Sol Computers introduces a sunlight readable 10 inch USB monitor (with Pixel Qi display)

Need to use your computer outside, but find the glossy screen turns into a mirror in direct sunlight? Sol Computer is offering a sunlight-viewable 10 inch monitor which you can plug into a USB port. But it’ll cost you.

While a price isn’t listed on the website (and may vary if you place bulk orders), The Digital Reader reports that Sol Computer is charging about $800 per unit.

Sol Pixel Qi USB monitor

The monitor uses a 10 inch Pixel Qi display which acts like a full color display when the backlight is on. But if you dim or turn off the backlight, you can still see the screen using nothing but ambient light — it just looks more like a black and white screen in those conditions.

Most importantly, you can use it in bright sunlight and still see what’s on the screen.

While that’s a nice feature to have for consumers, there are certain industries where outdoor visibility is a must. This is the sort of thing that makes more sense for military, aviation, transportation, or industrial customers than average consumers. And that’s part of why Sol charges such a high price for a 10 inch USB monitor.

sol screen 2

Another reason is that those Pixel Qi screens aren’t produced in large enough quantities to be very cheap. And yet another reason is because Sol is a pretty small shop that basically hacks together solutions featuring Pixel Qi screens — the company also sells expensive netbooks that are basically off-the-shelf products from other companies that have had their screens replaced with Pixel Qi displays. The company also sells a few different tablet models.

The USB display is an interesting option, since it lets you add a sunlight viewable screen to an existing device rather than buying a whole new PC just to get a screen that can be used outdoors. But at $800, a new PC with a matte, non-glare display might be a cheaper option (although it still wouldn’t be as easy to view outdoors and the screen would use much more electricity than a low-power Pixel Qi display).

  • 1stkorean

    it is butt ugly and looks like it was hacked together.

  • reset

    a matte, non-glare display is not really sunlight readable like a Pixel Qi but you can get a self-installable panel for something like 200$ and replace the stock one from a netbook yourself. That’ll come considerably cheaper than getting a 800$ USB screen.

  • Tom

    As mentioned, this is perfect for “military, aviation, transportation, or industrial customers” and other companies. It’s definitely not for consumers concerned with price and prettiness.

    This would had been useful for my project at work when we had to setup our test outside the lab. Those glass screened notebooks and even matte screened ones were almost useless outside in the sun.

  • toronado455

    I want something like this, but 24″, and with a digitizer pen. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/V_U vēer

    Thats great, another product backed by PixelQi technology… And as usual, out of reach for normal users, thats lame! Probably the most overhyped tech ever seen! I would LOVE to have their screens in all my devices, but they just cant deliver what they promise, at least as far as it comes to market availability :/