Aside from the hardware, Dell also wanted to showcase the type of software it can deliver on devices like this. Neither concepts were running Microsoft’s Windows 10 X for such devices yet, since the software isn’t available, so “we built some magic software to try and evaluate different experiences,” Tosh said.
One of these was a three-finger gesture to send an app from one screen to another (on the Duet), while a four-finger tap quickly stretches an app across both displays. This worked in both landscape and portrait orientations. When you place the keyboard accessory on the top half of the Duet’s base display, a digital trackpad shows up below it to make for a more intuitive laptop-like experience.
We saw fewer gestures like this on the Ori, but one example showed an onscreen keyboard appear on the lower third of the display when the device was folded and set up like a mini laptop.
No one other than Microsoft knows just yet exactly what Windows 10 X will look like, and it’s possible the company will have more elegant solutions for these use cases. But till then, Dell is looking into what it thinks customers will want and need. “If the OS is going to do it anyway, then we don’t have to do it,” Tosh said. “But there’s some things we may find that they’re not going to support (and) we may want to add it,” he clarified.
As for the question of whether a dual-screen or folding-screen device is more feasible, Tosh told me “I see Duet and Ori as both sides of the same coin.” Duet’s greatest issue at the moment lies in its software — the hardware is pretty much ready. As for the Ori and other concept devices Dell is brewing in its experience innovations lab, Tosh explained it’s an evergreen effort to figure out what happens in the future. As for today, we don’t know what or when to expect Dell to roll out the results of its experiments, but it certainly seems like dual-screen laptops are more ready for prime time and are likelier to arrive soon.
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