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Dual Mode Daylight Readable Netbook Displays

By Wayan Vota on September 21, 2009

Imagine reading a computer screen in bright African daylight that has 3x better resolution that what you’re looking at right now. A screen that reflects light, just like paper, with similar high contrast and ease on the eyes. And when in that reflective mode, adds over an hour to your netbook battery life.

This is the promise of Pixel Qi’s new dual mode 10-inch netbook display, the 3qi.

Mary Lou Jepsen & 3qi Screen

Based on the OLPC XO-1 dual mode screen, the 3qi can go from full color to black and white reflective mode at the flip of a switch. In that reflective mode, the laptop screen’s back light is turned off, which greatly reduces power consumption and in the case of 3qi, greatly increases resolution and therefore readability. Here’s a comparison with other screens.

In interview with Mary Lou Jepsen, she revealed that the 3qi screens are going into production in December. This means we should be seeing dual screen laptops for sale in early 2010. But she also said that 3qi screens can be retrofitted into standard 10-inch netbooks that use 40 pin LDDS connectors in about 10 minutes.

While Pixel Qi isn’t set up to sell individual screens, she was intrigued by the idea of a distributor selling just the screens, which could herald a flourishing of hardware experimentation. No longer would designers need to worry about sunlight on their screens. They would now welcome direct light on their displays, and the next Maker Faire Africa could have a whole new look.


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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks and is the Digital Health Director at IntraHealth International. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of IntraHealth International or other ICTWorks sponsors.
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One Comment to “Dual Mode Daylight Readable Netbook Displays”

  1. SimonG says:

    Wow it looks like this Netbook is a real revolutionary thing. I love reading and my work is related to reading all day long. The only problem that I hated in laptops were that my eyes were going tired after 4-5 hours of reading. It looks like Netbook developers at last decided to make something for us (readers) too. The monitor that reflects light is really something new and unheard for me. I hope that this one is in stocks now and I will be able to purchase it.