It’s still not clear when the first tablets, netbooks, or other devices with Pixel Qi displays will start to hit the streets. But Pixel Qi founder Mary Lou Jepsen says that you’ll be able to pick up a DIY kit for installing a Pixel Qi screen in your own device by this summer.
Pixel Qi’s LCD displays combine some of the best elements of a fully saturated color display and a high contrast e-Ink screen. In a nutshell, you can treat the screen as a slightly thicker, more expensive color LCD and never take advantage of the ePaper mode. But you can also turn off the backlight to reduce the screen’s power consumption from 2.5 watts to about 0.5 watts.
And as an added bonus, while the screen looks a bit closer to black and white in this mode (with some faint colors showing), the screen becomes easily readable outdoors. In fact, in ePaper mode, it’s easier to read text in direct sunlight — something which is hardly true for traditional LCD screens.
Pixel Qi has been showing off the new display technology for a while, and typically those demonstrations include Pixel Qi displays retrofitted into off-the-shelf netbooks from companies like Acer and Lenovo. So while there’s no compatibility list yet, it seems like a safe bet that if you have a device with a 10.1 inch display, you’ll be able to use one of these DIY kits to swap out your screen.
There’s no word on pricing yet. Jepsen says the company will be making an announcement prior to the release of the DIY kits.