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Displays Portables Hardware

Do Two-Screen Laptops Make Sense? 262

Posted by Soulskill
from the cornering-the-conjoined-twin-market dept.
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?"
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Do Two-Screen Laptops Make Sense?

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  • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @08:18AM (#36821796) Homepage

    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.

  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zouden (232738) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @08:32AM (#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.

  • by kevinmenzel (1403457) <kevinmenzel@ g m ail.com> on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @08:34AM (#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:No. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @08:38AM (#36821988)
    +6 Insightful, brother.

    Roll on 17" 300+ppi displays. It's pixel density which needs to increase, not screen size.
  • Re:No (Score:2, Insightful)

    by serviscope_minor (664417) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @09:00AM (#36822216) Journal

    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:10 pounds (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @09:42AM (#36822686)
    Mass. You still have mass. Not weight. The weight is gone, the mass remains.
  • Re:10 pounds (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TCPhotography (1245814) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @10:06AM (#36822952)

    You have both. Weight is the acceleration due to gravity times mass. The fact that the station is orbiting the Earth instead of flying off means that is under the effect of Earth's gravity and therefor has weight. The acceleration due to gravity is roughly 8.8 to 8.9 m/(s) at the altitude the station orbits at. The difference is that the station is moving fast enough to fall to the ground, but miss.

    This message brought to you by someone who tutors college physics.

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