Saturday, June 27, 2009

Netbook on the Beach/Outdoor: Display Glare vs Matt

UPDATE: I created an updated list of best netbooks with matte display
Do you want to use your netbook outdoor? On the beach? Do you wear white shirts?

Be careful with the display type you got: there are basically two types of displays out there.
The "traditional" matte displays and glossy (also called glare) displays.
Glossy displays are said to provide better color intensity and contrast ratios than those with a matte finish. The primary disadvantage of these displays is their tendency to reflect any external light, often resulting in an undesirable glare.
Effect that you don't have with matte displays: while matte displays distribute the reflected light across a large area, glare displays tend to reflect the light source as is.

My rule of thumb: if you use a netbook primarily outdoor, get a netbook with a matte display with a brightness exceeding 160 cd/m2, better if 200 cd/m2 or more. Glare displays are still ok if they have a very good brigthness (200 cd/m2 or more).

It means that the best netbook for the beach (IMHO) are currently:
All MSI Wind, Akoya E1210 and E1211, Samsung NC10, HP Mininote.
Unfortunately the EEE PC tend to have a very dark display, so you won't have much fun outdoor/on the beach.

One very important note: the netbooks that I mentioned above aren't ruggered, it means that they aren't build to be protected from water, dust, sand, dirt, snow and extreme temperatures. For this reason I would never bring my netbook on the beach, it would dramatically reduce its lifetime!!!
Bottom line: handle your netbook with care.

UPDATE: I created an updated list of best netbooks with matte display

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