How to turn a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 into a dual-screen tablet PC
If you just can’t wait for the tablet computer of your dreams to be delivered ( latest rumour: launching in March 2010 for $1,000), then why not make your own? That’s just what Dell Mini forum member (and professional designer) Pak-Kei Mak did and the result is a dual-screen portable that, while clearly in the prototype stages, still shows plenty of promise.
The ‘Harlequin’ project is built around a heavily modified Dell Inspiron Mini 9 netbook and the design is inspired by Microsoft’s ‘ Courier’ concept device. According to Pak-Kei Mak, the key was the availability of a 9” touch-sensitive display that works over USB — this is the same size as the Mini 9’s existing display and he’s used it to replace the Mini 9’s keyboard.
Windows 7 successfully drives both screens in portrait mode and supports the touch-sensitive display (though there are a few issues still to resolve). The next is to produce a two-part hinged case to house both screens.
This is clearly going to be a mains-powered project, though — it doesn’t look like there’s room for a jumbo-size battery and those two screens will suck up a lot of juice.