Have you ever been on a plane or train and noticed someone staring at your laptop's display? Normally, you could only stave off blatant intrusions like that with a withering glare or a sarcastic remark. But if you have an HP EliteBook 840 G3, you can end the snooping with a touch of a button thanks to HP's new Sure View technology.
Sure View is an elegant solution to an annoying problem. It adds an integrated privacy screen to certain configurations of two of HP business laptops including the previously mentioned 840 G3 and the HP EliteBook 1040 G3 -- a first for any laptop manufacturer. HP teamed up with 3M to outfit both laptops with the lighting control film, adding an easy-to-access level of privacy and security. That should really come in handy when you're viewing sensitive information on the screen like your banking info or confidential work files.
HP estimates that the technology will bump up the price of the two notebooks by approximately $75. Typically, a regular privacy filter screen costs about $50. However, you're bound to replace the film at least once due to wear and tear or loss, whereas Sure View is a one-time purchase.
Once you notice that Nosey Nancy eyeing your laptop, you can activate the screen by simultaneously pressing fn and f2 keys. From there, the sides of the screen would appear dark to anyone not sitting directly in front of your laptop, narrowing the cone of vision to 35 degrees, blocking out 95 percent of the light. You can adjust the brightness level by hitting the fn and brightness keys. Another press of the fn and f2 keys restores the display visibility to normal.
The technology worked seamlessly during our demo, instantly darkening the panel, making it hard to read. I did adjust the brightness a little because it was a little too difficult to see the display, but I am a lifetime contact lens wearer. When Sure View wasn't enabled on the 1040 G3, it was bright, but not as bright or vivid as the version of the laptop without Sure View. The HP rep confirmed that you'll sacrifice a bit of luminosity and richness, but for users who prize privacy, it's a small price to pay.
Overall, HP Sure View is a clever way and relatively unobtrusive way to add another layer of security to your laptop. We're looking forward to testing the feature further in the future.
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Sherri L. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for Laptopmag.com since 2011. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and audio junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget.