Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Do Two-Screen Laptops Make Sense?

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the cornering-the-conjoined-twin-market dept.

Displays 262

An anonymous reader writes "With two 17" HD LED displays, the SpaceBook goes against every trend in laptop design I can think of (well, apart from the Core i7 and Core i5 processors). It's more than 1.7" thick, weighs more than 4.5 kilograms, and apparently has the world's largest laptop screen space. As odd as lugging a 4.5kg laptop around sounds, it can actually make sense in some situations. Sure, there are now plenty of powerful laptops that can replace a desktop PC. But for some of us, it's never the same as sitting in front of a desktop. Especially if you're used to having two screens. Someone must think there's a market for the twin-screen laptop — this isn't the first. Lenovo brought one out a couple of years ago. Given the number of people who prefer a multi-monitor setup, surely someone can come up with a lighter, less cumbersome, and cheaper design?"

cancel ×

262 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

10 pounds (-1)

karnal (22275) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821784)

4.5kg = 10lbs. This comment has been brought to you by Google.

Re:10 pounds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821842)

Still a lot lighter than the first portable I used: the Compaq "luggable" weighed in at 28 pounds (12kg). But I'll wager this one doesn't have dual floppies!

Re:10 pounds (1)

p0p0 (1841106) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821866)

It's not that much. My current "Desktop Replacement" laptop is a 10lbs, 18.4" beasty. It can be a pain to lug around, but the screen real estate is worth it. If I could have double the useable screen space for about the same weight/form factor, I would definitely go for it.

Re:10 pounds (4, Funny)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821918)

A NASA commentator recently described the ISS as a "million pound space station". As a British listener, I thought this was an absolute bargain.

Re:10 pounds (1)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822138)

But you have to remember, the ISS is in LEO so weighs practically nothing. Your million pound bargain is now worth close to zero. Talk about depreciation!

Re:10 pounds (1)

tommy2tone (2357022) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822378)

you still have weight in orbit... gravity is the reason you can park in orbit

Re:10 pounds (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36822686)

Mass. You still have mass. Not weight. The weight is gone, the mass remains.

I don't get it... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822210)

He wanted this because he was going to Hawaii for six months and didn't want to carry a second monitor.

Does that make sense to anybody? This has to be the most complicated/expensive solution possible to the problem.

How about:
a) Fly to Hawaii
b) Buy a second monitor when you arrive there.

Re:10 pounds (2)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822390)

Screw cheaper and lighter. I want a real, honest to god Model M-type buckling spring keyboard. Another pound and half-inch is a small price to pay for 30-50wpm of improved typing speed :-)

Failed attempt. (0)

Moderator (189749) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821788)

The Thinkpad W700ds had two displays, and that ugly behemoth is no longer sold. The market for two monitors on a laptop can't be that large. I mean, given the proliferation of shitty laptop displays (16:9, glossy screens, etc), it seems that not many people care about their displays in the first place. Just get an external LCD monitor and run dual displays with your laptop being one screen.

Re:Failed attempt. (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821898)

The market for two monitors on a laptop can't be that large.

I can see the purpose in this for people who travel a lot and do a lot of work in hotel rooms, but this seems like an over-complicated solution to that problem. Article was sparse on details, but I’m assuming this laptop can’t work in a “single monitor mode” for use on say a plane, which to me would limit its usefulness.

Just get an external LCD monitor and run dual displays with your laptop being one screen.

From the article:

But if you’re on the road, then carrying that second screen isn't exactly convenient

But I think you are on the right track. Solution is to make that external monitor more convenient. You can buy laptop portable versions of just about everything, except monitors (or at least I’ve never seen that). Should be trivial to make a monitor with integrated short cables and where the stand folds into itself and fits nicely into a laptop bag, with maybe some kind of protective cover for the screen. Would seem a much simpler approach than this contraption.

Re:Failed attempt. (1)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821956)

But I think you are on the right track. Solution is to make that external monitor more convenient. You can buy laptop portable versions of just about everything, except monitors (or at least Iâ(TM)ve never seen that). Should be trivial to make a monitor with integrated short cables and where the stand folds into itself and fits nicely into a laptop bag, with maybe some kind of protective cover for the screen. Would seem a much simpler approach than this contraption.

Indeed. A decent laptop that you can carry on your person, combined with a robust and portable LCD that you can put with the rest of your luggage would be excellent.

The 20" Dell LCDs we have at work are pretty thin and could easily go in a suitcase, but would need some decent protection from baggage handlers! The stand they come with is a bit of a beast though so would need a redesign.

Re:Failed attempt. (1)

DrInequality (521068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822078)

But I think you are on the right track. Solution is to make that external monitor more convenient. You can buy laptop portable versions of just about everything, except monitors (or at least I’ve never seen that). Should be trivial to make a monitor with integrated short cables and where the stand folds into itself and fits nicely into a laptop bag, with maybe some kind of protective cover for the screen. Would seem a much simpler approach than this contraption.

Yes, it's called a second laptop (oh and a decent OS).

Re:Failed attempt. (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822296)

Yes, it's called a second laptop (oh and a decent OS).

Been there, done that. In networking world, often you need to troubleshoot something on "both sides" of a device. You can F around with multiple USB ethernet dongles and really long cables, but its a heck of a lot cheaper, simpler, faster, more reliable, lighter, and more convenient to just carry two little original eee netbooks running Debian...

