Google Eyeing Linkable Dual-Screen Laptop-Tablet Hybrids

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In short: Google appears to be considering the development of dual-screen laptops, as suggested by a newly awarded patent reviewed by AndroidHeadlines. The WIPO-issued IP documentation describes a 'pair' of display housings that can be joined together to form a single device, including a clamshell laptop. That would mean that one display forms the keyboard portion while the other acts as a more typical screen. However, the company goes much further than that in its description, adding that power supplies, storage, processing power, and other resources would be shared between the two 'display housings' when connected.

Background: At first glance, the device shown in Google's patent appears to be similar to Lenovo's Android-based Yoga Book but upon further inspection that isn't likely to be the case. That's because that other device essentially uses its second panel as an active drawing tablet, coupled with a pen stylus and a keyboard, while the other panel is the display. Those don't attach or detach and they don't necessarily share any resources. Aside from discussing shared resources and assets between the two displays, Google's design includes the ability to completely detach the two displays and use them separately. In effect, that would cut the resources of either apparent tablet device in half but allow two prospective consumers to have their own tablet, which can then be joined to share files or media. Moreover, they'd be able to share processing in order to accomplish tasks for either work or entertainment that the individual tablet wouldn't be able to do on its own. It could also be universal so that any two tablets built around the said design could be linked together.

Impact: The implications of that are far-reaching and would be useful in either enterprise or consumer-grade applications. In regards to the former, two work associates could share company resources – presumably with protections in place to prevent unauthorized sharing – just by physically linking up their portable computers. Moreover, if there is a work-related task that needs to be completed using both devices' resources or a single unit simply cannot suffice and needs assistance, that could easily be accomplished by linking the tablets together. In an at-home scenario, the same rules could apply but between family members and friends. However, there's no way to know at this juncture whether the tablets would be running Android, Chrome OS, or Fucshia OS, let alone whether or not Google will actually develop a new device based on the newly protected technology.

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