On Tuesday, Itronix—a computing technologies division of General Dynamics—will announce a couple of mobile systems featuring an interesting DynaVue display optimized for outdoor viewability. Manufacturers have typically tackled the problem of outdoor LCD viewability by competing directly with sunlight, adding LCD backlights to increase screen brightness to 1000 nits or more. Unfortunately, those additional backlights sap precious battery life and don't address contrast or color saturation issues that continue to make screens look washed out in outdoor light.
1000 nits screen (left) compared with DynaVue (right). Source: Itronix
According to Itronix, sunlight reflecting off LCD panel elements is the primary cause of that wash out. Traditional LCD panels reflect up to 20% of ambient light back to users, they say, and DynaVue addresses those reflections with a combination of "polarizing techniques and multi-layer indexed matched coatings to transform the frequency of the reflected light waves and eliminate reflections." There's no need for additional backlights, so battery life is unaffected. Itronix also says DynaVue is the only touchscreen to meet the Navy's MIL-L-85762A standard for viewability in all lighting conditions, so it's apparently good enough for cockpits.
The GoBooks. Source: Itronix.
Itronix has cooked up a couple of ruggedized devices with its new DynaVue display, and while both are targeted at government customers, they'll be available to consumers through CDW and possibly others. The first of these devices is the GoBook VR-2 notebook, which features Intel's Santa Rosa mobile platform with a Core 2 Duo T7300 processor, up to 4GB of memory, and a 13.3" display with a 1024x768 resolution. 802.11a/g/n wireless and Bluetooth are also under the hood alongside support for EVDO and GPS. As one might expect from a ruggedized notebook, the VR-2 meets numerous standards for vibration, heat, and humidity tolerance. The keyboard is also capable of withstanding a 400ml liquid spill that sits for a full ten minutes without clean-up.
Joining the VR-2 notebook is a smaller GoBook MR-1. The clamshell MR-1 measures just 1.5" x 6" x 4.3" and weighs less than 2lbs. Itronix calls it an "ultra mobile rugged notebook," and equips the system with an Intel Core Solo U1400 processor, up to 1GB of memory, and a 5.6" screen with a display resolution of 1024x600. GPS is optional for the MR-1, whose capabilities can be expanded via a 100-pin connector to include support for PCMCIA compatibility, docking, fingerprint scanning, and other extras.