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Dual Screen/Display Laptop 188

Posted by michael
from the double-the-vaporware dept.
DrFishstik writes "A friend of mine sent me a link to his uncle's startup, featuring dual screen laptops. Literally, two LCDs! It is a really interesting design, and in (as far as I know) the late beta stages. Could be a real boon for video developers or web designers on the go down the road..."
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Dual Screen/Display Laptop

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  • Cool (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kajakske (59577) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:21AM (#4960128) Homepage Journal
    Now they can actually bring out electronic books which you can read in your bed. You even have the same lay-out (2 pages at once) ...

    However, you'd have to hold it. For some uses this is better, but for others, the conventional positioning is much easier.

    We'll see what it gives, I guess.
    • Yes, they have the same layout. And in fact there already is a dedicated eBook reading device (ie. without the general capabilities of a laptop) with the same layout. However, I fail to see how this book-style layout is actually appropriate for reading an ebook - it doesn't seem to give any advantage over a single "page". (This might be different for other purposes, though.)
    • Not cool... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by slashuzer (580287)
      I don't think it is wise to buy ANY LCD product right now. The industry is poised for terrific leaps in term of better resolution and lower switch times for LCD displays. The LCD display we'll be getting a year from now will be far superior to anyhing commercially available. I know I am putting of my purchase :).

      Secondly, this is ah-ok as far as concept demonstration is concerned...but you don't need dual displa to read in book format. THe most common readers like Adobe Acrobat reader already have options to sort pages as continous-facing. So you can read in book format comfortably on a single display as well. Just one more year....sigh/me can't wait!

      • Hmmm ...

        That's a common thought that I belive to be right but irrelevant.
        Every computer item you buy now for an insane price will be available and better and cheaper in 1 year's time. But in 1 year, you can say the exact same thing, keeping posponing the purchase infinitly, which isn't any good.
    • Re:Cool (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ackthpt (218170) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @11:25AM (#4960387) Homepage Journal
      Now they can actually bring out electronic books which you can read in your bed.

      I suggest trying to read something on a conventional laptop, in bed, before speculating what a boon this would be. I find laptops to be difficult at best for reading. Try a palm-size computer. Even my ultra-slim Sony VAIO comes in at 2 pounds and generates considerable heat.

      I worry about cooking the CPU when resting it on insulative materials, like a comforter. In the summer I occasionally receive a mild burn if I set it on my knees while wearing shorts.

      Further, it's unwieldy if you shift position as often as I do, usually I read on my side or back, and a 4 oz. paperback or magazine still works best. Further, it doesn't require batteries. :o)

      For dual screens, it's great for development takes place on one and preview uses the other screen. Probably good for demoing where control requires one screen and display on the other.

      • my 4.9 lb iBook generates no perceptable heat.
        • "my 4.9 lb iBook generates no perceptable heat."

          Hardly conclusive. Mac users have no sense!
          • but I swear that it stays in Linux and only reboots for watching DVDs(would have to reboot unidescsi to watch DVDs on combo drive anyways) and playing games.
            • "but I swear that it stays in Linux and only reboots for watching DVDs(would have to reboot unidescsi to watch DVDs on combo drive anyways) and playing games."

              Heh calm down. Actually Apple laptops are quite attractive. I think most PC users would agree that Apple laptops have features they are quite envious of, myself included. Unfortunately, thanks to Apple's 'Switch' campaign, I feel like my purchase of a Mac would make people think I'm too stupid to operate a PC.
  • by DavittJPotter (160113) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:23AM (#4960132) Homepage Journal
    One comment and it's already unavailable... How about "Dual Web Servers for Load Balancing"?
  • This would be great for business use or educational use when researching. I'm amazed no one came up with this before.
  • UGH... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I am so not going back to that website after it attempted to install some comet cursor rubbish. Spyware, stay away.
  • I want one (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fozzy(pro) (267441) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:25AM (#4960142)
    So like this is the best of the previous dual screen latops mentioned here and a tablet. Imagine having a slide of what you are discussing on one side notes on the other...genuine notebook style. Would help me alot in school and work. Also much better nt lugging many notebooks in snow.
  • This doesn't look like that much more of screen space that a true dual screen set-up would provide. I just looks like they're trying to cater to those with desktop dual screen setups without really providing what it's implying.

