Renamed and revamped Slidenjoy workspace extender finally starts shipping
Back in 2015, a Belgian startup hit Kickstarter to fund development and production of a device that would extend laptop display real estate by adding two extra screens. After numerous delays and issues, the company began shipping the first batch this month.
Not only did 1,600 backers make the crowdfunding effort a success to the tune of more than €600,000, but Slidenjoy – now renamed to Portabl – subsequently attracted 4,500 orders and over 10,000 pre-sale deposits and amassed some US$10 million dollars in the process.
However all of this success has been marred by much production drama, accusations of patent infringement and subsequent legal action, contributor fury, COVID-related delays, and more. For the last 18 months or so, the company entered stealth mode while making final arrangements and securing delivery of the first shipments of the renamed and revamped Slide units to its offices in Belgium.
But now communications have been reestablished, starting with a lengthy blog post on Medium summarizing the whole frustrating story, which makes for fascinating reading. A similar update has also been posted on the 2015 Kickstarter page.
So after years of playing whack-a-mole with numerous issues, including three years developing the communication protocol to allow two displays to run through a single USB cable, Portabl reports that its team has personally delivered the first units to backers in six European countries – almost six years after the estimated delivery date posted on the Kickstarter – and that more production units are on the way.
The Slide is a stand-alone unit, with 13.3-inch 1080p anti-glare screens that, well, slide out from either side of a 20-mm-thick support frame. The frame has its own fold-away adjustable support so users can rest a laptop or tablet display against it for a triple-screen setup.
It's compatible with OSX/macOS, Windows, Android or Ubuntu machines and connects over USB-C, USB 3.0 or USB 2.0 using DisplayLink technology. The Slide doesn't have its own battery, so draws power from the device it's cabled to, though it might be possible to plug in an external power supply. Contrast for the two additional screens is reported to be 800:1, and the refresh rate clocks in at 60 Hz.
"Reinventing portability is our corporate mission since day one," said co-founders Laurent Wéry, Charlee Jeunehomme and Thomas Castro. "Improving the everyday life of millions of laptop users around the world by offering them more portability and efficiency on-the-go with our Slide, a tool that is extremely easy to use, helping anyone equipped with a laptop to work comfortably from anywhere, playing a role in today’s new standards, whether it’s for health or ecological reasons."
Though most backers and pre-order customers have yet to receive their Slide units, fresh orders can now be placed for subsequent production runs. Prices start at around US$560, though we've no word on estimated shipping for new orders. The video below shows the device in action.