Laptops

Expanscape gives productivity a boost with 7-screen Aurora laptop

Expanscape gives productivity ...
When one, two or even three laptop screens are just not enough
When one, two or even three laptop screens are just not enough
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The Aurora 7 prototype boasts four 4K UHD panels and three WUXGA screens
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The Aurora 7 prototype boasts four 4K UHD panels and three WUXGA screens
The idea is to have everything powered by internal batteries, though current per charge battery life is reported to be just one hour or less
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The idea is to have everything powered by internal batteries, though current per charge battery life is reported to be just one hour or less
The fold out and swivel process that unpacks the Aurora 7's display panels
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The fold out and swivel process that unpacks the Aurora 7's display panels
Aurora 7 Mark III prototypes are being made available for sale under contract
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Aurora 7 Mark III prototypes are being made available for sale under contract
When one, two or even three laptop screens are just not enough
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When one, two or even three laptop screens are just not enough
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We've seen a number of laptops sprouting extra screens over the years, including the SpaceBook, Duo and something from Razer, but Expanscape out-displays them all with the Aurora 7, a monster of a mobile workstation that puts seven screens in front of the user.

The A7 is being designed for content creators, data scientists and developers who need lots of display real estate all in the same place at the same time. Very much at the prototype stage of development, the current version boasts four 17.3-inch 4K UHD panels and three 7-inch displays at 1,920 x 1,200 resolution.

Under the hood of the laptop running the show is an Intel i9 9900K 8-core processor, 64 GB of DDR4 RAM, Nvidia GTX 1060 series graphics, and 2.5 TB of SSD and 2 TB of HDD storage. The aim is to get the system to support up to 128 GB of RAM and over 16 TB of SSD storage.

There are wireless network adapters for 802.11ac Wi-Fi and a Bluetooth 4.2 module, three USB ports and one Thunderbolt port, HDMI, integrated stereo speakers, and a built-in subwoofer, a 2-MB webcam and a 104-key backlit keyboard.

The idea is to have everything powered by internal batteries, though current per charge battery life is reported to be just one hour or less
The idea is to have everything powered by internal batteries, though current per charge battery life is reported to be just one hour or less

Running a laptop and all those screens will take quite a bit of portable juice, and the current configuration has two internal batteries – the primary 82-Wh battery runs the laptop itself, and a 148-Wh pack powers the displays. Battery life for laptop and screens is currently up to an hour per charge.

All of the screens fold or swivel out from the primary chassis, and the whole thing folds down to 51 x 34 x 11 cm (20 x 13.3 x 4.3 in) for transport. The eventual aim is to get the system down to a maximum weight of 10 kg (22 lb), and the developers are also looking at making it possible to swap out components with relative ease, including the battery.

The design team appears to have been working on a third prototype for a few months now, with 16 core AMD and 10 core Intel i9 processor options already penciled in, together with RTX graphics, more memory and more storage. Most of the specs are still to be confirmed but the UK company is taking the unusual step of making the A7 M3 prototype available for purchase under contract, details can be found on the Expanscape website.

Source: Expanscape

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6 comments
6 comments
ChairmanLMAO
Wow - such ugly!!
paul314
Batteries in this kind of thing tend to be more about "don't lose your work state while unplugging in one room and replugging in another. But if you need all that screen real estate and computing power to be portable, why not just spring for a padded carrying case and lightweight versions of conventional monitors, keyboard, CPU etc? That way when something breaks you just replace the something rather than sending the whole mess back to the shop.
EJ222
@paul314 That's more or less what this is, isn't it? They mention some amount of repairability as a goal, and the components appear to be socketed. I would even bet it uses an off-the-shelf ITX motherboard.



Anyway, those memory/storage goals seem rather mundane. Small 8TB NVMe SSDs are available now, and modern CPU platforms can easily support 2 of those + 128GB of RAM. The form factor/connectivity/cooling engineering is the hard part, and it looks like they've got that figured out.
aki009
Not bad. There was a time when I would've killed to have this thing. Clearly this is intended for folks who are supporting something complex on a production floor or in the field, or the guy who sits in the corner of meeting rooms.

@paul314: I think the idea is to be able to move and set up quickly. While separate components would work (except for the display part that probably would requires a roll or two of duct tape), plugging everything in&out for every displacement would probably get a bit tedious.
buzzclick
So their objective is to bring the weight down to 10 kilos...what does it weigh now? The specs are way over the top for us mortals, but perhaps an external power pack to give it more than 1 hour of use time, and also a chair that cradles the operator comfortably so they don't develop sore necks from looking up too much. lol
Nelson Hyde Chick
Who can take in that much information at a time? This a toy for those with a short attention span.