 140-180 cd/m2. When looking at brightness figures for monitors you will almost always see a typical maximum of 250-400cd/m2 specified. What is more important is the minimum luminance which you’ll only find in proper reviews or on higher end models in the specification. Most modern models will give you a decent enough range of adjustment between 120-200cd/m2 where you’ll want to be.

        Another important factor to consider is the screen surface. Glossy surfaces are not suitable for most office environments and you may strain your eyes trying to see through reflections. Equally, some monitors use very high-haze (strong) matte anti-glare surfaces which give a grainy look to the image and can strain the eyes as text can be less clear than it should be. In an office though it really depends on your lighting. Some monitors may even have a matte screen surface that is too ‘weak’ or low haze, causing some degree of glare if lights are shining onto it.

        So where does that leave you? It’s difficult to say as it’s difficult to pinpoint the cause of the issue. With offices there are so many factors that can contribute to eyestrain and the rubbish monitors you typically find there wouldn’t really tick any boxes for ‘relaxing on the eyes’. Ideally you would be looking for a monitor with no dithering, a nice screen surface, no backlight flicker and a nice clear image where text and icons are always easy to see. Having good strong contrast will also help text stand out.

        Very few monitors will cover all of those bases, but I think VA panels are worth careful consideration due to their excellent contrast and general lack of dithering. One that comes closest to ticking all of the boxes in my mind is the upcoming BenQ GW2760HS. Unfortunately BenQ have no plans to release this in North America, so that’s probably out of the question. I know 27 inches isn’t the most office-friendly size though! And it doesn’t have an adjustable stand which could be an issue.

        If you don’t need height adjustment or anything like that on the stand then their earlier EW2430 and could also be worth a look. It doesn’t have a PWM-free backlight but I don’t think that is a major contributor to your eyestrain, personally. It has a low haze screen surface (again – suitability depends on your office lighting), is 24″, has no dithering and gives a nice image with excellent contrast. The newer GW2450HM (see our review of the 27″ model) is also very good and has a bit of a stronger matte screen surface. It’s not so strong that text is particularly difficult to see and it’s very effective at combating even high levels of ‘office glare’. BenQ also have some models with adjustable stands such as the BL2410T but I don’t have hands-on experience with these. The models listed previously can be mounted to any 100 x 100mm VESA mount, anyway.

        The IPS monitors you listed could well do the trick, too, and they should be much better than your current monitor. I personally think VA models are better for text work due to the superior contrast and affordability. If you do want to go down the IPS route then the U2410 is overkill really as you are paying a bit of a premium for a broad colour gamut and relatively inefficient CCFL backlight. The contrast is also weak and the screen surface is one of those ‘strong’ and ‘high haze’ numbers which I personally find quite abhorrent for text work. The U2412M has a similar screen surface. I wouldn’t let my personal feelings on the screen surface get in the way of what is otherwise an excellent all-round monitor on this one though. Newer revisions of the HP ZR2440W have a lighter matte screen surface but aside from this the performance is quite comparable to the U2412M. These models do use dithering but it is very fine and I’m not convinced it would cause eyestrain.

        That’s a lot to take in, I know. I should probably let you take a look at this and ask any questions you need to rather than bombarding with any further information.


          Hi PCM2,

          First of all, I would like to thank you for the valuable time that you assigned to write this long, detailed and very technical article about my post. Hopefully, your answers will come handy to others looking for a monitor easy on eye.

          You are right, it is a lot to digest at the beginning but based on your answers I did some final research and I came down to a few and I would appreciate if you can briefly take a look and advise your opinion which one fits the best to my need.

          BenQ GW2750HM

          By the way, there is also a very detailed review for BenQGW2750HM on TFT Central.

          BenQ BL2400PU

          I believe this is an alternative to GW2750HM  with a lower price and smaller screen size, less brightness and pixel pitch. They both seem to be VA panels but $50 difference worth going for 2400 you think?

          And I found two different monitors with very high contrast but not sure if they are VA panel. I googled  and barely found panel type but I believe they are TN panel?

