West Coast-based AmbientNav has introduced a new monitor line named Alpha, as in "alpha dog." This leader-of-the-pack boast is based on high-end specs like 170-degree viewing angles and 700:1 contrast ratios, not to mention an awesome rack of inputs. These monitors even have satellite-ready, HD-compatible TV tuners built in. I got to see a $6,995, 17-inch Daylight Alpha in action and can attest that it runs cool without fans, dims remarkably low for dark night use, has an easily understood on-screen control system, and is handsomely constructed. The Sunlight version is $8,495, and both 15-inch and 21-inch models will follow shortly. All Alphas have Polaroid-friendly, antiglare, etched-glass faces bonded with the underlying LCD to prevent fogging.
AmbientNAV also makes the Stowaway marine computer, which features a small, easily helm-mounted remote head that houses a DVD/CD drive, memory-card readers, USB ports, and controls. Thus the somewhat bulky main enclosure with its powerful processor, hard disk, and fans can be tucked away in a fairly inaccessible spot; Stowaway is an unusual design that makes lots of boat installation sense.
This article originally appeared in the December 2007 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.