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Pixel Qi Demos 10" 1280x800 Pixel Screens

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the because-the-xoom-hates-the-light dept.

Displays 74

Compared to their dumber e-ink cousins, tablets with LCD screens suffer at least two notable disadvantages: their batteries last hours or days, rather than weeks (or months), and they're notoriously hard to read in the sunshine. Neither of these problems are likely to be licked soon, but the gap may be shrinking: Mary Lou Jepsen's OLPC spinoff Pixel Qi has now shown off a 10", 1280x800 panel. Pixel Qi's screens are well-known, though not currently widely adopted, for their ability to run in a high-contrast, low-power greyscale mode as well as a still-frugal color mode. Though the company is currently showing prototypes rather than a shipping version of the new high-resolution screens, it's reason to renew hope for a long-lived color-screen tablet that's comfortable in the sunlight.

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frist post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36303534)

frist post

Butts! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36303584)

Penises and butts! Penises go in butts! I love to jizz in butts!

Great! (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 3 years ago | (#36303608)

They should have a finished product about the time everyone else switches to 2560x1600 or 2048x1536.

Re:Great! (4, Insightful)

TD-Linux (1295697) | more than 3 years ago | (#36303920)

Or 640x400, at the rate that laptop resolution is going.

Re:Great! (4, Funny)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 3 years ago | (#36304498)

Or 2560 x 400, at least screens are getting wider.

Re:Great! (1)

ogdenk (712300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36304714)

Yeah really, and the iPhone 6 will have some 6" 48,000dpi LCD at a pixel resolution beyond the range of current math coprocessors to comprehend. And the $4,500 MacBook AirPro base model will only have a 2560x400 display in glossy. Matte will cost you $2,000 more.

And because Apple will lead the charge, expect a race to the bottom from everyone else to produce similar crap at retardedly low price points.

Re:Great! (-1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305578)

Yeah really, and the iPhone 6 will have some 3.5" 600dpi OLED at a pixel resolution beyond the range of current GPUs to comprehend, but will run fine on the phone anyway. And the $2,700 17" MacBook Pro base model will only have a 2560x1600 display in glossy. Matte will cost you $100 more.

And because Apple will lead the charge, the competition to try to catch up.

FTFY.

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305606)

-1 unfunny Apple fanboyism.

And wooosh.

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36310118)

Itd only be fanboism or a whoosh if the original post was funny in some sort of way. 48,000 dpi is not funny, for example.

What is funny is the sheer number of corrections. Math co-processor, really? The only prerequisite that post needed was not fanboism

Re:Great! (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305228)

Well for a tablet that's not too bad: put it in e-book reader and turn the thing on it's short side. That'd be great for reading when you anyway want more vertical space instead of horizontal space (it's not just because that books are taller than that they're wide).

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36306010)

No, no. We'll have 2560*1600 monitors.
As in a single row with 4096000 columns

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36304560)

I'm betting on 720x400 -- not only is it pretty much 16:9 (if your panel has square pixels), but it also still keeps native compatibility with the original VGA (to be sure, any legacy software using will assume rectangular pixels and a 4:3ish overall display) and your screen fonts can use the full 8px cell without adjacent characters running into each other.

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36323852)

the original VGA

Original VGA was 640x480 in 16 colours (4bpp).

640x400 was an enhanced EGA resolution. The Compaq Portable 386 used to do it with an orange plasma screen (16 shades of orange). Normal EGA was 640x350 in 16 colours.

Oh how I don't long for those days.

Re:Great! (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305948)

hmm, my experiance is that laptop screen resoloution has stayed at about the same. The 10 inchers are mostly 1024x600, the 12-13 inchers are mostly 1366x768 (which is slightly more pixels than the older 1280x800) as are the bottom of the barrel 15 inchers.

Re:Great! (1)

phoenix_rizzen (256998) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311090)

IOW, resolutions are getting worse over time.

My first laptop was a Fujitsu Lifebook 765dx, with a Pentium-MMX 166 MHz CPU and a 12" screen. That screen was 1024x768.

