ASUS Project DALI concept slaps a color E Ink display on the back of laptops

As much as laptop makers wax philosophical about the power of their hardware and the beauty of their screens, what most people will probably admire the most about their products will be the laptop covers. Like with smartphones, this is the most visible part of a laptop and, therefore, also the most expressive. You can almost tell a lot about the laptop owner from the design and stickers they have on their laptops or, conversely, from the lack of any embellishment. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any easy way to cater to the varied tastes of laptop owners, at least until now. At Computex 2024, ASUS is showing off one of its latest concept designs that lets owners change the design of their laptop covers with a press of a key, and it won’t cost either power or money to keep changing it on a whim.

Designer: ASUS

You could, in theory, put a second LCD screen on the back of your laptop for a dazzling display of images or even captivating videos, but that would put a drain on your laptop’s battery, especially if you need to keep that cover display visible even when the laptop is closed and shut down. As with any problem involving power-hungry LCDs and OLEDs, the solution is using ePaper Display or EPD, like E Ink’s popular panels for eBook Readers. And wouldn’t you know it, E Ink has the perfect technology for that, and ASUS is slapping it on its Project DALI laptop concept to make laptops more personal without having to stick anything to it.

Although it’s primarily being used for signage installations, the E Ink Spectra 6 brings a touch of color to the eye-friendly and battery-conservative E Ink screen. It’s not going to match the vibrant colors of even the crudest LCD, but it has one very important advantage. Once you change the image displayed on it, it will no longer consume any power and can display that image for a long, long time. In other words, it’s perfect for a semi-permanent display that doesn’t change much, something like what the back of your laptop could have.

Project DALI puts this technology to offer an unprecedented level of personalization to laptop owners, something you can’t even imagine doing with stickers or skins. With ASUS’s special software, you can either select from a few preset designs or make your own, allowing you to express your tastes, interests, and personality the way you want it. Best of all, you can change it any time you want, and it will only cost you a bit of time and effort, not money from buying new stickers or energy from cleaning off those pesky adhesive residues.

ASUS Project DALI is hardly the first to put an E Ink display on the back of a laptop, as Lenovo also demonstrated a similar idea back in January at CES 2024. DALI, however, uses a newer Spectra 6 technology with higher color DPI, though the number of supported hues is, of course, still limited. Unfortunately, there is still no word on whether Project DALI will become an official ASUS product, but it’s bound to win plenty of fans once it does.