Pixel Qi to offer DIY screen kit for netbooks

Kits will be available soon, company founder says in a blog post

Want to stretch the battery life of your netbook and not worried about voiding your warranty in the process? Low-power display startup Pixel Qi is readying a do-it-yourself kit that will allow you to swap out your netbook's existing LCD screen for one of theirs.

"The DIY kits from our distributor will be available towards the end of Q2. We will be announcing with them prior to distribution," Pixel Qi founder and CEO Mary Lou Jepsen wrote in a blog post on Sunday.

Jepsen's post didn't offer technical details of the kits or pricing, but the company has said its first product will be a 10.1-inch display.

Pixel Qi claims its LCD (liquid crystal display) screens consume between one-quarter and one-half as much power as traditional LCD screens. Since displays are the biggest power draw on a laptop, that could mean significantly longer battery life for users.

Netbook users interested in the Pixel Qi DIY kit won't have to wait too long. The second quarter ends June 30, suggesting that the kits will be made available over the next couple of months.

While many laptops and netbooks offer the ability to swap out and replace batteries, hard disks or memory modules, screens weren't meant to be changed. To do so requires prying open a netbook's case and playing around with components that users weren't meant to touch -- likely invalidating the machine's warranty in the process. But Jepsen said replacing an existing LCD screen with one of Pixel Qi's low-power screens will be easy.

"It’s only slightly more difficult than changing a lightbulb: it’s basically 6 screws, pulling off a bezel, unconnecting the old screen and plugging this one in," Jepsen wrote. "That’s it. It’s a 5 minute operation."

She said the idea of offering a DIY screen kit was inspired by her work with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project in Nigeria, where young girls took the initiative to repair damaged OLPC laptops on their own.

"Sometimes they’d change out a screen, or a speaker. They learned about the hardware of their laptops. They got to see what was inside. They got better and better at fixing things by learning as they went," Jepsen wrote.

During the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last January, Pixel Qi used Lenovo Ideapad S10-2 netbooks to show off their new screens because the LED backlight on the Ideapad can be turned off easily, a feature few other netbooks offer. By turning off the backlight, the screen works more like an e-reader screen. E-readers do not include backlights because they are thought to cause people's eyes to become tired when reading.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags netbookPixel Qi

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sumner Lemon

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?