Another place I've seen it is client/server development... You're a crossover cable away from a perfect emulation of the end user experience... And a cheap netbook is used to be cheaper than the old cost of a vmware license.

It seems to be a "thousands of dollars" hardware solution to avoid a "hundreds of dollars of proprietary software licensing costs" problem..

Re:Failed attempt. (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822356)

Yes, it's called a second laptop (oh and a decent OS).

Ok.. I'll bite.

I use linux, and I could easily do X forwarding and have my app display on this hypothetical second laptop. I could use synergy to make them share a keyboard and mouse (and clipboard and some other odds and ends). What I can't see how one would do is drag stuff between the two monitors .. and believe it or not.. this would be a deal breaker for me.

I travel very rarely, so I wouldn't bother either way.. one screen is plenty on the road (vice the 5 I have at home and the 3 at the office). But I'm curious... do you have a way to have that second laptop actually act as a proper second monitor. On Linux or some other OS?

Re:Failed attempt. (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822176)

Should be trivial to make a monitor with integrated short cables and where the stand folds into itself and fits nicely into a laptop bag, with maybe some kind of protective cover for the screen. Would seem a much simpler approach than this contraption.

Yep. You also get to choose the spec of the laptop you use it with...

Re:Failed attempt. (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821932)

I know, slightly offtopic, but I always thought the best way to implement a multiple monitor setup on a laptop would be to use three screens: the standard size in the middle and two half-sizes clapping open left and right. A bit like a Triptych [wikipedia.org] . Probably just me...

Re:Failed attempt. (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822076)

I'd rather be able to wear a pair of special spectacles that make it look like I've got a huge hi-res virtual screen. If possible it should be overlayed on the "real world", and stay where it is even if I move my head (unless I choose to move it).

Then I don't need to lug about kilograms worth of screen, plus I might save some battery power - screens use up a significant part of the battery budget.

The disadvantage is I can't easily show someone else my screen (unless I share it). But that's not always a disadvantage...

Re:Failed attempt. (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822158)

How about having a full screen fold up instead of to the side?
_______
|....2.....|
|______|
|....1.....|
|______|
|######|
|######|

Make the topscreen a touchscreen and, when closed, you have a tablet PC.
Alternatively, have one of the screens slide up/down so, when closed, all screens face inwards.
Or some other mechanical tricks to make it do combinations.
I like the folding because you could fold it even further and use the top screen to light the keyboard ;)

Re:Failed attempt. (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822260)

Why decide for the user where the extra screen needs to come? Make it detachable and have some clever attachment system that lets you clip it of the left/right/top side of the laptop, or set it up as a (flimsy) stand-alone screen.

Re:Failed attempt. (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822312)

The only problem I see with this is that there would be a weight imbalance and might cause the laptop to tip over. You'd have to counterbalance with weights in the palm rests. Which would be a major downside because it would add (useless, when carrying) weight.

Re:Failed attempt. (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822656)

Don't you have the same problem with a side-by-side screen?

Re:Failed attempt. (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822678)

Perhaps... The centre of gravity is different though.

No. (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821796)

But I will buy a 21" laptop in a heartbeat. I already have a 18.5 inch and would like bigger. In fact if they made a 21" macbook pro artists and video editing people would be all over it.

I do embedded programming and EE cad design in the field... (think on the floor in an electrical closet while I program a buildings processors) and having that kind of screen real-estate with a higher than 1080p resolution would be a instant purchase from me.

None of this crap of Low res huge pixel screens they have been pulling. if the screen is larger than 15" and not 1080p then it's crap.

Re:No. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821874)

larger than 15" and not 1080p

Make that 13".

Re:No. (3, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821988)

+6 Insightful, brother.

Roll on 17" 300+ppi displays. It's pixel density which needs to increase, not screen size.

Re:Yes (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36822122)

In the case of creating GUI applications, sometimes it is nice to not have to scroll around to place components. Also, dual-screen is excellent for keeping documentation in one place and development in another. If there was a single screen with a logical split in the middle, but a much higher pixel count, that would make dual-screen support a moot point.

What about the 3-screen macbook concept [nerdgrind.com] ? If they ditched the ultra-wide pad, it might sell.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36822160)

Seriously? Since when did 1080 become a good thing? I had a 19" 1600x1200 CRT 15 years ago! The f&^$%* HDTV standard seems to have driven real high resolutions screens out of the market.

Re:No. (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822282)

Unix workstation, I assume? I was using 19" 1600x1200 SparcStations nearly 20 years ago. It took ages before using a Windows PC didn't feel like peeking through a keyhole.

Detachable screen + keyboard (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822228)

Give me a screen that can be mounted, placed, or moved up high so I don't have to bend my neck looking downwards at the screen.

Oh, and the keyboard should be detachable, so it can be placed at the proper height for a keyboard (a few inches below normal desk height).

And a real mouse, also at keyboard level, not desk level.

And the screen should either be portrait, or it should be huge.

I think after I'm done, I'd end up with a desktop.

Re:Detachable screen + keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36822398)

no you wouldnt. try the ACER ICONIATAB W50.

