back to article Lenovo preps dual-display Frankenlaptop

Word has leaked out that Lenovo plans to release the world's first dual-display laptop at next month's Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Not since Ray Milland had his head grafted onto Rosey Greer's body in 1972's The Thing with Two Heads has a more unlikely two-headed beast been seen in the wild. The Thing with Two Heads …


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  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. The Mighty Spang

    kind nice

    but im not sure the digitiser would be much use.. i only use mine with my wrist on the table for support. i dont think floating it in mid air is going to be very accurate

  3. Charles Manning

    Great for programmers

    Being a user of both a dual head desktop and a single screen laptop, I find that once you get used to all those pixels you feel very deprived when they go away.

    I find dual+heading particularly useful for programming but even find it useful for emailing while web browsing etc.

    A frankentop could be just the thing....

  4. jake Silver badge

    Nice. I want one.

    But they missed a bet ... They could have had a second slide-out screen on the other side. And maybe a third one out the top ... Over kill? Perhaps, but I can think of a zillion uses for such a box.

    Or maybe a built-in sheet-fed printer out the top ...

    And yes, it'd be heavier. I get it. I used to use a Panasonic Sr. Partner while on the road. It was 33 pounds of luggable. I carried it thru' airports all over the world, it was that useful to me.

  5. Mike Kamermans

    Why only one slide-out =

    Why is there only one slide-out? Why not one on both sides?

  6. Dominic Kua

    Great idea

    But any chance we can get some SI measurements in there for those of us who wouldn't know a pound in weight if they held it in their hands? Maybe a few centimetres too, because well, I like centimetres.

    The laptop sounds great, I too miss a second monitor when I don't have it, especially for programming (and gaming, but don't tell my boss). I'm just a little worried about its strength, floating in the air like that.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Love it...

    ...As someone who has to have a full screen display to work and the design specs on the other, this is a yes.

    My requirements for work: 1

    My chance of getting one: 0

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    valid question (honest!!)

    Will they do a south paw version??

  9. Tim

    2 things...

    Mr Spang, I entirely agree that a "mid-air" digitiser would be dreadful to use, however the article says the digitiser is "built into the right side of the palm rest." Presumaly, this means that as well as 2 screens the laptop has a separatedigitiser. I've only ever used a digitiser & screen combined, not sure if this idea will help or hinder. Personally, it would have been better if the smaller screen slid out from the keyboard & had the digitiser incorporated in it.

    Dominic... get with it man, inches are the new centimetres.

    Merry Xmas


  10. Daniel

    If the BBC reviewed this...

    ... they'd show it being pushed towards the nearest electrical socket for a recharge after about eight minutes of use.

  11. bobbles31

    If Lenovos were brightly coloured

    They would look like Fisher price make them. Far too chunky and blocky looking for me.

    And my experience of Lenovos tell me to buy something else.

  12. calagan

    Good Flight Simulator rig

    Looks like the ideal rig for the Flight Simulator afficionados, although I would have preferred a more gaming-orientend GPU than the Quadro.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    "any content-creating professional who can afford this beast will also be able to afford an assistant to lug it around." called Igor who talks with a lisp, takes "give us a hand" literally and is used to working with lightning and masters who are consider to be a little bit mad!

  14. David Hagan

    Looks like a lean mean fat grilling machine.

    As above.

  15. DrXym

    Kind of makes sense I guess

    As I was reading this I was thinking dear god why, but the screen shot and the way it slides out does make sense. Sort of. There is no denying that an extra screen can be very handy on occasion and there must be applications where that screen is very handy essential - video / photo editing, trading, development. Even execs might appreciate being able to have their email in one screen and their word processor in another.

    Even so, I don't think I'd want to lug one of these around. It would be strictly for people who need a full office or suite on the go.

  16. Iain

    If I could be bothered

    I would be interested in surveying the number of times a computer would have to be moved to make it worth being a laptop of that weight. Probably inversely proportional or something like that. I reckon it would be good for someone (who needs dual screenage) who keeps it at work in the week but then has to take it home at weekends.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Put me down for one as well

    You can never have too many pixels.

  18. Maryland, USA

    Indeed, the digitiser is in the palm rest (photo)

    You can see it on the single-display W700's home page:

  19. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    I want an extra large DS Lite, please!

    Instead of what looks like a very big and heavy laptop, can I have an ordinary size one where the keyboard/mouse touchpad are a second touchscreen, like a DS Lite. Then I can switch between using the keyboard screen as a screen or a keyboard, or a drawing input device. I could even stand it on the edge and do a double screen presentation, or watch a movie on one screen whilst messenger and email ran in the other. Apologies if someone has already made one of these and I missed it.

  20. Rob
    Paris Hilton

    Ok I'm greedy

    Cause I'd prefer a screen that flips up then folds out another 17inch WS, hmmm the thought of all that screen real estate makes me dribble......

    Paris, cause I'm sure she flips, folds and dribbles too.

    P.S. oohhh just had another thought to add you could use the digitizer as another screen and fit your palettes on that.... (ok choking on my dribble now, how do I make a laptop!?!)

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Proxy Ban

    I think that all references to this laptop need to get banned on our proxy server - can't let the coloured pencil office see it or they'll all want one!

  22. Daniel

    So summing up

    1. It's not a portable, because it almost certainly uses too much power for sustained battery use.

    2. You cannot use it with both screens while on the train, flying, or duiring any other form of travel, because of the space it takes up.

    3. You get stuck with two screens, both of whose specs will look really crap in under a year's time.

    4. Could just buy one nice laptop, and two nice screens, instead, and just carry the laptop between the two screens, making do with just the built in screen, while genuinely on the go.

