Pixel Qi screen kit extends battery life

Display start-up Pixel Qi says that swapping a laptop screen for one of its own models can greatly extend battery life – and it’s so easy a five-year-old can do it.

The company says its LCD screens consume between half and a quarter as much power as a standard screen. As the screen is the biggest battery drain on a laptop, this could mean a significant power saving.

Naturally, using the kit means invalidating the machine’s warranty.

Founder and CEO Mary Lou Jepsen says she was inspired to produce the kit by seeing girls as young as five fixing broken laptops at their school in Nigeria.

“This group of girls armed with screwdrivers starting taking apart the laptops and reseating the cables. Sometimes they’d change out a screen, or a speaker,” she says.

“They learned about the hardware of their laptops. They got to see what was inside. They got better and better at fixing things by learning as they went.”

Yet most people are scared to change their laptop screen, she says.

“It’s only slightly more difficult than changing a lightbulb: it’s basically six screws, pulling off a bezel, unconnecting the old screen and plugging this one in. That’s it. It’s a five minute operation.”

Jepsen says the swap kits will be available by the end of June, with the first product being a 10.1-inch display.