Re:No. (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822266)

I have 1080p on my Dell L502x (I really should start using it one of these days. It arrived nearly three weeks ago) and that's a 15" laptop. I'm looking forward to 1080p on 11" laptops or so.

With monitors (non-laptop), the sizes are becoming insane to get decent resolution. My desktop any my sisters desktop (different machines, just in case you wonder) both have 19" LCDs at 1280x1024, which is perfect. Thing is, we both have limited desk space and in the case of my sister, 19" is the largest monitor possible. Try finding a 19" monitor with at least 1280x1024 resolution. It's very hard, because you usually get robbed in the vertical direction and otherwhise you have to settle for less screen real estate. So when her 19" monitor died, we had to find a 19" replacement which turned out to be a pain in the ass and expensive (Compare to other larges screens with more resolution).

23" Full HD monitors can be had for cheap, but that's because of the economies of scale due to HDTVs. At a certain point the monitors become too bulky to use as monitors on a desk. My wifes 27" iMac really is at the maximum size for a desktop usage monitor. It is awesomely huge... Sometimes, I feel it's too huge for her small desk.

Re:No. (1)

alta (1263) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822276)

What 18.5" do you have? I want one. And yes, 21" would be great. I just started working at a new company where everyone has laptops instead of desktops. I'm a developer. I came from having a quad core xeon desktop with 4 monitors, 3 22" and one 26" They didn't know that. I was hired along with 5 other people. We all were issued this *lovely* hp core i3 with a 15"wide that does 1376x200 or or something.

So far from parts I've bought myself I've expanded it with two more monitors and am soon going to get another DisplayLink card to add a 3rd. These aren't nearly as big as what I had before, but it's something.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36822430)

I already have a 18.5 inch and would like bigger.

I hear there are some pills you take to fix that - just look in your email for more details. ;)

Re:No. (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822456)

In fact if they made a 21" macbook pro artists and video editing people would be all over it.

If, and only if, they drive to work (or they are out of work, and at home all day). All the pro artists and video editing people I know, commute into the center of London everyday. I'm not sure if you've actually tried lugging a heavy bag on the tube in the middle of summer, but I can assure you it is not fun in the slightest! I used to lug a 15" XPS around, but even that is simply too big use on a busy rush hour tube train. Resting a 21" laptop on the commuters either side of you, whilst you are dripping in sweat from carrying it down the stairs, just isn't practical in the slightest.

Re:No. (1)

Freultwah (739055) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822636)

There actually is a market for those laptops, resolution notwithstanding: people whose work involves travelling, but also demands serious screen estate while on the road. I'd wager that many touring bands would definitely cough up some cash for that kind of laptop. You know, for recording the shows in multitrack and stuff like that. One screen for monitoring the input, the other for everything else. Combinations galore. Also, I know a few DJs who'd definitely be interested, and some construction engineers I've met would also welcome such an item.

http://www.convert-me.com/en/convert/weight (1)

JamesonLewis3rd (1035172) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821820)

9.921 lbs.

Ugly as hell (1)

ChrisMP1 (1130781) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821824)

This looks like something some stereotypical nerd in a movie would use, just so the writers could make fun of nerds. It's extremely tacky. Would anyone actually buy this?? I've a 17" laptop and it's already pretty unwieldy at times. I just plug it into my monitor with an HDMI cable at home when I want more space...

Re:Ugly as hell (1)

dotbot (2030980) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822404)

I feel like I'm looking at some sort of weird creature, like something from The Thing. A laptop with two screens? It's like someone with two mouths or three eyes... (Don't think it would be as bad if it was one very wide screen.)

4.5 kg isn't so much (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821838)

The whole hype that laptops must weigh next to nothing is silly. If the laptop is your mobile office, and if it is important for work, then 4.5 kg is a tiny amount.

Anyway, if the 4.5 kg laptop means you don't carry 3.5 kg of paper with you anymore (which many business travelers - especially scientists - actually do!), then it makes perfect sense.

For me personally, the laptop screen is always too close and too small. I don't see how this contraption improves that. I guess I will wait until they build a laptop with a rolled up screen that can become two 24'' screens if rolled out. :-)

This spacebook is also a definite nono on an airplane!

Re:4.5 kg isn't so much (2)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821862)

If you move it from your home a couple hundred meters to your car and then a couple hundred meters to your office then it is not very important if it weights 4.5.

If you are a road warrior and drag it with you everywhere then 4.5 kgs can be a lot after a couple of hours.

Re:4.5 kg isn't so much (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822468)

If you move it from your home a couple hundred meters to your car and then a couple hundred meters to your office then it is not very important if it weights 4.5.

If you are a road warrior and drag it with you everywhere then 4.5 kgs can be a lot after a couple of hours.

Speaking of "warriors" that's only a couple grams away from the weight of my M-16 or my gas mask, both of which I hauled everywhere in the field in the 90s (when at base that stuff sat locked up in the armory or NBC cage respectively). In addition to the assorted computer-y thingies which were also very heavy due to TEMPEST shielding, like the 75 pound green 386...

I you wanna talk the talk about "warriors" then you gotta walk the walk, or at least carry the laptop, or something like that.

Another interesting analogy is the "road warriors" may soon require "shield bearers" to help them carry junk. Probably a good job for an intern.

