4 gig clip brightness question

I just purchased and received my 4 gig clip.  I love everything about it except… I can’t read the screen at all outside during the day.  I set the brightness to max and have no trouble indoors or at night, but I can’t see the screen at all during the day.  Is this normal?  Is mine defective or has anyone else seen this problem?  I have the latest firmware installed and had no trouble adding songs and playlists thru my mac.

I didn’t read anyone else having trouble with the screen brightness/contrast outdoors so I’m wondering what gives.

Thanks!
Mike

Didn’t think to check until you mentioned it.  I have my 4GB next to my 2GB right now, brightness turned up all the way on both, and the 4GB is definitely dimmer than the 2GB.  I haven’t tried them outside yet, but right now there’s an obvious difference.

I’m wondering if it is actually the brightness of the 4GB’s display, or if there’s some kind of substance over the display that causes the otherwise extremely cool effect of making it look like there’s no screen at all when the Clip is turned off.  (It looks like a mirror over the entire front of the Clip.)

Message Edited by PromisedPlanet on 03-02-2008 08:41 PM

I contacted sandisk to see if there is a coating which makes the 4 gig clip dimmer than the 1 and 2 gig models.  They claimed that you should see the same brightness from all models.  Here are some side by side pictures of a 1 gig clip compared to my 4 gig clip with both turned up to full brightness.  You can clearly see that the 1 gig (black) model is significantly brighter than the 4 gig (silver) model.  I’ll find out in a day or 2 from the sansa rma people if this is a design issue for the model or if mine (or ours) are defective. 

It turns out that the 4 gig clip on max brightness has the same amount of brightness as the 1 gig clip on min brightness.  It is unforuntate as I really like the 4 gig clip besides, but I can’t see it outside whatsoever. 

http://picasaweb.google.com/mikekoplow/SansaClipScreen

Here’s a pic of my 2GB next to my 4GB, both with brightness turned up all the way.  Even with this slightly-out-of-focus picture, it’s obvious that the 4GB is dimmer.

http://picasaweb.google.com/PromisedPlanet/Stuff/photo#5173505637997401554

Yes indeed!  One can safely assume that the identical light source (OLED display) is mounted in both devices, and that the requisite circuitry is most likely the same- SanDisk wouldn’t mess up a good thing in the Clip- the difference being memory capacity.

It’s obvious in the photo that there is an optical difference in the two machines: note that the border of the display aperture isn’t visible.

In a nutshell, the cool silver Clip is so cool that SanDisk has given it sunglasses!

Don’t expect a firmware upgrade to change this particular issue.  Simply cup your hand over the display while you’re at the beach.

I do like the snazzy metal flake particle size…

Bob  :wink:

neutron_bob wrote:

 

SanDisk wouldn’t mess up a good thing in the Clip-

 

I would consider having a display that is visible in daylight to be a good thing.  :wink:

Morning!

I was referring to the electronics side of the equation.  It’s always hard to capture subtle differences by digital camera, but it looks like the aesthetic tinting of the new Clip is considerably darker.  I would have left the aperture visible, with exactly the same face as the 2GB.

Bob  :cry:

So the next question becomes what to do about the issue.  Just live with it?  Stick with the 2 gig version?  (Switch to an ipoop?).  Will there be a hack to remove the screen tinted window?  How long before sandisk sells the 4 gig version in a non-tinted screen color?

I consider this to be a fairly major design flaw as I like to run with my player outside. 

mkoplow wrote:
So the next question becomes what to do about the issue.  Just live with it?  Stick with the 2 gig version?  (Switch to an ipoop?).  Will there be a hack to remove the screen tinted window?  How long before sandisk sells the 4 gig version in a non-tinted screen color?

I consider this to be a fairly major design flaw as I like to run with my player outside. 

The Great Karnac answers all your questions in chronological order:

 

  1. If there’s no alternative or none that you prefer.
  1. If you like a visible screen more than you like the extra ~2GB.
  1. iPoop?  For shame.
  1. Where’s the hacksaw?
  1. Do I look like I work for Sandisk?

