With just-manufactured 3qi displays from a G3/G3.5 LCD fab, Pixel Qi purchased 10 red Acer netbooks and integrated the 3qi displays into them. The company burned a hole into the chassis and put in a toggle switch connected to the backlight driver to turn it on and off. The 3qi display is a transflective display that has some very good performance equaling the E Ink technology in reflective mode.
Production Plan John Ryan, COO and VP of Sales and Marketing at Pixel Qi, shared that the second batch will be manufactured in a week. A third much-larger batch in a month and in late Q3 production level will reach in the ten thousand range. Mass production at the hundred thousand range is expected to be reached in early 2010.
Touch? According to Ryan, touch will eventually happen. The challenge is to overcome the negative impact of a touch layer on optical properties in reflective mode. Thankfully there are touch sensors that do not require an additional layer that reduces the front screen performance of many displays.
Versus Kindle The Kindle has a whiter white than the q3i. Ryan also admitted that the Kindle draws less power. But the 3qi beats the Kindle in very important metric: fast refresh. Without fast refreshes you can’t do video or even scrolling text. If you wanted to implement touch, fast refresh is an absolute requirement.
Bigger 3qi? Pixel Qi is concentrating on manufacturing 3qi displays that offer the most value and that seems to be for portable devices that would benefit from a display that consumes very little power but still offer very good display performance. I would like to recommend that Pixel Qi look at displays used for digital signage where most of the time the display is fighting against a lot of ambient light by consuming an enormous amount of power and requiring more to cool them down.