Re:4.5 kg isn't so much (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822532)

A properly designed laptop bag can make that 4.5kg seem completely weightless, though. It's about weight distribution, and how you're carrying that weight. If it's in a briefcase at the end of your arm, then it'll suck. If it's in a shoulder bag that you're wearing on one shoulder, then it'll start to suck after a few hours. If it's in a proper backpack, or at least an across-the-chest messenger bag, then most humans can easily go all day without noticing the extra weight. 4.5kg really isn't that much.

That said, I'm typing this on a 1.5kg ultraportable 13.3" laptop. My main system at home is my former laptop... 17" 1920x1080 with a second 24" 1920x1080 acting as the main screen. The main reason I turned it into a desktop was because it's such a pain in the ass to simply close the lid and carry it somewhere... way too heavy. It's fine when it's all packed away in a laptop bag, but it's a behemoth when you want to just carry it under your arm. So I put the heavy duty desktop replacement laptop as a desktop, and do all my gaming and main development on it, and I bought what's basically an overgrown netbook with a real keyboard to do all the portable stuff on.

Of course... wouldn't the *real* portable solution to this problem be to use an operating system that lets you have multiple desktops, and easily switch between them? I mean, it's not as good as having a multiple screen display, but your eyes can only look at one screen at a time anyway. Since this isn't your permanent work environment, it's a laptop, why not simply alt-tab between the windows containing the information you want, or failing that, keep the windows arranged as you like it on a different desktop that you can switch to using ctrl-alt-left or ctrl-alt-right. Seems a much cheaper way of achieving the same goal, and even if you're stuck in Windows-land there are extensions available to the OS that enable desktop switching. Some of them are even free [sourceforge.net] .

Re:4.5 kg isn't so much (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821952)

I agree. It would make much more sense just to build a modular laptop with a base station, which would consist of the keyboard trackpad, motherboard etc. and then have small thin monitors you can plug in. This way if you only needed 1 monitor on a particular day, you would only have to bring 1 monitor, without all the extra weight. It would probably make sense to have each monitor contain it's own battery, so you aren't carrying extra battery weight when not needed, although it would make charging more cumbersome.You could set up your monitor any way you like, as far or as close as your like. You could probably easliy accommodate 3 or 4 monitors on a single laptop, and you could easily support different screeen sizes, without increasing the size of the base unit. For the standard setup with just a single 14 inch monitor, it would probably be about the same size as a regular laptop. Most people would just be happy with a very portable monitor that has it's own battery. Plug it into the existing VGA or HDMI port on your laptop and you instantly have 2 monitors.

Re:4.5 kg isn't so much (1)

todrules (882424) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822186)

Why even have the monitors built in to the laptop. Why not carry a lightweight laptop, and if you need an extra monitor, Toshiba http://us.toshiba.com/computers/accessories/mobile-monitor/ [toshiba.com] has ultra portable monitors that you can hook up? The laptop and extra monitor probably weigh less than the behemoth in TFA, and you can leave the extra monitor at home for the times that you don't need it.

Re:4.5 kg isn't so much (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822608)

If I hadn't already posted, I could mod this one....

Only downside I see to it is that it's 1366x768. It'd be nice if it had a higher resolution. That said, it's plenty adequate for what it is, and would easily fit in my laptop bag alongside my laptop. Not only would it weigh less (1.3kg for the extra monitor, and 1.5kg for my laptop), it would cost significantly less ($200 for the monitor, and $400 for the laptop). That said, does it work in Linux?

Re:4.5 kg isn't so much (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822648)

Toshiba's portable display is a step in the right direction, but it's too dim unless you use their standalone power supply. And their official external power supply is a cruel joke of an afterthought that was obviously tacked on at the last minute with minimal dedicated design effort. I can understand it being dim when powered by 100mA from a wimpy laptop USB port, but for god's sake, it should AT LEAST be able to take advantage of a proper powered USB hub capable of supplying 500mA per port when available.

An interesting compromise would be if Toshiba chucked the current external PSU they sell, and replaced it with one that's ALSO a universal laptop PSU with a 4 USB ports: 1 for the monitor that uses the fifth pin to confirm to the display that it can supply full power for the display in addition to data, 1 that's a dedicated, data-shorted charging port for phones, and 2 that are proper powered USB ports capable of supplying 500mA. Then you could leave your laptop's official PSU at home, and enjoy the monitor at full brightness along with proper powered USB hub for only slightly more weight and volume than the laptop's original PSU.

Re:4.5 kg isn't so much (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822056)

The whole hype that laptops must weigh next to nothing is silly. If the laptop is your mobile office, and if it is important for work, then 4.5 kg is a tiny amount.

But I am carrying it together with the water cooler and cubicle screens you insensitive clod. Have you heard of the last straw that broke the camel's back?

Re:4.5 kg isn't so much (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822070)

The whole hype that laptops must weigh next to nothing is silly. If the laptop is your mobile office, and if it is important for work, then 4.5 kg is a tiny amount.

Given the amount of physical exercise nowadays, I'd say 4.5 kilos isn't enough. But maybe I'm wrong [blogspot.com] (safe to click)

Re:4.5 kg isn't so much (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822362)

The whole hype that laptops must weigh next to nothing is silly. If the laptop is your mobile office, and if it is important for work, then 4.5 kg is a tiny amount.

