10 Replies Latest reply: Jul 18, 2011 8:00 PM by ANOVA
ecyfoto Level 1 (0 points)
I found a design flaw the other day while playing with an iPad on a display. I happened to have a pair of Polarized Ray Bans on having just come off the street and noticed that when viewing Winnie the Pooh horizontally it looked great. However when I rotated to the single page vertical position the screen became Polarized and looked virtually opaque. Bummer if your sitting by the pool trying do do a bit of eReading. Any comments........... Steve?

macbook, Mac OS X (10.5.3)
  • Limnos Level 8 (47,210 points)
    Well, only a design flaw to the extent that that's inherent to LCD screens in general.

  • Tony2009 Level 1 (0 points)
    Heh, it's funny you posted this...just the other day I had my iPad out in the car and was wearing my Ray Ban polarized sun glasses. I turned the screen on, and nothing - black. Held down the power and home button to try and reset and still nothing...I was quite upset that I thought my brand new iPad suddenly died. Then I caught a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye that was not behind the sunglasses and sure enough, the thing was fine. I have noticed the effect with other screens and displays but the iPad COMPLETELY blacks out for me with my sunglasses.

    I'm sure the effect is somewhat different between different makes and models of lenses but I think this just kind of goes along with the turf when using polarized lenses and viewing LCD displays.
  • Jon Walker Level 6 (18,352 points)
    However when I rotated to the single page vertical position the screen became Polarized and looked virtually opaque.

    If iPad screen is also polarized, then this is normal. (I.e., same as viewing through two polarized lenses placed at right angles to each other.)

  • dwb Level 7 (22,610 points)
    The laws of physics can't be broken, not even by Apple.
  • ecyfoto Level 1 (0 points)
    Not to this extent. Macbook screen darkens only when rotated 45 degrees. Vertical or horizontal is just fine. Another advantage for Kindle and its ilk.
  • T_Bro54 Level 1 (15 points)
    Funny, this exact thing happened in my car today with my sunglasses on. I thought my iPad was dead.
  • ecyfoto Level 1 (0 points)
    Informative though not necessarily accurate. As I mentioned below my macbook screen will darken only when rotated 45 degrees. Vert or horizontal are just fine.
  • Limnos Level 8 (47,210 points)
    So that means whoever made the MacBook put the final sheet of polarizer in at an angle, possibly considering that nobody would want to view the MacBook sitting on a corner. The thing is, because the final transmission is polarized it will be filtered out by any polarizer at 90 degrees to it. This is all inherent to the nature of LCD screens. The most they could have done would be to set the second sheet the way they do in a MacBook. Send feedback to Apple through their feedback pages (they don't read this website for this kind of thing).
  • Wolfie Wolf Level 1 (0 points)

    The laws of physics?  Your comment reminded me of a story I once heard about NASA and the ballpoint pen.  I don't know if it's true or not but it demonstrates the point.  Apparently NASA spent a lot of money designing a pen that would work in zero gravity.... The Russians just used pencils.  So, Einstein, why couldn't Apple polarise their screen at an a-typical viewing angle like 45 degrees?  Let's not even start talking about quantum mechanics and how that just blows the whole thing up.



  • ANOVA Level 2 (265 points)

    Hello Wolfie Wolf,

    urban legends live on. If you want to refer

    to NASA please write of the square root

    function on a calculator.

    Space Pen urban legend:




    I'm sure some tech has taken apart the films

    behind the polarizer of an Apple iPad the day

    it was released to see why the display is soooo

    gooood. Don't get rid of it and thanks for letting

    all of us know to raise our sunglasses!


    Happy Computing,