 

:wink:

I was really hoping for a response in the form a Zoltan machine from the movie Big.  “I wish I was taller and my clip didn’t wear sunglasses”.

Well, I guess I’m on hold now.  I was ready to place my order, but now I think I’ll wait for the next gen.

It’ll be interesting to see how Sandisk deals with this issue, if they do anything about it.

Do they remove/change the coating and possibly lose the hyper-cool mirror effect?

Or do they amp up the max. display brightness?

Or … ?

Has anybody else tried their 4gb outside?  I’m looking for a player for working out so it would be important that I could see the screen outside. 

Also how did you get a 4gb already?  I thought they hadn’t started selling it yet.  Maybe i’ll just grab a 2gb instead.

It is practically unusable outside. I would not recommend getting the 4gb model at this time, at least until they have worked out this issue.
If you still want to get it, it is available directly from Sandisk - http://go.shopsansa.com/Customers/sansa/sansaPlayers_html/clip.html
Don’t forget to use coupon code FORUM210 when ordering to get a 10% discount.

The 2gb clip is still highly recommended. If you could live with 2gb, then it is an excellent choice.

Ishturkish, is that based on your experience with a 4gb?

It appears that this defect is the norm for the 4 gig player.  I have returned mine back to sandisk and they are supposed to be sending me a new unit.  Upon various phone calls to sansa support (both from the sandisk line and the sansa shop line), I received mixed messages.

Some of the “level 2” techs believed that my unit was defective and that the brightness across all clip sizes should be the same due to the same internal hardware.  Another tech I spoke to said that the clear coat on the screen “may” be causing the 4 gig model to be less bright than the 1 and 2 gig models.  My gut is that as many users have shown the same problem, all of the 4 gig models will have the dimness problem (but we will see when they send me the new 4 gig model). 

As is, the 4 gig model is usable indoors (although I would still like more brightness).  Outside, regardless of light level, you will not be able to read the screen whatsoever.  This was also a problem with the 1 and 2 gig models being somewhat difficult to read outside, but the 4 gig model is impossible to read outside except at night. 

I wouldn’t recommend the 4 gig model until they fix this issue.  You don’t think it will be a problem, but at some point you will want to switch songs or playlists outside and it won’t be possible.  That being said, it is entirely possible someone will find an ingenius hack which will solve the problem (while voiding the warranty).

It appears less likely that sansa will release the 4 gig model in other colors soon (ie in the next few weeks) as there is a large time gap between when manufacturing lines are changed and when stores receive new products.

Somewhat of a bummer, but I would stick with the 2 gig model for now.  I hope this helps. 
Mike

Thank you for posting your experience with the 4gb–hard to tell visual things such as this in photos, and difficult where the manfs. sell on-line and not at local stores (thus far the case with the 4gb).

I absolutely love the brightness of my 2GB- I have very bad eyes, but because of the brightness, I can see the screen at night even without my coke-bottles!

Thanks for posting the info, OP- I was seriously considering getting a 4GB (Not that I really need it…but just 'cause I love my 2GB so much)…but I will definitely wait now and see whether this issue can be resolved.

SandisK: PLEASE make a 4GB in a candy-apple kelly green! (without fancy screen coating)…I’ll buy one so fast! (Personally, I’m not crazy about the silver)

Miikerman,

Yes. I own both the 2gb and 4gb clips. While I love the form factor, sound quality, and features, the inability to use the 4gb model outside during the day is a real problem.
Other users have reported the same issue, which looks like a problem with the reflective coating. It both significantly dims the display, and increases glare.

ishturkish wrote:

Miikerman,

Yes. I own both the 2gb and 4gb clips. While I love the form factor, sound quality, and features, the inability to use the 4gb model outside during the day is a real problem.
Other users have reported the same issue, which looks like a problem with the reflective coating. It both significantly dims the display, and increases glare.

I’d be willing to bet that the piece of plastic covering the entire front of the 4GB is tinted- as I don’t see how they could achieve the seemless “one piece” look without that being so- So I’d assume that that is the problem. Don’t know why SanDisk can’t acknowledge that simple fact.