You can tell quickly who is ex-military. So, let me get this straight, I've only got to carry 10 pounds, for only a mile or so, in an air conditioned airport? Admittedly this was a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, but back when I was a US Army computer guy, I had one road march well over 15 miles with well over 50 pound backpack on a warm summer day, no exaggeration. And it was up (and down) hills all the way. So carrying a small blade server chassis five miles in normal outside weather on flat ground should not be a big deal for the average civilian?

For a "development desktop replacement" (1)

JBL2 (994604) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821840)

I've found two screens invaluable at work -- try opening an IDE, browser(s), database, code repository, etc. on one screen... no. If you're willing to lug the weight, it sounds great. I wouldn't want to travel with it (and my wife REALLY wouldn't want to travel with it), but I would consider it for "limited mobility" use. With that many cores, it sounds powerful enough to usefully run a database & web server; and connectivity these days is such that you could well have those available on your wireless network anyway.

How about a no-monitor laptop? (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821846)

The main problem I have with my work laptop is actually that it's hard to place on a desk due to the monitor, I'd rather have two VGA/DVI/DP ports than a monitor and one port for an external display. And yeah, the keyboard really wouldn't be needed either, I just want it to be portable in the sense that I can move it between the office and my home office...

Re:How about a no-monitor laptop? (1)

jschen (1249578) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821902)

Sounds like you want an external hard drive. Or a fast network connection.

Re:How about a no-monitor laptop? (2)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822174)

Maybe you should build a mini-itx computer, or even run an RDP or NX server at home and login to it when you're on the road.

Re:How about a no-monitor laptop? (1)

Elros (735454) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822346)

Mac Mini anyone? Admittedly, only one display port, but maybe the next version?

The name indicates the market (1)

malignant_minded (884324) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821848)

Get the Spacebook now and prove your manhood!

*Due to the weight of this laptop it is recommended to be operated in space where the weight will not be a hindrance to the operator, or buck up and be a man about it.

Docking Stations - Hotel TV's (1)

s31523 (926314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821868)

I agree the two monitors is nice, but it's a laptop. TFA points out that carrying a docking station (along with extra monitor) with you is not practical, but neither is carrying a giant 4.5kg brick, plus think of the real estate you will need in a conference room. As far as plugging in at the hotel, I find most hotels I stay at have modern TV's that have VGA/HDMI inputs and I just plug in to the TV for my second monitor, and voila, a dual monitor setup.

My Brilliant Solution (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821872)

I have a laptop. I have a monitor at my home desk that becomes my second monitor. When I am on the road I live with just having the one monitor. Typically on a plane, I wouldn't have space for two monitors anyway.

If I am in a satellite office, I can typically find a second monitor if I want it.

There is likely a market for this laptop, but I don't really see it being large. Most folks who need to travel want to travel light.

Re:My Brilliant Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36822058)

pft, just get a 3D screen (any 120hz computer screen really), put one desktop on each eye and close right eye to see the left desktop and vice versa.

Just need enough pixels, not two monitors (1)

anton.karl (1843146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821890)

I cannot do my work without the two monitor kind of setup where you can easily split your workspace into an actual work area and a documentation area, terminal area, etc. However, this is really about having enough pixels and good shortcuts for positioning windows. I have a 1080p monitor on my 15.6" monitor laptop and using the default window positioning shortcuts in Ubuntu I get my dual monitor feeling without actually having two monitors. Two 17" monitors on a laptop is an overkill for most types of work.

calling ourselves human not good enough now (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821894)

the genocidal holycost is near fruition, as it was written, & re-written as needed for additional theatrical affect. this is what we want/our will?

the wish list is being edited to avoid any complicity in personal confrontation. the mandated disarmament includes the entire planet, & includes no caveats for big fauxking deals.

read the teepeeleaks etchings, before they disappear, again. thanks.

What a silly question. (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821906)

Of course it makes sense... ...if you need a fast computer with lots of screen space in a portable package.

It's a niche, just like ruggedised laptops are a niche. Would you buy one if you didn't need the features? No. You'd be nuts. Would you buy one if you did need those feature? Of course since no other laptop would do the job well.

I personally don't need either at the moment, though I have bought in to both niches in the past.

Oh, just IMHO, but the trend towards thinness is really overrated. I like my eee, but it's not especially thin.

No (5, Insightful)

Zouden (232738) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821922)

No, they don't make sense, because you can buy a 20" screen for $100.

The market for a dual-screen laptop is basically the intersection of these groups:
1. Those who absolutely need two monitors when travelling,
2. Those who aren't willing to pack a second monitor with them but are will to pack a 4.5kg laptop, and
3. Those who are moving around too much to justify buying a second monitor at their destination.
I think that's a pretty small market for an expensive device.

The article says the designer came up with the idea "when he needed a video editing workstation on a 6 month working holiday in Hawaii."
He then says, "I realized one morning that I did not want to haul my desktop and extra monitors around to every hotel for editing with the Adobe suite."
Well, fair enough, so this laptop would be great for him and anyone else on a 6-month video-editing holiday moving from hotel to hotel. But most people tend to stay in one place when working for 6 months, or if they're moving from hotel to hotel, they probably don't need 2 monitors.

If he finds a market for this laptop design, good on him, but to answer the headline's question: no, it doesn't make sense for the rest of us.

