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HP's built-in laptop privacy screen will stop nosy members of the public checking out your work

By midian182 ยท 8 replies
Aug 25, 2016
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  1. Have you ever used a laptop in a public place, say on a train or in a coffee shop, and worried someone might notice the sensitive material you’re looking at? If the answer is yes, then you’ll be pleased to know that HP is introducing a way of stopping these shoulder surfers in its upcoming range of laptops.

    HP’s Sure View screen option will be available on touchscreen versions of the Elitebook 840 and 1040 laptops next month, and on non-touch models in October. Designed in partnership with 3M, the company says the integrated privacy technology will stop “visual hacking,” so you can look at all the sensitive spreadsheets/emails/adult material you want while out and about.

    3M’s physical privacy screen filters have been around for years, but they can be expensive, a pain to attach, and are easily damaged and lost. HP hopes to get round these problems by implementing them into the laptop itself.

    The feature is activated by hitting Fn and F2, at which point a special backlight and internal filter will reduce the light output, making the screen appear blacked out when viewing it from an angle of more than about 10 degrees.

    Another problem with physical privacy filters is that they can make the screen appear much darker, even when you’re sitting directly in front of it. And while this issue is still present when HP's laptop privacy mode is activated, it’s far less noticeable.

    Right now, Sure View only works with cheaper TN style screens, though HP says it’s working to bring the technology to IPS screens and desktop monitors. Pricing for the Sure View option is yet to be decided, but it’s thought to be around $75 extra. In some higher-end configurations the fee could be absorbed entirely, said HP.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 753   +347

    This use to exist 15 year ago, it was built right into too most all laptops. It was called a TFT screen :)
  3. cartera

    cartera TS Evangelist Posts: 358   +105

    Cue government mass-orders followed by the usual 'laaptop with sensitive unencrypted data left on a train' headline.
  4. herpaderp

    herpaderp TS Booster Posts: 154

    Twisted nematic panels are a type TFT LCD display you plank.
  5. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 753   +347

    you seem to have missed the joke.
  6. herpaderp

    herpaderp TS Booster Posts: 154

    Nope, was just pointing out a bad joke. I mean, maybe if you had posted this on facebook where no one knew the difference it would've worked.

  7. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 753   +347

    I think you are reading more into this then was intended. Let me explain in greater detail for those that may not get it. Back in the early days, a lot of the budget laptops (circa Pentium 1 and 2's) were notoriously hard to be seen at any other angle then almost directly on. This privacy screen seems to try to do the same thing as something "new". The joke was... we had it 15 years ago... and now its new again. I hope this clears it up. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I wrote down your username to know who to message to clear jokes/sarcasm with next time before posting, and thank you very much for your concern. I wish more people here would share your drive for accuracy and detail. :)
    Phr3d, BabyFaceLee and cartera like this.
  8. herpaderp

    herpaderp TS Booster Posts: 154

    Your post has my seal of approval. (y)
  9. woofer

    woofer TS Rookie

    The real "joke" will be HP charging more for this cheaper technology as a "feature".
    I never really did get excited about so many notedbook tech reviews making a big deal about viewing angles since I always considered minimal viewing angles a privacy feature by default.

    It will be interesting to see if future reviews recognize that now that HP offers it as a "feature". Combine that with the hip web text style of faint grey fonts on white/lite backgrounds, and privacy is assured (even the direct view of the user of the PC might have trouble seeing the text - oh, right, status quo...)

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