Think Tank’s Pixel Sunscreen v2.0 is light, easy to set-up, and stable. With the basic requirements met, let’s continue testing the sunscreen with both an iMac and iPad.
When you put the laptop into the sunscreen you can immediately see a huge difference in the brightness of the screen. The on-screen brightness difference between the iMac and iPad is significant due to the fact the laptop lid blocks more light from the back. Nonetheless, it’s quite helpful in both situations.
Ergonomics. This was a bit odd at first, but I found two ways to use it. One time I was on a mountain and the sun was directly behind me. Don’t laugh, but I placed the sunscreen and iMac in my lap and I stuck my entire head inside of the sunscreen. It blocked out so much sun and created quite a nice little area to work! Negative: You can’t see around you. Positive: You can’t see around you and can focus on your work. Whether your head is fully inside the sunscreen or not, it definitely proves to be quite a barrier between you and the world in front of you. Focus goes up, and this will offset any slowness in productivity from ergonomics. At first, I tried to use a mouse to the right of the sunscreen, just as you would to the right of a keyboard. This might work better for a larger person, but I found it better to push an extra two feet of separation between me and the sunscreen, allowing for a mouse directly in front of me. Once you adjust to both mouse location and the tunnel feel, you’re good to go.
Wind. Though I have not used the sunscreen in extreme winds, it does prove to be quite stable with a larger laptop because the lid becomes an additional beam of support from left to right, leaving only the top to move. Because of the rigid edges, it really doesn’t move too much. This sunscreen is surprisingly much stronger than photo reflectors I’ve purchased in the past.
Weight. As mentioned in the first sentence, it is very light. There is, however, a strong, weighted platform at the bottom. This helps support the structure in wind, prevents your laptop from shifting under your fingers while you type (useful in sand or other moveable surfaces), and is a good barrier in general to keep your device clean. I don’t know about you guys, but when you get outside you’re usually pretty excited to be in a new workspace. I often overlook the realities of dirt, leaves, grass, wind, etc. No need to worry – your device will stay clean.
There is an area at the bottom, velcroed, you can open to plug your device in. I don’t see where this would be used frequently, but it is there. On top of a mountain or at the beach, one does not find power outlets. Would be great for working at Starbucks or other outdoor area near a building for long periods of time.
Inside of the sunscreen are a few pockets. Though, you may not find these all that useful, I think you would find it nice when using peripheral devices or memory. For instance, switching out and storing extra SD cards or connecting a wifi drive. There isn’t extra room on the base platform with a 15″ iMac for standard flash drives to stick out or cords to plug in a portable hard drive. A significantly smaller device, most definitely. Though, you could place a portable hard drive on the ground/table outside of the sunscreen and use the side velcro access to connect.
At the end of the day, it is quite practical if you are working outside. It probably just looks really goofy to other people.
I wrote this blog post on my iPad placed inside of the sunscreen… Sitting on the side patio of our Jayco toyhauler… In an RV campground… Enjoying the mountain breeze… Saying hi to people that walked to the left or right of me (not in front for obvious reasons)… Sharing my chair with a small dog.
Life and work by design! This is a great tool to keep your productivity high on those sunshiney days when it should be illegal to be working indoors.