Re:No (1, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822216)

No, they don't make sense, because you can buy a 20" screen for $100.

Seriously? Does that $100 monitor fit into the not especially huge laptop case? And how much does it weigh?

1. Those who absolutely need two monitors when travelling,

Fair enough. If I was having to frequently write large amounts of code on-site and was travelling by car, I would certainly consider such a laptop.

2. Those who aren't willing to pack a second monitor with them but are will to pack a 4.5kg laptop, and

Well, that doesn't really shrink the set by much. The barrier for packing a second monitor and setting it up is far higher than packing a huge laptop.

3. Those who are moving around too much to justify buying a second monitor at their destination. ..or those whose destination is not so much under their control, or not in a place likely to have a spare monitor.

I have actually needed a very large screen luggable beast before (dual screens weren't available then) and they make perfect sense given the right condidions.

The article says the designer came up with the idea "when he needed a video editing workstation on a 6 month working holiday in Hawaii."

Yeah, well, that's nutso. Especially the bit about "working holiday".

But it makes perfect sense for anyone doing enough work off site that this is prefereable to lugging a desktop. Just because you don't need that, doesn't mean it doesn't make sense. After all, you probably don't need a toughbook or a PC/104 machine either...

Re:No (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822458)

Ya and you can but a 20" laptop for $3K as well, so what is your point?

Re:No (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822472)

2. Those who aren't willing to pack a second monitor with them but are will to pack a 4.5kg laptop, and

Right, and where AC power isn't available (sometimes laptops are used in the field).

It's a narrow subset of the market, but, hey it's a huge market, so if the company is well-run they should do fine. They should also be able to command whatever price they want, as this market is likely thirsting for such a product.

Tile? (1)

rgviza (1303161) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821934)

How about tile vertically/horizontally? Try it. I think there's absolutely no reason to dual screen a laptop. I'd rather have one big screen.

spare monitor (1)

romco (61131) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821938)

I have a laptop with a 15.6 display and a cheap 15.6 monitor. If I have to work on my laptop I want 2 monitors but if I am just taking it with me to answer emails and surf a little I only want one.

Best of both worlds and way cheaper.

ergonomics (1)

jschen (1249578) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821944)

Having two screens in a laptop won't solve the problem that a laptop inherently has poor ergonomics. Sure, there's lots of screen real estate, but it's not ideally positioned. That, or the keyboard won't be ideally positioned. To me, this setup seems even worse, with no main screen right in front. Though if you insist on that much screen space in a portable package (4.5 kg isn't so bad compared to laptops from a decade ago), I guess this works.

Stupid 16:9 screens (3, Insightful)

kevinmenzel (1403457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36821946)

If they had kept making 4:3 screens then with today's display technology, there's no reason you couldn't have a 2048x1536 laptop. Not quite 2x1080p, but it'd at least have a hope of being standard, and it'd be a hell of a lot better than the single 1080p displays laptops come with these days.

Re:Stupid 16:9 screens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36822306)

I agree completely. My main laptop is 16:10, my netbook and my external monitor are 16:9. For nearly everything I do, an old-fashioned non-wide monitor would be better. The exceptions being watching movies (which I rarely do) and making music in sequencing software, where a wider playlist is quite handy. Unfortunately non-wide monitors are damn near impossible to find. Smaller external monitors are still available, if you look in the "business" segment as opposed to "comsumer" (you have to do that anyway to get a non-glossy screen), but a non-wide laptop is not easy to find. Your options would be very limited.

About TFA, I could totally see myself using one of these if I was on the road a lot but at the moment it's not for me. I would get an external keyboard for it though. To be able to see both screens I would have to place it some distance away from me.

RS232? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36821948)

I would rather see a serial port than an extra screen...

Re:RS232? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822072)

I would rather see a serial port than an extra screen...

If I could... I surely would... Hmm mmm.

Re:RS232? (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822372)

Or you could pay $25 for a USB to RS232 converter? They weigh essentially nothing, and work fine in all major OSes (you have to be a tiny bit careful in picking them for Linux/Mac, but plenty work on everything).

Laptop? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822006)

At what point do we stop calling these huge things "laptop" and start calling them "luggable"?
The point of a laptop is that it can sit on top of your lap. Machines like this really aren't made for that purpose; they're basically desktop machines that are easy to carry around.

Two Screens? (1)

Afty0r (263037) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822018)

You guys do know what Alt-Tab does in Windows, right? right?

Re:Two Screens? (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822112)

Yes, we know.

Alt-Tab is for obscuring one part of what you're working on. You get to choose which part to block.

virtual desktops (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822254)

I use VirtuaWin on WinXp for virtual desktops, and works pretty well for me.

Re:virtual desktops (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822298)

I use desktops.exe on XP you can download it from MS's website, instant 4 screens and I dont need to lug 10lbs

Re:Two Screens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36822320)

you mean the porn-panic button combo for when my boss walks in?

For some people it might make sense... but (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822022)

For some people it might make sense... but for a lot of people wouldn't it be better to carry a single screen laptop and carry an extra monitor for the times you actually need it?

Re:For some people it might make sense... but (1)

p0p0 (1841106) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822318)

That's exactly what this is, except you don't need any additional cables or cases for the second monitor. Woo!

