We've been holding out hope for Pixel Qi devices for years, ever since we first heard that the OLPC spin-off
would begin manufacturing its displays for use by any OEM looking for a battery-sipping LCD. Unfortunately, Mary Lou's LCDs, capable of switching between a sunlight-readable reflective mode and full-color transmissive state, have had limited uptake by some less than desirable partners
. Still, the team has returned to Computex with the 7-inch (1024 x 600) panel that was teased in December
last year and a new higher resolution 10-inch (1280 x 800) panels offering an 80 percent power savings over conventional LCDs, according to Pixel Qi. In fact, the 10-inch panel consumes just 2.7W in color mode or 0.4W in reflective "eReader" mode.
We had the chance to see the new displays up close here at Computex and were immediately struck by the improvement in pixel density on the 10-inch panel. Making the leap to WVGA has been a major boon, as identical images looked sharper and better-defined than on the 1024 x 600 current-gen Pixel Qi display. The brightness on the new screen is lower than on its predecessor, but that's because the company still hasn't finalized things -- we're promised significantly better readability with the backlight off in the final product and brighter pictures when it's on. The 7-incher, originally intended for mass production in the second quarter will now sample in Q3, to be followed by the more pixel-dense 10-inch model, which will hit production in Q4. Scope out the newness in the gallery below or jump past the break for video.
Pixel Qi 7-inch and 10-inch reflective LCDs at Computex 2011
Additional reporting by Vlad Savov