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Portables Hardware

OLPC Spinoff Pixel Qi Merges E-ink With LCD 78

MaryBethP writes with some tasty prototype photos and info about the new OLPC spin off "Pixel Qi" that is combining the best of e-ink and traditional LCD displays. "The screen can work as a traditional backlit LCD when indoors, can have that backlight disabled to be perfectly visible outdoors (shown after the break), and, as its pièce de résistance, can be toggled into an energy-efficient 'epaper' mode. How exactly the company is fitting these seemingly disparate slices of technology into a single 10.1-inch screen is something of a mystery, but we're guessing much will be answered next week ahead of a planned product launch by the end of the year. Color us intrigued."
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OLPC Spinoff Pixel Qi Merges E-ink With LCD

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  • by Bruiser80 ( 1179083 ) on Friday May 29, 2009 @04:00PM (#28142959)
    The B/W e-paper and the high-contrast Color LCD - sounds like the color is used in both the backlit and non-lit versions, while the e-paper is used to get the high efficiency mode.

    I wonder what the refresh rates on each of these displays is?
    I'm guessing the refresh rate on the e-paper is way low if it uses so little power. Black to White in 250ms maybe?
  • Re:e-Ink? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thaelon ( 250687 ) on Friday May 29, 2009 @04:33PM (#28143369)

    So what you're saying is not all in-line skates are Rollerblades(tm), not all adhesive medical strips are Band-Aids(tm), and not all vacuums are Hoovers(tm)?

    You are correct, but good luck with that.

  • by stardude82 ( 1030976 ) on Friday May 29, 2009 @08:13PM (#28145743)

    Looking at power consumption of LCD's by laptops as percentage of total power consumption it isn't much for most modern laptops (5-0.5 watts versus 50-20 whats for a system under moderate load) and its going down on average with LED backlights becoming more common. It Using this sort of black and white only mode only really makes sense for ultra low power system.

    That being said, it would be killer on a laptop with an embedded SplashTop.

  • by jipn4 ( 1367823 ) on Friday May 29, 2009 @09:20PM (#28146161)

    It's not "e-ink", which is an electrophoretic display, it's an LCD that can be run in two different modes: reflective and with backlight. When it's used with a backlight, the LCD elements are colored, and when used without, they are not colored. It's kind of a hack, but it's a useful hack. In terms of resolution, it doesn't actually help much, since you can do color antialiasing on a color LCD anyway. It's good for battery life, though.

    The OLPC screens already work that way. I'm not sure what they are announcing. Maybe they just needed a press release.

    The question I have is: when is there going to be an EEE PC with one of these screens? That would be really useful.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus