Pixel Qi DIY Screen Installed and Tested

Posted on 19 July 2010 by



pixelqidiy90 On the day that I stepped outside with my netbook to connect a solar panel and thought ‘hmm, a PixelQi screen would be nice,’ along comes a DIY article and test from Engadget on how to fit a PixelQi screen. Joanna Stern also gives some thoughts about usability and runs some tests to see just how much battery life the new screen would save over the old. It matches what we expected.

Installation on a Lenovo Ideapad S10-2 seems very straight-forward and the results in the outdoor scenario are fantastic. Viewing angles are as tight as I experienced them at CES earlier this year though so you’ll have to be using this at the correct angle to get the best out of it. Indoors, the screen performs much like any other LCD, LED-backlit screen.

The interesting thing about Engadget’s report is the battery life testing. A lot of people have been raving about saving huge amounts of power by turning the backlight off and yes, expect 1-2 watts power saving in this test but it’s not a real-world scenario. In a normal office scenario with reasonable lighting, you’ll still need the backlight on to view the color. Given that the screen only accounts for 20-30% of battery drain, the maximum that can be saved is 30% but in indoor use, with a 30% backlight setting, you may only save 0.5-1W. On a modern netbook that’s about 10-15%. Engadget’s test shows a 25% difference in battery drain with backlight on (70%) and off. That’s in-line with what we predicted.

Based on battery life alone, it’s not worth the money but how much is it worth to be able to finally use the device outdoors? For mobile computing or even train usage, we think it’s worth it. Interestingly, on a ‘smart’ device like the Airlife 100, the battery life savings would be more significant. You could expect usage to rise from 10hrs to 15 or more as the screen backlight forms a larger part of the power envelope.

Full how-to and report at Engadget.

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6 Comments For This Post

  1. UMPCPortal says:

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  5. Frank says:

    Would they sell me an 8-inch (7.2 by 3.5 inch) screen for the Fujitsu UH900? Now that would be a winner. Improved battery life, almost full sized page width, full-size text, outdoor operation, wow.

    tsog Reply:

    Somehow I don’t think UH900 has an 8″ screen.
    Now if they made an 8.9″ touchscreen for P1620/P1630, that would be nice. I wouldn’t mind 6-7 hour battery life on the smallest touch-typable C2D convertible tablet.

    Frank Reply:

    That was the whole point. The UH900 does not have an 8-inch screen; it has an anemic and entirely unacceptable 5.6-inch screen @ 1280 X 800, but an 8-inch screen (7.2 by 3.5) @ 1600 X 768 would fit within the space available if they made a screen and bezel replacement kit. It would wipe out the little buttons in the lid, but it would be a good trade, and it would change the UH900 from a novelty to a serious productivity machine.

    tsog Reply:

    I suppose there would be no bezel then….
    7″ might be feasible, but 8″? Not so much.
    And good luck replacing the bezel with a smaller one.

  6. Frank says:

    By my calculations, a 7.2 by 3.5-inch (8-inch diagonal, 1600×768 proportions) screen would leave a 0.42-inch bezel on each side and a 0.35-inch bezel at the top and bottom. It’s all achedemic anyway unless Pixel Qi decides to start building pocketable hot rods. Souping up an existing product would be a whole new market niche, and I don’t know of any business model in the mobile computing industry to predict how it would perform financially. I just know that I would be very interested in such a device and that the reason nobody has hit a home run in the sub-notebook category for a long time is that everybody’s bezels are way too wide.

    tsog Reply:

    I have not seen a bezel that narrow on anything but cellphones.
    Realistically speaking, I would settle for a 7″ screen. The technology is not quite there yet for “bezel-less” UMPCs. Something like the kohjinsha SK3 with full keyboard (not the ones with heavily compromised placements of punctuation keys), 2.0 ghz atom, and most importantly, 8+ hrs battery life. Don’t care if it’s 2″ thick as it would fit nicely in hand anyway with the screen folded over keyboard.

    Or a P1640 with Core i7 ULV CPU to replace my aging P1620.

    Frank Reply:

    We’re both on the same page. Good luck finding such a machine. I’ve been waiting for years, can’t see what’s so difficult. Sony got the proportions right but the P is too big. They also forgot the touch screen and that it should actually run on a battery. With all of its flaws, unless somebody does something right pretty soon, that’s probably what I’ll end up with.

    tsog Reply:

    Yeah, p sounds pretty good right now considering nothing else has the performance (which is still pretty low) and function. There is the libretto w100, but no keyboard means no touch-typing.

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