    And why do the images on the front page say "click for larger TIFF images" when they bring up JPGs. Sounds like some dual screen elitist crap.
    • And why do the images on the front page say "click for larger TIFF images" when they bring up JPGs. Sounds like some dual screen elitist crap.

      The images (which don't say anything) have a caption that says, 'Click Image to Enlarge'. Clicking the image does indeed give a larger .jpg but clicking on the link below the caption, which says, 'Click here for Large TIFF image' gives a .tif image.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Just what the doctor ordered.

    Be the envy of your classmates with twice the pr0n.
  • by edgarde (22267) <slashdot@surlygeek.com> on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:25AM (#4960146) Homepage Journal
    The Xentex Voyager [xentex.com] is already available as far as I know. I covet the Linux version they claim they're developing drivers for. $5000 tho.
    • by SirSlud (67381) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:37AM (#4960209) Homepage
      Dude, putting that thing away is origami!

      There's an important distinction here. This dual LCD puppy (its very cool, maybe somebody else has made one before) is the closest thing, interface wise, to an electronic book as I've seen.
      • This dual LCD puppy (its very cool, maybe somebody else has made one before) is the closest thing, interface wise, to an electronic book as I've seen.

        Yes, there have been others, the only difference is that the others I've seen run a proprietary OS and can only be books. Without a keyboard, it's not clear how much can be done with this device.

        However, I see this attitude about bookiness and dual pages all the time, and it bugs me. Why is it that people seem to think that having two pages makes an electronic device more like a book? The fact that you tend to look at two pages at a time with paper books is an artifact of their construction and the fact that it's efficient to print on both sides of each piece of paper, not because there's any inherent advantage to seeing two pages at a time.

        In fact, for an e-book used to read novels, two-page displays have a signnificant disadvantage: You need two hands to hold them. A smaller, single-screen device can be held with one hand. Sure, you only have to "turn" the pages half as often with a two-screen device, but with, for example, the Gemstar or Rocket e-books(*), turning the page takes just a twitch of the thumb on the hand holding the book.

        With reference materials, I can see an advantage to dual-screen books: the ability to display pages from different parts of a document or even different documents, to correlate their contents. However, being limited to displaying only two such pages is a problem: how many of you have ever sat on the floor surrounded by five opened textbooks, with assorted ad-hoc bookmarks marking several pages within each? Very useful. I suppose the effect could be approximated more compactly by an electronic device with the ability to define a number of tabs or buttons that jump instantly to a particular location in a particular document. If you have that, though, the advantage of dual screens mostly evaporates.

        Further, a dual-screen device is going to be heavier, have more moveable (and breakable!) parts, be more awkward in tight spaces and generall more of a pain to work with.

        Nope, even though paper books show two pages at a time, electronic books gain nothing and lose much by trying to mimic paper too closely.

        (*) I own two Rocket e-Books. The first I got three years ago and have used so heavily that I beat the poor thing nearly to death, so a few weeks ago I acquired another, used, device that is in good condition. The ability to read anytime, anywhere -- in the dark, while exercising, while eating, at the beach, in the shower, etc., -- coupled with the ability to carry a half dozen novels at all times in one compact package is simply fantastic, and far superior to paper in nearly every respect. The only disadvantages I've found are: (1) no reading during takeoff and landing, which is pure silliness, but what can you do? and (2) extended trips to locations without power. The battery will last for several days, but on a week-long backpacking trip, for example, the battery would die. Not that I've taken any such trips; getting babysitters for that long is essentially impossible.

        • Despite a joystick being repeatedly proven to offer better control to the driver, we still drive cars with steering wheels. Why? Because thats what humans are used to.

          Books are indeed subject to the physical and mechanical contraints on their manufacture. But now people are used to books. They like books. They know how they work. They seem familliar.

          Thus, any limitations of the physical manifestation of a 'book' are superceded by the familliarity people have with them. Put simply, adoption of technology often heavily depends on how small a learning curve there is to become familiar with said new technology. Its in the ebook industry's interest to get people using ebooks (using a computer similar to a regular book), and then improving on the design over time rather rather than simply trying to develop a technology who places its chances on success soley on progressive engineering rather than familiarity of interface/design.

