Anyone thought of adding a second lcd panel to a laptop to create a dual display?

Hello everyone,

Just wanted to ask a question to all of you modders out there...

Seeing as two or three new products have been shown off at technology shows sporting dual displays on a laptop of normal dimensions, has anyone thought of trying to add one themselves? They are so thin now, and I am sure altering components such as lcd controllers and graphics output could be done pretty straightforwardly. Several teams appear to have come up with what I would expect is the most efficient and attractive method: a sliding lcd panel in front of the second panel, both embedded in the lid. I am a video editor, and this would be ideal as our programs are so big, we need as much real estate as we can get visually. Anyone willing to give it a go with an old spare and do an instructable?

Here is a link to my favourite dual display laptop design:

http://www.techspot.com/news/36018 [...] ebook.html

http://www.engadget.com/2009/12/10 [...] -kohjinsh/

The two ends of the laptop spectrum - high end desktop replacement with two 15" screens (adding two full HD 1080p 15.6" wouldn't be too hard); and a 10" netbook with a 768p dual display setup proves that it is practically feasible and even financially viable.

A bit of casing areound the second panel, an extra GFX module using an expresscard port or similar, perhaps an lcd controller, and bob is your father's brother.

If anyone thinks they could manage it in principle, please do upload any pics of the project - Im sure many will find it useful and inspiring for their own mods...

Thanks, David

draven7185 years ago

I am planning to get this, and it seems like what you might be looking for.
I think it is perfectly possible and very simple. Well apart from re engineering the top to allow two sliding LCD panels, that's it. You don't need any extra GFX module.

Practically every single laptop nowadays has an external video port, usually a D-SUB VGA for connecting it to an external monitor, but it can also be a DVI connector or even a HDMI (and there uses to be also a S-VIDEO port for connecting to a TV, but this is normally just a clone of the main screen). You can work with both screens at the same time, the laptop screen and the external monitor extending your windows (or whatever) desktop to it.

If you accommodate a second LCD screen in your laptop cover and make both screens slide, all you have to do is connect that second screen to your external video port but internally (probably soldering a proper connector to the PCB tracks that lead to the external connector). If you add a mechanism that disconnects the second LCD when it is slided behind the first one, your OS will detect it and reduce the desktop to just the first LCD.

Oh, you will also need extra power. That's probably not a problem when using the power cord (except for extra watts required) but two LCD panels will consume the battery very fast.
crapflinger7 years ago
i'd wait for further advances in the foldable OLED screens personally....then you could have a standard 15.1 inch laptop with "wings" on the sides that would fold out to make the screen 20 inches or more
gmjhowe7 years ago
 Its a great idea for a mod, there are quite a few new and existing small usb power displays out there. They use usb both for power, and the signal, obviously soldering it onto the usb bus on the main board gives an easy way to add these, and due to using the usb power, they have very little in the way of actual electronic innards. 

I own one that is a 7" unit, it could very easily be add in portrait mode onto the side of a small netbook, and made to fold behind the screen to pack away.