I can’t be the only one who spend a lot of time in online meetings. And yet nobody has built a laptop that is purpose-made for online meetings. Everybody uses the same standard form-factor with the same limitations.
Single monitors are not enough. You can’t view someone’s screensharing, videostreams and take notes at the same time.
The build-in microphones suck, worthless audio. You need to have conference phone that takes up a USB ports, costs money and needs to be carried around.
The camera is generally basic and only works for one person.
My wish list for a great meeting laptop.
Totally silent keyboard, you should be able to type without putting the microphone on mute.
Videocamera that is actually good and presents a good picture and can handle bad light conditions like strong backlight. You don’t want to have a ringlight built into the laptop (even if that would be cool).
A 360 video camera capability that could pick up an entire room would be a nice feature if you would want to replace a conference room speaker but not neccesary for a single person meeting laptop.
Most important is good voice pickup without disturbing noise. Clarity is top priority. Low clarity puts a cognitive load on the meeting participants that your don’t want. It lowers the meeting quality.
Nice audio with focus on voice clarity. Have nice music is not very important, my laptop is a productivity tool.
Physical meeting controls and indicators. A button for muting and unmuting and turning video on and off would be nice.
Is this niche? I don’t even think it’s a niche. A lot of people spend a lot of time in Teams, Skype, Zoom, etc, online meetings. And besides from the dual monitor feature, adding the necessary hardware should add a marginal cost that is far less than the cost of a decent conference phone.
Dual monitors on a laptop
100% silent keyboard
These are going to make it pretty niche. Especially, the bulkiness of a second monitor will make it niche.
Function wise it stand out, but I think that the only thing that actually is a problem is the dual monitor since it will make the laptop bulkier. And people do accept bulkier computers. Many high-performace laptops are quite heavy and also have huge power brick and many seems to accept that tradeoff since it makes their job easier. A laptop that is 500 grams heavier and 8 cm thicker? I think many would accept that tradeoff. If 10% think it’s a great feature it’s a solid win since 10% of the laptop market is a huge market and there are not many dual-screen laptops.
I don’t think many people actually would see and disadvantage with a silent keyboard unless it has problems like a bad tactile response. 360 camera would not be a problem if there is smooth implementation - like having cameras on the side of the monitor lid and the back.
The main problem would probably be price, and to build a workable and durable dual monitor design.
For me, the main reason for the framework 13 is a mobile and lightweight device. If another display is actually required, I would probably recommend buying a portable, external 15 inch display off Amayon. This will be cheaper than any integrated solution.
A software solution for better audio with less noise can be achieved with nvidias broadcast application. It requires an Nvidia GPU but it can potentially filter out a lot of background noises from your microphone or other participants audio streams. Currently, this is not possible in a framework since there is no nvidia gpu available yet.
Really you’re talking about a redesigned top cover - one that’s at least one panel thicker.
Have to design some sort of hinge mechanism into the side, for the other panel to swing out.
Make that one a slightly smaller display, and you can have your fancy camera and audio across the top.
Serious cabling - you might be able to use the current EDP cable, maybe a flex cable between the two panels. And don’t forget the Wi-Fi antennae and cables.
No way the current hinges are going to handle this though. But since you’re already machining a whole new half of the laptop…
I think you might be in for redesigning both sides. Doubling the mass of the top half not only would put more stress on the hinges/frame, but it might make it more prone to toppling over. Now you have to reinforce and stabilize the bottom, possibly shift weight around, or worst case scenario, just add dead weight to the front edge. Definitely gonna need a chonkier form factor all around. Would love to see something like that though!
You’re probably right, especially because of the additional weight of the panel on the side. That introduces a whole new set of forces.
What if you have the second panel swing upward, and angled in enough to put the center of gravity in the right place to keep the deck flat?
This is fun
Having a second monitor that goes upward is probably best for online meetings.
Having monitors stacked above each other is generally bad when you have desktop monitors but for a laptop monitor I think that would be good. On a standard laptop, you have to bend your neck in an uncomfortable position to watch the monitor. Ideally, you would want the monitor higher up. With some kind of sliding mechanism, that could probably be done. Then you could use the upper monitor as the primary monitor and the lower as the secondary monitor. And if your don’t slide out the monitor, you can use the laptop as a standard single-monitor laptop.
You would also get the camera higher up. Generally, you want the camera in at the same height as your eyes.
Would the laptop be bulkier and heavier? Absolutely, and your would need sturdier hinges. But it would be totally unique on the market. If 5% love it, they only have one option. And the other 3439643 similar laptop designs can fight over the other 95% of the market. 5% of the laptop market is huge.