Pixel Qi is an exhibitor at CES this year, and I was finally able to see their screen first hand. (I’ve been wanting to see it for a couple years now.) They didn’t have a booth; instead they rented one of the small meeting rooms in the far end of South Hall.
It was incredibly crowded. If you’re wondering why there are no extensive galleries of photos showing their screen tech, that’s the reason. So this was the first time I’ve seen it, and I was surprised. Their screen looks like an LCD screen. That might sound funny, but I couldn’t tell the difference between a Pixel Qi and a normal LCD. In fact, I’ve used LCD screens that looked worse than Pixel Qi. So basically this means that if you got one of these screens you’ll get the benefit of a low power screen without losing any of the benefits of traditional LCD.
I could seriously see this replacing most LCD screens at some point in the future.
The biggest story at the PixelQi booth is production. When are we going to see these screens? According to Mary Lou Jepsen, production is ramping quite well on both the 7- and 10.1-inch screens and they are working on a higher resolution 1280 x 800-resolution 10.1-inch display and a 9.7-inch display for a partner. Why 9.7″? They say it’s because the iPad made that size popular. (But if you’re thinking about swapping an E-ink screen with Pixel Qi, sorry, the screen geometry is different.)
And there’s one piece of gossip I can share. I was talking with one of the Pixel Qi people about the perils of rushing a screen into production. If you’re wondering why they’re taking forever to get their screens on the market, there’s a reason. This is new technology and it takes time to get all the bugs out. Sipix came up, of course, as an example of why you shouldn’t rush.
So here’s the gossip. He’s heard that Sipix will be winding down production of the screens. I don’t know if this is true but given the problems of the current generation Sipix screen I think it’s a good idea.