Dell demoes dual-screen, foldable and Switch-like concept devices
Concept devices give us a glimpse of what may be the future – or the present, as may be the case here. At CES 2020 this week, Dell has unveiled three new concept devices that all look a bit familiar, following established tech trends. The Alienware Concept UFO looks to take more than a few cues from the Nintendo Switch, Concept Duet is a dual screen notebook and Concept Ori is a foldable tablet.
Branded as Alienware – Dell’s gaming-focused arm – the Concept UFO is a handheld gaming machine with a screen in the center and controls on the sides, with the usual array of thumbsticks, buttons and D-pad. That makes it playable in handheld mode, or the controllers can be detached and played with the console propped up on a table using the kickstand. And of course, it can be plugged into an external display for a bigger-screen experience.
This concept obviously owes more than a little to the Nintendo Switch, but Alienware’s UFO concept does have a few points of difference.
For one, the screen is a bit bigger – 8 inches, compared to the Switch’s 6.2 in – and has a higher resolution of 1900 x 1200, compared to Nintendo’s 720p display.
The UFO plays PC games, and can also be hooked up to a keyboard/mouse combo. While Dell hasn’t revealed any detailed specs – it’s just a concept, after all – it would be powered by 10th-generation Intel Core processors.
The other concepts carry just the Dell brand, meaning they’re intended more for mainstream audiences. The Concept Duet is a notebook made up of two 13.4-in screens facing each other. Like existing 2-in-1 devices, the Duet appears to have a hinge that lets it swing in both directions, so it can be closed with the screens on the inside, open for use as a laptop, or fully swung the other way so its two screens face outwards.
Judging by the images, it also looks like a soft keyboard can be placed on the lower screen, giving the Duet more traditional functionality.
And finally, Concept Ori looks similar to the Duet without the seam between the screens. That lets it open into a tablet with a 13-in display, or fold up into two screens half that size each.
While Dell is demonstrating all three of these concepts at CES this week, the company is very careful to highlight that they’re all just concepts at this stage, and may not ever make it to market. The curious thing, however, is that other companies have already beaten them to the punch in all three cases, which kind of negates the wow factor.
As we said, the UFO appears very similar to a Nintendo Switch, albeit with more power. Many companies, such as Asus and Microsoft, already have dual screen devices. And foldable screens are already the hot-ticket design for 2020, kickstarted by Samsung and continued by others such as Lenovo, which announced at CES it is releasing a foldable PC this year. Even if Dell’s devices do ever get off the ground, they’ll already be lagging behind the curve.
Dell is showing off the new concepts at CES this week.