Update: There’s a comment accusing me of being angry and negative about Pixel Qi and it’s right. Pixel Qi have been teasing us since February 2009 with this vision of a magical new screen that changes everything. Here’s my February 2009 post about Pixel Qi. You’ll be surprised by the lack of anger and negativity – you might even notice enthusiasm.
It’s difficult to be positive when after 1 year of a dance of Vera of the Seven Veils Pixel Qi only have a DIY kit to offer and even that doesn’t have a release date.
Mary Lou Jepsen has an update at the Pixel Qi Blog talking about Do It Yourself Pixel Qi Kits that will be available towards the end of Q2, 2010.
There’s also some story about 5 year old girls in Nigeria replacing laptop screens which makes me feel terrible about my inability to figure out my old Asus laptop’s screen problems 😉 .
The point of the story is that changing a laptop screen is not difficult –
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. That’s it. It’s a 5 minute operation.
It seems that Pixel Qi want people to get over their fear of meddling with their laptop’s innards and try out the new Pixel Qi screens.
Would you try out Pixel Qi’s DIY kit?
There are some obvious downsides – You might mess up your laptop, you definitely void the warranty, and we don’t know what the price of the Pixel Qi kit is.
However, there’s a big upside – You get a really cool multiple mode screen that turns your laptop/netbook into an eReader-Netbook hybrid.
Would you risk your warranty and your netbook/laptop to try out a Pixel Qi screen?
Personally, taking a $300 Asus netbook and modding it seems a fun thing to do.
Pixel Qi is taking the completely wrong approach
The right way to do it is to have someone like Dell offer Pixel Qi screens as an upgrade and to have Acer and Asus sell netbooks built using Pixel Qi screens and optimized for them.
With the current do it yourself model there are some big stumbling blocks –
- You void the warranty.
- You risk your netbook/laptop. There’s no guarantee it works after the screen replacement.
- You’re paying for a LCD screen you won’t use.
- You have to do it all yourself.
- It’s not easy or convenient.
- The power system and the netbook itself haven’t been optimized for Pixel Qi screens.
- There isn’t any reading specific software on the netbook and definitely not anything aimed at the Pixel Qi screen.
Perhaps Pixel Qi are really interested in seeing what modders can do. Perhaps they haven’t been able to strike enough good parternships. Whatever the reason for their DIY approach it’s not scalable and it’s definitely not how to kick off a product launch.
Do Pixel Qi really want the first Pixel Qi capable devices to be hacked together netbooks that aren’t optimized for the screen or for reading?
When people compare the Kindle and the iPad against Pixel Qi capable devices the last thing you’d want is for it to be a modded $200 first generation netbook with no software or hardware built to take advantage of the magic Pixel Qi screen.