Sometimes you just never have enough space to fit everything on a single screen. Laptops are great for productivity on-the-go, or at least providing the option of mobility, but can quickly feel too cramped when bigger projects come around. You’re comparing two documents while looking up a schedule, have eight tabs open for research, as well as spreadsheets with time sheets, and three different messaging apps open, all on a company-provided 13-inch laptop. A 2nd or even a 3rd display would be invaluable right about now.
While extra monitors are great when you’re at home, traveling (we remember when that was a thing…) can be a bit cumbersome lugging around extra displays. Small and compact USB-powered mini displays are great, but can be a bit of a headache to get them perched on your lap, or the dash of your car. Xebec, a startup created and founded by Alex Levine, has a solution that might tempt you, though, with its Tri-Screen 2 multi-screen solution.
The Tri-Screen 2 is, as its name suggests, the second iteration of its multi-screen solution that adds an extra display to either side of a laptop. It clamps in place and folds away neatly when not in use, providing you with that triple monitor workstation you had back home.
The two extra displays are 10.1-inches diagonal, with a Mac-friendly 1920×1200 resolution, a 16:10 aspect ratio rather than the more standard 1920×1080 on most other laptops, with IPS panels for the best color reproduction. The small displays are to keep the weight down of the whole system, adding just 2 lbs to your carry weight. These displays are powered by USB with 5V 2 Amps per screen. Each screen has two USB Type-C ports with DP inputs, one for video and the other for passthrough and charging. There is also a Mini-HDMI input too.
The new design is more compact than the previous, and doesn’t rely on adhesives or magnets to keep the extra displays in place. It uses a custom clamping system and allows for the two extra displays to fold away compact without obstructing you from closing the laptop. The two USB cables are also quite short to keep the cable clutter to a minimum. The displays do not support daisy chaining, which makes using the Tri-Screen 2 as a free-floating display tricky, if that’s what you wanted.
At a retail price of $499, this product is on the pricier side of things, especially considering that the displays are only 10-inches, but it’s the engineering behind the portability and compactness that you are paying for here. The clamp can fit on any laptop with a display from 12-inches to 20-inches, which puts it in range of supporting desktop replacements. Whether we see larger displays in the future, will be up to Xebec.