Google appears to have filed a new patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for an unusual dual-screen convertible laptop or perhaps a Chromebook that can split into two equal parts. According to the documents, the device appears to consist of two identical halves which seem to rely on the concept of modularity to either work as independent computing devices or come together to form a convertible-like notebook. As usual, these types of patented technologies may not necessarily become available at a consumer level or at all, but they at least reveal some of the notebook convertible concepts currently entertained by Google.
Unlike most other convertible notebooks that can split in half, the dual-screen laptop presented in Google’s patent is based on two identical halves, each featuring a touch-sensitive display and lacking any sort of physical QWERTY keys. Interestingly enough, each one of these two halves seems to be powered by its own processing unit, networking interface, memory, battery, and power management modules, and each half can work independently from one another. Otherwise, the two tablet-like devices can be coupled together in a notebook fashion, and by doing so, one of the modules can be converted into an input device such as an on-screen keyboard with haptic feedback, while the other half can act as a display. Furthermore, it seems that when combining the two modules together, the processing units at the heart of each module can combine their forces to become more effective, and in addition, each module’s networking interface may also work hand-in-hand to increase uplink and downlink transfer rates.
In other words, the patent application at hand seems to depict two identical tablets that borrow a page from the concept book of modular hardware in order to combine and transform into a more powerful notebook convertible. Although an interesting concept to say the least, in practice, this idea may turn out to be too expensive for the consumer market, particularly because each module needs to have a touch panel and the necessary internals in order to work independently, effectively doubling some of the required hardware components. Having said that, the concept at hand appears to cater more to tablet users who may want to be able and share one half of the device with a friend or family member, and combine both halves in rarer situations that may require a bit more processing power or a form factor that is friendlier to productivity rather than media consumption.