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Well, I finally get to let the cat out of the bag. We’ve got Pixel Qi screens available in the Maker Shed as of today. If you’re unfamiliar with Pixel Qi (pronounced “chee”) and their amazing 3Qi transflective display technology, here’s a bit about them from the announcement:

These screens look like standard LCD screens in ordinary room light, but take them outside in the sunlight, and see the difference! The Pixel Qi screens are bright and easy to see, even in direct sunlight. Like standard LCD displays, Pixel Qi displays show quality full-color images, full-motion video, and high screen brightness. Each pixel in the Pixel Qi screen is mainly reflective, but still has about the same efficiency as a standard LCD when backlit, enabling the user to experience a crisp image with excellent contrast and *brightness* in any light. The Pixel Qi screens consume 80% less power in the reflective mode making them a great choice for “green” applications.

Indeed, this is exciting news for anyone interested in modding their netbook or building a DIY tablet computer. Regarding the announcement, Mary Lou Jepsen, Pixel Qi’s Founder and CEO said “We hope that by working with MAKE and the DIY community, we collectively will spur innovation in ways we can’t ourselves imagine yet.”

About carrying the Pixel Qi screen in the Maker Shed, Dan Woods (GM of MAKE Ecommerce) said “We’re seeing a lot of interest in making and modding tablets, netbooks, and e-readers within the maker community, and we’re always looking for new ways to help inspire and support DIY enthusiasts to take on new challenges. Getting a brand new technology like Pixel Qi’s screen into the hands of developers and makers who will do something unusual, compelling, and unexpected which is really exciting to us. MAKE is not only uniquely positioned to inspire widespread experimentation within the global maker community, from educators to artists, software developers to hardware hackers, but also to organize conversations around resulting projects.”

I shot a quick installation video of a Pixel Qi display going into one of my netbooks. It’s an Acer Aspire One, which is physically compatible with the screen, but isn’t an officially recommended netbook.

Changing the screen is easy, the process takes about 5-10 minutes using a small screwdriver. 2-4 screws have to be removed to allow unsnapping of the front plastic bezel. Once that step is done, removal of another few screws allows the screen to be unlatched and its cable disconnected. Next, the Pixel Qi screen is plugged in, screwed in, and the bezel snapped back in place. That’s it.

Head on over to the Maker Shed for more information or to order yours today.

Subscribe to the MAKE Podcast in iTunes, download the m4v video directly, or watch it on YouTube.

Adam Flaherty

I make cool stuff and write about other people making cool stuff on makezine.com. If you have something you think I should see, send me a tip.


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