Nowadays, most 10-12" laptops are 1024x600 or 1376x768, barely any better.

It's sad, really, when you think about modern LCD resolutions compared to the CRTs we had 10 years ago. :(

Re:Great! (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 3 years ago | (#36327812)

A few years ago, you could get 1400x1050 12-14" screens, or 15" 1600x1200 screens, and even 15" 1920x1200 screens when the widescreen fad got started. IBM even had a 2048x1536 15" screen in a few models, which is still the uncontested king of laptop screens. In comparison, the selection nowadays is crap, and generally you have to buy a massive 17" laptop just to get "full HD" which is only 1920x1080.

It's already been solved (-1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#36303622)

This is a problem that was solved years ago - the solution became commonplace on PocketPC/Windows Mobile PDAs, and more recently, the iPhone 3GS. The screens offer very good contrast in normal light, and are very viewable in direct sunlight. What needs to happn is for this type of screen tech to become more commonplace.

Re:It's already been solved (2)

zonky (1153039) | more than 3 years ago | (#36303684)

I realise people don't read the article, but try the summary, at least. These screens don't offer a solution in terms of energy demands.

Re:It's already been solved (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36303798)

Do you mean to say that not running a backlight in daylight does not reduce the energy requirement?

Re:It's already been solved (3, Informative)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#36304426)

I didn't understand it either, 1280x800 10" screen? My touchscreen laptop is 1280x768 and only 8.9", what's the big deal? Then I saw this video comparing the Pixel Qi to an iPad outdoors. [youtube.com]

Re:It's already been solved (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306156)

I played with one at FOSDEM. That was the cheap version in the OLPC (they make a few kinds of display, with the cheaper ones having slower response and narrower colour range), and I was impressed with it. It's not as good as eInk for reading outside, but it does offer some colour (I think it's 64 colours in direct-sunlight mode) and when you get into the backlit mode it's not too far off a normal screen. 1280x800 is fine for a 10" screen. I'd love to have 300dpi and be able to turn off antialiasing, but that's more of a luxury than an essential - being able to use the screen in bright light is far more important.

I've been promised one of these by a company that makes little ARM-based laptops when they enter production in a few months - definitely looking forward to it.

Re:It's already been solved (1)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36307768)

Anyone who thinks an iAnything has a screen that is "very viewable in direct sunlight" has never used an OLPC or other device with PixelQi technology.

Forget the display technology (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 3 years ago | (#36303652)

I'll take one just because it has the proper resolution for a 10 inch. I'm tired of these stupid 1024x600 netbook displays, and 16x9 for computers in general.

Re:Forget the display technology (1)

Ender_Stonebender (60900) | more than 3 years ago | (#36303818)

I agree. 16:10 is slightly better, but not much. I'd love to get a massive 4:3 monitor. 2048x1536 monitors exist, but they're "medical grade" and cost like it.

Re:Forget the display technology (1)

kevinmenzel (1403457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305628)

My IBM P275 can do 2048x1536, and I can actually force it a LITTLE higher... but anyway, it only cost like $100. Of course it's a CRT, I bought it used, and it weighs enough that the IKEA table I have it on has a noticable bend in it now, but it works like a dream, and I love the screen real-estate. I have another computer with 2 1080p LCDs... which is good enough for what I use it for, but I don't know what I'll do when my 275 eventuallly goes bust. Such a great monitor.

Re:Forget the display technology (1)

RogerWilco (99615) | more than 3 years ago | (#36307062)

Yeah, I have two old Eizo F67 monitors. They only go to 1600x1200, but I bought them used for 3 euros.

Except when watching DVDs, I find that 4:3 is still a much nicer ratio for a lot of things.