Tablet as Monitor (1)

ThomasFlip (669988) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822024)

You can currently hook up a tablet to your laptop as a second monitor. My understanding is that depending on the software your using though, it can be a bit laggy. It would be nice if someone decided to design a tablet specifically for use in conjunction with a laptop.

Does anyone know what the best laptop/tablet solution is?

cheap jerseys online (-1, Offtopic)

charlin30 (2395368) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822038)

The NFL lock that usually offseason analysis of each group them in and out. But, lockout, the league will still be fast shipping MLB Jerseysa little more-hope in the regular season forward start time on September 8. In labor deadlock, USA today will focus on the return to the field is broken each team five big problem facingCheap MLB Jerseys For Sale the 2011 season. Up today: The Dallas Cowboysmajestic jerseys cheap . 1. Is Tony Romo capable of being a championship quarterback? TheMLB Jerseys Free Shipping newly married Romo, 31, faces a critical season. He must show he is more than a passer who puts up gaudy statistics that ultimately do not lead to titles. The former undrafted free agent enjoyed a strong individual start in 2010, completing 69.5% of his passes for 1,605 yards with 11 TDs and seven INTs (94.9 rating) before he fractured his left clavicle in Week 7. But his early season Cheap Wholesale Jerseys Online performance did not prevent Dallas from a woeful start to a season that began with expectations that the Cowboys might become the first team to host a Super Bowl while also playing in it. In fairness to Romo, Dallas won the NFC East in 2009 when he also notched his first postseason win with a 34-14 rout of the Eagles in the wild-card round. But a lopsided 34-3 road loss at Minnesota followed and renewed questions about his ability to win big games. Romo holds a 1-3 playoff record, a blemish that does not sit well with fans of "America's Team" now that they've endured a 12-year Super Bowl drought. 2. Does Dallas have the right head coach in Jason Garrett? OwnerCheap Jerseys Online Jerry Jones may hold that answer. If he truly entrusts the decision-making to Garrett -- if he puts his ego aside and allows this to be the coach's team -- there is reason to believe the Cowboys are in excellent hands. Dallas went 5-3 after the no-nonsense Garrett took over a club that was no longer responding to more mild-mannered Wade Phillips in losing seven of its first eight games in 2010 despite the rampant preseason Super Bowl chatter. Three of the five victories that came after Garrett Wholesale Nfl Jerseyswas initially hired on an interim basis occurred against teams that finished with 10 regular-season wins. The three losses were by a combined seven points. Garrett's offense finished in the top seven in the NFL (based on total yardage) in three of his four seasons as coordinator. Now he and Jones must forge a strong working relationship if the entireCheap jerseys For Sale team is to realize similar success. 3. Should Dallas be concerned about WR Dez Bryant? There is no doubt about Bryant's talent. He produced 45 for 561 yards and six capture and treatment based on syndromefast shipping nba jerseysdifferentiation as a rookie in broke his right fibula what happened last season. He bought a physical factors, proved hard to take down attack in catch. He is easy to become a star... Or he can easily be another first round draft choice never fulfilled his massive potential. This is not a cheap mlb jerseysgood start, because it often need to remind him of his team-mates in the huddle responsibility in a script. Worse, the behavior of the season he points to a young man who has fame and wealth but perhaps not mature to handle it. (he was charged with free jewelry bill, tie up to the police work in a high-grade Dallas mall so low that the wear pants and underwear andnfl jerseys for sale show the description, "golden period" saunders decided he would not as his mentor.) Sanders, discussing kobe Bryant, told the Atlanta radio station, and the receiver surrounded some negative effect. He also said, "a lot of people don't know. 4. How did Dallas fare in the draft? It appears as if Jones and the rest of his front office made a series of solid decisions, starting with the selection of T cheap nba jerseys for saleTyron Smith ninth overall. The USC standout is the first offensive lineman chosen in the first round since Jones took control of the team in 1989. Smith could establish himself as an immediate starter on the right side -- if he can displace Marc Colombo, 32 -- and bring an infusion of youth to a line in urgent need of it. It may help down the road that the Cowboys added G David Arkin from Missouri State in the fourth round. The success of the entire draft couldMLB Jerseys Online Free Shipping hinge on the health of LBBruce Carter. The club viewed him as a first-round talent and was delighted that he was available to them 40th overall in Round 2. He was still in the board after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery necessitated by the left ACL tear he suffered last November. Carter recently estimated he is 85% healed. New defensive coordinator Wholesale Jersey For SaleRob Ryan believes Carter has the versatility to line up at various positions to enhance the pass rush. He was also a special teams standout at North Carolina. 5. What is left to be done? majestic jerseys cheap [jerseysgo.net] NBA Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] NFL Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] MLB Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] NHL Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] Youth MLB Majestic Jerseys New York Yankees [jerseysgo.net] NFL [jerseysgo.net] Cheap NFL Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] Wholesale Nfl Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] nfl jerseys cheap [jerseysgo.net] Dallas Cowboys Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] cheap mlb jerseys [jerseysgo.net] nfl jerseys for sale [jerseysgo.net] nba chicago bulls #23 jordan regular red [jerseysgo.net] Cheap Wholesale Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] cheap jerseys online [jerseysgo.net] NHL Hockey Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] MLB Baseball Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] NBA Basketball Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] Philadelphia Phillies Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] customized nfl jerseys [jerseysgo.net] nfl cheap jerseys [jerseysgo.net] authentic jerseys [jerseysgo.net] Colorado Rockies Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] NFL Football Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] Cheap Wholesale Jerseys online [jerseysgo.net] Colorado Rockies Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] Minnesota Twins Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] New York Yankees Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] Toronto Blue Jays Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] Tampa Bay Rays Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] San Francisco Giants Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] New York Mets Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] Boston Red Sox Jerseys [jerseysgo.net] Atlanta Braves [jerseysgo.net] Majestic Athletic [jerseysgo.net] Dallas must make it a priority to sign, and liver beans from a strong movement. Free Adams. Flozell replace long-term firm cowboys Jerseys Online Free Shippingfranchise will not label, leading to speculation free both close to agreeing on a new contract before beginning. ... In addition, the team is very fragile security has DuoNian....... The good news is, quality can safeties might through the free agent. Donte Whitner, Eric and Dashon Goldson d in potential solutions. See photos of: NFL, Dallas Cowboys, Tony Romo, Jerry JonesNBA Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys MLB Jerseys NHL Jerseys

