Dual Touch Screen Laptop
Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - Iddo Genuth
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Estari's DC15 really packs a punch, equipped with an Intel Dual Core Processor 1.83GHz, up to 2 Gig RAM, 60-100Gig Hard Drive, WIFI and USB 2.0. The most interesting feature of the DC15 is its dual touch screen which can be used either horizontally or vertically. How can you use the DC15 without a keyboard? According to Estari the machine comes with an integrated virtual keyboard or, you can simply write on the screen with or without a stylus. If you need to do lots of typing, you can always use a wireless keyboard or plug one into one of the USB ports.
The DC15 doesn't fall into the thin & light category. Weighing a hefty 13 lbs (5.9kg) you will need a strong arm to carry this beast. Battery life might also be a limiting factor maxing out at 2.5 hours, which is not surprising considering the dual 15' displays. Giving these limitations and the hefty price tag it is obvious that the DC15 is intended for professional use. Our only reservation in this case might be the use of the relatively weak onboard graphics which might limit some of the more demanding graphic users.
Q: What will be the main applications of your dual touch-screen laptop?
A: Based on feedback from the trade show we have displayed at, I would say our immediate markets are: military, government, emergency response, real estate, accountants, medical, and virtually any professional who wants the convenience of a dual screen mobile computer. We have a customer in the medical market that we customized a unit for that has a built in ultrasound device. Based on the response I saw at RSNA in Chicago in Nov 2006, this will be a huge market. That said though, we have seen excitement from a large variety of potential customers. We have had many people suggesting that it will become their desktop unit. People are tired of all that clutter under and on top of the desks that a desktop unit takes.
Q: The current 2-VU is relatively heavy. Do you plan a lighter version? Do you have plans for a rugged version for military and other uses?
A: We intend on going for the thinnest/lightest. This unit has a double wall construction all around with the motherboard located away from the walls and the hard drive suspended to protect it from outside impact. To be considered "Ruggedized" by military specs requires tremendous cost and time. We did a military show in San Diego last month showing our new unit and several companies indicated a willingness to take us through this process. I am sure some day it will happen, but it will be when an agency is willing to fund it or when we get further into operations. So, it is very rugged which accounts for a lot of the weight, but not "ruggedized".
We are currently working on a dual 12 inch unit but it is still months away. It will be considerably smaller and lighter but with smaller screens also which somewhat defeats the purpose for dual screens in the first place: more visual space.