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Apr 9, 2012

Polarized Glasses Will Affect Your iPad Experience

A two-year old video (embedded below) showing how the iPad does’t get along with polarized sunglasses has re-captured the attention of several Mac-centric blogs which quote screen expert Raymond Soneira as saying that “Using polarized sunglasses all iPads go black in Portrait mode.” (emphasis ours)

Despite the fact that said video is featuring an original iPad from 2010, Dr. Soneira, of DisplayMate Technologies, says that all models suffer from this drawback. ZDNet confirms this, offering the physicist’s full statement.

According to Dr. Soneira, “other displays go black in Landscape mode [too]. Much better is for the manufacturer to set the extinction at 45 degrees so the display looks good in both Portrait and Landscape modes."

"The Motorola Xoom behaves this way. Best of all, with compensating films this effect can go away almost entirely.”

It is unclear why Apple never fixed this on the iPad. Dr. Soneira added that “The iPhone 4 and Samsung Galaxy Tab have no extinction at any angle (just a small color shift). The effect should only apply to LCDs because they use polarized light internally. So OLEDs also should not show any such extinction effect,” he said.

Considering the few scenarios in which all these factors come into play - person wearing polarized glasses, working mostly in the field, requiring an Apple iPad to get his / her job done - Apple isn’t likely to lose many customers because of this single drawback.

However, people relying on polarized glasses may find this information useful, should they be planning to purchase Apple’s tablet computer for outdoor use.

It would be nice on behalf of the Cupertino, Calif. tech giant to make a note of this lackluster feature in the marketing materials over at apple.com/ipad.

Perhaps it would have been just as wise to make that LTE clarification for Australian customers, before news of its incapacity to leverage 4G began to spread like wildfire.


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