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A friend of mine does animal research in the rainforest. She wants to show videos to animals and analyze their behavior. She is looking into laptops or convertible tablets to use there.

The most important criteria are:

  • Monitor must be easily viewed in the sun, which seems like would require a minimum of 1000 nits (from what we understand the more the better).
  • Non-reflective and non-glare screen and high contrast ratio are crucial.
  • Decent vertical and horizontal viewing angle are important.
  • Standard features of a rugged laptop would also be helpful (e.g., water proof, dust resistant, etc).
  • Must be able to play videos
  • A screen between 12 and 15-inches would be ideal. Anything smaller than 10-inches will definitely be too small
  • A touch screen would also be nice, as would a built in camera and good battery life.

These are the some of the products we've found so far:

Questions:

  1. Do you know any other products or can you think of any other technical solution?
  2. From the specs or personal experience, do you recommend any of the solutions listed above?
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closed as not constructive by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Renan, Mokubai, 8088, Sathya Aug 5 '12 at 7:43

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That is a wonderfully interesting situation you have there. However, you might want to ask how to make a laptop usable under bright sun. This site generally isn't for shopping advice, and would also be a bit more useful than finding a good one out of the box. –  digitxp Aug 23 '11 at 1:59
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I somewhat disagree on this - I believe this would count as niche hardware, for a specific purpose. meta.superuser.com/questions/2324/… –  Journeyman Geek Aug 23 '11 at 2:45
    
@Journeyman Geek: Wow! This is a tough call, but I've leaned toward agreeing with you on this one because of the unique requirements. To andresmh's credit, the question is well organized and detailed, and some research has already been done. I've voted this question and also voted to reopen it because the "niche" argument is compelling enough in this particular case (look at where the laptop needs to be used -- the rainforest, which is very well-known for its harsh environmental conditions where the majority of laptops likely won't last very long). –  Randolf Richardson Aug 23 '11 at 5:43

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You need a Panasonic Toughbook... Although pricey, they are worth every penny for someone looking for a laptop with the qualities you need.

Most of the Toughbooks have the 2nd generation of Intel processors, and many also have touchscreens. The U1 Ultra (just as an example) can handle approx. 6000 nits.

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This is pretty much the only option you have worth anything. I have used toughbooks in deserts, jungles and in the arctic with the performance you expect from them. –  Paul Aug 23 '11 at 2:08
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The Toughbook U1 Ultra is the newest member of the Toughbook U1 family, and is the clear alternative for legacy Windows Mobile solutions when you need your mobile workers to do more in the field and need an advanced mobile solution that can work anywhere. The U1 Ultra features a brilliant LED screen capable of up to 6000 nits in direct sunlight and can automatically adjust its screen brightness to fit its environment. –  wizlog Aug 23 '11 at 2:12
    
Also checkout the H2, The new rugged Panasonic Toughbook® H2 handheld tablet PC runs a full OS (Windows(R) 7 Professional) and is the ultimate productivity tool for mobile workers. With superior ergonomics, a brilliant 10.1" sunlight-viewable LED screen capable of up to 6000 nit in direct sun and sealed all-weather design, the H2 lets you work virtually anywhere. Designed with a fast Intel® Core™ i5 vPro™ processor*, magnesium alloy chassis encased in polycarbonate, the IP65 and MIL-STD-810G certified(1) Toughbook ... –  wizlog Aug 23 '11 at 2:15
    
I've been thinking about getting one of these so that I can take it to the public pool and use it in the hot tub. I wonder if they have a model that can float? –  Randolf Richardson Aug 23 '11 at 5:37
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This is practically the last word in insanely tough laptops. One of the older models stopped an AK47 round. They're pretty much the definition of tough as a brick ****house apparently. –  Journeyman Geek Aug 23 '11 at 5:47

You can purchase anti-glare film and apply it to the screen. Its cheap and effective.

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Not in direct sunlight... –  digitxp Aug 23 '11 at 2:10
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sure it is. thats what its for. –  Keltari Aug 23 '11 at 2:12
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won't stop the rain, or mud, or... SNAKES. WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE SNAKES! –  Journeyman Geek Aug 23 '11 at 5:36
    
@Journeyman Geek: Can it stop Snakes on a Plane? ;-D –  Randolf Richardson Aug 23 '11 at 6:00
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If you had enough of it, it could stop anything. –  Keltari Aug 23 '11 at 22:10

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