          Acer P246HLABD 24
          AOC e2351F

          That Acer`s dynamic contrast outrun everything 🙂 but it is not all about contrast I guess panel type , brightness, pixel pitch seems to be important. The reason that I wanted share Acer and Aoc is the cost. Even though the company pays for it I wanna be under $300 or $250 if possible.

          Appreciate your final comments among these 4 monitors OR any other that comes up to your mind in a similar price range.

          Thanks again.




            Those last two (Acer and AOC) are just your run of the mill TN/Twisted Nematic panels (and not particularly good ones at that). Dynamic Contrast is one of those figures that is great for selling a product – people like huge numbers. In reality this figure is meaningless for the vast majority of users. Basically Dynamic Contrast includes a measure of the brightest white and the deepest black that a monitor can produce under very specific conditions. Those conditions include the monitor being set to a ‘Dynamic Contrast’ mode that allows the backlight to brighten and dim in relation to the image that the monitor is displaying. It also includes the monitor being given time (with the sorts of figures you’re looking at for the Acer, easily seconds rather than milliseconds) to alter the backlight brightness. LED-backlit monitors can do this very rapidly which is really when this ridiculous inflated numbers game took off. But in reality you will want to know how deep the deepest black and brightest white will be at a fixed brightness at a fixed point in time. This is known as ‘Static Contrast’ and is usually around 1000:1 for modern TN panels. Interestingly the Acer actually has a 600:1 static contrast specified – so it’s no wonder the sellers don’t go to great lengths to point this out.

            The BenQ GW2750HM has a specified static contrast of 5000:1 and the BL2400PU of 3000:1. The latter actually uses a slightly older panel than the GW50 series with slightly weaker contrast performance on average and inferior responsiveness. It does come with a fully adjustable stand, though, which is really its main USP.

            There’s also a review of the GW2750HM on our site which you may find helpful as well if you haven’t already read it – http://pcmonitors.info/reviews/benq-gw2750hm. Personally I think this one will fit the bill very nicely, as long as the size and fixed stand isn’t too much of an issue. The GW2450HM is another possibility if 27″ is too large, although I’m not sure on the availability of this one in Canada.


              Hello PCM2,

              Thanks again for your detailed reply.

              Sorry about too many questions but this is the last one as I almost make up my mind because of you:

              Actually, I just found GW2450HM and in Canada with a good price. And the GW2750HM.

              Price difference is $75+tax which even helps better but as far as I can see, there are 2 differences between them other than the size (24″ is enough for me)

              brightness  250 vs 300 cd/m2

              pixel pitch 0.311 vs 0.276 mm

              I know this is now too much of a detail and maybe a stupid question as there might be a true answer but again coming back to being easier on the eyes, above 2 factor a deal breaker? You think that paying $85 extra is worth the difference considering the specs above?

              Thank you




                You will be wanting to use a brightness below 200 cd/m2 which both models will provide, so the brightness won’t be a problem. The pixel pitch should be fine on both as far as ease on the eyes go from a normal viewing distance on a desk. Viewing a 24″ monitor with 1920 x 1080 resolution is usually quite restful on the eyes, so to speak. If you are fine with 24 inches then the GW2450HM is the one I’d go for.


                  Dear PCM2.

                  Just to let you know I ended up buying GW2450HM and so far I am very happy with my eyes at the end of day.

                  I would like to thank you one more time with your all help

                  Really appreciate it

                  Have a wonderful life



                    Really glad to hear it! Hope you continue to enjoy the monitor.


                      Hi, I am choosing a monitor, but i have hard time choosing one, mainly because my eyes are very sensitive.I have read a lot, why monitors tend to tire eyes and came to the conclusion that one of the main reasons(except proper lightening and not taking brakes) is flicker.

                      1. So flicker free backlight monitor is a must. TFT central has a short list of them, so that is not going to be the problem.

                      2. Next is FRC , I have read that modern FRC algorithms are really good, but the thing is they flicker. And if the monitor is 60hz the pixel would flicker at 30hz. Logic says to me, that this is not good for my eyes, but in practice I don’t know and because most flicker free monitors(TN and IPS) use FRC, maybe i have to choose 8 bit VA panel ?

