I've received several emails from folks asking how well the new SuperView screen coating works on the Lenovo X61 Tablet PC, so I decided to conduct some tests.  

There are three places outside of my office or a client's office where I'm likely to use my new Lenovo X61 Tablet in bright light: Kathy's car on the way to Disneyland, at the local pool, or at the local lake. Lenovo X61 Screen test in car on the way to DisneylandI decided to test the first two. Yesterday, under the premise of conducting "research," we headed down to Anaheim to test the X61 on the way to Disneyland. Kathy drove and I sat in the passenger seat and processed my pending email. Well, actually, I sorted my pending email to process later and spent the rest of the time Skyping Michael Sampson from the car, but that's another story.

First test: Off to Disneyland

Lenovo X61 Tablet PC Screen testHere. I am holding the Lenovo X61 Tablet PC at 2:30 PM PST on the 5 Freeway on the way to Anaheim, California.  I'm on-line to my Lotus Notes server via my new Treo 755p and PDANet. Pirates of the Caribbean is playing in the background. As you can see, even with the soundtrack from Pirates up at full volume, the screen is still readable. Let's move on to the next test.

Lenovo X61 Tablet partial sunlight screen testNow, I have the Pirates soundtrack playing even louder and I've moved the X61 Tablet PC to the window so that the sun is shining across half the screen. This is my way of testing the contrast between bright (in the car) and very bright (with the sun shining). As you can see, the tablet is still usable.
Conclusion: the new SuperView coating allows you to use the X61 Tablet PC in a car on the way to Disneyland with the Pirates soundtrack at full volume.  Nice work, Lenovo.

Next test: Outside at the pool

Lenovo X61 Tablet Screen TestFor as long as there have been laptops (or even 30 lb luggables) we have seen advertising from vendors showing how their laptop would allow you to work away from the office, perhaps at the beach, as long as you had a source of power. (At the beach. yeah, right.) These ads used to make me so angry that I wanted to launch a class-action suit because it was nearly impossible, in my experience, to see anything on an laptop screen outdoors. Well, things are getting better. Not great, but much better.

First, as I blogged last week, the X61 Tablet PC runs for a long time on a single battery. So, all we have to do now is take the tablet to the local pool and see just how well it works. Lenovo X61 at the PoolFor this test, I found a reasonably shady location under an umbrella overlooking the pool and with Mt. Pinos in the background. At first, the screen was nearly impossible to read. I concluded that this was because I wasn't playing the Pirates soundtrack as I had done in the previous tests. It could also have something to do with the fact that I was booting under battery power with maximum battery savings enabled. Once I booted, I was able, under a beach towel, to set my brightness to high so that I could see the screen with out the beach towel.  Lenovo X61 Outdoor Screen testAs you can see from these photos, the screen is still usable, even in bright ambient light. What you cannot see is that with so much ambient light you might get a headache switching between the contrast of the screen and the bright outdoors. Lenovo sent me the special bump case for the X61 which I also took along to test. While I felt that my tablet was much safer with the bump case, the high-gloss plastic of the bump case reflected too much light so I took the Tablet out of the case. Lenovo X61 Screen test with the X61 Tablet Bump Case(Note: the clear plastic protector is velcroed in and can be removed easily. I've not yet tried that but will probably do so in a future test at the duck pond.)

Conclusion: even without playing the soundtrack from Pirates of the Carribean in the background the New SuperView coating on the X61 Tablet PC produces a reasonably readable screen in all but direct sunlight, however, working with the X61 Tablet and listening to the Pirates soundtrack, is still more fun.

The X61 SuperView screen coating is a smudge magnet

Lenovo X61 Tablet PC Smudge MagnetI would like to respond to a comment that James Kendrick made in his podcast with Marc Orchant about the X61 Tablet. James said that the X61 is a smudge magnet. Several readers have written to ask me if this was true... Yes, the X61 is a smudge magnet. The smudges, while visible when the X61 is powered off, do not impede normal operation of the X61 Tablet PC as they become invisible once the tablet is turned on.

Special thanks to my friend and colleague,
Tanny O'Haley, for his tireless efforts to enhance my Domino blog web site and to extend the features of the DominoBlog template. Thanks to Tanny's efforts, it is now easier for me to blog from Lotus Notes and to include photos and media in my blogging.

Discussion/Comments (16):

60 mintes post to post: GBM doesn’t miss a beat

Within less than 60 minutes of making this post, Rob's already got a link to it on the GottaBeMobile site:


Tablet users, if you are not already reading Rob's site, it's a must: http://www.gottabemobile.com

Posted at 06/27/2007 17:14:30 by Eric Mack

Lenovo X61 Screen test: SuperView coating works well

Nice Job Eric!

