Intel's Vision for the Future? A Bizarre Dual-Screen Fabric Laptop

TAIPEI, TAIWAN - AsusZenBook Pro Duo is generating a ton of buzz as the first laptop with a secondary 14-inch display, but an Intel concept laptop revealed at Computex 2019 shows how other manufacturers can take advantage of a dual-screen design.

Credit: Andrew Freedman/Tom's Hardware

Named Twin River, the device isn't just unique because of its two 12.3-inch displays, but also because it's made of fabric, as Tom's Hardware reports.

Of course, the stars of the show are the two 12.3-inch panels, which, with a resolution of 1080p, have an aspect ratio of 3:2. If you're used to a 16:9 aspect ratio, a 3:2 ratio (found on the Surface Pro 6) gives you a taller, but narrower work area, which is generally great for viewing documents or browsing the web.

MORE: Intel Opens Athena Labs to Test Next-Gen Laptops

Inside the concept device is a Whiskey Lake U-series quad-core Intel CPU, not the Y-seres chips typically used in fanless laptops. Because it doesn't have a discrete base, Intel had to do some tinkering to get all the components housed within the frame of Twin River.

Credit: Andrew Freedman/Tom's Hardware

The solution was a split motherboard, with the CPU, storage and memory on the top, and networking, connectivity and I/O components on the bottom. This should keep the bottom portion cooler than the top, which is critical considering the prototype doesn't have a fan.

Now, back to the material. We've seen all sorts of strange materials on laptops lately, from wood to leather. Intel went the route of the Surface Laptop and opted for a fabric shell. More specifically, the prototype uses a material created by a vendor in San Francisco that consists of a blend of polyester, polyamide and lycra.

Our biggest hesitation with the recent wave of dual-screen laptops is the typing experience. Intel is jumping ahead of those concerns by packaging the dual-screen laptop with a Bluetooth keyboard that fits snugly inside the device when it's closed. That's a big relief, because, at just 1.7 pounds, this device is something you'll want to take on your next trip.

Intel's dual-screen fabric laptop isn't something you can buy, but it demonstrates what can be done with current laptop technology. The company believes we'll see similar devices on Best Buy shelves in the coming years.

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.