What are the brightest Tablet PC/2-in-1 Screen options for 2020?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by darkmagistric, Aug 30, 2020.

  1. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    So as I’ve said numerous times over the many years, I’m a coffee house rat. I can get more work done two hours at a coffee shop then two days at home. Needless to say I spent a lot of time in coffee shops…until Covid Happened.

    For one such as me, these past few months have not been easy. And I live in NJ, one of the slowest states to reopen. As of the end of August we still do not have any indoor dining. And even if indoor dining were to reopen in the next month (which I don’t think it will), given seating capacities and occupancy restrictions…us coffee house rats who camp out for 2-3 hours may not be as welcomed as we used to be.

    But, a few of my coffee shops have been able to create little outdoor seating areas. Which is great…except laptop and tablet screens aren’t well suited for outdoor daytime use. Even with umbrellas, tents, and overhead coverings, the overall light is just too overpowering.

    Pretty much effectively, my Zbook X2 and Mobile Studio Pro…with their under 200-300 nits of brightness are practically useless in such improvised outdoor venues.

    My Surface Pro 5 and Galaxy Book 10.6 have closer to 400 nits, so they fare better, but not by much. Which is leading me to contemplate the purchase of new device with adequate brightness for outdoor daytime use. I would ideally use it for drawing and coding, so keyboard and a decent pen are needed.

    I’ve been considering 3 options.

    The iPad Pro 12.9 – since that has 600 Nits

    The Samsung Tab S7+ - which doesn’t have a nit spec, but the S7 has 500 nits, so I assume the + would have that at least.

    However both the iPad Pro and Tab S7, aren’t as well suited for coding endeavors because they don’t run Windows.

    My 3rd option I was contemplating was the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1, 10.1 inch, Wacom EMR, and 800+ nits of brightness. 3rd/4th gen i5 models seem to be cheap enough on ebay ($300-ish range). The size is not perfect and I would have to figure out a stand/keyboard solution since its only a Slate PC, but the price for that brightness is good.

    But before I make a decision, does anyone have any other more "recent to 2020" suggestions, or recommendations of reasonable affordable devices with 800 to 1000+ nits of brightness?
     
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  2. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    How about getting an e-ink device to function as outdoor monitor? Slow refresh rate, but unmatched outdoor usability. Be sure to read reviews though by people who tried this. I saw it mentioned as a feature of the Boox Max3 but there may be other options.
     
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  3. dellaster

    dellaster Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    @darkmagistric, you probably already know, so for others who don’t: you’ll want an electric outlet for that high-nit device. Sure, my iPhone 11 Pro is quite readable in the daylight, rivaling e-ink in the shade, but it’ll burn through its battery in three hours doing that. I can’t imagine an iPad Pro or similar doing better with a much larger (OLED) screen.
     
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  4. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Have you considered the Galaxy Book Flex 15"? The screen gets up to 600nits with Outdoor Mode, along with large colour accurate screen and buttery EMR.

    I was just watching Andrew Marc Davis' review and struck again by how nice this laptop is:

     
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  5. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Here's a nice video on how to use the Max3 e-ink reader as external display. TLDW: good for text, not good for video.. :)

    Below an example of the reader leaned on a laptop outdoors. He does show the laptop separately for comparison, and unsurprisingly it's very dim by comparison.

    upload_2020-8-30_10-56-20.png
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
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  6. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Power I'm not too concerned with. As I said, I only typically send 2 to 3 hours out and about anyway. So if a device maxed at 2-ish hours (cough. ..Mobile Studio pro & Zbook..cough) I think I'd manage fine. And so long as it accepts USB-C power, arranging a portable battery would be simple. I already have a Samsung USB-C Battery pack that nearly fully charges the Galaxy Book 10.6. So long as the device doesn't require 100W USB-C PD (again, cough...Mobile Studio Pro, & zBook...cough), those battery limitations thankfully have sufficient USB-C alternative solutions.
     
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  7. dellaster

    dellaster Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    My ThinkPadX1E w/4k OLED was in my mind when I wrote that. It’s almost scary how fast the battery indicator goes down in sunlight. :eek:
     
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  8. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I actually did consider the Flex, I played around with the Flex 13 at MicroCenter and I loved it.

    My problem with getting the Flex, I don't have much of an indoor need for it. At home I have more then enough devices, Pro 5, MSP 13, Zbook X2, on top of two separate Desktop rigs I bounce between. And while I fully intend to make plentiful outdoor use of it for September and October when the weather is more opportune...but once November comes around, it will more or less be indoor or bust. Part of what makes the iPad Pro or Tab S7+ more alluring to me, is that when November comes around, I'll still have utility for them. I've been contemplating getting the iPad Pro 12.9 for a while now just because of how much I'm nearly glued to my Mini 5 at home. But the Flex 13 thats harder to justify cause likely I wouldn't use it all that much once late fall hits.
     
  9. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Oh I fully understand. My Zbook X2 on full brightness running photoshop and powering a 2nd monitor, the battery indicator becomes more like a countdown clock.
     
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  10. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Thats a great idea, I must say I never even considered an e-ink reader, nor was I aware that ones like the Max3 were apparently popular with coders and could even be used as second monitors. My only gripe with an e-ink reader is the lack of color. For obviously drawing/painting purposes it wouldn't be as suitable. And even with coding, I use VS code and am I'm somewhat accustomed to the actual color coding in the code. And once November hits, much like the Flex 13 I wouldn't have much use or need for it. But still, that is a very good idea I never even considered.
     
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