It looks like the wait for Pixel Qi’s low power, dual mode screens could be over soon. Speaking at a recent event, company founder Mary Lou Jepsen (who helped design the OLPC XO Laptop display) said that the first Pixel Qi screens could ship to an tablet maker ahead of schedule, as early as November. As she clarified on the company’s blog, that does not mean that we’ll be able to walk into a store and buy a product using the screen next month. It could be a while before the OEMs building products with the display actually bring those products to market.
Pixel Qi’s displays can function either as high quality LCD screens with full color saturation, or in a sort of high contrast eBook mode. In high contrast mode the displays use very little power, and since they’re reflective, the displays can be read outdoors using ambient light instead of a backlight. Even in this mode, you get some color, although it’s not as vivid as when the screen is used in emissive mode.
Anyway, while there’s no word on exactly when we’ll see a tablet, netbook, or other device using a Pixel Qi display hit the streets, it looks like we’re a few steps closer than we were last month.
It will be interesting to see who will commit to making units with these screens, and what the product mix is. Will they come to super-high-end machines first, or will they be targeted only at netbooks and ultraportables?
It would be nice if they would just offer the naked screen and backlight, so I could retrofit my existing Acer netbook. Really no sense in tossing a perfectly good computer just to get the screen I want, especially if they made it available in a retrofit kit.
I’m sure their margins would be fatter on individual sales, rather than OEM sales, but of course it would involve a retail operation, either their own or farmed out to some outfit that does this sort of thing, sort of like newegg, or Amazon.
I’d love to have this screen before I reach retirement age, when did they announce this? Wasn’t it back in 1982 or does it just seem like its taking a long time……
I’ve been following Pixel Qi for quite a while, and Jepsen said in an interview that they will be offering aftermarket screens for those who want to retrofit. She is a big proponent of DIY notebook and netbook modifications, and she specifically mentioned offering the screens to that set of consumers. Don’t get all jaded yet. 🙂
Good to see Pixel Qi tech coming to fruition. In the ebook realm, there is little doubt that we need a second competitor outside of e-ink tech.
Feeling impatient, though I understand how these things take time. . . Likewise, I wonder what’s the hold up with all the ARM-based netbooks? I’d been hoping to snag one for Christmas, but it looks like time’s quickly running out on this season.
Maybe 2010 will be the year of the super-efficient netbook.
It has been a while since we heard any news about these screens. Good to know progress is being made. Too bad they will miss the holiday season.
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