          Why do you think segways get made so much fun of? Why do you think they called it the 'horseless carrige'? New technology needs to harken to the technology its meant to replace or it simply doesn't often succeed.
          • So what?

            If you're moving from paper to an electronic device, you have to get past the familiarity issue, because no electronic device will be just like paper. Given that you're choosing to learn something new, why saddle yourself with a great deal of annoyance just to retain one small measure of similarity?

            In this case, I think it's *not* in the ebook industry's best interest to try to entice people with dual-page books. Why? Becuase they're a pain in the neck! They're better off giving people something that's a little more different but much more usable. Otherwise, they're likely to decide that there just aren't enough benefits to ebooks to outweigh the disadvantages

    • Dual-page display on a laptop with a comfortably-sized keyboard? This thing is a technical writer's wet dream.

    • All they've done there is make a big laptop with a bar down the middle of the screen. What's the good in that!?! Why not just have a single big ass screen? Dell, Apple, Gateway, even AlienWare ... they've all already made such devices, and they're not $5000. I haven't been able to see the laptop featured by this article, but surely it's better than this thing.
  • Glue 2 laptops together and network them. Not only do you have a dual screen, but you also have a beowulf cluster.
  • From the pictures, it sure looks like it has two screen, but I don't see a keyboard. So is looks like an even more niche version of the already too niche market tablet PC.
  • Finally! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Bowie J. Poag (16898)


    Finally! A laptop with extra GAY!!! :)

    Cheers,

  • dang... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Shymon (624690) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:28AM (#4960160)
    well i had money i left over for christmas. yet another toy i must somehow justify getting.

    how can a free news source indirectly end up taking all my free cash?

  • Posted Friday Jun 28. Although the new one looks nicer.

    http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/06/28/1610 24 7&mode=thread&tid=137

  • I think your friend does not like his uncle very much, a good way to take revenge.. slashdot the startup to the dot com heaven.... my god.. people can be paranoid ;-)
    • Personally, if I was running a tech start up, being slashdotted could be the best thing to ever happen. Lot's of free publicity in your target market is a Good Thing (tm). Hell, you can even read the comments for some of the best feedback you will ever get, from people who generally know what they are talking about.

      You can't buy a service like this anywhere!

  • Anyone else remember Inspector Gadget? As soon as I saw pictures of this, it's what I immediately thought of. Looks interesting. If someone could write a version of Ghostview that could display a page on each screen, it would be a nice e-book reader.
  • This seems fairly reminiscent of the e-book which flopped horribly, and with no keyboard in dual screen mode (unless you cary one around) I don't see how this will be useful for web designers, or for that matter, anyone who types code.
  • ...Dual processor, dual screen, with extra mouse and keyboard... and genuinely detachable! Given that the price of a notebook is almost all the price of its LCD screen, I don't see this as very exciting. Why don't you simply buy two small laptops and an ethernet cable? I'll bet it will be cheaper.
  • Uncle Estari? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by eingram (633624)
    An interesting feature would be turn it sideways (so it looks like a traditional laptop) and one screen displays an on-screen keyboard so you could at least type somewhat normal.

    You could almost pull it off with Windows 2000/XP on-screen keyboard, but it's too small and doesn't rotate 90 degrees.
    • Well now that the page kinda loads (at least for me), I can see that it has an on-screen keyboard, but I don't know if it's a custom application or not. So nevermind. ;P
  • hehe, web developers on the move. Am i the only one who finds that a shade strange? Video producers, yes. Sound engineers, certainly. Web developers? Hmmmm. If you are web developer who works on the move, please reply and prove me wrong!
    • It's easy when you have to show a (pre) design to a client. However, normal portables do that too, so no reason to buy this yet.

      But ANY portable comes in handy for a webdesigner, believe me. You don't want to show your website developed for 800x600 screens on some clients computer which can only handle 640x480, been there, done that.
      • your website developed for 800x600 screens

        Granted I don't design web pages (I'm a programmer), but am I the only one here who thinks this is just wrong to design for a particular screen resolution?

        • Sure, ... But you have to set a minimum, which in my case is 800x600 (99% of the internet users are either on it or above it :p).
          You just can't get any content on 640x480. It still worked on his PC, no doubt, but he saw like only the menu + very little content, for more he had to scroll down enourmously.

