[M] Screen Holders and Dual Screen Laptop Mode

A project log for Teti [gd0022]

A 3-in-1 desktop because I can't build a 2-in-1 laptop.

kelvinakelvinA 06/17/2022 at 15:400 Comments

[17:30] Sigh... Now that I'm back into designing Teti, I think I can see the reason why my progress has stalled for months: all the "low hanging fruit" tasks mostly dried up and it was now predominantly the complex tasks left. One such task is designing the screen holder.

Screen Holders

My original idea was to have the 3 screen holders in a line like this, but Me In The Past already had concerns that it was only 75mm wide and Me Now was thinking that it was a waste of space utilisation. My new idea was to go the full 145mm width of space and just accept that I was going to cover the ports.

Or would I?

It was only when I started adding the parts to the Teti model that I realised that I could arrange the 3 holders in a C and avoid covering the ports. I could even drop one in through the top cutout if needed.

I'll likely add some holes for magnets down the line, but for now I wanted to further diffuse the potential solution into CAD, so I added material to support the back of the screen and started work on the laptop holder concept.

Dual Screen Laptop Mode

So, as you may know, a single screen is "Tethered Tablet" mode and 3 screens is for Desktop mode. 2 screens are for a laptop mode, both because the laptops seen below aren't purchasable and are just concepts, and because Teti was to fill the void of not being able to buy a laptop I wanted at the price I wanted to pay. A big reason was because most touchscreen and 2-in-1 laptops were either coming with soldered on memory or capped out at 16GB anyway. The cheapest 32GB 2-in-1 was from Lenovo and like £2200 when otherwise matched spec laptops were over half that for 16GB. Looking at Teti's BOM, the PC and its 3 4K monitors are around £2300, and for that I get a 11600K, 3060Ti and 64GB of RAM. I determined that I mainly desired relative portability (moving around a room) and usually not absolute portablilty (on a train), so I decided to go through with the PC route.

Asus Project Precog
Acer Iconia 6120 (this one existed back in 2011)

Intel Honeycomb Glacier

Intel Twin River 

Dell Duet

Anyway, I was connected to a charger half the time and less than a metre away from it for meybe 40%, so It wasn't too hard to accept having a USBC cable or two always plugged in to the device.

Original Concept

Along with the original concept of Teti, the idea was to use magnets to hold the 2 screens on a printed mount. I used the Concept 3060Ti eGPU to guage how large it was going to be. 

If you're wondering, the eGPU concept was a battery powered eGPU to use with the GX1 Pro I called Aeti (technically pronounced A-eti but I predominantly called it The Ae-Ti (not "tie" like that one guy at NVidia, but Ti as in 3060Ti or 2080Ti)) in the bleak days of the GPU shortage. I thought "Ok, if I can't build Teti, why not double down on portability and get a 7" beast of a UMPC? Aeti was "a work of art", as I repeatedly said, but I managed to snag a 3060Ti at MSRP days after getting it and diagnosed WiFi issues days after that and unfortunately returned it. It also had a few annoyances I knew were going to get to me eventually (limited screen angle and only 16GB of RAM) so it was a sweet 'n' sour relationship. 

New Screen Holder Idea

This was the first time using the Pin-Slot joint and it's used to make sure the other half was level with the table at any angle.
Fusion decided to do this back breaker and I eventually figured out how to get it to use the other solution:
I then tried to see if I could close it like a traditional laptop:
Yeah that's not happening. Anyway, these are the measured stats:
So I'm looking at an 8 degree tilt for the bottom screen. This design also alows for the screens to be at 180 degrees, which is a feature I expecially like in laptops. At 180, the bottom screen is at its minimum angle of 6 degrees. It suprisingly stays within the 6 - 8 degree tilt throughout all usable angles of the main screen. Asus's Duo has a 9.5 degree tilt, but hopefully the 8.2 degree tilt at the maximum is still good enough for science.

Lastly, I might use the free mounting point to hold Tetent.