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.
One Word: Vaporware. The more I keep hearing about these things, the less I think there’s any actual product behind them.
Holding out for a return to 4:3 aspect ratio sanity with these screens. The main driving factor behind the widescreen insanity is that the screens double up for use on portable DVD players etc. These screens, although capable of handling video, are clearly not primarily designed for that, and will never likely be used in that context, so hopefully the manufacturers will show a little imagination and not just follow the crowd. Of course, modules to replace existing screens will have to be widescreen, but perhaps sanity can drive new models?
Ooooh! Can a Wacom tablet “see” through the Pixel Qi screen? I think I see a DIY tablet for outdoor use in the works…
One Word: Awesome. If time and money align I may make a how to video, assuming my wife would be willing to let me hack her 1005H.
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