                      3. The other thing is refresh rate of the panel.I know that refresh rate doesn’t make the panel flicker, but many people say that 85hz or higher is more easy on the eyes. And well its true that 120hz panel is perceived as more smooth than 60hz. So maybe slow 25ms VA panels would be bad for the eyes?

                      4. And finally I am wondering which one glossy or semi-glossy coating is better for the eyes. Of course I am going to use curtains, if it is glossy.

                      So, my main deviation is between

                      120hz, 6 bit + FRC, flicker free backlight, TN panel
                      60hz, 6bit + FRC, flicker free backlight, IPS panel
                      60hz, 8bit, flicker free backlight, VA panel

                      I am going to use my monitor mainly for reading, and if the monitors allows it for gaming, and am willing to sacrifice color performance for my eyes health.So my goal will be something like

                      85hz+ , 8 bit , flicker free backlight

                      but I haven’t found one.

                      I would really appreciate any comment.


                        Hi inflames678 and welcome,

                        I merged your recent thread with this one as some of your questions are covered here. I think you are probably making your job of choosing a new monitor unnecessarily difficult by theorising about things that in actuality make very little difference. Different people have different sensitivities to these sorts of factors, but it would be a bit of a push to suggest some of them actually make a real difference to visual comfort. Opting for a PWM free model can certainly make sense, TFT Central’s list is an excellent resource. Provided the brightness and viewing conditions (lighting) are appropriate very few people have any eyestrain or related issues using PWM-free monitors regardless of whether they use FRC. The XL2420TE (or 11T/20T European models) is one example of a monitor users are very happy with (those who usually suffer eyestrain using other monitors) but this uses a moderately ‘heavy’ matte surface and also employs dithering.

                        So FRC I wouldn’t really wouldn’t worry about. PWM can be an issue, but fortunately there are a number of decent PWM-free options out there. Refresh rate can certainly have an effect in that some users fine it ‘straining’ to view moving content if there is a fair degree of motion blur. Others don’t care about this at all and it makes no difference to their visual comfort. Screen surface should be appropriate for your viewing environment, usually the best bet for being ‘easy on the eyes’ is a very light matte or ‘semi glossy’ screen surface.

                        If you do want to avoid monitors that use 6-bit + FRC, want a PWM-free backlight and also want to have a bit of a higher refresh rate and good light matte surface (so you don’t have to worry about grain or potentially bothersome reflections) then your best bet is to go for a 29″ model (such as the AOC q2963Pm). These can be safely and easily overclocked to 72Hz+ (often a fair bit higher) and unlike your typical VA models which are also sometimes quite overclockable have good enough pixel responsiveness to make good use of the sort of 72-85Hz refresh rates. They also have a fairly light matte screen surface that’s not far off ‘semi glossy’ in its level of ‘graininess’ and some, such as the AOC, use PWM-free backlights. They are also 8-bit without dithering.


                          I will take your advice and wont care about FRC.
                          29” is a bit too big for me though , aren’t there any smaller IPS monitors with flicker free backlight and higher than 60hz refresh rate ?
                          Also you said there is a list of PWM free monitors here, but i can’t find.
                          thank you


                            The ‘Full HD’ IPS models tend to be the best overclockers, but frustratingly the ‘WQHD’ models tend to have the PWM-free backlights! I’m currently testing the Dell P2414H and will see how it overclocks tomorrow. It’s got a flicker-free backlight, AH-IPS panel with reasonably light matte screen surface and could be a decent overclocker but I’m not sure yet.


                              Thank you again.Expecting your full review.


                                I’m currently working on an article all about monitor responsiveness which will delay the review being published a bit. Our sample runs very happily without issue at up to 78Hz if you’re interested. From a ‘low eye strain’ perspective this monitor really ticks all the boxes except being FRC-free. But the dithering on this is really well masked, as good as I’ve seen a monitor with dithering. I wouldn’t expect this factor to cause eyestrain and I think unless you’re looking at a 29″ model you’ll have to ignore FRC as a requirement if you want to tick all of the other boxes.


