One of my photos

Today’s bright idea #11 – laptop screens

June 24th, 2020 · Posted by Skuds in Life/Technology · No Comments · Life, Technology

It has been a little while since I blurted out one of my bright ideas, about six years actually. In that time I have still had ideas of course; some of them impractical, some of them impossible and the rest just stupid – in other words, the same as usual. I just couldn’t be arsed to share them, what with me not being anywhere near as active a blogger as I was.

To add to my list of dodgy inventions, today I thought of a good one – laptop screens.Hang on, don’t laptops already have screens? Yes they do, but they are way too small for serious work, unless you have a laptop that is way too big to carry around sensibly. During the Covid-19 lockdown I have been working from home, as have a lot of people, and keep coming across the frustrations of laptop screens.

My preferred setup at work is a pair of 22″ monitors connected to a laptop dock. At home I have a spare dock and it is connected to a 22″ monitor on an arm. Because my desk already has a couple of 24″ monitors for my own computer there is not really room for a second monitor on the work laptop. When working I swing the monitor out in front of one of my personal screens – leaving the other one visible for running Radio 6 while I am working.

Most of the time I get by with that, but sometimes I need to open up the laptoip and use that screen too. It could be because I want to be writing VBA code on one screen while being able to see the results at the same time. Or I could be writing a document while looking up notes I made in OneNote. More likely I am in a videoconference and need the laptop open because of its camera, or so I can see a screen being shared by somebody else while still being able to open programs myself.

All of this is possible but just not really convenient on a 15″ laptop screen, not with my middle-aged eyesight anyway. What I really need is a way to make the leptop screen bigger, and that is today’s bright idea: a big screen (22″ or maybe larger) that slips over a laptop’s screen. Maybe it would be a thick thing with a slot in the middle which the laptop’s screen slots into or maybe there would be some sort of bracket on the back that can slot onto a laptop screen. Maybe it could just be a bracket that screws onto the VESA fittings on the monitor, but I would like something bespoke.

Ideally this monitor would be able to use a single cable to connect to the laptop’s USB-C socket that would provide power, video and connection to a camera built into the big monitor. It would be a nice, thin thing that could easily be stored out of the way at home and then when you bring back the company laptop to do some work at home you just drop it over the laptop, plug in one cable, and the OS would treat it like an internal display.

With the amount of flexible working going on I reckon there would be a market for such a thing. If somebody sold one of those for less than £200 I would absolutely buy one! I would be slapping a patent on it myself if I could just think of a brilliant product name.



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