For the past few years, touchscreens have forever changed what a laptop could do. The new feature allowed the devices to become smaller, more space efficient, and to pack more functionality and user accessibility into smaller and smaller packages. This touchscreen trend also brought benefits to those who preferred not to take advantage of the feature: In the high age of touchscreen laptop, purchasing a laptop that did not have a touchscreen meant a consumer would be paying $50 to $100 less for the same product. It was a trend that benefitted everyone and had a big impact on how consumers use laptops today. And if the dual screen laptop goes in a similar direction, consumers could be in for yet another evolution of laptop technology.
Who needs a keyboard? By replacing the keyboard with a second touchscreen, laptops now have two times the space to install new features and make using them faster and easier than ever before. The recent Computex 2018 featured many companies eager to show off their new tech, and eager to put the dual-screen laptop on display. Dual screen laptops are such a revolutionary design that this trend could give birth to the greatest evolution of portable computers since the devices were first invented.
Back when they were introduced in the 1980’s, laptops still looked nearly identical to how they look today. Sure, they were much slower and a whole lot heavier, but they still had a keyboard on the bottom and a screen on the top – that part hasn’t changed. Even as touchscreen laptops soared across the market, the keyboard at the bottom was still necessary for typing. After all, you weren’t going to type up a long essay on the same screen that showed you what you were typing – you wouldn’t be able to see your own work! Dual screen laptops change that.
And Gregory Bryant, Intel’s senior vice president of client computing, plans to take full advantage of this change. According to him, your next Intel laptop could look very, very different. Bryant shared some details about these devices, devices which he said could make it to consumer’s hands by the end of this year:
“You’re going to see secondary displays, you’re going to see other [ways] of interacting with that platform. You’ll probably see foldable displays, you’ll see things that are bendable, you’ll see things that fit in your purse. One of the most obvious things you’ll see is things that just don’t look like the traditional or legacy PC.”
Many computer companies are already stepping up to take a crack at the dual screen market. Lenovo is making their attempt with the upcoming Yoga Book 2 as well as a new device from Asus known internally as Project Precog. This ambitious, cleverly-designed beast of a laptop will feature a 5.5 inch full HD touchpad in addition to its regular screen, as well as advanced predictive software that will try to guess how users want to use its second screen. For example, if the device determines there’s no mouse connected, it’ll make a mouse for you and shift over the virtual keyboard. If your hand begins to shift off the side of the keyboard, it’ll automatically move its virtual position to keep up with you. Asus boasts that this device may even be able to detect the placement of a users fingers before they make contact with the pad.
And, of course, it’ll come complete with voice and face recognition. Because with a name like “Project Precog”, you’ve got to go the extra mile to make it as futuristic as possible.
But this is dual-screen technology in its infancy. And if Intel’s words are anything to be believed, this could be the advancement that changes the very basis of what a laptop is and what it looks like.