Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Sunny day laptops

Laptops you can use in the sunshine
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A laptop that allows you to turn off the backlight and use an external source for display illumination. The opaque back of the display could fold out, revealing the translucent diffuser on the back of the LCD panel. If the fold-out section has a white reflecting surface, you could angle the reflector to catch the sun and thus illuminate the back of the LCD. A fold-out shade on the top and/or sides of the LCD could help contrast by blocking out bright areas beyond the display. Because the backlight is a significant source of battery drain, this will improve battery life. [Now why you are using a laptop in a sunny place rather than swimming or loafing is a problem I leave for the user to solve.]

One more enhancement: make the front LCD polarizer removable. Then polarized sunglasses will block the glare from anywhere but the screen. As a further bonus, the screen becomes unreadable to anyone not wearing polarized glasses.

rmutt, Apr 06 2000

One per child http://en.wikipedia...#Display_resolution
[bigsleep] thought this was baked... (from deleted halfdea of mine duplicate of this one) [pashute, Feb 05 2009]

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       The Toshiba 1000 (c.1988) was the ideal beach machine.   

       Reflective display, white case, six hour battery life. I had some very nice days on the beach with that baby.
yudel, Apr 07 2000
  

       At the very least they should orient the polarization of laptop displays so they match sunglasses. That way you can wear sunglasses to dim the sunshine without blocking out the screen.
aigeek, Apr 24 2000
  

       How would you read the creen in a dark place? I like the idea of photo electric cells to carge the battery too.
gz, Apr 25 2001
  

       gz: read the first sentence. There is a backlight for normal indoor situations that folds down.   

       I had this idea before too. I like it - work on the beach. But we'd have to go back to the thicker style of laptop. Modern ones have a VERY thin top, and that cover provides the stiffness to keep the fragile LCD from flexing and breaking.
jtgd, Jun 05 2002
  

       //the screen becomes unreadable to anyone not wearing polarized glasses.//   

       No it wouldn't.
yamahito, Jun 05 2002
  

       I had a very similar idea the other day while trying to use a laptop in sunlight. Croissant.   

       [jtgd]: The Apple iBook case is transparent polycarbonate, with white painted on the inside of the plastic. If the opaque white layer were a removable sheet then the transparent case could remain for structural reasons while still letting you use the sun as a backlight.   

       // using a laptop in a sunny place rather than swimming or loafing //
using a laptop IS loafing.
wiml, Jun 06 2002
  

       wiml: Good to know about the Apple, however I thought that this was something that would work in sunshine AND indoors, which means there still needs to be the standard fluorescent backlight, which would need to fold away from the LCD.   

       I had envisioned a triangular chamber with the LCD on the front surface, a white inner bottom surface, and a translucent top surface. This should give a fairly uniform lighting behind the LCD (we don't want the shadows of leaves to make a pattern behind the screen image.) I imagine the folded down backlight could be the white surface, an the top translucent part could be a flexible film.
jtgd, Jun 08 2002
  

       ah, [jtgd], that's the best part. Fluorescent lights aren't opaque, or at least don't have to be. Shine a flashlight at a common fluorescent tube and you'll see the beam diffused and illuminating part of the other side. The same should work for the flat fluorescents used as backlights. Some light will be lost, but on a sunny day you've got plenty of light to work with. The backlight can act as an extra diffuser, even.   

       (Probably won't work with electroluminescent backlights --- I think those usually have an opaque electrode covering one side --- but I think fluorescents are more common anyway.)
wiml, Jun 09 2002
  

       [Randomly-Churned] Free energy, beaches and polarisation, some of my favorite things. Apart from croissants.
zen_tom, Oct 14 2004
  

       The Powerbook 180 was also, like the Toshiba 1000, very good outdoors.   

       I still use mine, though less often now that I can read using a Palm.
hank, Dec 12 2004
  

       One difficulty is that most color displays absorb most of the light put through them even when showing "white". Even if there weren't anything behind it a color LCD would be hard to use in any environment without backlighting since it would always be much dimmer than ambient.
supercat, Dec 12 2004
  

       you might like this idea   

       Germany has a photovoltaic program where they make colored photovoltaics to put on buildings   

       light colored pastel organic photovoltaics are minimally efficient yet this is a way to create greater visual appeal than the usual kind seen on structures It is an effort to make photoltaics architect friendly   

       thus a big lcd screen with a light rose tint photovoltaic overlay screen might be a big screen area photovoltaic battery charger which although minimally efficient might produce a few more minutes of backlight display during evening use   

       Its kind of like pastel photovoltaic over display screen plus color corrected dots gives adequate sunlit@daytime performance while storing as much light up energy as one of those teeny high efficiency collectors seen on long lasting path lights — beanangel, Jan 12 2009 // anno in my idea of Sunlit pc display electric@night sunlit@daytime which was dup of this one
pashute, Feb 05 2009
  

       My Newton display worked beautifully in full sunlight. You could see the utter nonsense and spurts of randomly chosen characters and punctuation that it transformed everything I wrote into it with superb clarity and contrast, the sunnier it got (ie, for those three days). — Ian Tindale, Jan 06 2009   

       been considering binning the backlight on my monitor and going with painting the wall behind white if that helps any.   

       other than that... can I have a vowel, Vanna ? — FlyingToaster, Jan 06 2009   

       not white, but mirrored, or at a least highly reflective silvery-surface. A typical digital watch LCD has a thin polarising screen in front of the LCD itself, and the LCD is backed with a reflective silver foil. — Ian Tindale, Jan 07 2009 // more from same discussion...
pashute, Feb 05 2009
  
      
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