Last Updated: September 3rd, 2011

It looks like owners of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 are facing yet another display issue: Newton's rings. According to Wikipedia, Newton's rings is an "interference pattern caused by the reflection of light between two surfaces;" but how does this apply to the Galaxy Tab, you ask? Imagine what motor oil looks like when combined with water, now place that under the screen of your Tab 10.1.


Image by wesbalmer of XDA Forums

That's what a whole slew of users over at XDA are dealing with at this very moment. The thread is currently up to eleven pages, and basically every single post is an affirmation of this issue. The root of the problem seems to be due to heat - or the glass expanding in heat, rather - as it has been "fixed" in most instances by placing the Tab 10.1 in the refrigerator for a brief amount of time (usually between 10 and 30 minutes). Some users are reporting that the issue has not returned after the "fridge fix," whereas others say that it comes back within hours.

Similarly, the issue doesn't seem to be as visible to some as it is to others; it's manifesting in various sizes, shapes, and areas of the screen. For some, it's only visible while the screen is off and in direct (sun)light, while its visibility is much more dramatic in other instances.

Overall, the only common variable is heat, as some users see this anomaly straight out of the box, while others aren't experiencing it for one-to-two weeks post-purchase.

While we're not sure how an issue like this made it passed Sammy's quality assurance crew, we do want to find out from the masses: are you experiencing this issue at all? Hit the poll below and feel free to fill us in with the details (model, color, length of ownership) in the comments.

[Thanks, Daemon1978!]

Are you experiencing 'Newton's Rings' on your Galaxy Tab 10.1?

View Results

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Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Coldman

    Nothing of the kind on mine, thank god. And I hope it never shows up.

  • RealMattGyver

    I got a 10.1" Tab at Google I/O. I noticed if I put it in my bag with a bunch of other devices tightly packed that I would see this effect as soon as I pulled it out of the bag, but it would go away within a few seconds. It looks like there are two "screens" that are touching each other and "sticking" to one another when the screen has pressure applied to it. It always went away within a few second of removing the pressure.

    • Gezabell

      I think the issue is caused by heat from the device and becomes worse with prolonged use - I really don't think it would be two screens touching each other....that would mean a really cheap assembly and component sourcing. Is the problem ongoing?

  • http://zalzalaweb.com/jens anakin78z

    I have actually seen this on a hot day when I had my tablet outside. After being in the cooler indoors for a little while they went away.

  • Jon Garrett

    I have none of these problems people keep complaining about.

    NO rings
    NO wont-wake-from-sleep
    NO edge of display popping up.

    Therefore; I believe, that these problems are caused by the users themselves.

    You people need to be more careful with your devices.

    • _God_

      You sound ridiculous, blaming consumers for an obvious manufacturer's defect...which Samsung has acknowledged. Hopefully, your tab will develop the Newton' Rings, so you can kick yourself for being not being "more careful with your devices"

  • Deckard67

    No Jon...You are assuming wrong. I live in AZ. I know how to take care of an electronic device. I don't let my kids use it. I don't leave it in the car. The first time it appeared for me was when it was sitting in the passenger seat of my car while I was driving with the AC on. (I have it in Belkin case). It was a bit hot in the car but not horrible. The problem showed up at the beginning of the week, and went away. Over the past few days it has gotten worse and now won't go away. This is a QC issue (hopefully not a design flaw). Ohh, and now the newton rings won't go away.

    Consider yourself lucky you have not had the problem yet. I have had my tab for 3 weeks.

  • Tony

    have had mine for 12 days. Only notice the newton's effect on mine when i press a little harder than a normal soft touch on the lower left side (when power switch is on top left). I would go as far as to say that its both user and manufacturers fault. If in fact it takes some time for the internals to swell up and push ever so slightly the lcd and touch glass together than it is the manufacturer fault for not designing the proper variance for such. Than again if the user does not take care of it this might bring the issue to light much sooner than perhaps not at all. My final thought is i might be returning mine for the 10.1v if it ever comes out in the US.

  • Abhinav

    going by the description its probably because of varying temperatures ! (Condensation)
    if you keep it in the same temperature, I don't think any one would face this problem but even then, these marks shouldn't appear. I hope Samsung rectify this :)

  • Daemon1978

    There isn't any need of pressure on the display. It's something that appears by its own even if you keep the tab on a flat surface. Probably to be that thin, the space between the touch screen and the eps lcd screen isn't enough to compensate natural deformations due to temperature variations. If we consider that in some cases due to excessive torque forces applied by the chassis to the screen, it was popping out, you can clearly understand how this variable must be considered too. But even in the worst case, there are special coatings that have to be used on this kind of surfaces, and samsung haven't used on tab 10.1. If you haven't newton rings on your device, consider yourself lucky.

