San Francisco-based Vinpok's multi-purpose portable touchscreen solution, called the Vinpok Split, is now just days from completing its Indiegogo funding with just over $1.2 million raised to deliver external, dual, or triple-screen functionality to smartphones, laptops, and consoles. That works with just about any device that features suitable output options, including smartphones with secondary desktop modes such as is found on Samsung or Huawei handsets or those with other screen extension options. So Vinpok Split covers a variety of use cases ranging from productivity to gaming or other media consumption, providing users a 15.6-inch 1080p touchscreen display with two single-watt speakers in a format that's only 8.8mm thick at its bulkiest point and weighs just 1.4lbs. Moreover, it's a relatively simple solution with USB Type-C or HDMI mini on the input side, although HDMI connections will require a dedicated power-source via the other port, and a 3.5mm audio jack serving as the sole output. The screen itself is 10-point touch-enabled and features a contrast ratio of 1000:1 as well as viewing angles rated at up to 178-degrees.
Pricing for the Vinpok Split is expected to start at around $399 but backers to the Indiegogo campaign can get a 50-percent discount on a single screen offering or a 51-percent discount on the two screen bundle. Meanwhile, accessories are also available, including a mounting clip that allows users to attach the device to a laptop's display or a monitor. That costs $9 under the campaign but has a standard cost that's right around $30. An angle-adjustable magnetic kickstand is available too, starting at $39 or at $19 for backers. Shipping for backers is well on track to start in December, with the company now finalizing production.
Background: Dual-screen solutions are nothing new, having been around for years in PC environments long before the arrival of ASUS's ZenScreen back in 2017 or mobile solutions such as Samsung's DeX or Huawei's EMUI Desktop. The former of those mobile solutions bore the closest resemblance to Vinpok Split in that it was a portable display panel with USB Type-C connectivity and cost just $249. However, ASUS didn't deliver a touch-based experience with its product and, oddly enough, included a pen only to serve as another way to prop the device up instead of for inputs. On the other hand, the aforementioned mobile options only serve as a way to harness the power of Android OS on a second display rather than acting as a display. So Vinpok's solution acts to bridge the gap between those intended features and others that are already available across nearly every computing platform. In short, it offers a portable solution to deliver extended functionality, media sharing, and more, delivering on products' promises where they either don't quite deliver or don't deliver on their own. At the same time, it can also serve just about any second or third-screen purpose imaginable.
Impact: For the time being, there's no mention as to when sales might be extended to retailers and the 'buy' link at the official site currently redirects to the Indiegogo campaign. What's more, as mentioned above, this isn't the first time a similar product has been launched to market. So it isn't immediately clear what kind of implications the Vinpok Split might have for the tech industry going forward. With more than 9,000 backers looking to extend their desktop, laptop, or smartphone with a second or third display, setting aside the Split's practical applications as a single portable display option for gamers, there's an obvious demand for this type of product. In fact, it's likely one of the driving factors behind the ever-elusive folding table/smartphone hybrid concepts that many manufacturers are working on. Bearing that in mind, whether Vinpok or any other manufacturer follows up by making it an option for a wider audience remains to be seen.