Originally Posted by =X=
I think most of us know that watching any backlit screen in direct sunlight is painful and near impossible but there are many folks that don't.
My Clie NX was usable in direct sunlight. The colors got washed out, and the blacks went gray, but it was definitely readable. I remember reading on the bus and when we went through sunny areas, it would still work. To improve the contrast some more, I would turn the backlight off entirely at such times. Not great, but definitely not "painful and near impossible".
Even Apple knows how to do it. My Powerbook 190, which has a backlit grayscale screen, is readable in direct sunlight. I think the intermediate grayscales mainly disappear, but full black remains readable. Again, you can improve contrast by turning the backlight to zero.
In direct sunlight, neither is nearly as nice as eink; but in a murky room, with backlight on, both are nicer than eink, and I spend more time in murky rooms than in direct sunlight (most of the time when I'm in my office, I don't bother to turn on the lights).