          But yeah, bigger resulotions will just show more without scrolling, I will never make sites fixed on 800px width (unless the client wants it :p).
          • 99% of the internet users are either on it or above it

            I guess it sucks when the client is in that other 1%, eh? My favorite in a related category would have to be the Netscape 4.77 preferences dialog, which was bigger than 640x480, or at least so big that the buttons hung below the visible area, and not resizable.

        • "Granted I don't design web pages (I'm a programmer), but am I the only one here who thinks this is just wrong to design for a particular screen resolution?"

          As a programmer, you should understand the value of making sure the user doesn't have to jump through too many hoops. If your user has to scroll around the page to get at the info he/she wants, then you've introduced a UI problem.
          • If your user has to scroll around the page ... then you've introduced a UI problem

            That's exactly what I'm talking about - I can't stand web pages that make assumptions about the browser window width and have a horizontal scroll bar - often at all but very large window sizes (didn't this come up again and again in the discussion of the Top Ten Web-Design Mistakes of 2002 [slashdot.org] article?)

            To me, one of the great things about HTML is that it's a markup language, not a layout language. Hence, browswers will automatically word-wrap basic HTML. However, I appreciate the problem of web designers who are saddled with this legacy when they're trying to implement layout on top of a language that doesn't really support it except through brutish hacks like 1x1 invisible images and fixed-width tables.

            • " I can't stand web pages that make assumptions about the browser window width and have a horizontal scroll bar..."

              As a web designer, one of the things I liked about Flash was that it was rescalable. It even did an anti-aliasing pass if your computer was fast enough. I had hopes that people would design their sites with it so that they could choose their formatting, but it'd work in any sized window.

              Pity they felt they needed to add intros to their site with it instead.
  • Sorry guys and gals, but I've already been here and do all that. Had two laptops rigged together, with both display inwards, but used a smaller laptop with keyboard as one side of the book (see ASCII style illustration)... Words surprisingly well, but weighs too much. It's not new tech, but if the interface should not be a standard desktop one but a seriously enhanced system to allow better multi-tasking... the hardware's cool, but the software will make/break it. ___ ___ | || | | || | |key|| | |___||___| Conclusion: Niche Only! Most people would like to be delivered from temptation but would like it to keep in touch - Robert Orben
  • by Gyan (6853) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:46AM (#4960240)
    a virtual menage-a-trois for the sex-starved geeks.
  • by WIAKywbfatw (307557) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:49AM (#4960254) Journal
    A friend of mine sent me a link to his uncle's startup...

    Translation: "Go look there and buy those puppies! Buy two! Buy as many as you can! Cos when my friend's uncle sees the amount of sales I've generated for him he's gonna have to give me a couple of these to play with and put me on the payroll too! Sweet!"

    (Or, alternatively, he might just get pissed at you for /.ing his server.)

    Seriously, I appreciate that this is /., where editors fall for even the most obvious of hoaxes but would it be asking too much if someone was to tone down the number of free ads/informercials we see disguised as genuine news stories? This isn't even a shipping product yet! It's still in development!

    OK, it's the holidays and I've had more than I usually would have to drink in the last couple of days but would it really kill the /. editors to edit?
    • by malakai (136531)
      Seriously, I appreciate that this is /., where editors fall for even the most obvious of hoaxes but would it be asking too much if someone was to tone down the number of free ads/informercials we see disguised as genuine news stories? This isn't even a shipping product yet! It's still in development!


      The fact it isn't even shipping yet, and is still in development, is what makes this a more intresting than usual Slashdot article.

      If it was proven technology and had been shipping for a year, then your comments would be justified.

      -malakai
    • "Seriously, I appreciate that this is /., where editors fall for even the most obvious of hoaxes but would it be asking too much if someone was to tone down the number of free ads/informercials we see disguised as genuine news stories? This isn't even a shipping product yet! It's still in development!"

      How can it be a free ad if it's still in development? Wouldn't that be called news at that point? heh

      I mean seriously, who cares if it's a free ad? If it's cool and it's interesting, let us worry about whether or not we want to buy one.
  • by GC (19160) <giles@coochey.net> on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:50AM (#4960257)
    It's strange to see that manufacturers now believe that you don't need a keyboard on your notebook PCs.

