The Light Tab 2 is scheduled to be released in Europe in March, and it does indeed have a Pixel Qi screen. That’s great, but I should point out that ZTE had originally planned to release a Pixel Qi based tablet last year. It’s not clear if this ever happened.
Don’t ask me what it was like to use; that plastic bubble was as close as I got. But I can tell you that it has a pair of cameras (3.2MP & VGA), Wifi, HSPDA, and that it runs Android v2.3 Gingerbread on a 1.4GHz CPU.
Now, I see that Engadget got their hands on this tablet back in November, but I was given a different set of specs. Engadget said this tablet had an IPS LCD screen, but I was told today that it is most definitely Pixel Qi. (Let’s see what is actually on the device when it ships.)
The reason I’m sure that it’s Pixel Qi is that if this tablet had an LCD screen it would already be on the market. Pixel Qi is a new screen tech, so there could have been production issues involved in attaching the touch screen to the screen. It’s more complicated than you think, and I plan to post on it later.
Pixel Qi is one of the spinoffs of the OLPC project. It was originally developed by a team led by Mary Lou Jepsen, and their goal was to offer a low power screen that could be used in all sorts of lighting conditions. A few years ago she left OLPC to commercialize the screen tech, and ever since then it has been inching closer to the market. A number of models hit the market last year, including a Windows tablet and netbook from Sol Computer.
What makes this screen tech special is that it is actually a dual mode screen. It’s designed so you can turn off the backlight and still use the screen. This not only reduces battery drain, but it also means that a Pixel Qi screen can be used outside.
BTW, I know that ZTE has supposedly been working with Pixel Qi for over a year now, but I don’t know that they ever actually sold any Pixel Qi based tablets. Did I miss something? If ZTE is selling one of these tablets then I would like to buy one. I don’t recall ever seeing an in stock type of announcement (just posts about how it was coming soon), and that has me confused. So if you know where one can be had, please let me know.
P.S. I’m going to catch the Pixel Qi open house before I leave today, and if this tablet is on display I will play with it.