Submitted by JPs M≡ on Sat, 2017-04-01 13:34
Most cars manufactured in the past 2-3 years have some form of center mounted screen. One of the things that I have noticed, is that many mfgs address the bright light washout issue by enshrouding the screen or by recessing the screen a couple of inches into the dash. This "shades" the screen from the bright light and makes it easier to read. Obviously, with a high mounted landscape screen position like the one seen in the M3 prototypes, this isn't going to be an option. I have an older vehicle where I replaced the OEM head unit with a pioneer 7" screen unit, and thought I like many of the features it offers, I do have a really hard time reading it during the day, especially if I have my sunglasses on. I often find myself lifting my glasses and using my hand to shade the screen from the sun in order to read it. It's one thing to do this to read a song title or select a radio station, but it's quite another if you have to do this just to see how fast you're going or for navigation. I also find that, because there are no physical buttons on my unit, I can't as easily operate it using just my peripheral vision while keeping my eye's primarily on the road. I actually have to look directly at the unit and watch my finger push the screen to ensure that I hit the right "button" on the screen. I also find that items on the right side of the screen are harder to "touch" properly because of the distance and the angle. With the M3 screen in a landscape position, this potentially places some items much further away from the driver.
I know I probably shouldn't worry too much about this until we see the final car and have reports from owners. But this is a really big purchase to be making sight unseen, and likely we won't see one or get to drive one before it comes. Is anyone else concerned about this at all? Can anyone else share any insight to help ease these concerns? Likely, the M3 display will be of higher quality than my $350 head unit, but I'm still somewhat skeptical.