    You do, however, get to own something that looks like it was built for the Chinese Military, to control artillery units with.

  23. J

    Better idea!

    This laptop gave me an idea of an even better laptop!!!1!

    I think I'll patent this, here it goes: someone should make a laptop with the screen separate, and then you could use as many screens as you want! Then, make the box bigger, so you can put cool expansion cards inside, and more than one big hard drive and stuff! And wouldn't it be nice to have the track pad elsewhere, not directly south of the keyboard, where it's so clumsy? I'd have it separate too, so you can move it around and have much greater control. And while we're at it, why not make the keyboard detachable from the box too, so we can place the box somewhere else when using the laptop: good for those warm moments when the battery catches fire!

    My laptop would be a little heavier than the one in the article, but you'd love how much more powerful it would be, and how much nicer it would look (can't be worse really). Worth the extra luggage!

    You read it here first.

  24. Bill Cumming
    Paris Hilton

    Now if they made...

    a South Paw version with the small screen being a touch sensitive...

    I'd be in line you get one....

    *<insert obligatory Paris Hilton double entendre here>

  25. James O'Brien

    Won't Someone think of that batteries?

    I mean common? The battery in that thing will have what? 5-10 minutes of life if that? Be interesting to see.

  26. kns2c
    Thumb Down

    Would someone think of the netbooks

    I would be more impressed if they put the10" 1366x768 screen in a netbook. And a decent graphics chip for h.264. 17" laptops are so last century.

  27. Barry
    Paris Hilton

    24 pound kaypro's

    What a bunch of Wimps. I can fondly remember the days of carrying my Kaypro 2/4/10 though airports, thinking my right arm couldn’t really be 3 inches longer than the left one.

  28. Jacob Lipman


    "But any chance we can get some SI measurements in there for those of us who wouldn't know a pound in weight if they held it in their hands? Maybe a few centimetres too, because well, I like centimetres."

    According to Google, 11 pounds = 4.98951607 kilograms.

    (apparently, you can use google's search bar as a calculator/unit converter. Nifty.)

  29. jake Silver badge

    Naysayers ... &@Barry

    This isn't intended to be a laptop, or notebook, or netbook. It's a transportable Workstation (well, nearly a workstation, anyway).

    It's not supposed to be used in planes, trains or automobiles. Battery life is pretty much immaterial. In fact, with another slide-out screen on the left and a built in printer out the top, I'd be happier with a lot more more RAM, a couple quad core CPUs, and 750+ gigs WITHOUT a battery.

    This is designed for field engineers doing field engineering, be it material, civil, software, network, systems, process and what have you ... It's a transportable, high-powered tool that was built by folks who grok that unless you can display the results of what you are computing, the proles probably aren't going to understand. It's not supposed to be used out of reach of AC power.

    It's not a toy. It's not a gamer's rig. It's a serious piece of hardware designed for people who are serious about their computers, and make money with them. A professional's tool, if you will.

    Yes, I plan on purchasing one. Hopefully with the above mentioned enhancements ... I've been looking for a tool like this for about a decade now. If they could throw in hardware RAID and a weather-resistant titanium or carbon fiber case, I'd be happy paying US$8,000+ ... even if the thing weighs in around 13 pounds.

    @Barry: 24 pounds? Luxury! See my first post in this thread ;-)

  30. Daniel

    "It's a transportable Workstation"

    Is it really? Let's think about that word 'Workstation', then, shall we?

    A 'station' is something that is meant to be 'stationary': Stations are things you travel between, not things you carry with you. This is a machine that is trying to invent a new way of working around itself. It's like making a portable flat-bed lathe, for the machining industry, and saying that it would allow latheworkers to opperate out in the field. If the job cannot be done without something like this, then it's the job that is wrong, not the machine, that is right.

    This thing represents an eighty-column mindset for the 21st century, and will end up burried nine-edge first - alonside all the other things that we'll look back on, in a few years time, and think 'Oh yeah. i remember a guy who had one of those. he was a dork. I wonder what became of him?'.

  31. jake Silver badge


    Clearly, sir, you have never worked as a field engineer.

    Did you see my "nearly"? As in "nearly a workstation"? Besides, where is it written, oh great guru, that a workstation is not meant to be portable ... other than in the portmanteau[1] that is it's name? Remember, a name is just a sound we use to identify a thing. It doesn't necessarily describe the object in question. For example, most people drive on the parkway and park in the driveway[2].

    In my tractor shed I have a pickup with a generator, lathe, table saw, drill press and a small mill. Comes in handy when fixing stuff in odd corners of the ranch. I have to lift the table saw out to use it, but the mill and drill press swing out from one side of the bed, and the lathe swings out from the other. Are you seriously suggesting that I'm maintaining my ranch incorrectly because I can take the lathe to the job site?

    And what's wrong with 80 columns? I'm typing this on an 80 column IBM 3151 monitor, with a model M keyboard that I've had since 1984. It's running a terminal session over a serial port on my laptop's docking station. I could type it up on the webpage, with the laptop's native keyboard, or the wireless keyboard, but I can't get close to the WPM as I can using vi and the model M ... the third head of this kludge is a 24" flatscreen.

    Just because you, personally can't make a tool do what you want it to do doesn't mean that the tool isn't the right tool for other jobs. Learn to think outside the box[3], youngster. You'll have a happier and more productive life.

    [1] Which I take great delight in pointing out is itself a portmanteau, the first half of which comes from the old French verb "to carry" ... Circular humor appeals to me, even for small values of "humor" :-)

    [2] Before anyone says it, the last time I was on a Parkway I was pretty much parked ...

    [3] Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know ... So shoot me.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is this the time to introduce a niche product?

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