[E1][R] Monitor Splitting Strategy

A project log for Tetent UMPC [gd0149]

Can I now make something better than a 2-in-1 laptop? Something that I can use outdoors?

kelvinakelvinA 05/23/2023 at 19:120 Comments

I think it's time I started researching how I'm going to get the side screens to act like 2 seperate screens. The main idea is to drive 2 screens from one TB-chip, just like below:

In the image below, I show what any device will automatically display on the top, and how I actually want it to display on the bottom:

I'm not yet sure if I want the side screens aligned to the top or to the bottom (as shown). I think the latter looks a bit like a 3D carousel.

So I'm thinking that my options are:

  1. Give up on 90Hz OLED and go dual 60Hz Mini-LED 6.3's, even if Leti would probably be as long as a 16" laptop is wide (360mm). 
    1. Use the extra length to fit in a 148Wh battery (up from 111Wh). I'm not planning on flying, but apparently you can take up to 160Wh inside carry-on luggage. The 100Wh limit is for suitcases.
    2. The issue with this one is that 360mm might be hard to use one-handed and it may be uncomfortable to look at one screen or the other since I'd likely have to turn my head.
  2. Find software that can configure the screens.
    1. I found "DisplayFusion", but at this time it doesn't support fullscreen windows.
  3. Try and find a USB3.0 -> HDMI that supports 1200*1080px 90Hz.
    1. This would allow Leti to drive 3 external monitors instead of 2, since both Intel and AMD have a cap of 4 monitors on the iGPU.
  4. Run each monitor directly, and just turn off the side monitors if I want to use external monitors.
    1. I'd also need a second I2C bus since the TB-chip only supports 2 different addresses.
  5. Wait. What if I flip the script entirely and do 4, but the OLED is the center screen?

Here me out here:

Am I really going to pick this device up to skim though 25 research papers while I run computational fluid dynamics on a CAD model most of the time? 


Why run dual QHD panels all the time when I probably could use less-than-HD real-estate more than 50% of the time? This would be similar to a laptop + 2 desktop monitors arrangement. This solution seems to get more of the benefits and less of the drawbacks:

This not-a-notch design likely would be better as I'd more easily fit a webcam:

[25 May: Edit 1] I'm also thinking of virtually splitting the 6.3" panels in half. The center screen has an aspect ratio of 0.9:1 and these virtual side monitors would have a very similar aspect ratio of 0.889:1. The fullscreen bug becomes a feature in this way too.