                                  Thanks a lot for helping me choosing a monitor. I will most likely buy the Dell P2414H, I was thinking about Benq BL2411PT but it is 60hz and have nothing more than the dell.

                                  P.S. I will write in a week or so how easy is on the eyes.


                                    What a wonderful site!
                                    I’m about to buy a new monitor and like the people above I want it to be one primarily suitable to reading (surfing the net, reading articles of various kind) for longer periods of time. Well, as suitable as one can get, at least. I’m new to the topic (of monitors) but have been trying to get some sort of grasp of it the last couple of days and this site has been very helpful.

                                    So here are a few factors that I have understood to be significant for me (what others have I missed?):
                                    I understand that a screen with a VA-panel is what I should look for (particularly as my budget is strained) as the static contrast ratio is superior to other panels. And while I have never used a PWM-free monitor (and therefore don’t with certainty know to what extent it affects me) it seems foolish not to try to get a hold of one, if at all possible, given that it reportedly does make a difference to some. Also, the screen surface should ideally be semi-glossy, which however, if I’ve understood things correctly, is actually pretty uncommon, unfortunately. Furthermore, though not directly related to the concern of getting a screen suitable for reading, it would be nice if the stand is adjustable in terms of height (my current Samsung SyncMaster 2233RZ tend to give me a strained neck from looking down when using the computer).

                                    A 27″ screen would simply be too large for me, and perhaps unncessecarily expensive too. So either a 24″ or one that is smaller still, 22″ or 23″, is what I’m thinking. I can’t quite make up my mind as to the size. I’ve never had a monitor larger than 22″.
                                    I’ve seen you (and others) recommending monitors from Benq’s GW series and it seems like it could be a good pick. However, as I rule out a 27″ screen, I can’t get one with the semi-glossy screen surface, nor can I get an adjustable stand, right? (You’ve said that one can buy an adjustable stand separately though, which seems nice. Is it expensive?)

                                    Do you have any suggestions regarding size? Looking at the 24 inch screens, what’s the difference between the GW2450HM and GW2460HM and how significant are they given my needs?
                                    I notice on Benq’s site that the 2460 seem to have a faster response time (it only lists 4ms, whereas 2450 has 12ms and 4ms listed; I’m not sure what this means exactly). Other than that, I’m not quite sure what other differences of significance there are. Nor do I know how important the response time is, even.

                                    When I look at the 22″ inch screens I get even more confused as there are a lot of them. Are there any general disadvantages with the 22″ monitors as compared to the 24″ ones? And how do they compare to each other? While the 2265 series seem to be the newest, the 2255 series seem to have lower response time (just 6ms, as apposed to 25 and 6ms).

                                    As for the 24″ monitors, both 2450 and 2460 are available with the flicker-free backlight (assuming one can get a hold of one of the new ones) , and regarding the 22″ the 2255 and 2265 series are available PWM-free.

                                    My head hurts!


                                      Also, while I’m at it, what’s Slim Bezel? The 2460 seems to have it while the 2450 doesn’t.


                                        Hi dagdrivaren and welcome,

                                        It’s great to hear you have found the site helpful, it’s a lot of effort but worth it when I read positive comments like that. 🙂

                                        You seem to have a good grasp of what you’re after – a VA panel 24″ or smaller for comfortable reading type tasks primarily that doesn’t cost too much and preferably offers a PWM-free (flicker free) backlight. Given BenQ’s drive towards an entirely flicker-free monitor range and that they are the ‘masters of VA’, really, this is a feature that’s worth having unless there is a very compelling alternative that does still use PWM regulation.

                                        The screen size to go for is a tough one, because some people prefer the slightly larger screens (for example 24″ over 21.5-22″) whereas others prefer to keep things relatively small. Speaking from personal experience I find 24″ to be a very comfortable size and find the increase over 21.5″ quite welcome without finding the size overwhelmingly large. I used to use 20-22″ screens a lot but have migrated to larger screens now, primarily using 23″+ (most of my personal monitors are actually 27″, one is a 29″ widescreen). So I think for most people 24″ is a good size with a good but not confusing choice of models with one that would suit you well.

