Back in 2009, a company named gScreen earned a seat in the limelight when it announced a rather unconventional notebook called the "Spacebook," packing a secondary display that could be slipped out when needed and tucked away when not. It was large, heavy and featured slightly dated specifications, but still seemed like an interesting proposition for a niche of professionals who need ample screen real estate while maintaining some portability.
We didn't hear from them in a while but after more than a year of delays gScreen finally has a dual 17-inch display Spacebook up for pre-order. Weighing ten pounds and nearly two inches thick, this behemoth offers plenty of screen estate with each of its panels boasting a 1920x1080 resolution, but unfortunately the rest of its specs are far from impressive. They include Intel's Arrandale and Clarksfield processors -- both of which are at least 18 months old by now -- Nvidia GeForce GTS 250M graphics, and no built-to order options for Blu-ray or solid-state drives.
There are two models available: the SpaceBook 17 i5 4G is powered by an Intel Core i5-560M processor and 4GB of RAM, while the SpaceBook 17 i7 8G features a quad-core Intel Core i7-740QM processor and 8GB of RAM. Both feature a 500GB hard drive, a DVD optical drive and a range of ports including HDMI, FireWire and eSATA -- but not USB 3.0.
Pricing starts at $2395 for the former and $2795 for the Core i7 system. That's certainly a hefty premium for an extra 17-inch screen, considering you can get a much more powerful notebook today for half the price and still have some money left over for a big desktop LCD. Lenovo also tried its hand at a dual screen workstation a few years ago, but considering the ThinkPad W700ds is no longer available we imagine customer feedback just wasn't positive enough.