An Alaskan company says it will soon ship a laptop computer that sports dual 17-inch displays, each with 1920 x 1080 pixels. Available in November, gScreen's “SpaceBook” comes with a Nvidia GTS 250M discrete graphics processing unit, a 500GB hard disk drive, a DVD drive, and a choice of Intel Core i5 or i7 processors.
The gScreen SpaceBook has had a long gestation period, our Google News searches suggest. Apparently the device was first mooted in February 2009, with two 15.4-inch screens — one sliding behind the other when not required.
After a obvious series of delays, the SpaceBook re-emerged in July, now offering dual 17-inch displays, each with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. As the image below shows, these screens offer what must be the world's largest desktop in a portable package.
(Click to enlarge)
The fact that gScreen had begun taking pre-orders for this interesting monster was brought to our attention via a posting on the Windows Experience Blog by Microsoft public relations manager Ben Rudolph. Having tried out a prototype, he writes, "It's a really amazing design that's really functional; the panels slide open and closed very easily, and with some thoughtful design (the battery is in the front, not the back) the PC is remarkably stable when open."
Dimensions still haven't been specified by gScreen as far as we could see, but the laptop will weigh approximately ten pounds, according to the company. It's clear this a "carry-and-park" machine rather than a vehicle for the road warrior.
The SpaceBook with just one screen exposed (left), and closed up (right)
(Click either to enlarge)
gScreen says the SpaceBook will come with either a 2.66GHz Intel Core i5-560M processor or a 1.74GHz Core i7-740QM (these are 2010-model CPUs rather than the newer "Sandy Bridge" Cores, we note), plus a 500GB, 7,200rpm hard disk drive and either 4GB or 8GB of RAM. The laptop also features a Nvidia GTS 250M GPU (graphics processing unit) and a DVD drive, according to the company.
The idea behind the SpaceBook is novel, but not unique. In December 2009, Kohjinsha announced the DZ, a netbook that similarly combined two screens (1024 x 600 pixels apiece, in that case) for an expanded workspace. The four-pound device also included a AMD Athlon MV-40 processor, a fingerprint reader, up to 4GB of RAM, and a 160GB hard disk drive.
According to gScreen, the Core i5-equipped SpaceBook will have an introductory price of $1,899 (down from the $2,395 was initially mooted), while the Core i7-equipped model will cost $2,099 (down from $2,795). Pre-orders are now being taken for those who are willing to put up deposits of $695 or $795, respectively.
Not surprisingly, the device is touted as shipping with Microsoft Windows. For those willing to write off the Microsoft tax, however, this laptop should make for some showy Linux installations.
More information may be found on the company's website.
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