Pixel Qi Displays — the Future of e-Readers and Netbooks?


One of the technologies that has intrigued me for a while is that used in the Pixel Qi display. These LCD displays operate in two modes — a normal color mode like most laptop displays and a non-backlit mode that allows viewing in bright light. Once the backlight is turned off the display is viewed in a black-and-white mode like that used in traditional e-Ink readers. I intend to get some hands-on time with the Pixel Qi technology while at CES this week, especially after talking to Brad Linder of Liliputing.

Brad spent some time with a Lenovo netbook that has been fitted with a Pixel Qi display and he couldn’t say enough good things about it. When the display is running in normal color mode, the power consumption is 2.5 W; when the backlight is turned off the display is completely viewable but only consumes 0.5 W. This has major battery life ramifications for mobile computers, and it’s easy to see why Brad is so excited. Check out his video of the screen in action and you’ll be excited, too.


Allan Jones

I presume another benefit of this is that it makes outdoor use of a computer practical. Currently I find using a notebook outdoors in daylight impractical because backlit screens are not bright enough.


I read at engadget and gizmodo that these displays will be fairly easy to implement and should expect to see computers this year with them. I’m going to put my computer purchase on hold for this, looks great.

Matt Brubeck

Essentially, yes. Mary Lou Jepsen was CTO of the One Laptop Per Child foundation and developed the dual-mode display technology there. The OLPC XO-1 was the first laptop with this type of display. She founded Pixel Qi to continue developing and commercializing the technology.

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