“Essentially, the screen has two modes; one acts like a regular, high quality LCD screes with full color, and the other as a sort of high contrast eBook mode. In high contrast mode the display uses very little power and, since they’re reflective, the displays can be read outdoors using ambient light instead of a backlight.”
Steve also provides this comparison of the Pixel Qi screen with standard laptop screens.
This isn’t just theory or pie in the sky future tech; this screen will be used in the Notion Ink Smartpad to be announced at the upcoming CES (January 7-10 in Lost Wages). Steve provides specs and links. The specs (Pixel Qi screen, Tegra T20 chipset, 1080p Full HD video playback, and more) also have excited the big boys like Slashgear and Engadget.
CES will produce a lot of exciting news, but I’m especially looking forward to coverage of the Smartpad. Though announcements are one thing, availability is another. Per Electronista, we’re talking about a June release.