Intel had a few important announcements at the Computex 2019 expo including the launch of its 10th Gen Intel Core Ice Lake processors and the Intel Core i9-9900KS special edition CPU. At its Open House event, the company showcased several partner devices under Project Athena and a few prototypes that included the Honeycomb Glacier.
The dual screen concept design is Intel’s take on how a secondary screen can be useful for the appropriate use-cases. However, the primary focus here is for gaming. While playing games, I usually tend to Alt-tab out of games to use a chat client like Discord or OBS Studio when I’m streaming. To overcome this problem, I had to either use an additional monitor or play the game in the windowed mode. A secondary screen right on the laptop makes a lot of sense so that the less important apps can be locked onto them while continuing to play the game.
On the Honeycomb Glacier, we find a 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080-pixel display and a 12.3-inch 1920 x 720-pixel secondary display right above the keyboard. ASUS already announced a similar design at Computex 2019 with the ZenBook Pro Duo. It also has a secondary display called the ScreenPad Plus. The biggest difference between the two, however, is ergonomics.
The secondary screen on the Intel Honeycomb Glacier gaming prototype laptop.
Dual screens sound great but are annoying if one must constantly switch between looking at the different screens placed at two different locations. The Honeycomb Glacier has an interesting dual-hinge design that allows users to have both the displays in their field of view. In its closed state, the primary screen opens like a regular laptop and then the secondary screen can be tilted up with a button on the hinge. The angle of the tilt can then be adjusted accordingly.
Since this is still a prototype, it’s far from a finished product. A report from The Verge mentions that the laptop packs an eight-core Intel CPU and an NVIDIA GeForce 1060 graphics card. The Honeycomb Glacier comes with a Tobii eye-tracking camera that’s placed on the central hinge of the primary display. This camera is used to track the eye movements of esports players during professional matches to improve and monitor their gameplay.
Game streaming use-case on the Intel Honeycomb Glacier gaming prototype laptop.
If you’re wondering how the secondary display can be used for other than gaming, content creators will find it useful as well. Editing videos can be much easier to manage with the timeline tab locked to the secondary screen while the preview tab is displayed on the primary display. Because of the bigger size of the secondary screen compared to the ZenBook Pro Duo, more apps can be displayed in it.
Honeycomb Glacier isn’t meant to be a final product but more of an inspiration or concept for other PC manufacturers to create a commercial device out of it. While the ZenBook Pro Duo and HP’s Omen X 2S already have laptops with secondary displays, we can expect more vendors to adopt this concept.