xScreen turns the Xbox Series S into a "portable" laptop
Nintendo has the monopoly on gaming consoles that pull double duty as home and portable devices, but soon you could take your Xbox Series S out on the road too. The xScreen is a plug-in accessory currently on Kickstarter that turns Microsoft’s console into a kind of chunky laptop.
The xScreen sports an 11.6-in display with a 1080p Full HD resolution and 60-Hz refresh rate. It just clamps onto the back of the Xbox Series S, plugging into its HDMI and USB ports – the former supplying the visuals to the screen, and the latter to power the xScreen.
There’s a pair of stereo speakers built in (although you’d almost definitely be better off using headphones), and controls for volume, brightness and other screen settings. There’s also a gap in the back for the Xbox’s power cord to pass through, and to let you reach the expansion slot.
The idea is pretty simple really: the xScreen lets you play your Xbox Series S games on the go, or just whenever the TV is otherwise occupied. We guess it’s technically portable – the unit itself is as long and wide as the Xbox Series S, so that it sits flush with the console when you close it, like a laptop.
Or at least, a laptop the likes of which we haven’t seen since the early 90s. The xScreen is about as light as it could be, weighing 695 g (24.5 oz), but when you add that to a console that’s designed to live in an entertainment unit, you’re looking at 2.6 kg (5.8 lb) total. Add to that the fact that you’ll have to remain tethered to a power outlet, and “portable” feels a bit of a stretch.
Maybe it’s not fair to compare it to the Nintendo Switch, a console designed for the express purpose of being portable. And besides, Xbox gamers could argue that they want something a bit meatier than Nintendo’s offerings – but then, why not just run Microsoft’s own Xbox Game Pass on a laptop?
Still, we suppose there are use cases. The xScreen could be handy on vacation, in hotels, in the spare room when the main TV is busy, or for having friends over for an old-school same-room games night.
Strangely enough, it’s not the first time someone’s tried to squeeze an Xbox into a laptop. Modder Ed Zarick built himself a quote-unquote portable Xbox One S a few years ago, and before that he mashed a PlayStation 4 and an Xbox One into a Frankenstein’s monster of a machine.
The xScreen is the first of these things that the public has been able to get their hands on, and our qualms aside it sure looks like the demand is there. The Kickstarter campaign has already raised almost 10 times its initial goal – a modest AU$13,000 (~US$9,700) – with 25 days remaining on the campaign. Early bird pledges currently start at AU$259 (about US$193), and if all goes to plan, shipping is set to begin in January 2022.
Check out the xScreen in action in the video below.
Source: UPspec Gaming