Chipmaker giant Intel seems to be in a different orbit altogether. At the recently concluded Computex event in Taipei, Intel showcased a prototype of what it believes would be the future of high-end gaming laptops. Codenamed ‘Honeycomb Glacier’, this laptop places two screens on each other – a primary display having 15.6” Full HD display and a secondary display with 12.3” 1920×720 pixel screen. The secondary screen is supported on a mechanical one-way roller hinge and can be put to rest horizontally in continuation to the keyboard, when not in use.
Under the hood is a high-end octa-core i9 processor with Nvidia’s GeForceGTX 1070, overclocked to 60W and 95W respectively, which aims to support the rather radical aesthetics with some real computing and gaming power.
The idea behind putting a dual-screen structure within a gaming laptop, as per Intel, is to use the secondary display as a companion screen for showing gaming stats, chat conversations and other important notifications. All this is possible without the gamer having to switch screens (alt+tab) every now and then. Also, having a secondary screen lifts the primary screen to the eye-level of the gamer, thus enabling an external monitor-like gaming experience. Since the roller hinge will be near the eye-level of the gamer, Intel has also added a Tobii eye-tracking camera. Its potential use-cases could be around visual control of game movements, tracking a gamer’s gaze during a match to improve their gameplayand alsoto engage with friends on chat through an instantaneous flick of the eye.
This laptop will not only cater to the demands of professional gamers but also aid the creative folks – designers, content developers etc. For example, image/video editing could become a lot easier when you can preview the end result in the secondary screen while working simultaneously on the primary screen.
How long do we wait for this masterpiece?
All said and done, gaming aficionados looking to lay their hands on this masterpiece, will have to wait for a while. Intel has long track record of not just leading innovations on processors alone but also on prototyping entirely new end-user devices that can create an unknown need among the customers – thus creating a new market altogether for PC manufacturers. As this is just a prototype made by Intel to give its partner OEMs a glimpse of the future, a production-ready version may or may not see the light of the day anytime soon. A lot depends the perceived practicality as well as OEMs adherence to the overarching requirements and performance specifications set down by Intel.
Going by the overall response to this prototype during the event as well the rave reviews among the gaming community, this prototype may spark interest among the OEMs and this could propel a race towards bringing the first fully functional gaming laptop to the market.
To those who are interested in a dual screen laptop and would like to get them right away, few OEMs have brought in their flagships to the market already. Check out HP Omen X 2S and Asus Zenbook Pro Duo, launched recently. These are not based on the ‘Honeycomb Glacier’ prototype per-se but do have similarity in terms of the design principles and functionalities.