Mary Lou Jepson's hybrid computer screen blends the best aspects of both laptop and e-reader displays. John B. Carnett

Good news for anyone out there straining to read this text: Pixel Qi plans to ship its 3Qi technology in an easy-to-install DIY kit sometime toward the end of the second quarter of this year.

Pixel Qi’s dual-mode 3Qi displays function as both full-color LCD monitors and e-ink-like, low-power black and white displays, giving laptops and netbooks the ability to toggle between vibrant, video-playing LCD color and an energy-efficient, eye-strain-saving e-reader mode.

It doesn’t even require a trip to the service shop. In Pixel Qi founder Mary Lou Jepsen’s words:

It’s only slightly more difficult than changing a lightbulb: it’s basically 6 screws, pulling off a bezel, unconnecting the old screen and plugging this one in. That’s it. It’s a 5 minute operation.

Pricing information for the DIY kits is not yet available, but from what we understand 3Qi displays should not cost much more than standard replacement displays. Of course, swapping out the screen on a netbook or laptop is fraught with warranty-voiding dangers, but we say nothing ventured, nothing gained. How often do you really use that precious Apple Care plan you paid so dearly for anyhow?

Pixel Qi