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MWC 2010: MSI Demos Dual Screen Netbook

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Haven't we seen this somewhere before...?

Catching our eye in a quiet part of Mobile World Congress this week was MSI which had this stunning beastie hidden away on its stand. A prototype, similar to the canned OLPC XO-2, it drops a physical keyboard in favour of dual screens with a virtual keyboard popping up as and when required.

"We think it has potential" said an MSI spokesperson, "but obviously dual screens make a product more expensive than having just one and so we can't yet produce it for a price we think would make it attractive to customers."

Having tested out the prototype it is also clear that there are some rough edges to smooth out. Fuelled by an Atom processor, it didn't perform any faster than your average netbook while the use of resistive screens meant touches needed to be more deliberate than is ideal for touch typing. That said, MSI was right: the potential is there for all to see and the doubled display real estate was hugely welcome when performing common tasks on a portable device.

Will it come into production? At this stage no, but it does seem a long term inevitability as touchscreen technology and - vitally - haptic feedback improves. Thanks MSI for a tiny glimpse of the future...

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