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The Pixel Qi screen is an LCD killer

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.

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Luqman January 7, 2011 um 9:36 am

I love the early gen Pixel Qi screen in my OLPC XO-1. I can’t wait to see it in more products.

Mike Cane January 7, 2011 um 9:38 am

Hmmmm…. what will that mean for Bookeen and their new Orizon? They use SiPix. So does one eBook device down in South America (Brazil?).

Mike Cane January 7, 2011 um 9:39 am

Oh, wait! 9.7″ screen? If you can grab their attention again, ask them if they plan to make that iPad-compatible, so haXXorz can swap out that IPS screen for it.

fjtorres January 7, 2011 um 11:07 am

Why try to rely on haXXorz when they can simply try to get Apple to use it in an iPad variant? If his Lordship the Divine Jobs likes it they’ll be set. And it does fit his pattern of looking for differentiating hardware. (Plus it’ll end those Kindle ads, too.) 😉

Might even be their best cash-out strategy to sell out to Apple. They certainly have the money to best exploit the tech.

Even if they *don’t* get Apple onboard, the possibility might get other tablet vendors onboard. Fujitsu has long sold outdoor readable tablets for vertical markets. They might want to sign up.

Mike Cane January 7, 2011 um 6:03 pm

Apple likes the color-popping IPS screen. Until PQ screens pop colors like that, Apple won’t be interested.

yuzutea January 7, 2011 um 4:40 pm

How does the reflective performance compare to e-ink Pearl?

Piet van Oostrum January 7, 2011 um 4:46 pm

As far as I understood it *IS* an LCD screen, but with some additional layers. These make it possible to function as a reflective screen. So it shouldn’t be surprising that it is as good as LCD.

Filipe Oliveira January 13, 2011 um 12:36 pm

I have seen some videos on the subject and it looks great. Unfortunately my laptop has a 8,9" screen, and I think they won’t be investing on that soon…

Booksprung » Ebook recap for January 2011 January 31, 2011 um 11:59 pm

[…] promising “new” display techs that might finally reach the marketplace this year, the Pixel Qi screen and the Mirasol […]

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