The world’s first triple display laptop, unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada earlier this month, has merits, but isn’t needed by high tech programs at Durham College (DC), such as gaming and animation.
The laptop, Razer’s Project Valerie, has two of its three 4K resolution, 17.3 inch screens, fold out from the centre screen to give the user an almost panoramic view. The gaming laptop also features a Nividia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card.
DC has several programs which require a second screen, including programming, animation and game development. However, could they ever require a third screen?
According to Gary Chapple, coordinator and professor in the animation program at DC, animators often use two screens. At DC, the animation labs are equipped with desktops that have two screens. Having three screens could be useful, says Chapple, and even alludes to perhaps having larger screens.
Razer’s Project Valerie is, however, only a prototype and might have some problems. According to Game Development program coordinator and professor, John Goodwin, this desktop replacement would run too hot.
Goodwin uses three screens at home and two at school, however he uses the third screen usually for contact to the outside world, such as e-mailing a client or merely using a web browser.
Goodwin explains a three screen desktop replacement like Project Valerie is for a niche market. It’s for people running a lot of editing applications, or for the gamer who wants an immersive experience.
In fact, Goodwin believes two screens are not really necessary for many computer users. The gaming development program, needs two screens for a lot of studio-based applications, but for the average consumer, using Microsoft Word and Excel, two screens are not necessary, Goodwin says.
Project Valerie isn’t necessary for the professional gamer, either. Amjad Aslam, captain of the DC and UOIT collegiate Overwatch team, considers himself to be a semi-professional player and would definitely want Project Valerie if given to him.
However, Aslam says the laptop replacement wouldn’t help his professional gaming.
Aslam would use the third screen to help him livestream his gaming, he explains. His left or right screen would be for the community, such as his chat, and his viewers. The other side would use his streaming program as well as anything else required for the stream. Finally, the middle screen would be used for the game.
“Where I see the use is multi-tasking,” says Aslam.
Project Valerie’s immersive experience isn’t for the competitive first person shooter gamer. Having to look around at three screens would actually be a hindrance while playing, says Aslam.
“You only have so much focus that you can have … you’re usually just focusing on the small part of the centre of your field of view, and that’s where most of the action happens, too. It might even be a distraction to have the extra field of view,” says Aslam.
According to Aslam, Project Valerie could give a person who is playing a single player game an immersive experience, but it is a niche product.
Razer’s Project Valerie is only a prototype and the likelihood of it being mass produced is very slim. Although having the extra screen can be useful, it’s not necessary, says Goodwin.
Aslam and Goodwin both agree that Project Valerie gives a person extra screen real estate and it’s useful when running a lot of different applications and you need to see multiple things at once, but three 4K screens are definitely not necessary.