Edward Bullister has a great idea for a tiny netbook-like device that you can fold up and put in your pocket, or unfold to use with a full sized keyboard and display. Unfortunately, right now about all he has is an idea. Bullister says he has a business plan, and he’s put together a nice little demo video, which I posted the other day. But today I got a chance to check out his non-working prototype, and there’s clearly a lot of work to be done.

dragonfly and wind

Basically, the prototype is a portable keyboard that’s been cut in half and placed in a plastic case with a hinge. A few pieces of glass with paper cut-outs of web pages and other graphics go where the screens would go.

Bullister says he’s been talking to Intel and he’s working to find hardware manufacturers interested in building actual products based on his device. But so far he’s not ready to make any announcements.

The concept is pretty cool. In order to fold up, the computer would require two separate displays. The prototype doesn’t have any kind of pointing device, but Bullister says he plans to add one, although a touchscreen could also work. He imagines a finished product with an Intel Atom Moorestown-based CPU could sell for around $600. He thinks the price point would be higher than the typical netbook because of the dual screens and other components.

You can check out a short video with Bullister and his Dragonfly mockup after the break. Please excuse the horrible camera work. I come from radio, not TV, okay?


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11 replies on “First look at the Dragonfly folding netbook concept – Video”

  1. It is a LOT more portable than anything right now. All of the full PC computers that are portable enough to carry in a large pocket that are available for one do not have a touch type keyboard. Second the ones that are small enough have pen input or thumb input which is a complete joke. There is not one practical full PC that a business person could carry in a pocket that provides reasonable keyboard input. While I would say his prototype is very crude it does to me demonstrate a viable product that I would buy.

    For most mobile sales reps & business managers on the go, we do not need a full 16.9 size screen. I could easily see this being carried in a large coat pocket with no problems at all. I would like see it a little lighter as other UMPC’s with similar specs are a bit lighter, closer to the 1lb mark. Having a full PC that has a good keyboard that can be carried in my coat is worth it to me. I think it would be worth about $700 to $1500 depending on the memory, battery life, and performance.

  2. I am sick and tired of all the weak UMPC’s with no keyboard or thumb keys. I’ve wanted something like this for as long as I can remember. Hope it goes into production soon.

  3. That is a great idea! As long as it is small enough to fit in a typical large inside jacket pocket that would be the best mobile computer available!

  4. Well, it is more portable, but is it ‘that’ much more portable? And isn’t the downside of a less the full sized 16:9 screen and having it split make the shown portability less desirable?

    When I look at the demo it doesn’t really strike me as a good balance. The mock up of the screen is not even complete but with a bezel around each screen and the whole unit fitted-out you are looking at something less portable because it will still weights the equivalent of four or five iPhone glued together.

    Can you imagine shoving something the size of a 400 page paperback that weighs 1.4lbs -1.8 lbs in your pocket? No this will be put in a bag or briefcase just as most netbooks. Therefore, what is the point?

    – Interrupted screen,that is also not as tall as it needs to be
    – Only modest weight savings
    – Higher cost?

    Sorry, the whole concept need to fix two of the three above before this is a good idea.

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