  • bbman

    I have it on mine but it comes and goes. I first noticed it while traveling when it was packed next to my laptop. It shortly went away. My wife has one too and she also travelled with hers and she doesn't have it at all. The only difference is I have a Belkin thin case and she has a non-thin case (also Belkin) . I believe that the thin case is putting pressure on the screen causing it to bend slightly and thus the rings. Placing in front of the a/c does help when it happens though...considering taking it back for a replacement with a different case when I get back from my trip.

  • jp

    I have one too. Seems like my case applies pressure, and the summer heat doesn't help. I just put it on the ac for ten minutes, and the ring went away. As long this isn't fatal to the overall functionality of the tab and as long as the rings are not permanent,Iguess I'm okay it it....not sure if there s a better fix.

  • Fabiano

    I have the same problem with my Galaxy Tab 10.1. Someone have a solution or fix for this problem?

  • pallas

    The same problem is compared on my tablet. Can I ask to Samsung a new one or I need a bag of ice during my travel?

  • luc vertriest

    i 've got the newton rings problem with the tab i bought at best buy 3 weeks ago. i returned the tab and accesories to the shop and got completedly refunded

  • Moseylou

    I bought mine at Microcenter, and already returned one to Samsung. The replacement has the same problem. I really don't want to return this one, as it was a PITA to set up all my apps and screens again. Anyone come up with a solution?

  • Scott

    Got the problem 5days after getting the tab. Plan to try getting a replacement from Frys as soon as I return to Seattle next week. It's worse as temp rises. In Hawaii now, and it is there all the time.

  • Mel

    Wow! Contacted Samsung about this, and their tech support seemed clueless as to what it might be. They asked me three times if I had submerged it water or spilled any on it. I had to explain three times "NO". I've only had it for 3 weeks!!! They want me to return it to get it repaired, which means I'll be without my Tab for who knows how long. My "Newton rings" have grown to cover a large portion in the middle of the screen. It doesn't seem to affect the touch or screen functions, but it is a very big eyesore! Totally unacceptable for a $500+ product! Going to return this piece of junk and wait for the Xoom 2.

    • Mel

      By the way, the refrigerator solution does not work. Tried it for 10, 20, 30, 60 minutes and it didn't reduce the size of the newton rings. Had the Tab powered off and just left it alone in a cool place (not refrigerator) for more than a day, and no luck. I think this is a serious design flaw. In any case, it's going bye bye.

  • Tomz

    I have the newton ring since i bought the device...i'm able to get rid of it using ice blocks and a tape..
    First, u should put the tape over the newton ring..after that...put the ice cube over the tape for over a minute..
    After that, slightly remove the tape...and its gone..

    I think its a design flaw, its becoz of the thickness of the device itself..

    P.s: use creen protector before applying this..i'm not sure the ice dont desturb the screen..

  • ben

    OK I think I have figured out a way to fix it (providing you have a case) put a bit of folded paper about the size and width of a penny on the back of the tab with the case over it... depending on where your newtons ring is on your devise, I took mine out if the case and lightly pressed on a few areas until I found an area where it dissapeared, then put the paper there and put the case on, it hasn't come back since (fingers crossed)

  • http://www.ben-nathan Nathan M

    I have literally just fixed mine with a trip to the fridge will reply later with how long it lasts lol its a great tablet though.

  • http://www.ben-nathan-techstop.com Nathan M

    Okay I'm back quicker than I thought I would be its about a 5 minute fix but they aren't so big now anyway I don't think I will be living with that support it is what do you guys think its 3days old should I use seller support (Dixons UK) or samsun g directly ?

    • Mel

      Whatever you do, don't go to Samsung. They will either give you back a refurbished unit or will try to fix. Either way, you will be out of a tab for a VERY long time. If your tab is still within a returnable window from the seller, then return it. If possible, you will have to direct them to forum posts about this freakin' Samsung MANUFACTURING problem.

  • http://www.ben-nathan-techstop.com Nathan M

    Thank you I will go to dixons and I'll see what they say I'm hoping they will give me a new 1 even if it's just the unit....

  • http://OurWiredLives.com Our Wired Lives

    I had this problem yesterday. I definitely think it was a combination of the heat and pressure from my Samsung leather booklet case. Putting it in refrigerator fixed the problem. Fingers crossed it doesn't happen too often. At least it doesn't affect the functioning of the unit.

