Dell may become one of the first PC manufacturers to bring Microsoft’s vision of a dual-screen computer to life. Like Microsoft’s long-rumored Courier concept, Dell’s dual-screen device makes use of two folding screens, and it has been reported that Dell has been working on this concept since at least last summer. The endeavor is also known by its Januss code name.
It’s still too early to know specific details about Januss, but it appears that Dell may be borrowing ideas from the recent crop of Always Connected PCs. Januss will make use of an ARM-based processor and, more specifically, WinFuture reported that the device will arrive in the second half of this year with Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 850 chip and an LTE modem.
The use of an ARM processor from Qualcomm, rather than Intel’s x86 chips, should help the device in the battery life department, and an LTE modem will ensure that users will have access to the internet no matter where they go. There is even a demo of Dell’s Januss Prototype 2 that’s hosted on a Dutch product prototyping firm’s website, according to ZDNet, however, the simulation requires two PCs to operate the left and right panels.
Januss is said to be manufactured by Compal Electronics with at least one USB Type-C port, which could also be used to recharge the device, along with several cameras, and a number of sensors like an electronic compass, accelerometer, and gyroscope. Given the sensors, it appears that Januss may resemble a smartphone or tablet more than a traditional laptop.
Code found in a recent Windows 10 SDK suggests that Microsoft may be readying Windows to support dual-screen devices. According to Twitter user WalkingCat, Microsoft made references to both hardware and software within the code with mentions of Andromeda OS and an Andromeda device. Andromeda OS is said to support both ARM and x86 processors, but the Andromeda hardware will be based off of an ARM chipset. Following the Courier concept, Andromeda became Microsoft’s rumored code name for a dual-screen Surface Phone.
It’s unclear if Microsoft’s long-rumored Surface Phone or if Dell’s project Januss will come to market first, but when they do, these devices will be met with strong competition from the Android camp. Samsung, Huawei, LG, and a number of Android smartphone manufacturers are working on foldable smartphones. A foldable design allows the device to maintain a compact footprint for travel, but when unfolded, consumers will benefit from a larger screen area for more productive tasks.