                                        With BenQ going back and upgrading the panels of their older models, such as the GW2450HM, the core performance is actually very similar to their newer models (such as the GW2460HM). The main difference, which was a key selling point upon launch, was the ‘Slim Bezel’ feature you mentioned. All this means is that the plastic border around the screen is ‘thin’. At least, marginally thinner than on the GW50 series. There has been a big push to make the bezels even thinner and some of BenQ’s future models (such as the 24″ EW2440L) have taken things to the extreme here. The EW2440L may actually have a semi-glossy screen surface (unknown at this stage), but I wouldn’t worry too much about that. You can’t mount a fully adjustable stand to that model so it probably wouldn’t be worth you waiting until early next year for its release. Even the regular VA surface (such as that seen on the GW2450/60 models) is fairly light matte and doesn’t give the sort of graininess associated with some TN and older IPS panels. It’s quite similar to the surface used on some newer IPS models like the Dell P2414H and not something to worry about really.

                                        The response times you mentioned are different simply because for some of the models they’ve quoted what’s known as an ISO response time. This is the ‘old’ measurement standard indicating the time taken for a full white-black-white pixel transition. For VA models in particular this sort of pixel transition is quite slow, which is why you see some really large numbers specified here. The small numbers (4ms, 6ms) indicate a typical grey to grey transition done one way (for example a medium shade to a lighter shade as you might see when driving past some buildings on a game). There is actually quite some variation depending on the exact shade (called ‘grey value’ – not necessarily actual grey, could be any colour of a particular intensity) as we’ll explore in an upcoming article on responsiveness. I wouldn’t worry too much about all of this, though, as like for like the response times are very similar on the 24″ GW50 and GW60 models. I’m not entirely sure about the GW2255 and GW2265 as I haven’t tested them but I suspect they’d also be similar. And in turn they’re all quite similar to the GW2750HM we’ve reviewed. So a big improvement over some older VA panels and not something I’d worry about at all for your uses.

                                        And yes you can use VESA mounting on the GW2450/60 models. They specifically use ‘100x100mm VESA’ which the majority of stands you’d buy separately support. Compatible stands will mention ‘VESA100’, ‘VESA bracket’, ‘100mm VESA’ etc. A good solid stand (sometimes called monitor arms depending on the design) that’s actually more robust than anything that would come supplied with an adjustable BenQ monitor from a company like Ergotron might set you back €50. Cheaper but still highly rated options are available, you could perhaps find one new for around €30. Make sure it supports the weight of the monitor (which is 3.6kg for the GW2460HM and 4.1kg for the GW2450HM) and is compatible with VESA 100x100mm and it will work.


                                          Thanks a bunch!
                                          And you do think that any one of these monitors would be a big step up compared to the (TN) monitor I have right now (Samsung Syncmaster 2233RZ), for reading and “casual use”, right? So it’s meaningful to get one, that is.

                                          So it seems like the 2×60 update is primarily cosmetic. While I do think it looks better (at least on picture), it probably doesnt warrant the extra money. At least not if I can get a hold of -50 model that’s flicker-free. So it seems to pretty much boil down to a matter of size.
                                          You’ve been really helpful.

                                          By the way, how much of a difference is it between using the HDMI port of a, say, GW2450HM and a VGA (I think it is, no?) port?


                                            I do think they would be a good step up from the 2233RZ for you, you’ll notice the difference in contrast and colours (in a good way) I’m sure. The extra resolution in itself is quite a nice thing as well.

                                            VGA connections on modern monitors like this aren’t actually that bad. If you look closely you might be able to notice some ‘noise’ in places which looks a bit like ‘dithering’ that you would get on, for example, the 2233RZ on certain shades. The overall image is actually quite similar. The only thing to be aware of when using HDMI is that you will have to correct the colour signal if using an Nvidia GPU (check the GW2760HS review calibration section for information on this).

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