Re:Forget the display technology (1)

kevinmenzel (1403457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36312636)

I don't mind watching DVDs on a 4:3 CRT because black is actually BLACK. Therefore, if you turn off enough lights, it's still a nice 16:9 image with no distractions. And I have quite a few 4:3 dvds too, so, 4:3 is obviously preferable for watching those. (And a few 4:3 bluray discs... Star Trek: TOS specifically)

Re:Forget the display technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305124)

<pedant>You know 1024x600 is 1.71, 16:9 is 1.78.</pedant>
Anyway, since my 5.6" UMPC has 1280x800, it seems "the proper resolution for a 10 inch" would be just a smidgen more. Like 2048x1536 or 1920x1440 in 4:3, or a minimum of 1920x1200 if the aspect ratio needs to be maintained in the neighborhood of 1.7 for mechanical compatibility. (Why don't we have a standard 16:10 resolution for ~3Mpx monitors? 2560x1600 is practically twice the area of 1920x1200, where steps have historically been about 1.5x... Oh, that's right, because nobody wansts to sell decent monitors these daya,)

They can have my 21" 1920x1440 CRT when they pry them from my cold dead hands (I'll probably have died from trying to pick one up). (Or y'know, come out with an LCD of equivalent resolution with equivalent resolution that doesn't take up half-again as much desk width.) Maybe I should just bite the bullet and get 3 1920x1200 IPS monitors and lay them sideways for 3600x1920....

And of course, on the portable market, not only are decade-old CRTs not an attractive option ;), but it's unreasonably difficult to swap an arbitrary display in -- stupid closed-source BIOSes. So you're quite stuck with the lousy options manufacturers care to give you, or maybe a mechanically compatible panel of the same pathetic resolution. And the only good screen in production laptops is 2048x1536 in 15", which is a fair bit larger than I care to pack around, even when actually traveling.

Re:Forget the display technology (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 3 years ago | (#36308632)

You can edit the DID info windows has for LCDs to values that arent exposed.

Download Phoenix program.

Google it.

My three year old laptop (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#36303654)

has the same pixel density (1920x1200, 15") and aspect ratio, but LCD of course.

Re:My three year old laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36303712)

The story here isn't pixel density. It's a panel that switches between eink and LCD modes instantly. At least RTFS.

Re:My three year old laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36303872)

RTFS? Why, what did it say?

Re:My three year old laptop (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#36303896)

I read it. Why else would I include the "but LCD of course"?
It was just an observation: that the pixel density, by itself, is nothing new.

Re:My three year old laptop (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36303954)

No, the story here is a panel that switches between RGB backlit LCD and monochrome reflective LCD instantly. The summary makes it pretty clear this isn't e-ink, so I have no clue where you got that rubbish.

The reflective mode is not eink; it won't persist an image with no power, but OTOH it's instant-updating (usable for video, etc.). It's like a transflective LCD, but instead of using absorbing color filters on the front of the screen to generate RGB, it generates the RGB in the backlight (using a diffraction grating to separate out white light). Not only is this more efficient in terms of backlight power, but it also means that the reflective path has no filter losses (vs ~75% loss in a typical transflective) -- the penalty for this is no color in reflective mode. However, the display is designed so programs can take advantage of the monochrome mode; the screen uses square subpixels (instead of ~3:1 aspect in a standard RGB LCD), so you can get nearly double the resolution, which is nice for high-quality text rendering.

Re:My three year old laptop (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 3 years ago | (#36327850)

Still, 1280x800 is still a better resolution than I have seen in any of the 10" netbooks. The standard 1024x600 is utter crap. 1280x800 is still a bit too low for my tastes, but I could probably live with it for a 10" screen.

Damnit, make it in 11.4" (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 3 years ago | (#36303772)

for all those of us with IBM Thinkpads:-) I've been wanting this for years.

Dear PixelQi: (5, Insightful)

Ender_Stonebender (60900) | more than 3 years ago | (#36303828)

Dear PixelQi guys:

Please make a screen suitable for smartphones. There is a lot more need to use a smartphone than there is to use a laptop, as you can't control when you get incoming calls.

Thanks,
Ender Stonebender

Re:Dear PixelQi: (1)

Ender_Stonebender (60900) | more than 3 years ago | (#36303926)

Heh. Just re-read that and realized it should have said "to use a smartphone outside than there is to use a laptop". It's late and I've been up since 5AM local time.

