If you've been following Microsoft's plans for a dual-screen tablet PC - dubbed Courier
with interest, perhaps you'd care to take a look at this ingenious DIY project.
Pak-Kei Mak, of the MyDellMini forums
- via Netbooked
- has taken advantage of the release of a 9" USB-connected DisplayLink monitor to create a dual-screen tablet, integrating a touchscreen and a copy of Windows 7 to create a pretty impressive mod.
Although there is still a lot of work to do - Mak plans to create a laser-cut custom case and flatten the components in the USB display in order to create a device which is both portable and usable, with the screens being able to be unfolded to a full 180 degrees and closed up again to protect the surface.
Impressively, both screens offer full touch support - although Mak says that despite Windows 7 having picked up and installed the drivers for both touchscreens the calibration of the left-hand screen is "a little off,
" with his preferred calibration tool - CalTouch - refusing to see the second screen at all.
Mak plans to use the left-most screen to read websites on - with the portrait mode making it ideal for mobile and iPhone-formatted sites - while making notes and annotations on the right-hand screen, which has full support for Windows 7's on-screen keyboard and touch capabilities.
With official netbook-based tablets such as the Eee PC T91
proving a surprisingly difficult sell in a world in which the canonical portable touch-screen device is the iPhone, perhaps a dual-screen layout is the answer - although there are likely to be as many who hate being forced to use portrait mode as will love the extra display. With two screens running, battery life is another issue that Mak has yet to address.
This aside, it's certainly an impressive mod in progress.
Would you love to get your hands on an overgrown Nintendo DS dual-screen tablet, or are you failing to see how useful it would be once the 'cool' factor has worn off? Share your thoughts over in the forums