Will iPad2 use Pixel Qi 9.7″ Matte to achieve Retina pixel density?

Posted by Charbax – January 20, 2011

There has been weird rumors going around some blogs that iPad2 would use a 2048×1536 display.

As Pixel Qi provides 3x higher resolution in reflective black and white mode, that should basically serve the marketing tag line of a pixel density that is "Retina display".

iPad is very heavy at 680 grams. They could significantly reduce the battery weight using a lower power Pixel Qi display, thus saving on the weight of the whole device.

At CES 2011, Pixel Qi announced that they have a manufacturing partner making 9.7" Pixel Qi screen. If that means Apple may be using it, and if Apple only wants to work with LG to make their iPad2 screen, that could mean that the new manufacturing partner would in fact be LG, and that would mean Pixel Qi may have reached out of Taiwan into South Korea as well.

Some bloggers complain about the quality of colors on Pixel Qi screens, describing them to be "washed out". I didn't ask Pixel Qi about their color mode quality, but I believe this is only because the screen coating is anti-glare Matte type which is the only correct way to use this screen 100% outdoors and for e-reading. While iPad1 and most other devices use Glossy type screen those have lots of glare and reflections when used outdoors.

Apple has the opportunity to make of Pixel Qi a mass market screen technology, they have the opportunity to use it for allowing their customers true use reading e-books without the eye straining of a back light, they have an opportunity to launch an iPad2 with 20 hours or longer battery runtime and a significantly thinner design and lower weight.

But if they decide not to, it wouldn't be the first time Apple disappoint. Then Android Tablet makers will have that opportunity but uptake of the technology may not be as fast especially if Apple's marketing continue to make it sound ok for e-reading and mobile computing use to have a regular backlit LCD that is unreadable for ebooks and unusable outdoors.

  • Anon

    No way can apple do something that smart as switching to a PixelQI screen

  • anon

    Mary Lou Jepsen seemed a little cagey in one of your previous videos touching on the Apple iPad 2 possibility. I imagine Apple won’t touch it unless the color quality is there. It would be nice if they offered a regular screen and low-powered screen options, but unlikely.

  • Hey anon, where did you read about the color quality?

    I think the color quality is just as good as any other screen. They use LED back light and matte finish.

  • anon

    All the better! Is the response time good? I remember one of your Mirasol videos and it didn’t seem like it could handle video very smoothly.

  • Same response time as any other LCD screen. Full smooth video rate for sure.

  • anon

    This individual purchased a used Lenovo laptop and installed a Pixel Qi screen.


    He says it looks as good as his other monitors.

  • Anonymous

    Well the CES video with Mary Lou Jepson, she mentions at the beginning, that the 10″ is high res but does not say anything about the 9.7 resoution, 9.7 is different (she hints), as it is: “fully saturated, low power, super high contrast, 170+ degrees viewing angles, like an Ipad screen but viewable” etc..


    watch the video carefully especially at the beginnning and around 6:15. quote : “well eh we can’t talk ehm, if your working with Apple you can’t talk about it”

    secondly this is just one link but there are strong rumours of a 7″ ipad2:


    also on 7″ tablet: