A few years ago a company called Xebec launched a crowdfunding campaign for a Tri-Screen accessory that lets you add two 10.1 inch displays to a laptop, turning any your notebook into a mobile, triple-display workstation.
Now Xebec is back with a bigger, more versatile multi-display system called Xebec Snap. This time the displays are 13.3 inches. They support landscape and portrait orientation. And they can be snapped on or off of stands that extend from the side of the laptop. Xebec is running a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for the new system with the goal of shipping Xebec Snap hardware to customers by November, 2023.
Super Early Bird prices start at $399 for a Snap Dual-Screen system or $659 for a Snap Tri-Screen setup. Those prices are pretty steep when you can pick up a normal portable monitor for a fraction of the price. But they do represent discounts off the expected retail prices of $549 for the Snap Dual-Screen and $999 for the Snap Tri-Screen.
And, perhaps more importantly, Xebec’s accessory isn’t just a portable display that sits next to your laptop.
It consists of a bracket that connects to the back of your laptop in seconds, and which has a kickstand to give the notebook the weight needed to support one or two additional displays hanging off the sides.
The Snap Bracket also has built-in USB-C cables that connect to your notebook (there’s a USB Type-A adapter for laptops that don’t have Type-C ports, but you’ll need to install a DisplayLink driver to add support for video output over USB-A).
Then you can extend a set of stands from the side of the backet and just “snap” your displays in place. The portable displays connect to a set of pins on the bracket stands, and can be positioned for use in landscape or portrait orientation.
Each display is a 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display with a 60 Hz refresh rate and support for up to 400 nits brightness. The displays have aluminum bodies that measure 12.4″ x 7.4″ x 0.3″ and weigh 1 pounds each.
The Snap Bracket weighs 1.5 pounds and is adjustable so that it can fit onto most laptops with 13.3 inch to 17.3 inch displays.
In other words, adding two screens to your laptop will add about will increase the overall weight by about 3.5 pounds. No wonder there’s a kickstand in the bracket.
Each screen also consumes about 16.5 watts of power, which will take a toll on battery life. But the system also has a USB-C power input and support for up to 60-watts of passthrough power, which means that if you have a laptop that supports charging over USB-C, you can plug your laptop charger into the Snap Bracket to power your laptop and the displays at the same time, even if all of the USB-C ports on your notebook are being used.
A few other interesting tidbits about the Xebec Snap:
- You don’t have to buy both screens at once. If you want to buy a Snap Dual-Screen system you can turn it into a Tri-Screen system in the future by purchasing another display.
- Xebec is hoping to expand the ecosystem with other accessories that can snap onto the holders, such as smartphone holders/chargers or LED lights.
If the prices seem a bit too steep, even with the crowdfunding discount, Xebec is still selling a Tri-Screen 2 system with dual 10.1 inch displays. It has a list price of $499, but it’s on sale for $30 off when you use the coupon BACKTOSCHOOL.
Meanwhile Mobile Pixels, a company that beat the Xebec Trio to market by about a year, has really run off with the idea of multi-display laptop add-ons. The company currently offers dual and triple-screen accessories in 12.5 inch, 13.3 inch, and 14.1 inch sizes, with prices currently ranging from around $260 to $600.