From this image, the astute reader will instantly realize that this latest post is a discourse on recursion while blogging….
Just kidding. This post is actually about the Nook Color screen and glare. Before I acquired my NC tablet, I was a bit leery about how the back-lit LCD would perform in sunlight. User reports on the net were sketchy at best, varying from “works great” to “OMG I can't see anything”. If you haven't bought your own NC tablet yet and are concerned about outdoor usability, read on.
A few environmental factors affecting my experience need to be mentioned. The first is that I need to wear glasses when reading (I have older eyes). The second is that the accompanying photos were taken in the Southwest US between 2 and 2:30 pm in the afternoon at an elevation of 6,910 ft (2,106 m), i.e., sunlight is bright here. Third, I have an anti-glare screen protector fitted to my NC’s screen, which is a rather interesting story in itself.
Being a long time Palm PDA (Pilot, IIIc, TX) user, when I purchased my Nook Color Tablet, I also bought a twin-pack of third-party screen protectors to avoid scratches, dust, and dirt on my NC's screen. As soon as I arrived home that evening, I dusted off my NC's screen and placed the unit on a table under a bright light source. I fought with the backing that covers the sticky stuff on the clear protector sheets for a few minutes, finally managing to peel off the backing layer and then carefully applied the protector to the screen, dutifully attempting to rub out any air bubbles that occurred. Gack!
I ended up with a mess. Several dust motes and other foreign objects were lodged in the sticky stuff that bonds the protector sheet to the screen. Since the protector sheet can be pulled off and reapplied, no problem, right? Just re-do the application. Uhm, not quite as simple as it sounds. I peeled up half of the sheet, tried scraping off the dust, and only succeeded in adding more dust motes, fingerprints, and an occasional stray cat hair to the sticky side of the protector.
Totally frustrated at this point, I ripped off the sheet and tossed it into the trash. Discretion being the better part of valor, I decided to retreat for the evening and try applying the second protector sheet in the morning.
As I mentioned earlier, I live in the Southwest at high altitude where the air is very dry and just walking across a carpeted room can generate a six inch static electrical arc when I reach for a light switch. The next morning, I planed accordingly to beat the static electricity dust attractor problem. I cleaned off the kitchen counter, vacuumed the kitchen floor, set up a bright light on the counter and opened the window shades for even more light. Then I took my morning shower, leaving my hair and skin damp to avoid any flying lint from a shirt or my hair and mixed a few drops of fabric softener into a spray bottle of water and spritzed the counter and floor with the mixture (an old trick to reduce static where I live). With the preparations complete and resembling an under-muscled, bare-chested Rambo impersonator, I once again carefully, applied my second (and last) screen protector. Double-Gack! I ended up with the same mess as my first attempt and once more tossed the mangled, lint and dust filled protector sheet in the trash, deciding the only way to get a clean, bubble free screen protector was to apply the evil thing at sea level… maybe.
A few days later when I purchased the Franklin Sleeve (described in an earlier post) at our local Barnes and Noble, I noticed an anti-glare screen protector twin-pack next to the display of NC sleeves and covers. Since the store manager had been kind enough to allow me to bring in my fanny pack and physically try out a few different sleeves with my NC to see if they would actually fit in my pack, I asked him if the anti-glare protectors worked. He said they did, and to make sure I used a credit card or other hard edged plastic object to smooth out the protector sheet in small increments as I applied the sheet. I decided to give the protectors another try.
The next morning, starring in Protector Sheet Rambo, Part Deux, I followed my previous shower-spritz strategy. The results were somewhat mind boggling. The thin film covering the sticky side of the protector peeled off easily. I lined the sheet up at the top of my NC's screen and smoothed it down slowly with the edge of a credit card. No lint, no dust, no flying cat hair. The sheet was perfectly smooth when I finished.
I don't really understand why it went so well. The anti-glare sheet and its sticky stuff may have less static buildup then the clear sheets… or maybe it was karma… or perhaps the protector sheet was in complete fear of a half-naked, damp, agitated UNIX sys-admin trying to manipulate mechanical objects and simply attached itself to my NC screen, sans lint and dust, to avoid a crumpled death in the trash can. All I can say is that the anti-glare sheets available directly from a Barnes and Noble apply cleanly and easily.
|Nook Color screen with sunlight coming from side.|
|Nook Color screen in direct sunlight.|
The photo at the beginning of this post is in filtered sunlight (from a few tree branches overhead) during the same time period.