Battery-powered second screen gives laptop productivity boost
Not seeing anything on the market that could both improve ergonomics and boost productivity when using a laptop, the UK's Matthew Perks decided to make his own secondary screen. Unusually, he opted to position the second display above the main one, which he says should help reduce neck strain from having to constantly look down at the laptop screen.
Last month, Perks used the backlight element from an old TV and transformed it into daylight-mimicking lighting. He says that he could have reused a display from an old laptop for his latest project, but elected to buy one from eBay instead as there was more choice available. He settled for a 1080p IPS module.
This display was then attached to one of two size-matched aluminum panels. He ran off some 3D-printed hinges and 3D-printed clip-on bezels to help mount the display to the aluminum back plate, and then moved onto the other aluminum panel.
Onto this he attached a display interface board and a battery pack to power the secondary display. After some soldering and connecting up, the two plates were joined at the hinges and the whole thing attached to the back of the host laptop using Velcro, so that it folds out on top of the main display.
Perks does point out that the design could be made a little lighter by doing away with the battery pack and plugging straight into the USB-C port of the host laptop, if it has one, though this will leech the main unit's battery.
The final piece of the design was to attach a fold-out kickstand to support the weight of the bulky design. It's not as thin or as slick as other designs we've seen that put the extra display to one or both sides, but it works and you can make it yourself. As you can see in the instructional video below.
Source: DIY Perks