The desktop has so many advantages over the laptop: power, price, multiple monitors. A powerful gaming laptop has the advantage of portability, but we hate giving up the productivity of two (or three) side-by-side monitors. So do the creators of a soon-to-be Kickstarter called the DuoScreen, apparently: they've built a prototype laptop dock that, true to its name, houses a fold-out second screen.
In most laptop use cases, the DuoScreen seems a little ridiculous. Second screen at Starbucks? Get ready for the incredulous stares. Dualscreening on an airplane? Get ready for the fight over elbow room. Gaming laptops and other heavy desktop replacement laptops are mostly built to replace bigger towers, though—they sit on a desk, where having a second monitor is practical and efficient. And for that situation, the DuoScreen is a pretty cool idea.
The prototype laptop dock, designed for a 15-inch notebook, includes some bottom ventilation and straps and rubber pads to keep the laptop from sliding around. Though DuoScreen's concept renders all show it paired with a MacBook Pro, DuoScreen co-founder Nicholas Greco told me over email that it was built to support any 15-inch laptop. He also sent over some photos of the prototype in use.
DuoScreen's 15.6-inch 1600x900 screen is shy of 1080p, but it runs off USB (for both power and video) like other similar external portable monitors. The support bar the screen is mounted on can swing to either the left or right side of the notebook and swivel 180 degrees to switch from productivity tool to presentation aid.
DuoScreen hasn't talked about pricing yet, but we expect that information to show up when the dock launches on Kickstarter. Our big concern is weight. 15-inch laptops are heavy enough by themselves. Will adding a second screen be worth a few more pounds of baggage?
DuoScreen's Kickstarter goes live on September 10.