Re:Dear PixelQi: (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306164)

Answering a call just requires pressing a big button. If a poor screen makes that difficult, then it's a smartphone UI problem. On the other hand, being able to sit in the park or the garden and work over the summer is a killer feature for a laptop.

Re:Dear PixelQi: (1)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306710)

Two (additional) words: Text message.

Re:Dear PixelQi: (0)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306910)

If you are sending someone a text message that is so urgent that it can't wait for them to move into some shade to read it and respond, then you probably should have just called them.

Re:Dear PixelQi: (2)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306980)

Urgent? Try convenient. If I'm out in the open (park, beach, etc) do I want to go off to read a text that may be complete inane bullshit? No thanks, I'd rather just read it where I am without getting up.

Liquavista (1)

g8oz (144003) | more than 3 years ago | (#36304064)

Samsung's competing Liquavista tech, based on 'electrowetting' is supposed to be coming out soon, it sounds pretty good too.

http://www.liquavista.com/technology/default.aspx [liquavista.com]

Re:Liquavista (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36304758)

I like the sound of it, but it's "supposed to be coming out soon" -- not that I think Samsung's pulling vaporware on us, but you see a lot more unexpected delays than unexpected advancements. At least Pixel Qi's tech is already in commercial production, if not nearly the quantities and variety of conventional LCDs.

Re:Liquavista (1)

RogerWilco (99615) | more than 3 years ago | (#36307112)

I think their problem will be scaling down to laptop ans smaller displays.

I can see it working for TVs, but I have trouble seeing electro-wetting work on really small devices at the resolutions you'd need.

Disclaimer: last time I used electro-wetting for displays was in 1997 and then the "pixels" we could achieve were about 2 mm and 64x64 resolution.

I was eagerly awaiting them... 2 years ago (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#36304246)

1 year ago I was still kinda interested.

Nowadays I'm just guessing there's an issue with their technology, or their marketing. With all the action and the need for differentiation in the tablet market, they've only managed to sign up one, 4th-tier player. There must be something wrong, don't hold your breath.

Re:I was eagerly awaiting them... 2 years ago (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36304526)

Don't worry, once they go under, one of those first tier companies will buy the patent at auction and start churning out all sorts of things. And you'll finally get one and then you'll think "this is so amazing, where were you all my life" and the answer will be "right there beside you, growing ever more bitter as you threw yourself into abusive relationship after abusive relationship and came back to cry on my shoulder afterwards" and it will throw itself into your bathtub and electrocute you.

Re:I was eagerly awaiting them... 2 years ago (1)

breeze95 (880714) | more than 3 years ago | (#36304694)

1 year ago I was still kinda interested.

Nowadays I'm just guessing there's an issue with their technology, or their marketing. With all the action and the need for differentiation in the tablet market, they've only managed to sign up one, 4th-tier player. There must be something wrong, don't hold your breath.

Yep, I have been reading about Pixel Qi for the last year and a half. CNET even reported that Notion Ink will ship (in June 2010) a tablet sporting the Pixel Qi screen. A year later and Pixel Qi technology is still in the prototype stage. It seems that the technology has more short comings than is let on, and I doubt that this technology will be in any products anytime soon.

Re:I was eagerly awaiting them... 2 years ago (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305256)

Makes you wonder where the problem lies.

Is it reliability of the screens?

Is manufacturing a problem? (on a technical level, I mean)

Or is it simply the price, which almost certainly is much higher than a regular LCD screen?

As with many products it's often hard to get going. Price is high, so not many people buying it, so relatively low numbers for manufacturing, resulting in high per-unit costs, keeping the price high.

Re:I was eagerly awaiting them... 2 years ago (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306174)

I've talked to a laptop OEM about them (they're going into production in a few months with Pixel Qi screens). There are two problems:

The first is the size. The Pixel Qi screens are slightly thicker than normal LCDs, which means that you can't use the same case design for TFT and Pixel Qi models.

