During the CES 2017 technology convention in January, popular gaming peripheral maker Razer introduced a laptop concept called Project Valerie. It consisted of three displays instead of one, with the left and right displays sliding in and out from behind the main central screen. Given it’s just a prototype, there is no current information of when a retail model will hit the streets. That prompted one YouTube streamer to create his own.
For this home-built model, the screens are collapsible, as they are attached to the back of the laptop’s screen using door hinges costing $2 each. There are actually two hinges per display, enabling the user to fold the panels over the laptop’s main display when it’s closed.
According to YouTuber JerryRigEverything, the two AOC panels used in his makeshift three-display laptop setup cost $100 each. He is probably using the 15.6-inch E1659FWUX model, sold on Best Buy here, sporting a 1,366 x 768 resolution at 60Hz, a response time of 8 milliseconds, and a dynamic contrast ratio of 500:1. The important note here is that this panel connects via USB 3.0 only — no additional power and display cords are necessary.
The first step in mimicking Project Valerie was to figure out where the door hinges needed to reside. He did this by taping one side of the two hinges along the backside of each monitor and then taping the other side of the hinges to the backside of the laptop’s panel. Once everything looked right, he used a blade to etch the outline of the hinges into the plastic of each display. He then used the epoxy glue to mount the hinges onto the back of the laptop followed by the back of the first AOC display.
Attaching the second AOC display was a bit tricky. While the two door hinges could be glued to the back of the laptop, the hinges weren’t long/wide enough to attach to the back of the AOC display when all three displays are stacked. Instead, these hinges had to be glued to the thin bezel on the AOC display’s side. Note that no display was harmed in this process from drilled holes and screwed in bolts.
Ultimately what this project shows is just how silly a three-panel laptop can look out in public. On an airplane, this setup ate up the physical space of three drop-down trays, which would undoubtedly infuriate passengers sitting to the user’s left and right. On a bus, the setup looks huge not to mention wobbly as the bus continuously rolls over uneven pavement.
At home or in the office, this setup makes sense, as three screens can make users highly productive. However, Project Valerie aims to bring multi-display PC gaming to mobile users. This do-it-yourself copycat is a cheaper alternative although the use of epoxy glue doesn’t promise much stability. If anything, this at-home method just goes to show all the engineering Razer dumped into its Project Valerie prototype for a sturdy, immersive on-the-go experience.