Good news everyone! Pixel Qi‘s 10.1 inch, outdoor readable display is officially not vaporware. You can buy a DIY kit today that will let you swap out your netbook’s current screen with a Pixel Qi display and the whole process is supposed to take just 5 to 10 minutes.
Now for the bad news… the DIY kit will set you back a whopping $275. You can pretty much buy a complete netbook for that price.
Clearly the kits are aimed at early adopters and enthusiasts at this point. But now that Pixel Qi has ramped up production, hopefully it won’t be too long before we start to see actual tablets and netbooks shipping with the screens preinstalled — hopefully without adding too much to the base price of those devices.
The Pixel Qi 3Qi display is a 10.1 inch screen that has been tested with the Samsung N130 and Lenovo IdeaPad S10-2 netbooks. Although the screen will probably work in most other netbooks with 10.1 inch screens, the company is only guaranteeing that it will fit in those netbooks.
The main difference between a Pixel Qi screen and a typical LCD display is that Pixel Qi uses a unique LCD technology that lets you use the screen in two different modes. In full color mode, the backlight is on and the screen looks almost like any other LCD display. But if you cut the backlight, you’re left with a high contrast screen that looks almost, but not quite black and white. In this mode, the screen users 5 times less power and is easily readable outdoors in direct sunlight.
You can purchase the Pixel Qi display kit from Make Magazine’s Maker Shed.