The second one is the price. These screens cost $65, while a 10" TFT costs something around $20. When you consider that ARM-based laptops retail in the $100-200 range, this is quite a significant difference.

feh (1)

strack (1051390) | more than 3 years ago | (#36304574)

i just want my eink wallpaper already.

Not really "high contrast" (4, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36304880)

Pixel Qi's screens are well-known, though not currently widely adopted, for their ability to run in a high-contrast, low-power greyscale mode

No, they're not.

I own a Notion Ink Adam - one of the few devices on the market today which ships with a Pixel Qi screen. And I can tell you this - the contrast in that low-power mode is horrible. If you expected something like modern eInk readers - say, Kindle 3 or the recent Nook - forget about it. It's actually worse than my first eInk reader that I bought back in 2007!

The contrast is low enough that reading from Adam inside during the day with no light source shining directly at the screen is impossible. Outside, it's okayish... except still not particularly bright, and glossy screen kills the image. Either way, it's nothing to boast about - sure, it's better in the sun than TFT, but still... And the technology is not free - in "normal TFT" mode, its contrast and colors are less than average TN panel.

Frankly, after seeing it for myself, I understood why there isn't a long list of devices announced to use the tech despite it currently being in production. Right now it's a pretty huge trade-off that probably doesn't make sense for most users.

Here [youtube.com] is a video where you can see some comparisons, and there are plenty more [youtube.com] on YouTube. See for yourself.

I think people are confused on the term (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305574)

Contrast does not mean the ability to work in bright light. For a reflective display, the ability to work in bright light is simply assumed. Since it reflects light, the brighter the light source the better. For emissive devices brightness is what determines the ability to work in bright light. It has to be able to emit a light bright enough to overcome the natural reflection and thus be visible.

Contrast is the difference between the brightest something can display and the darkest. A device has a high contrast if that difference is large.

In the case of a reflective device, that means it has to have an ability to vary its reflection ability to a large degree, to reflect a lot of light when it wants and very little when it doesn't. That is fairly hard and the parent is correct, Pixel Qi displays have crap contrast in their reflective mode.

Re:I think people are confused on the term (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305690)

There's no confusion here. When I say "low contrast", that's precisely what I mean - the difference between white (it's really more like goldish in this mode) and black. It's way lower than on Kindle given identical light conditions (obviously, the absolute value would depend on how much you shine on the screen in the first place)

The reason why Adam is hard to use in the sun is because of its insanely glossy screen (one of the many original promises on which they reneged was to have a matte screen).

I know you aren't (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305724)

I was expounding on your comment. I was saying that the original bit, calling it a "high contrast" display was wrong because people misunderstand the term.

Re:Not really "high contrast" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305612)

My experience is slightly different.

I first bought a pixelQi screen and installed it into Lenovo S10-2 netbook and it is usable indoors if you have screen facing a window and I only switch to transflective mode from reflective mode when i want to know what color is on the screen.
I also own Notion Ink Adam where contrast is much worse and the protective sheet against scratches is making the screen almost unusable.
I thought the experience would be the same, but i was wrong. Yes I do have an E-ink device and it is slighly better than pixelQi on the netbook.

I am hoping the next break will come from mirasol display technology, their technology looks promising (bright color from Ambient lighting).

I will buy an Android phone if it will come from PixelQi, but from E-ink no way, only if they make speed of the display better.

Re:Not really "high contrast" (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305722)

Good to know it might be something specific to whatever screens Notion Ink is using, and not to the technology in general. Perhaps there's still hope there. If not, as you rightly say, there's also Mirasol.

For now, I'm quite happy with Kindle for reading - which works great both indoors and outdoors (and even at night, with their nifty light embedded into the cover and powered by Kindle's own battery). My phone has an OLED screen, and is actually not all that bad in sunlight - it's quite readable on max brightness, even if you wouldn't want to work that way for a long time. It's just that the promise of having both in one device, switchable as needed, is so enticing...

Re:Not really "high contrast" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305614)

The contrast is low enough that reading from Adam inside during the day with no light source shining directly at the screen is impossible." ...with screen back light off. Why don't you turn it on when indoors?

