It's been roughly two years since startup Pixel Qi spun off from the OLPC project to work on new display technologies that would reduce power consumption to help extend the battery life of laptops. The company has been showing off the fruit of its labor on a few tech trade shows since last year, and while the technology may not be available built into any netbooks, e-readers or tablets just yet, yesterday Pixel Qi began offering a DIY upgrade kit for adventurous modders.
We are not sure how many kits actually went on sale but it seems the company might have underestimated the demand. Just two days after the low-power 3Qi laptop displays were officially announced and went on sale, priced at $275, stock has reportedly run dry. Maker Sheds is taking pre-orders for the displays and says it expects to begin shipping more by the middle of next week. The screens have been tested to work with Samsung's N130 and Lenovo's S10-2 netbooks.
The magic behind Pixel Qi's 3Qi displays is that with a flip of a button you can go from a traditional high-resolution color display, to a backlight-disabled state which makes it perfectly visible outdoors. The company claims the screens can consume up to 80% less power in this reflective mode compared to conventional LCD screens, as the screen will only use power when the display changes, but will maintain the quick response time of an LCD display.