    Does it feature a remote keyboard?
    Am I expected to carry around a USB keyboard?
    Does this thing have super-standard, alien quality speech recognition?

    It's fine to see a blonde sitting at a desk playing with a stylus, but the mojority of work still requires a keyboard these days.
    • by nounderscores (246517) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:56AM (#4960283)
      I guess that if you rotate the device 90 degrees, so one screen is lying flat on the table, you could have the "onscreen" keyboard be where you would expect a normal laptop keyboard to be.

      Or if you were an artist, you could have a colour picker where you would expect an oil pallet to be.

      Imagine being able to switch from querty to devorak at a software toggle, *and have all the little letters on the keyboard change automatically!* yay

      or not. maybe the best use of rotating the thing 90 degrees would be to pop up custom arcade controllers on demand, or startrek style "follow my finger" sliding bar controls.
      • Yeah, all that sounds 1337 and all, but have you ever actually tried to use such things to do more than casual websurfing or similar?

        Even if you make the bottom screen touch-sensitive so you can `type' on it, it would be a pain in the ass (and the fingers) to type even so much as this short /. post on.

        Besides, as other posters point out, what's the point in having dual displays, if one of them is just going to be used to display a fake keyboard or arcade controls or whatever?

        (BTW, speaking as one who plays emulated arcade games on a PC, I need buttons I can bang on when playing Galaga or Gyruss, just like in the arcade. What sort of LCD panel could take that abuse?)

        This thing looks like a misguided attempt to impose a familiar metaphor (2 pages side-by-side like a regular paper book) on a new medium, where it doesn't fit at all. I can't see any benefit at all in using this even as a book reader that displays 2 pages.

        On the other hand, having 2 displays *and* a keyboard can be amazingly useful. I bet if you were willing to learn to use a Twiddler (one-handed chording keyboard) this thing would be usable. Unfortunately, the Twiddler only comes in one size, and some of us have big hands...
      • I wonder how important tactile feedback is for the user? It seems very important to most of us, but we've been typing that way for years or decades. Would someone who never learned a standard keyboard think that an lcd keyboard with no tactile feedback was as easy to use as a regular keyboard?
      • I've never seen a touchscreen that could detect multiple simultaneous touches in a reconfigurable manner.

        So, sure, you could have an onscreen keyboard. But you couldn't hold the shift key while you pressed another key. And you couldn't rest your fingers anywhere on the screen. There are touchscreen keyboards, but they divide up the surface into a million individual touchscreens, and none of those touchscreens can move.

        You know the touchscreen scrollwheels on some PC laptops? Those are implemented in hardware. If I understand correctly, there can be no shareware app that does that for a generic touchpad.

        So yes, I like your idea. I just don't think this thing could do it.
      • But an onscreen touch keyboard would really suck for real typing. Seems a pity to have a system with this potential saddled with a "keyboard" worse than an old Sinclair ZX-81 or Atari 400.
  • I really think that a TabletPC with a dual screen would be better than a laptop. Also a dual screen PDA would be really cool - you flip the display - it still fits fine in your pocket but you get more screen real estate.
    • Yeah, but the space you gain (screen twice the size) is kinda lost with the keybourd you loose ... You'd either have to display one on the screen (loosing screen space) or carry an external one around (yeah, well, ... Extra space in the pocket/bag) ...
  • by bfree (113420)
    I've been looking at thesse comments and the linked article for about 5 minutes now and I still don't see what this has to do with GNU/Free Software?
    Do people do things differently around here after Christmas or what?
  • Spec sheet (Score:5, Informative)

    by Alien54 (180860) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @11:03AM (#4960306) Journal
    Estari Inc., 1800 PaxtonStreet, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17104-2826
    Phone: 717-233-1518Toll Free: 800-430-1518 Fax: 717-233-2774
    www.estari.com - www.dualscreen.com- info@estari.com - Estari, Inc. 10/2002

    Specifications subject to change without notice.

