Dual screen laptop proposes a unique design to solve the laptop monitor problem

In exchange for portability and mobility, laptops give up some power and flexibility, especially when it comes to things you can connect to. Sure, you can still connect plenty of peripherals, but you’re limited not only by the amount of ports available but also by the space you have around your laptop. A dual monitor laptop, for example, is inconvenient and even impossible in some circumstances, so a few solutions have been designed to address that limitation, from portable monitors to laptops that are just two screens and nothing else. The latter has been billed as “dual laptops,” though their appearance and use are far from what most people expect from laptops. This “true dual screen laptop” wants to fix that problem with a design that is both intriguing but perhaps also questionable at the same time.

Designer: GPD

You can’t change a laptop’s screen after the fact, so you can only expand it with an external portable monitor that adds yet another thing to your bag. Dual-screen laptops like the ASUS ZenBook Duo and Lenovo Yoga Book 9i are actually more like two monitors with integrated computer hardware rather than like a laptop with two screens. One of the biggest problems is requiring the use of a Bluetooth keyboard in ways that are unfamiliar to most laptop users.

The GPD DUO’s solution is to combine all these parts into a single whole, delivering a completely traditional laptop experience when needed and a dual-screen or even tablet when wanted. It does this by actually having two folds, one with a traditional laptop hinge that can fold open up to 135 degrees, and another for the second monitor that can fully swing 360 degrees. This second screen is permanently attached to the top of the first, creating a vertically stacked dual-screen setup when unfolded. But unlike ASUS’s and Lenovo’s designs, the keyboard is still attached to the primary screen and functions as expected.

This rather unconventional design means that, if you don’t want or can’t use a tall dual-screen setup, you can simply fold back the second screen and use the GPD DUO as a regular laptop. That said, the second screen in that position could actually still be used to present content to people in front of the user, sort of like the “tent mode” of some 360-degree laptops. And when you close the laptop down in this configuration, you get a tablet that you can draw on.

While the design of the GPD DUO sounds reasonable, it does raise a few concerns, especially in terms of the weight and bulk of the laptop. Although GPD claims that the 13.3-inch laptop is only the size of an A4 paper when folded, it hasn’t yet revealed the thickness or weight of the device. The design also forces the dual screen orientation to only be vertical, and you have no other option on how to use or position the screens. It does seem that the GPD DUO trades one feature for another, so it remains to be seen how this design will resonate with laptop users.