  • http://www.breakdesign.com Stefan

    It started on mine in the middle of the screen after about 2 weeks (Italian version P7500UBKG6). I live in a hot, humid country so I had to replace/swap mine. Apparently only the first batches of the 10.1 were affected. The one I got from the swap is a newer build (P7500XXKG7) for sure, hopefully it won't go all oil-slick on me again, because I really love it!

  • Jasper88

    So these 'Rings' or 'Oil Slicks'...

    Putting it in a fridge?? Thats ridiculous!!

    Is this a problem with Tablets in general or just the Samsung?
    I wouldn't mind a tablet for work - Looks great for quick presentations?

  • eco

    Interesting to hear about the different batches. Do you have any (traceable) sources for this? And how can I find out if the one I am going to buy is from the right batch?

  • kw


    Samsung have finally admitted there is a fault with the 10.1 with the oil slick aka 'newton rings'


    but dont get too excited, they just tell you to'call customer service'.

  • Kitty Price

    Did anyone return their Galaxy Tab 10.1 due to a design fault…the “oil slick” / “Newton Rings”? As mine was a wedding gift and have since travelled leaving friends with the receipt. Can I take it to any dealer and they will recognize this problem? The email I received last week as not been followed up by Samsung: Thank you for contacting Samsung Electronics. We understand that there is a oil slick underneath the tab and the tab is not exposed to any extreme weather. We are sorry, to hear that the tab is having the issue Please check if the issue is persisting on all applications. If you are able to view the oil slick even if the tab is turned off the tab requires a service. If you are not able to view the oil slick when the tab is turned off, please perform a hard ware reset.
    Samsung Philippines have admitted that there is a problem.
    What do I do now?

    • Truth maker

      What's Apple paying you guys for anti-astroturfing the competition? At least change the comment up a little bit before cross posting at every Tab 10.1 review online.

  • Scott Deagan

    WTF? Why not just ask two simple questions:

    1. Yes, I have the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and have the problem.

    2. No, I have the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and do not have the problem.

    This poll is misleading and stupid.

    • Cameron Summerson

      There are more than just two variables to be taken into consideration. I fail to see how that makes it "misleading."

      • Scott Deagan

        It's misleading because there's no:
        1. Yes, I have the problem but cannot return the product as I've had it for over 21 days.
        2. Yes, I have the problem and am planning on taking the product back for a refund.
        3. Yes, I have the problem but have been refused a refund.
        4. Yes, I have the problem but am not sure what I'm going to do about it just yet.

        5. Yes, I have the device and returned it for a full refund.

        Easier to have two questions:
        1. Do you have the problem? (yes/no).
        2. What have you done (will you do) about it?
        This poll is very misleading.

  • Paul Maidment

    Given that a lot of people who visit this page will be Tab owners who have been experiencing the rings issue, It may be helpful to break this into a simple yes/no question to simplify the metric and allow us to see the percentage of users who are experiencing the issue in any capacity.

    This is quite a big thing as currently Samsung UK have been advising customers (me at least) that they have never heard of this issue. So this article provides some evidence, it would be better if that evidence is a little more 'damning'

  • bobby

    I started noticing the NR about 20 days into owning the tablet, didn't know what it was till i found this blog and other sites like XDA.

    I called Verizon and they said I would have to ship it back to Samsung tech support (via Verizon) to look at it to determine if it should be replaced or repaired. THe customer service person at verizon was actually very respsonive and even looked up the issue on this site while i was on the phone with her since she didn't understand what a NR was.

    Anyway, they rush shipped a box to me to return the tablet in... and to my surprise also rush shipped a brand new (i think it's brand new and not a refurb) tablet! I will admit i haven't activated the new tablet am still debating selling it on ebay, as i feel the NR will show up on this one too.

    Has anyone else received a new one from a new batch maybe that the NRs didn't show up?

  • LucyElsner

    I wanted the Samsung Galaxy but after reading about the 'touch bug', 'oil-slick' and bad customer service by those with faulty devices, I'm now definitely NOT shelingl out for one - back to the drawing board! :-(

  • Jasper88

    I think it's safe to say a lot of people will be put off now, i certainly am.
    This tablet defiantly isn't reliable!!

  • http://www.cad3dmdd.com Dani Cadsawan

    geez so many months have passed. wtf was the poll question?

    it could have been.
    do you have NR issue. YES or NO

    sgt10.1 hits singapore now. it could have been very helpful to see percentage or numbers over the months

  • Omar Carter

    So im on the phone with samsung as we speak. They know about it and said it happens during shipping to stores were the glass inside makes contact and has this effect. They will let you ship it to them for free and will replace the glass so that it never happens again. They said as of so far no one who received a new one has had the problem again.

