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Glossy / Bright laptop screens?

Last week's weather system brought high winds to North Texas and damaged a transformer near my house, which caused a series of power surges that KO'd my laptop (and started a big grassfire nearby too). I was already having problems with the machine and intended to replace it before the 2006 chase season, so now I'm laptop shopping. Seems like every year it's something else with chase gear, huh?

I've noticed many notebook manufacturers are installing glossy and bright laptop screens under a variety of brand names, like Toshiba's TruBrite. Gateway and Sony have other labels for these screens that have rich color and look like small digitial televisions in the showroom. But as I was walking along a row of laptops in CompUSA this afternoon, I noticed how sharply the screens reflect the overhead lights of the store, and how vividly all reflections appear in the mirror-like plastic of the monitor material. I wondered how it would look outdoors, and a salesman was surprisingly honest and said they've heard complaints even from indoor users who say the screens are too bright.

I was wondering if any chasers have used this type of laptop screen outdoors or in chasing situations. I'm wondering about the effect of the glare. Anyone have experience with these?
 
I've not used one in a chasing application, but I can relate that there is a reflection problem, which is the negative backlash of the incredible resolution these "slick" screens produce. I'd own one for my home or office, but I wouldn't want one that I needed to glance over at from the driver's seat.
 
I have a Gateway that I purchased from Best Buy. I would go another route if possible. It's really hard to look at (even if you have it plugged in to a power source) when gathering data, and I find myself looking for shade.
 
Amos

I do not have a glossy screen but i know a few who do. From what i have seen is that they are way to glary during the day. They would not be optimal for a chase copmuter.

Are you going to try and stick with the toshiba brand for your new one again? I was suprised that your computer made it through this year with the failures you were telling me about in past.

Dick I will never buy anything from Best Buy again mainly because i can get things cheaper elsewhere and they over price things. Also if you want to return something you have to fight to get your refund put back on your Credit card, if you have to return something. What they try to do is just give you your refund on store credit. That way they keep you in there system and keep your money. There evil :twisted:
 
Amos,

I purchased a Compaq Presario R300z laptop last year and it included a WXGA Widescreen Bright monitor. It was well worth the investment as it has very little if any glare problems AND can be viewed from a much larger range of angles without losing too much detail. In the car, it works very well with my jotto desk and driving as it is easy to see from a variety of angles and light conditions. Very well worth it.

Among other things, the Presario has been a rugged laptop with all sorts of features. I paid well over $1200 for it at the time with agig of ram, but imagine you can get something very close if not bette rthan that for close to a grand. Check them out at http://www.compaq.com and see what deals they have going by customizing a particular model.

Ciao dude,
Tony
 
Originally posted by Kurt Hulst
Amos


Are you going to try and stick with the toshiba brand for your new one again? I was suprised that your computer made it through this year with the failures you were telling me about in past.

Yeah, the machine was due for replacement (even though it had stabilized a little and I was actually pondering another year with it). I've had it so long I can't even find the reciept.

I'm looking at all the brands, but I'm partial to Toshiba since I've had good luck with those. This screen issue could force me to choose something else. All the affordable Toshibas seem to have this damn TruBrite screen. Because of that I'm giving heavy consideration to HP and IBM also.

I want to find something over the holiday to take advantage of sales and to have the time necessary to prep a chase computer. That's what I dread the most, loading everything and testing it.
 
Amos, my new HP has one of the new glossy bright screens. At first I was really concerned about reflection etc. But I got such a good deal on it I couldn't pass it up.

The only time I noted it really bothered me was if the interior light was on after dark or some other really bright light shining on something behind me. I however found that by just tilting the screen a little bit I could eliminate that. The huge plus was that I can see and read the screen IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT just fine, something I could never do on my old ones, I always had to shade them.

To me, being able to do that outweighed the minor inconvenience of tilting the screen a little or eliminating inside backlight.

Given the choice again after using it, I would go with the glossy/bright screen again! For what it's worth...

BTW, this is my second HP and darn happy with them. Any future one's I buy will be HPs I am so happy with them, unless they just go to absolute crap in future models.
 
"Glossy" screens do not mean they reflect more light. It's simply another layer, a "glossy" layer added to the monitor. I'm guessing they apply a lot of anti-reflective materials. I have not tried one outside but I would think it would be just as good if not better.
 
Here's what I think... Many laptop makes put an anti-glare coating on their screens. This coating works by diffusing the light a little, which means that it "breaks up" incident light beams so that you don't get a 'mirror effect'. This has the unfortunate side effect, I think, of also making the light on the other side of the coating/glass (the LCD side -- what we WANT to see) a little more diffuse as well. In other words, I don't think the antiglare coating "knows" what direction the light is propagating (either into the screen -- like ambient light -- or out of the screen -- the LCD backlighting that we want to see), so all light is diffused a bit. This is kind of like looking through a piece of Seran wrap (plastic food wrap) and hoping that, through one side, everything looks crystal-clear, but through the other side everything looks foggy. On the glossy-screens, I believe, they do away with this anti-glare coating. This means that light leaving the LCD is undisrupted, resulting in a more crisp and vivid image. On the flip-side, this means that undesirable light (ambient lighting like the sun, etc) is also undisrupted as it reflects off the screen, resulting in a mirror-like shine that drives some folks crazy. I'm not sure they can diffuse light coming from one direction (into the monitor) while not diffusing light going the other direction (out of the screen)...
 
Hmm...this makes a lot of sense. Tonight I went to Fry's (huge electronics store in Dallas area) and looked at several models with glossy screens. I asked a salesman who seemed to know his stuff about the effect of the glossy screen and he insisted that in sunlight it would outperform the conventional matte LCDs because it would not "fade to black" in high ambient light environments.

This sounded reasonable to me, but we were also surrounded by machines with glossy monitors which he wanted to sell.

It isn't very often that the sun will shine directly into my monitor screen so maybe the glossy worry isn't a big deal for chasing. On the other hand, I've heard that heavy users (like people who write novels might be considered) complain of headaches even while indoors from the brightness and high-contrast color schemes.
 
Originally posted by Amos Magliocco
I asked a salesman who seemed to know his stuff about the effect of the glossy screen and he insisted that in sunlight it would outperform the conventional matte LCDs because it would not \"fade to black\" in high ambient light environments.

That has been EXACTLY what I have observed to be true at least on my HP.
 
Originally posted by David Drummond+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(David Drummond)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-Amos Magliocco
I asked a salesman who seemed to know his stuff about the effect of the glossy screen and he insisted that in sunlight it would outperform the conventional matte LCDs because it would not \"fade to black\" in high ambient light environments.

That has been EXACTLY what I have observed to be true at least on my HP.[/b]

Cool. Well I appreciate all the input and help. Right now I'm leaning strongly toward the HP machines for the combination of features and reliability at a fair price.
 
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