Some office workers rely on having more than one computer monitor to fuel their creativity. Others, on the other hand, believe it’s just a distracting disaster waiting to happen. For those who work at home or on the go with their laptops, the debate is moot anyway as they are forced to use one and only one screen. There have been attempts to “fix” that situation, either with multi-screen laptops or with accessories that give laptops a considerable makeover. It’s easy enough to laugh at these attempts, especially at how clumsy and clunky they can be, but a somewhat recent attempt offers a bit of refinement and finesse to give mobile workers the productivity edge they’ve been wanting.
To be honest, there’s really no way a laptop with screens hanging off the sides wouldn’t look unusual, to put it nicely. At least not by our current standards that have been weaned for decades to accept that laptops only have one monitor in front of the user. The future might have a different attitude, but until people get used to seeing laptops with multiple screens, some people will laugh at them. On the other hand, wearers of these types of accessories probably don’t care as much about other people’s opinions as long as they end up being a magician at work.
Xebec’s latest design for its Tri-Screen accessory is pretty clever. One of the biggest hurdles in connecting more monitors to a laptop is how they need to account for different sizes and designs of laptops. To solve this puzzle, Tri-Screen 2 borrows a design from smartphone game controllers that use elastics and telescoping mechanisms to accommodate different sizes of phones. With this, the dock attachment can hold almost any size laptop screen and requires no screws, adhesives, or magnets.
Two 10.1-inch Full HD displays slide out of this module and connect independently to the laptop, which means the laptop must have enough ports to support two external displays. A small built-in kickstand prevents the laptop’s screen from falling back under the weight, another problem inherent to accessories that add heavy screens and bezels to a thin laptop lid. However, to keep the assembly lighter, the Tri-Screen 2 doesn’t include its own battery and instead draws its power from the laptop – another consideration to keep in mind when using it away from a power outlet.
Of course, it’s debatable whether such a design will get in the way rather than help your productivity, but it’s definitely more convenient than one of those portable monitors you’d have to place on a table. The expandable base is definitely a nice touch to be able to accommodate more laptops, but it remains to be seen how durable that stretchy material will be and what effects pressure might have on the integrity of the laptop lid. As with the laptop itself, it’s always a matter of weighing the pros and cons, and those picking up this Tri-Screen 2 better see plenty of pros for using something like this.