Compal Dual-Screen Laptop Concept can be unfolded in either direction

It’s still a very niche design, but it seems that dual-screen laptops are being adopted by major PC makers. Unlike a foldable laptop that mimics a foldable phone, a dual-screen laptop simply offers two separate displays joined by a hinge, sort of like offering a second monitor that’s permanently attached to the laptop. Given this design, however, the only available design was a book-type foldable like the aborted Microsoft Surface Duo, the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo, and the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i. That, however, only covers about half of the use cases you might have for a dual-screen configuration and lacks the flexibility you’d enjoy with a detached second screen. That’s the kind of design problem that Compal’s concept is trying to solve and it does so in a very intriguing way.

Designer: Compal

The way dual-screen laptops are designed today is pretty much a product of familiarity rather than innovation. It’s the closest that resembles a regular laptop and is the easiest to implement. Ironically, it’s actually not the way people with two monitors arrange their screens in normal circumstances. Most have two horizontal monitors side by side or one stacked on top of the other. While current dual-screen laptops do support the latter use case, putting the monitors side by side requires having them standing vertically, opened like a book.

The Compal DualFlip concept flips that design on its head, pardon the pun, by giving the user the freedom to choose the configuration they need or want. They can have it stacked or side-by-side or even in the conventional book style. Or they can have only one screen active with the wireless keyboard sitting on top of the other, turning it into a regular laptop. The key point is that they dictate how they want to use the product rather than the other way around.

This opens the device to even more applications and users who have different needs and working conditions. Those monitoring data will probably appreciate having the monitor on top while those coding and writing might put the screen to the side. The latter is also the configuration that most will use for making digital art. Interestingly, having the screens stacked on top of each other also solves one of the biggest problems with dual-screen laptops and manages to “hide” the hinge and the gap that it creates between the two displays.

The key to this flexible design is the hinge that can fold or flip the screen as needed, hence the name. Of course, it’s still a concept and it’s uncertain if Compal already has working prototypes for this, but it definitely looks doable. If Compal manages to pull it off, it will definitely raise the brand’s profile and put it back on the map. That is unless its bigger rivals figure out another design that also solves that problem and actually puts it into production first.