Re:Not really "high contrast" (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305704)

I was comparing it to Kindle, a device which has no backlight. And which does much better indoor.

Why not turn on backlight? For one, because it drains battery; for another, because I prefer non-backlit screens for reading to reduce eye strain. My hopes were that PQi screen would let me replace my Kindle entirely with a tablet, switching to reflective mode for reading regardless of where I am. If it's only truly useful in sunlight - which isn't required all that often - and meanwhile gives you crappy picture (even with backlight) indoors, then what's the point?

Re:Not really "high contrast" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305884)

I'm another Notion Ink Adam owner chiming in here, and I agree that the transreflective mode is bad. It is nowhere near the readability of a Kindle, and basically sits on the very edge of what I would consider an acceptable threshold for reading. Exactly which side it sits on, I'm not sure.

When I sit outside in the sun reading on this thing, it is considerably more effort than reading a book or kindle.

It is an interesting technology, and one worth following - so what I'm more interested in is do these new 10" panels offer better quality screens than those shipped with the Adam?

* Also remain somewhat baffled/cheated by the hyperbolic claims made by e.g. http://gizmodo.com/5443895/e+ink-is-dead-pixel-qis-amazing-transflective-lcd-just-killed-it

Re:Not really "high contrast" (1)

rsidd (6328) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306064)

I own an Adam too. The Pixel Qi is quite usable outdoors, though not as high-contrast as old-fashioned paper (or, probably, e-ink). It's a light-gray rather than white background, and dark-gray rather than black text. But I've used it outdoors for up to half an hour and it's very comfortable.

Indoors, the backlight is required but I leave it permanently at the lowest setting (and I wish there was a still lower setting). It is much better than any LCD I've used.

As for the glossiness, that's why they ship a matte screen protector. Presumably it's not default because some people don't like matte.

For me, the Pixel Qi is the unique selling point of the Adam. (The hackability is the other big plus -- if you don't like their ROM, flash your own -- but it's not unique.)

Re:Not really "high contrast" (1)

tizan (925212) | more than 3 years ago | (#36309714)

I have an Adam Pixel Qi too and i love it for its uniqueness. Its readability allows me sit outside more and read or browse or even watch something . And if you want to watch a movie inside that is possible too ...try that on an e-ink reader (though it is not as vivid/high contrast as lcd screens out there).

That is what you get a versatile screen rather than just an indoor screen or a low fps screen.

It is like buying a hybrid car ...you know what you getting into...it is not a bicycle nor a muscle car but in between.

Re:Not really "high contrast" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36306140)

I confirm the above. Adam has shown that Pixel Qi screen is a disappointment. Even battery life is only 10% more than when using LCD color.

Re:Not really "high contrast" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36306488)

I also own a Notion Ink Adam with Pixel Qi screen, and it just has the worst viewing angles I have ever seen. The rest of the device is so-so.
* Compass is still not working, which causes the GPS not to work. Therefore also Google Maps and other navigation software does not work.
* Secondary sd card not recognized.
* Screen is extremely glossy and the matte plastic sheet that you can apply is hard to get on straight and without bubbles. Also the matte sheet just smudges the image and scatters the incoming light so that the glare from the glossy screen just gets diffused making text even less readable in sunlight.
* Battery life is horrible. Instead of the promised 16 to 24 hours, I get maybe 3 hours doing nothing much at all. The culprit seems to be two processes running in the background: `Cell Standby and `Phone Idle consume up to 80% of power.
* But when the tablet is suspended fully charged at night, it invariably has lost its charge by the next morning.
* European/Asian users get an american power cord so you have to buy an extension before you can even charge it. It has a micro-usb port but it can not be charged with it. It can only be charged with the adapter.
* The software that comes with it just sucks completely. Lots of stuff just does not work at all. Only one core out of two is used mostly because the software just has not been written or compiled to use multiple cores. Not multithreading going on that I can detect.
* Hardware drivers for many of the onboard devices just not present: no driver for 3D hardware accelerator chip, compass driver is broken, although the compass hardware might also be faulty or installed wrong or have interference from other parts with so that it (and thus GPS) will never work.
* No driver for the FM radio tuner that was the supposedly `mysterious extra feature or any radio application at all.
* There is supposed to be 1GB of RAM, but if I start up a shell, and run `free it reports only 768 MB, and /proc/meminfo reports the same thing.
* The touchscreen was supposed to have 10 touchpoints, but it only responds to 2 points, and only in some applications. The hardware should be capable for 10 points, because it was indentified as such in a breakdown of an Adam.

