I’ve been wondering when this was going to happen.
I’ve had a concept like this in my head for a while (why haven’t I sketched the ideas out before now?) and I believe I’ve seen a few concept designs along these lines, but Lenovo has finally brought a dual screen laptop to production. I’m not talking about a small Microsoft Sideshow enabled screen, but something that could actually hold something useful like a webpage, grid of thumbnails in Lightroom, or application pallets.
The Lenovo Thinkpad W700ds (any gamer will see the ds as an obvious acronym) takes a 17″ Thinkpad and adds a 10.6″ vertically oriented screen on to the side. I’m assuming the screen slides out from a pocket in the lid. It can be tilted up to 30Âº.
As an addition to the W700 model line, the W700ds boast other features that are rare on a laptop, like the Wacom tablet built into the palm rest. With built in color calibration hardware and a screen that Lenovo claims holds 72% of the AdobeRGB color gamut, the machine is aimed squarely at the professional photography crowd. The $3,600 starting price also says “pro,” while the 2 inch thickness and 11 pound weight scream “desktop replacement.” With quad cores and a workstation Nvidia Quadro graphics card, I bet it’s a dream to work on. I hope we see more laptop designs embrace the concept of useful secondary screens.
I still do it the old fashioned way… my mug and CPU are separate, but Jason Farsai has a better idea. His Yuno concept turns your insulated coffee mug into an internet appliance. Think of it as bringing your Dashboard Widgets with you to the breakfast table.
Now that flexible displays are reaching commercial practicality, and wireless data options have saturated our lives, I expect that we will see a lot of exciting concepts like this becoming a reality. Cool concept Jason, and those are some beautiful renderings/composites.
It doesn’t get much slicker than that. The machine is using Virtual Desktops (I use Virtual Desktop Manager, I imagine it is probably the same program being used here). You run different OSes in different instances of Parallels, a virtual machine client, in different desktops set to full screen. Macbook Pro, you will be mine soon!
Engadget is reporting that Asustek (who currently produces the 12″ iBook and 12″ Powerbook is going to be producing a new 14″ widescreen iBook. Speculation abounds whether this will be Apple’s foray into Intel powered hardware, or one of the last laptops built for the PowerPC line of processors. Either way, this model will surely hold a special place in at least half of the community’s heart (depending on what side of the fence you’re on regarding the hardware change).
Regardless of that, I’m wondering if the new aspect ratio is going to carry with it a higher resolution display. My Powerbook’s DPI is looking pretty dinky next to the new Sony screens!
I was about to hit the sack when my buddy Herb threw this link at me. Itâ€™s a post up at WinCustomize.com by Frogboy. In it, he is describing a new product by the software company Stardock called Multiplicity. I highly recommend you read Frogboyâ€™s post.
Multiplicity is an application that will let you seamlessly use two (or more) computers with one keyboard and mouse. Anyone with a dual display setup on one computer will already know how this works: you have two displays and you can move between them by simply dragging your mouse to the edge of one screen, where it then pops up at the edge of the other. Here’s an example, my setup on my windows machine. Multiplicity promises to provide the same seamless switching between displays, but the difference is that each display is hooked up to its own computer. Thatâ€™s rightâ€¦ You can control multiple computers with a single mouse and keyboard, simply moving across each desktop as you would on a multiple display configuration. This means you can render a 3D scene on one box, and hop over to your other computer to have an IM conversation or web surf, each process happening on a separate machine.
Multiplicity doesnâ€™t stop there. ItÂ also merges your clipboard between all of your machines. If you highlight text and hit copy, you can move your mouse over to another computer and paste that text. This actually applies to ANY clipboard data.Â The â€œProâ€ version (which of course costs more money) extends this to files and directories! No more network shares or network storage space to deal with.
As I read through Frogboyâ€™s post I held my breath waiting for the bit of news that would ultimately determine if Multiplicity would be of extreme value to me or not. And then I found the combination of words I was looking for: â€œ â€¦you can now control a PC and a Mac together .â€ Thatâ€™s right, Stardock is currently in development of a Mac version of Multiplicity that would work along side of the Windows client. This is extremely exciting for me, as I know it must be for thousands of others, as I have a windows box and an OSX Powerbook on my network, and being able to control both from my desktop mouse and keyboard would certainly be worth the price of admission. I havenâ€™t seen word of a Linux client, but if this tool saturates the market as proficiently as I expect it will, then I donâ€™t imagine that such a client would be far behind. I also believe that running two (or three) different operating systems together may pose problems with the clipboard working as described above, but I trust the engineers can find a solution, and judgment shall be reserved for the final product.
The ship date for Multiplicity is currently set for February 21. Stardock is taking pre-orders for the product (I donâ€™t really see the logic behind offering pre-orders on an electronically distributed product, but to each his own) at the price of $39.99 for a two computer license and $69.99 for the â€œProâ€ version, which gives you clipboard and file copying ability as well as a license for three or more computers. A demo is in development and should be available shortly.