I'd rather my tablet could be used as a 2nd screen (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822088)

or even my phone.

I'm not using them when I'm on my PC... They might as well do something useful !

Re:I'd rather my tablet could be used as a 2nd scr (1)

Guidii (686867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822698)

There's a product called MaxiVista [maxivista.com] that will do this for you. Haven't tried it myself, but it seems cool.

Ew. (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822096)

That is by far the most hideous laptop I've ever laid eyes on. Even my old one with it's cracked and busted screen would be preferred over that.

Well, that's not a 'lap-top' (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822098)

That's not a laptop anymore, when it's that big and heavy.

But I am scared that at some point my SyncMaster 2493HM [hothardware.com] may go out, because where the hell can one get a good screen on this planet again with 1920x1200 resolution, good contrast, tiny pitch, every port one ever thought of for a screen?

What's a Bing? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822154)

This is the type of thing that's going to end up on one of those "10 stupidest gadgets that never caught on" lists in 10 years. Everyone will look at that demo picture and wonder "What's a Bing?"

Re:What's a Bing? (1)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822234)

I just wonder why someone would spend all that money on a laptop with two displays and have Bing in both of them...Or one of them.

Overkill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36822168)

An overkill is still a kill

Duel Display when you need it. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822184)

Having 1 monitor for a laptop is good, and allowing for external monitors to be hooked up is ideal. If you are at your desk and ready to get real work done you hook up your external displays, and you good. Otherwise you are either on the move or in some location where you probably just need to do some quick tasks where one display is sufficient.

I'm sure they make sense to someone (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822194)

...who, like the inventor, regularly has to do screen real-estate-intensive work "on the road" ...for example, on-location video editing, where two screens are particularly useful. If there are enough people in that category, good luck to the product.

However, for anybody who spends more time working at their desk than on the road, 2 x 17" is a bit small (...and they look like 1080p monitors to me) - I'd fancy something rather bigger for my main screen, and for the price premium of a dual screen laptop you could probably equip both home and office with a 26" display. I quite like the combination of a 13" laptop (for true portability) and a 28" display.

What's particularly annoying, though, is the MS Office "ribbon" concept infecting new software - particularly c.f. the previous version of Mac Office which used a floating palette. Pin a load of clutter to the top of the window just when everybody is being pushed to 16:9 displays? Brilliant.

Just use an iPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36822386)

I use my iPad as a secondary display for my macbook. Works well over wifi and is snappy for non-video/game requirements.

It depends (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822412)

If you use a laptop just like a desktop replacement, then it'd make some sense.
But if you use a laptop as a ... ehm ... portable computer sitting atop your laps, then it doesn't.
Two screens means twice screen consumption, heavier laptop etc.etc.

Keyboard (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822438)

Now all they need to do is have a fold out keyboard and laptops don't have to be so annoying.

I think this is the technology of the future, that way laptops can continue to get smaller but have the same or bigger screen size.

Apple anyone? (1)

PARENA (413947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822652)

Maybe Apple will make one, claim they are innovators, patent it and sue everyone using more than 1 screen. :P Seriously, though. I don't see this going anywhere if it isn't as portable as regular laptops can be now. But the first ones were not that portable, either and things seem to go way faster, so if there really is a market for it, who knows.

It's a washer-tumble dryer (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36822694)

It's like a washer-tumble-dryer. Twice as much to break, twice the cost when it does, little advantage (except space) over having two the separate things.

Laptops have a high screen-damage rate - about 50% of the ones that I see die do so because of:

- Broken plastics on the screen corners making it vulnerable
- Broken hinges
- Broken screens
- Broken backlights.

They've managed to take the most vulnerable, power-hungry and costly part of the laptop and double its vulnerability, power needs and cost so that people can save themselves a window resize or an Alt-Tab.

And they are laptops - if you're using one, it's because you need to move it a lot, use it away from power sources and desks and spaces you can unfold stuff in, or a pretentious ponce who thinks they look better on your desk than the one-quarter-of-the-price desktop that out-specs it.

Now, if you'd have said two hard drives, there would be people tearing your arms off to get it. Two displays? Hell, I don't even use dual displays at home or in the office, why would I bother on a laptop where it's the most expensive and ridiculously dangerous device on which to try to juggle two screens?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>