Hybrid Displays for Tablets – Surely this Wait Must End?

It’s been two years since I made my loud, bold proclamation that I would shun all tablets until I could have a hybrid display.

You see, in my mind, the perfect tablet would combine the rich, bright vibrant media consumption capabilities of AMOLED screens with the kind-on-the-eyes reading experience provided by something like Kindle’s eInk. Unlink the AMOLED displays, eInk also works well in bright sunlight and has a very low power consumption footprint – the current 6″ Kindle claims to give users up-to a month between charges, while most smartphones only last a couple of days with a large proportion of power being consumed by the display.

In essence, I want to go on holiday and happily read books in bright sunlight for hours on end and then browse the internet in full glorious colour – all on the same device.

When I first made my proclamation Pixel Qi was already producing colour, low battery consuming displays and there were people modding their laptops and tablets to use these. So what’s going on, why don’t we have hybrid tablets yet?

Well we do. It turns out that a number of not-so-well-know manufactures are shipping with Pixel Qi screens however many of these devices fail in other areas such as form factor, weight, componentry or software. Kudos to them for being innovators.  But what of the big names? Where are they going with hybrid screens?

I must admit to being really excited when the first rumours of an Amazon tablet broke. I though, right this is it, the hybrid display is here.  Sadly the Kindle Fire, while a very nice device at the time failed to deliver a hybrid screen.

Apple has shown some interest in the area by taking out a patent on the technology to display content in both eInk and standard mode at the same time, as reported by Appleinsider.

But manufacturers need to hurry. The Nexus 7 is an amazing tablet and it is only sheer willpower that is maintaining my resolve.

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