    Dual Touch-Screenswith On-Screen KeyboardUltra Low Voltage Mobile Intel Pentium III Processor 800 MHz or Higher
    Windows XP -Windows 2000
    30GB Hard Disk DriveLow Profile
    40GB Hard Disk DriveLow Profile
    Dual XGA Color TFT Active Matrix Display (1024 x 768) 13.3" or 15" both busines and pro models
    Audio ControllerAC 97 SoundBlaster Emulation Supported
    Memory 256MB Expandable to 1GB
    Estari FileScout Professional Document Management Software
    Estari FileScout Publisher Document Management Software
    (includes 1000 noroyalty publishes)
    Mini PCI Type IIISlot for Wireless, Bluetooth and other uses 1 ea.- 2 ea.Pro models
    Smart Card Slot -Pro models
    IEEE 1394 Port Pro models
    Type I or Type II PCMCIA Slots 1 ea.
    USB Ports 3 ea.
    Quad Multifunction Programmable Input Control Buttons 2 ea
    RJ11/45 Port 1 ea.
    Stereo Speakers and Headphone Jack / Line-In / Microphone 1 ea
    Light Weight Smart Lithium Polymer Battery 2 ea.
    Compact Flash 1 ea
    Internal CD/CDRW/DVD(Fits into 2nd battery slot) optional, - included with Pro models
    External Battery Charger optional
    External CD-ROM Drive optional
    External Combination DVD/CD-RW Drive optional
    Wireless Keyboard optional
    Docking Station/Stand optional
    Travel Carrying Case optional

    • I don't see a price or Windows XP Tablet addition on the spec. sheet. Looks like it's only available with windows XP Pro. I would be interested if it came with tablet edition.
  • According to this press release [dualscreen.com], the dual-screen computer uses Phoenix FirstBIOS, which includes a web browser that competes against a web browser based on the Mozilla code [mozilla.org].

  • by RyLaN (608672)
    2 screens means twice as many blue-screens! isnt that cool? now we can crash our *favorite* with the same ie bug twice in one boot up!!
    seriously, are they using a special version of windows? none of the joe user releases ive seen have multi-monitor support...
  • That's going to be the next big thing, I'd think. Once we have fuel cell laptops hitting the street, I think we'll be able to see enough juice being pumped into the machines so they'll have enough power to make dual processor laptops a reality.

    I'd almost bet that Apple will be the first company to put dual processors in a mainstream laptop like the Powerbook. That would be one way to combat the megahertz myth (and reality) with the kind of flair that only Apple can do.
    • what you benefit from dual cpu's?
      it's not that you buy laptops for heavy duty math.

      as far as speed goes laptops are quick enough(when compared to desktop). but user interaction is still a pain sometimes(input/output).
      • what you benefit from dual cpu's? it's not that you buy laptops for heavy duty math.

        This depends entirely on how one uses their laptop.

        My laptop has been by workstation for years now. I just ordered a new 1.3GHz to replace my 333MHz. Use it to surf, compile, read email, etc.

        Not because it's a laptop does it mean that you have to take it everywhere. Just means that you can when really necessary.

        Having a dual-proc laptop would be nice. Just as having a dual-proc regular workstation would be cool.

        That's probably not going to happen though, not unless you can turn one proc on and off on the fly to save battery.

    • um lets see...

      dual cpus in a laptop == somewhat faster in some applications

      yeah, they will take the world by storm

  • I wrote an article about a *three* screen PowerBook G4 [lowendmac.com] back in November. It actually ran a real operating system with real apps -- okay, it was completely fictional, but that's beside the point. Anne Onymus, Rumor Monger
  • A couple of years ago, I would've looked at this and said "WTF does anyone need a dual screen laptop for?".

    Anymore, though, nothing surprises me. Seems that the industry does anything and everything they can for about the same reasons that my redneck friend Jerry will do a 10 minute burnout in his driveway, smoking up the whole damn neighborhood; "because they can".
  • How Cool. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FuzzyDaddy (584528) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @11:32AM (#4960430) Journal
    Many uses for computers have not had widespread use because of issues of form factors.

    I want to do my AutoCAD drawings at a desk, sitting up, with a cup of coffee. I want to read a book on sitting back in a comfortable chair. I want to watch TV sitting WAY back on my couch. When doing designs, I like to have a full screen of the design software, and a pad of paper for notes and hand sketches.

    Whether the input device issues (where's the damn keyboard?) are worked out or not on this thing, I can't tell. But to have two independent desktops on one device seems really useful.

