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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
    innsmouthrain's Avatar
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    Question Android device for coding outdoors (in sunlight)?


    Is there a good android device for working outdoors? The reflections caused by the bright sunlight makes my Xperia Z Ultra worthless outside - even in the shade. Pixel Qi displays seem to be the best way of doing this but the devices that have them are few and seem hard to come by.

    I found the Adam II tablet on amazon.in, but it only ships to India (I live in northern Europe). The first Adam tablet got devastating reviews on amazon. Also there are no western reviews of this (the II) and I don't know if it would even work well here?

    I also found the rugged Android-G from sol computers but it is more expensive and I can not find a single review on it.

    A user at hacker news linked a Pixel Qi display package that would be able to handle HDMI from my phone/tablet/laptop. However, it needs external power. Is it feasible to bring along a small power source outdoors? Considering the low power demands of the display in transflective mode (5V: 350mA) - could I use a common battery?

    <links removed>

    I could do with a laptop but having it packaged in a small android tablet or phone would actually be superior because of the mobility it offers. Still, all advice is welcome.

    Does anybody know a device that works outside in the sun? The pixel qi seems like an unbeatable alternative - why aren't there more devices using it?
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Android device for coding outdoors (in sunlight)?

    In case you are still looking:

    The best solution which I found was also Pixel Qi. Here are the options which I found, for using Pixel Qi technology to work outside, in order from most expensive to least.

    1) Get a tablet which uses Pixel Qi technology:
    • SOL 10" Windows Tablet: $949 USD. You can find it here: Sunlight Readable Tablet.

      SOL Android 4.4 Tablet - should be released "in the next few weeks", according to the Sol Computer employee whom I contacted.

      Note: SOL 7" Rugged Android-G ($599.99 USD) does NOT use a Pixel Qi screen. The description of this product, on Sol Computer's webpage, does not specify what type of screen it contains; I emailed the company to ask, and was quickly provided with an answer that this particular tablet does not contain Pixel Qi technology in the screen. A description of this device is here: SOL 7" Rugged Android-G

    2) Connect an outdoor monitor to any phone, tablet, or computer, via USB.
    • The cheapest one I've found is $499.99 USD (plus stand and possibly a power adaptor), by Sol Computer. It's called "Sol Vision". It plugs into any device via USB; if you want to use it with a phone or tablet, you'll need to make sure your device can plug into USB devices (I have read that some devices do not support that). You can buy it at: SOL Vision External Monitor. Or, for a Canadian reseller (which sometimes has a better price), you can buy it here: SOL VISION EXTERNAL SUNLIGHT READABLE DISPLAY from Aircraft Spruce Canada. It is available from other sellers, but I haven't been able to find any sales on the USD price; for Canadians, the reseller listed above is currently the cheapest price I could find.

    3) Build your own Pixel Qi monitor.
    • Panel with controller: available from Adafruit for $179.95 USD: https://www.adafruit.com/product/1303. It can be plugged into any device with a HDMI, VGA or NTSC/PAL (including laptops). To plug it into an Android device, you may need an HDMI-to-USB converter, or similar converter. As with the Sol Vision monitor, you'll need to make sure your Android device can take USB inputs.

      Battery power supply: A user on Adafruit asked about building an external power supply for the Adafruit panel which I listed above. It doesn't look like the question was fully resolved, but there is some good information in the forum thread. It is located here: https://forums.adafruit.com/viewtopi...2F1303#p229258.

      Casing: The panel from Adafruit does not come with a casing. If you want to use it outdoors, you may want to encase it in something which is somewhat weatherproof. I have not looked up this item extensively, but I think that a box or container with a glass or clear plastic front might work. It doesn't have to withstand a downpour, but it should protect the screen from stray dust, pollen, and water.

    You can also look up "outdoor" displays, or "sunlight-readable" tablets. Some devices do sunlight-readability by trying to outshine the sun: they use high-brightness screens. Pixel Qi screens are the only consumer-available ones which I've found that achieve sunlight-readability by, instead, allowing the user to turn off the backlight. There are other "outdoor-readable" screens for industrial use, but I could not find any which are available for individual sale.

    I hope this is still helpful to you, and/or to others who come to this page.

    To the OP: If you found a different solution to what I listed above, then please post it. Thank you.
  3. #3  

    Default Re: Android device for coding outdoors (in sunlight)?

    also I am looking for real sunlight-readable tablet (about 7", android, GPS at least) .
    Searching the internet I also found SolComputer, but no german reseller, so I tried a Getac-z710, which is offered as sunlight-readable. My outdoor-usage of the Getac-z710 showed that it has poor outdoor-readability and performs in this respect slightly less than a "Dell Streak 5".

    Has anybody expirience with a
    Sol-7 (Sunlight Readable Netbook|Sunlight Readable Tablet PC|Mobile Computing) or
    DuriosA7Ultimate_Android or comparable
    sunlight-readable tablet (about 7", android, GPS at least)

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