You know those Pixel Qi displays we’ve been talking about for the last few days? It turns out there’s a major advantage to these screens besides the ability to flip over to ePaper mode and read them outdoors. They also use far less energy. According to Time Magazine, that hacked Acer Aspire One netbook that Pixel Qi founder Mary Lou Jepsen is carrying around gets an extra hour of battery life because of the low power screen.
Jepsen says that once someone develops a good eBook reading application, the battery life could be extended to as long as 40 hours, because an optimized eReader would only use the amount of electricity necessary to display the text and images, while shutting down unnecessary processes.
Apparently it costs less than $200 to build the Pixel Qi display right now. While the folks at Time suggest that this is a low price, I’m guessing it’s going to have to come a lot lower before we see this screen show up in low cost mini-laptops. It’s not hard to find a netbook that costs around $200 these days.
Update: The screens will not cost $200. Rather, that’s how much netbooks using the screens could cost.