    • msaub

      Is this Samsung USA who ack the problem.

  • msaub

    Model : GT P7510 Gray
    Seeing this issue intermittenl, generally occurs when travellin and the unit is off for a few hours , also seen it at temp of 65 F.
    Samsung USA refuses to ackoweldge the issue and say they have never heard of it.

    I wil be sending the tablet for repairs and see if it resolves the problem. Just dont understand why they have not heard of it.

    Is this mainly with teh GRAY units, One of colleagues has a White unit and does not see the issue

  • Mel

    Called Samsung; instructed to send in for repair/replacement; received "replacement" unit; put unit back in folio case (belkin); newton ring again; threw galaxy tab out the window.

    Aside from the throwing the tab out the window, all above is true. I am working with Samsung to get refunded. I hate this thing.

    • msaub

      Can one conclude that putting the tablet in a case exacerbates the issue..
      What is teh best way to consistently check if the issue is resolved - Want to know in case i get a replacement or serviced unit, where Samsung claims to have fixed the issue

    • msaub

      Samsung replaced the LCD - will wait and see if the problem recurs -

  • Jose

    Model GT P7500, because of this problem, I had it replaced. With the second one i had the same problem so i finally refund and bought an iPad. Its very sad.

  • Eric

    Vodafone UK, Model GT P7500, because of this problem, I had it replaced. With the second one and had the same problem!!!

  • Aeomer

    It looks to me like the Apple Fanboys are adding comments here. I think each poster should include their serial number as verification they actually have a device. Eric and Jose are two obvious ones.

  • Tjitske

    Yesterday I noticed a newton ring on my tablet as well and I have been reading some comments about putting it in the fridge. So I decided to stick mine in the fridge and guess what? It's gone! At least for now it is..... Lets see for how long!

  • chuck p

    My Verizon 4G Galaxy 10.1 developed oil slick on screen 31 days after purchase. Purchase date- Oct 3 2011. Verizon provided conflicting guidance on how to get repaired. Verizon retail store at local BJ membership warehouse advised new unit would be shipped to me Fedex and I would send failed unit back using box replaced item came in. Fedex delivered a Box that was empty. I confirmed with Verizon that box should have contained a replacement unit so I filed a theft claim with Fedex. Received second empty box next day. Called Verizon 800 # and they advised Samsung Tab warranty return policy had changed. They told me to send back failed unit in box. A new or repaired unit would be shipped to me 4-5 working days later. Two different Verizon reps told me two different methods to return. One said send the unit with 4G chip. Other said remove 4G chip before returning failed unit. Not sure who disappoints me more Verizon or Samsung. They both need to get their act together.

  • cedarman

    there seems to be an inherent manufacturing defect in the screen of the Samsung galaxy tab 10.1, in that it develops an oily slick / newton rings( just google newton rings oil slick galaxy tabs and you will see the extent of the defect ) ,when the tablet has been used for approximately a week , this does not affect all the tablets but around 45-60 pct. are affected , I have written to Samsung uk asking for a change under warranty , they have refused saying that because I bought the tablet overseas they cannot repair it .
    I may understand some of that , if it was a warranty claim , however as a manufacturing defect this becomes too much ! , I am NOW trying to assemble as many people as possible to mount a legal case against Samsung uk , as they are refusing to repair any tablet that was bought outside their territory and they have known about that defect for a while now
    if anyone is interested please let me know and I will send you my pm

  • BR

    got the rings. Samsung won't acknowledge problem. I returned it an bought an IPAD2. I'll have to deal with Apple's secuirty idiozyncracies. However, I see Samsung behaving more like Ford with exploding Pinto, than say Johnson & Johnson with total recall in tylenol scare. Too bad Samsung is willing to risk it's reputation here, I imagine this will come back to haunt them. Poor response all around.

  • Ronnieth22

    Nw dat i knw abt dis oil slick problm i,d prefr buyn ipad thanks to u guys

  • Stephen Ryan1

    mine has the same problem although improves if i place in a very dry environment after about a week. have an ipad 3 to and no such problem in the same environment. my advise ALWAYS BUY AN IPAD there far better in everyway and im sure samsung will give me no satisfaction. if they do il eat my words and update this post

  • Rohit Thomas

    Same problem here. Right out of the box. Mine`s a GT 5110 from July 2012

  • Hoek

    so is this the galaxy tab 1, 2 or 3 10.1 tablet having these issues? or is it all the galaxy tab models? I have a galaxy tab 2 10.1 and havent experienced these problems...yet.