Posted at 06/27/2007 19:43:20 by Linda A. Epstein

re: Lenovo X61 Screen test: SuperView coating works well

Thank you, Linda, and thank you for your help a few years ago when I was beginning my Tablet PC journey. Now, I hope to share a little of what I'm doing with the tablet community in the hopes that it will be a help to others. The Lenovo X61 is a wonderful tablet and does not leave too much to be desired.

Posted at 06/27/2007 19:52:24 by Eric Mack

Lenovo X61 Screen test: SuperView coating works well

Eric, the smudges can be easily removed with any optical cloth that is used for cleaning eyeglasses. I tried micro-fiber cloth and it failed, but the optical cloth has done wonder on my X61 tablet.

Posted at 06/27/2007 20:58:13 by Zheng

Excellent tip, Thanks.

I just tried it with the Zeiss optical cloth that my optometrist gave me with my glasses. It worked.

I think Lenovo should give away a free cloth with every tablet. (Let's see if they read my blog)

Thank for the tip, Zheng

Posted at 06/27/2007 21:06:57 by Eric Mack

Lenovo X61 Screen test: SuperView coating works well

Ya i was interested in buying an x61 tablet but i was wondering what computer you think is better the x61 or the Fujitsu t4220 also what screen should i get on the x61 is the multi-touch good or should i stick with the normal screen

Posted at 06/28/2007 7:53:37 by Tom Henn

Lenovo X61 Screen test: SuperView coating works well

I found another great way to keep my tablet clean from smudges. I bought a partial glove called SmudgeGuard to keep the sweat of my hands away from the tablet screen and this little glove even helps my hand glide more easily on the surface. It really works. You guys can google it to read more about it.

Posted at 06/28/2007 9:00:45 by Dan

Lenovo X61 Screen test: SuperView coating works well

When the images are clicked you can really see the dust on the screen.

Posted at 06/28/2007 15:10:47 by Tanny O'Haley

re: Lenovo X61 Screen test: SuperView coating works well

Yes, Tanny, that's why they call it SuperView. ;-)

Posted at 06/28/2007 15:17:24 by Eric Mack

Lenovo X61 Screen test: SuperView coating works well

What screen resolution is your X61, 1024x768 or 1400x1050?



Posted at 07/18/2007 7:39:48 by John Wisniewski

re: Lenovo X61 Screen test: SuperView coating works well

John, I have the 1400x1050 screen (without touch support).

I really wanted to try the new touch support, however, I needed the higher resolution for my work.

Posted at 07/18/2007 7:47:00 by Eric Mack

1400x1050 Resolution?


I need to replace my laptop with an ultraportable and the x61 appears to be the best option but am not willing to return to a XGA display. I was hoping to find an option to get the same 1400x1050 resolution available on my t40 but dont see that option available in the x61 configuration when reviewing the specs. We you able to get an x61 with 1400x1050 w/o touch support? Let me know how...

Thanks in advance.

Posted at 09/03/2007 10:29:33 by Nathan G

Lenovo X61 Screen test: SuperView coating works well

Can anyone suggest the specific Carl Zeiss product that can be used to clean the screen? They sell pre-moisten cloths. Are they same as the suggested optical cloths? i'm hoping to clean my x61!

Posted at 09/22/2007 6:16:59 by Chris

Lenovo X61 Screen test: SuperView coating works well

Is the screen coating anything that can be added to a tablet later, or something that has to be ordered with a machine? I have an X61, about six months, love it. However, screen is very difficult to read out in sunlight. If cannot add the coating any other solution? Do the screen protectors, like Clear View help with visibility in sunlight?

While I'm at it, another question....! I've been operating with Vista, frustrated by some incompatibilities with programs, resources being sucked up, wondering about going to XP. Anybody done that? Recommendations?

Thanks in advance for any input.

Posted at 09/05/2008 1:34:06 by Dwight Stoller

re: Lenovo X61 Screen test: SuperView coating works well

I'm not aware of a coating that can be added after the fact. I believe it's something manufactured into the screen.

As far as Vista, it is th eonly drawback to the X61 Tablet. I have thought of going back to XP but Vista, despite its problems is actually, in my opinion, a better tablet OS.

Posted at 09/07/2008 16:29:39 by Eric Mack

Lenovo X61 Screen test: SuperView coating works well

(A bit off-topic, I know, but...)

To anyone considering an X61 tablet, I've just bought one (with the XP 'downgrade' offered by Lenovo as recently as July) and I'm frankly not completely happy with how hot the palm rest is during operation. I can't say that I wouldn't have bought the tablet if I'd known about the heat, but it's definitely not pleasant in the 100 degree temps in Tucson this time of year.

Posted at 09/29/2008 2:44:34 by Craig S.

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