Some things just don’t go together. Peanut butter and broccoli. Beer and cereal. Grandparents and skinny jeans. Polarized sunglasses and iPads. Wait, what?
While attempting to do his best Corey Hart impression, ZDNet’s Jason D. O’Grady quickly found out that the iPad (all variants) go completely black in portrait mode when you attempt to view the iPad while wearing polarized sunglasses. Though the phenomenon was discovered on the new 3rd-generation iPad, the issue has affected all iPad models released, as well as several other tablets (while in landscape mode). The issue does not affect viewing while in landscape mode.
According to DisplayMate’s Ray Soniera, the issue has to do with “extinction”, which comes into play when two polarizing agents are used. Mr. Soniera suggests that Apple should have set the extinction rate to 45 degrees, or used a compensating film to eliminate the problem altogether. Or, you know, you can turn the tablet sideways or simply wait until you’re not in a place where you need to wear sunglasses to consume content on your iPad.
Apple has already fixed the extinction issue with the iPhone 4, and several iPad competitors such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab series and Motorola’s Xoom tablet. Perhaps the next new iPad will take a lesson from the current new iPad, and allow iPad users to wear their sunglasses at night.