Two Screens Are Better Than One
Its maker dubs it the 2-VU, but layout artists, illustrators and photographers will call it the mother of all portable computers.
Manufactured by Estari Inc., the 2-VU is an unconventional tablet-style PC with two high-resolution color screens.
Adding two screens to an otherwise standard tablet PC design opens up new working possibilities for artists on the road and on the desktop, according to company officials.
The Estari's two flat-panel LCD displays are pen- and touch-enabled, allowing artists to work, sketch, draw, touch up, or annotate directly on the screens.
Users can assign windows, icons, applications, and documents to either screen. For example, photographers can put a scan on one display, and retouch it on the other.
Layout artists can view magazine spreads in all their two-page glory. Or they can use the extra display area to view entire signatures more easily.
Another interesting feature: When networked 2-VUs are positioned side by side, users can mouse from screen to screen to screen, across every 2-VU on a network.
Surprisingly, Estari is not targeting commercial publishers and printers with their innovative new design. They're marketing to federal government agencies, with emphasis on the U.S. military, says Bob Carberry, COO of Estari, in Harrisburg, Pa.
But the product's dual-screen benefit to publishers was obvious to the U.S. Air Force, one of Estari's first buyers, Carberry says.
The USAF is now using Estari 2-VUs, connected over a wireless network, to develop digital flight manuals at one of its flight bases, he says.
Both models use an Intel mobile Pentium III 933MHz processor, and offer two 15" 16-bit full-color touch screens. Maximum resolution is 1,024 x 768 pixels.
A wireless keyboard is an option. Dual lithium polymer batteries provide up to eight hours of power on the road, according to Estari officials.