This week we’ve looked at product concepts from Compal including a rollable phone, a virtually bezel-free laptop, and a couple of dual-screen notebooks with displays that stack one on top of the other.
But the Taiwanese manufacturer is also envisioning a three-screen laptop with detachable displays that can be placed side-by-side with the laptop’s middle screen or removed for use as a standalone display.
Meet the Compal Airttach concept.
According to the pictures and brief description provided by the IF Design Award 2021 website, the Airttach is a laptop with three 13 inch displays that give you a 48:9 aspect ratio and a lot of screen space when the removable screens are placed on the left and right sides of the primary display.
Remove those screens and you’ve got what looks like a normal 13 inch thin and light laptop. Thanks to kickstand on the back of each of the removable displays, you can also prop them up in landscape or portrait mode for use “as standalone readers.”
It seems the removable displays are meant to connect to the laptop wirelessly, because Compal says you can use them when detached “with zero messy cords.”
There’s no word on what kind of specs the laptop would have, or how heavy the base needs to be to keep the whole thing from toppling over when used with three displays (it’s unclear from the images if the kickstands are long enough to reach a table or desk when the displays are attached).
But it’s not like we haven’t seen this sort of concept device before. Razer brought a working prototype of a 3-screen laptop called Project Valerie to the Consumer Electronics Show in 2017. That model, which was never turned into a real product that you could buy, sported three 17.3 inch 4K displays and a hefty weight of 12 pounds. It was also stolen from the show floor, but that’s another story.
Or if you’re looking for a solution designed to work with existing laptops, there’s always the Mobile Pixels Trio. By providing two 12.5 inch or 14 inch displays that you can attach to an existing laptop, the Trio system lets you sort of build your own triple-screen laptop. It’s a less elegant looking solution than Compal or Razer’s concepts, but it has the advantage of being a real thing you can buy for les than $300.