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Is a laptop three times as good if it’s got three times the screens? That’s what Razer may be hoping with Project Valerie, a prototype multi-monitor gaming laptop that it’s announcing at CES. From certain angles, Valerie looks a lot like the sleek Razer Blade Pro, which was announced in the fall of 2016. Instead of one 17.3-inch 4K IGZO display, though, Valerie has a stack of screens that slide into a three-display setup under their own power. The result may not be the most practical gaming PC you’ll see this year, but it’s probably one of the most unusual.
Multiple displays are a significant perk of desktop computers, letting people multitask or play games with a super-wide field of view. The Blade Pro, with its Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card and mechanical keyboard, is effectively a desktop PC replacement. But if you want more than one screen, you still have to rely on external peripherals. Project Valerie changes that, at the cost of some added weight and thickness. Where the Blade Pro is 7.8 pounds and 0.88 inches thick, Valerie weighs around 12 pounds and is 1.5 inches thick. Both laptops are VR-ready, exceeding the recommended specs of the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.
While Project Valerie has the same graphics card and keyboard as the Pro, we don’t know the exact specs, since it’s a concept design. In addition to a backlit keyboard, it has lighting strips under the two side monitors, which project an ambient glow onto the surface beneath them. Its extra screens will take a toll on the battery life, which is already only around four hours on the Blade Pro, but Razer doesn’t say exactly how long it lasts. (Hypothetically, you could save power by leaving the extra screens folded and off, although that somewhat defeats the purpose.)
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We also don’t know how much it will cost if it comes to market as a final product. The Blade Pro starts at $3,499, which is already a serious price tag, so it’s safe to say this laptop won’t be for the average gamer.
Razer isn’t the first company to hit on this idea. Mashable noted a dual-screen laptop trend in 2009, and similar designs have cropped up in the years since, including an aftermarket product called Slidenjoy, which is supposed to start shipping this month. The fact that they’ve never really caught on may be a good indicator of how Project Valerie will end up — or maybe people have just been waiting for the right one to come along.