    Geeks tend to denigrate "form factor" type issues, because there is often no substantial underlying technical difficulty. Giving someone much credit for making a rounded computer case seems silly given the enormous expertise that many other people put into making the guts. But these things can be important, and can affect usability. Because my computer is not butt-ugly (yes, I have a candy-colored iMac), I (and my wife) don't mind putting it in a very public area. This makes it far more convenient to access casually during the day.

    Which isn't to say I would get a crappy but attractive computer (no Mac flames please, that's beside the point) - but even seemingly dumb things can have an important effect on the way people use computers.

  • --very interesting idea and having it be like a normal dead trees book in "form" is a great use of human ergonomics. Like how many books do we use that fold up besides playboy centerfolds? I know there's some, but basically this "looks good". Remains to be seen if it performs and how it compares price wise. It would also be nice to have an option of a "no loaded OS" version so that people can choose what they want. I Don't understand the detractors on the thread a lot, this is a niche product same as hundreds of other gadgets out there. To me "more choices" is a good thing.
  • by BFaucet (635036) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @11:46AM (#4960484) Homepage
    I think a two screened tablet would be much more successful than single paneled tablets. People like to be able to look at two pages at once. When comparing documents, looking at one page and writing on the other, skimming the two pages. Geeks that are used to computer screens may be just fine with single panels, but the general public tends to like things as they are right now. I think this'll actually be an important step in getting the public to accept tablets.
  • College textbooks (Score:2, Interesting)

    by genkael (102983)
    Imagine having one of these for your college textbooks. Download the book from the university, make no trips to the bookstore, and only have to carry 1 thing to class. Heck, you could even network these in class and submit tests electronically. Ah, to go back to college...
  • Without licensing Mac OS X they always get late or not at all to this kind of nice stuff, be it a breakthrough or just a niche product.

    It is so late in the game now, with they holding only 3% of the market, that possibly their only chance now would be to release Mac OS X as free software (all of it, not only Darwin) and charge only for custom development, proprietary licensing and reference system design.
  • by ziegast (168305) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @12:34PM (#4960655) Homepage
    For those who can't get to the site and are too lazy to lookup Google...

    Images [google.com]

    Article [google.com]

    -ez

    Karma: Whore (mostly through your posting article begging for positive modding)
  • by mwdib (56263)
    I'm sure he and his uncle are quite excited.

    Dual screen tablets, laptops, and even desktops with swiveling lcd dual monitors were all over Comdex this year.

    Old news.

    Looked at several, including Estari, and was less impressed than I expected to be -- less utility than one would think except for some specialized functions.
  • Maybe one of these dual-screen notebooks is "just the thing" for somebody out there -- but it doesn't strike me as very functional at all.

    For quite a while now, most decent notebooks allow a dual-display mode where you can use both the LCD display on the notebook, and an external monitor simultaneously. If you need extra screen real-estate for a presentation, it seems like it would usually be given where it's not that tough to set up/plug in a spare monitor.

    If I was someone who really needed a large display screen more than the extra portability, but still had to have a notebook - I'd rather have a larger single display screen. For one thing, you'd think this would be more cost-effective than having two seperate backlit panels with all the duplication of electronics. For another, I never cared for trying to view a single image spread across seperate displays. You have to learn to ignore the physical borders splitting it in half - and that sucks, IMHO.

    Sure, if you're reading a virtual book with left and right displays simulating "pages", it might be more natural - but I suspect people aren't buying these with that as their primary use. Everyone I know using dual-displays is working with CAD design and wants their diagrams drawn across both displays as though it was a single, large one.
  • What is the sound of two LCD's sucking on a single battery?

    Seriously, the LCD is the biggest battery hog there is in a laptop. Doubling that guy, backlight and all, will just absolutely blow.

    (Look at all the current tablet reviews - interesting device wish the batteries lasted longer...)
  • Guess I wont be visiting them again, might have been a cool product I wanted to buy, but they didn't offer a non crap - errr flash - version of the pages.

    Great move, alienate potential customers. Time to move on.

  • by loconet (415875)
    Ok, since these are all we really care about :)

    Here [dualscreen.com] and Here [dualscreen.com]

    Merry Xmas .

If a thing's worth having, it's worth cheating for. -- W.C. Fields

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