The SunBook from Clover Systems is the first 10 inch netbook to ship with a Pixel Qi transflective display. That means you can use the netbook in full color mode for viewing pictures, watching movies, or doing just about anything else you’d expect to do on a netbook. But you can also kill the backlight to view the display in a sunlight-readable high contrast, low power mode. That lets you use the netbook outdoors or simply save energy when you don’t need color or backlighting.
I got a chance to see the SunBook at CES earlier this month, and for the most part it looks like a typical netbook — until you shut off the backlight, when it looks like a netbook with an E Ink-style display.
Unfortunately that Pixel Qi screen comes at a cost. The SunBook went on sale this weekend for $795. That’s actually a bit less than the price the company was advertising a few weeks ago, but the high price tag is clearly going to turn off some potential customers.
The rest of the specs are pretty much standard netbook fare including a 10.1 inch 1024 x 600 pixel display, 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 250GB hard drive. The computer runs Windows 7 Starter and has a touchpad with multitouch gesture support, 3G and 4G options, and a battery which Clover Systems says is good for 8 to 12 hours of run time.
You can find my brief hands-on video from CES after the break.
If you’re willing to do it DIY you can get a better price by buying a standard netbook and upgrading it with the Pixel Qi display available here: https://www.makershed.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=MKPQ01
I will rather buy a netbook + an ereader separately. It will cost still far less than this NETBOOK.
why hasn’t their partnering with big brand CPT produced cheaper results? I’d really want one of these if the price wasn’t so high for such a small display with such a low resolution.
Too soon, the CPT partnership was only announced in December and Clover didn’t order their own production run.
Think of this as a separate company testing the proverbial waters to see if there is enough demand. Any serious large production run will produce lower, more reasonable, costs.
Too much money for just a screen improvement.
Pixel Qi $500 display! I would expect a flexible amoled display.
Screen cost actually vary depending on size of the production run. Presently production is small so Pixel Qi screen typically cost above average screen cost at about $275 (not $500).
Basically Clover started production with units purchased from Maker Shed and have only ordered a low production amount. So pricing is higher than it otherwise would have been if they had ordered a large production run..
SOME customers? I wonder who is going to shell out such a ridiculous amount for such a small improvement.
You can expect up to an hour increase in run time on a netbook with a Pixel Qi screen with the back light off.
So they are probably betting on those who put a premium on run time, without adding weight with larger batteries. Also the ability to view the screen under full sunlight without a issue is something that may drive some people to be willing to pay such a premium if they have to work outdoors regularly.
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