It’s easy to set up multiple displays at your desk, giving you more space for viewing apps, documents, and other content. It’s a lot trickier to do that on the go.
You could buy a USB monitor and plug it into your laptop. Or you could completely reimagine what a portable multi-display computer would look like. And that’s the approach Matthew Perks took. He designed a DIY Triple Screen Laptop which… isn’t really a laptop. But it is a mobile, battery-powered multi-display computer that you can carry with you.
For displays, the system uses a 15.6 inch, 3840 x 2160 pixel, 120 Hz primary screen and two 9.7 inch, 1536 x 2048 pixel iPad displays positioned horizontally on either side.
Those are held together by a 3D printed case which also holds a Framework Laptop mainboard, which serves as the brains of the operation, as well as a Framework Laptop battery, display adapter boards, cables, and other components.
In order for everything to work properly while taking up as little space as possible, Perks did have to perform a little bit of surgery on some of the cables. And since the motherboard has only four USB-C ports (and two are used for displays, while a third is used for power input), he also connected a USB hub to the remaining port in order to let you connect storage devices or other peripherals.
The finished product is a triple-display computer with side displays that can be folded inward to cover the primary screen, offering protection and portability. What’s missing? There’s no keyboard.
Instead, Perks put a set of legs on the bottom of the system. They can be extended to stand the computer on a table or desk so that all three displays are positioned at eye level. You’ll need to bring along a wired or wireless mouse and/or keyboard for input. Like I said, you can’t actually use this thing on your lap, so calling it a laptop feels a little wrong.
But it is certainly much more portable than some of the other multi-screen “laptops” we’ve seen in recent years.
While the DIY Triple Screen Laptop is not for sale, Perks has released design files for anyone who wants to build their own, as well as a 12-minute video that walks through the project. You can also find links for most of the hardware used in the description of the video.
via Hacker News