Portable Screen Designs are Evolving Wildly. Will They Last?

As the tech world hurtles towards goggle displays…

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…we’re seeing an interesting burst of design experimentation with what is undoubtedly the outgoing form factor: Portable screens. It’s as if these screens are a creature that knows it’s going extinct, and is desperately trying to evolve itself into relevance. (That’s not really what’s happening, of course; it’s just that production costs have come down, and China’s gigantic population has yielded enough experimental designers, and the industrialists to fund their ideas, that we’re seeing attempted innovations we’d never have seen ten years ago.)

Acer’s innovative hinged laptop screen, on their Predator Triton 900 gaming model, offers a unique type of adjustability:

Lenovo’s Yoga Book 9i is a laptop with two screens:

They’re also experimenting with a screen that stretches:

Their ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 has a second screen next to the keyboard:

Asus’ Zenbook 17 Fold OLED has a gigantic screen that folds in half:

The Arovia Splay is a portable display that’s essentially a projector inside a tent:

LG sells a screen that pops out of a briefcase:

This clunky CrowView monitor clamps onto your laptop:

The latest entrant in this field is the Vmonitor, a foldable dual-screen display with a kickstand. It consists of two 22.8″ 4K displays connected by a 360-degree hinge. It’s less than an inch thick altogether, and weighs just 3.4 pounds.

Pairing it with a laptop presents an ergonomic problem, as it has to be placed off to the side:

I think it makes more sense as a dedicated PC screen, rather than a portable accessory for a laptop. However, this kind of defeats the purpose of the object being so tote-able. Perhaps it would be useful for those whose work involves scrolling through lots of text?

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One portable situation where it does seem it might be useful, is in one-on-one across-the-table meetings:

With all of these design experiments, the determining factor in how long-lived they are is whether we will continue to work physically next to others. In my design consultancy days, we were in the same space and the boss was always coming over to look at our screens; traders still work side-by-side and can confer with others about what’s on their monitors. But if we continue moving towards virtual meetings, the goggles-as-infinite-monitors approach that Apple and Sightful are working towards will likely win out, and the screen evolutions seen above will be evolutionary dead-ends, and we’ll all be doing this:

Source: core77

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