I know I've said in the past how much I love having a second display attached to my PC and laptop, but man alive, there's something uniquely sinister about having seven of them unfold from a single machine. And yet that's precisely what Expanscape's done with their Aurora 7 prototype. I should stress, this isn't a gaming laptop, but a "proper mobile security operations center", according to Expanscape's website - although it does have an Nvidia GTX 1060 chip inside it if you did fancy having a cheeky Hades run on the sly. I mean, it's not like you're short on screens, is it?
I'm not gonna lie, this thing has big Transformers energy, and its sharp, angular chassis and bulky black frame makes me think this is more likely to be a Decepticon than a friendly-natured Autobot. I mean, I can practically hear Soundwave's voice coming out of this thing, can't you? This is the start of humanity's downfall, I can just feel it.
All jokes aside, the Aurora 7 is certainly an impressive undertaking, and I'm amazed that it actually works. I particularly love the two teeny pop-up screens in what I'm calling the right and left wing screens. They're just so gosh darned tiny - completely impractical for trying to read anything, but cute additions all the same.
There's a full breakdown of how the laptop folds out on Expanscape's site, and goodness, I almost spat out my tea when I saw the words "[can] be folded down quickly to facilitate travel." This thing weighs 12kg, according to its specs page, and measures 11cm thick when it's all folded up. That's enormous! I mean, yes, it's probably quicker and easier than carrying around seven individual monitor screens with you, but only just...
I also love that it has just 28 minutes battery life when you've got its Intel Core i9-9900K processor running at 4GHz. This apparently increases to 40 minutes when the CPU's running at 3GHz, or a full hour when it's clocked at 2GHz, and that's with two batteries at its disposal. Incredibly, there's also an HDMI out, just in case you want to add another screen to the mix beside it.
Its poor battery life probably has something to do with the fact that four of its seven displays at all have 4K resolutions. The 7in doodads on the outer wings and the one built in next to the touch pad, meanwhile, have a resolution of 1920x1200. That's a lot of pixels to drive for a laptop battery, especially when it's also got to power that aforementioned Core i9-9900K CPU and a GTX 1060 graphics chip.
Expanscape haven't said how much their Aurora 7's going to cost just yet, but you can email them to enquire about the latest version of their prototype, the A7 M3, which has slightly newer specs than the one detailed above (a choice of Intel's Core i9-10900K CPU, or AMD's Ryzen 9 3950X, plus an Nvidia RTX 2070 GPU). Just don't say I didn't warn you when it turns out to be a robot in disguise all along...