updated 10:15 am EDT, Tue May 31, 2011
Pixel Qi intros 7in and 10in tablet screens
Pixel Qi used the opportunity of Computex to unveil a pair of new sizes of its outdoor-friendly screens optimized for tablets with the hint of a third. Its flagship, a new 10-inch, 1280x800 display, is both sharper than before and also thinner at 3mm (0.112in), making it ideal for newer designs. The screen was put up against an iPad by company CEO Mary Lou Jepsen in a video demo (below) and could still be clearly seen outside where the iPad's regular LCD was nearly invisible.
Also on tap is a seven-inch, 1024x600 screen for smaller designs. It should start off thicker, at 4mm (0.16in), but could get as thin as 2mm in the long term. Bulk production was due to start in late summer.
A bistable screen, or one that can keep its latest output on the screen even if it loses power, is being considered. Whether or not it's produced depends on companies adopting hardware.
In the future, the company also alluded to designs that would be friendly to more mobile device makers. A 4.3-inch screen is in development for smartphones, but a 9.7-inch screen is also in progress that would occupy roughly the same size as the iPad's display. Jepsen didn't name the customer but noted that it had a high contrast and very wide viewing angles that companies like Apple prefer. Few are using the screen size beyond Apple and HP's upcoming TouchPad.
The 9.7-inch panel is due to arrive either in late 2011 or early 2012, according to the CEO.
Pixel Qi's screens are unique in the industry in having dual modes that either provide a transflective, outdoor-readable color image or a near e-paper grayscale output. Apple hasn't given any signs of using it for the iPad, but one of the most common complaints of tablets like its own has been for reading, where the backlight and glare make it harder on the eyes for long periods or in bright daylight. [via ARMdevices]