I could go on and on. Most of the problems can be mitigated by software improvements, but I fear the compass or its placing in the Adam is just badly designed, rendering GPS also useless so I can forget about using it for navigation and stargazing (with Google Sky map) which happened to be my primary uses for it.
Also the screen is never going to be better no matter what software updates I can expect. And when the software finally, finally gets to an acceptable level, I could have gotten a tablet with much better resolution and specs and software than the Adam, for about the same price or maybe a little more.

This is one purchase I am regretting more and more

Re:Not really "high contrast" (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36309598)

My personal recommendation, after also trying (and returning) Xoom - if you want a full-featured and hackable Android tablet today, get an Asus Transformer. Just look out for screen defects in case yours come from an earlier batch (dead pixels & light bleed). But it's hard to beat for the price it sells, keyboard dock is awesome, and Asus seems to be fast with updates (e.g. they promised 3.1 "somewhere in June", and actually delivered it on 5/31 - only three weeks after Google-branded Xoom got it).

Software in Honeycomb is still somewhat flaky, but nowhere near what it is in Adam custom ROM, and I can trust Google making it better soon - they've already did a lot in 3.1.

Pixel Qi Does two things poorly. (2)

guidryp (702488) | more than 3 years ago | (#36304948)

Really once you see one of these, you will never want to see one again.

This is a two mode screen and both modes are mediocre.

1: E-Ink mode: This is what all the hoopla is about, but it is terrible compared to a Kindle, it NEEDs sunlight to be visibly, you aren't going to use this mode indoors, so it is a very part time outdoor sunny mode. Most of the time you will be using:

2: Color LCD mode: Which is worse than the cheapest LCD on the market. Colors are weak and viewing angles are terrible.

This just combines two of the worse displays on the market into one. Figure out what you actually need a display to do and get a one mode display that does an excellent job (Color LCD or E-ink) at that, instead of a display that will at best always be second rate.

Re:Pixel Qi Does two things poorly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36305838)

But how well does the Kindle, Adam and so forth manage video?

Re:Pixel Qi Does two things poorly. (1)

rsidd (6328) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306082)

Adam handles video fine. In transflective mode it's black and white, but the speed is not affected.

Re:Pixel Qi Does two things poorly. (1)

rsidd (6328) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306076)

2: Color LCD mode: Which is worse than the cheapest LCD on the market. Colors are weak and viewing angles are terrible.

But the brightness can be set at minimum, and I'm the only one viewing the thing most of the time. It's not a family entertainment system. It's good for reading, surfing the net, and some other things.

But it is true, you need to see it before you buy it. And that is hard to do.

1280x800 isn't that impressive... (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306128)

I was working with 1600x1200 in the year 2001!

Tablet/Smartphones owners worst question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36307622)

Does it work in direct sunlight ?

Seriously, it has to be some sort of joke in 2011 when a phones fancy "retina" display wont work in the sun, hunting for somewhere dark on holiday/beach/pool so i can read/answer that phone call/email/sms isnt the idea.
Reminds me of the in-car satnav screens that look great at night in the dark, very handy at 1am, but are useless from 8am - 8pm when im trying to find that customers site

Transflective displays should be the minimum standard for a portable device, at least i can see whats on the screen (albeit with limitations) but thats a hella lot better than the alternative of seeing a glossed out inothing and wondering why you bought a device you cant use for most of the day

the old "can you hear me now ?" now has an answer..
"yeah i can hear you, lemme find somewhere dark so i can take notes"

Jordan shoes (1)

emilyaaa (2220116) | more than 3 years ago | (#36327954)

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