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WTF?! Laptops are going for all sorts of crazy designs these days in a bid to stand out. You may have heard about those with foldable and transparent displays, but what about one with no display whatsoever? Sightful has just unveiled the Spacetop G1 – a $1,900 portable computer that requires you to wear a pair of augmented reality glasses.

After nearly three years in development by veterans from Apple, Microsoft, and Magic Leap, the Spacetop G1 is finally emerging from an invite-only early access period, and it’s attempting to reimagine how we work and create on the go.

In the bottom half, it’s your run-of-the-mill laptop with a 79-key keyboard, multi-touch trackpad, and two USB-C ports for peripherals. But the top half is where things get interesting. Instead of a physical display, the laptop has an opening holding the AR glasses. These glasses sport dual 1920 x 1080 OLED displays with a 90Hz refresh rate.

The glasses create a massive 100-inch virtual workspace, or at least the illusion of it. Since the field of view tops out at 50 degrees, you’ll likely not be able to see the entire workspace at once and will need to move your head around to view different sections.

Nevertheless, Sightful argues that this “nearly infinite” workspace, combined with a custom spatial operating system called SpaceOS (built on ChromiumOS), could seriously boost productivity and creativity. The software optimizes the virtual desktop for AR navigation via custom gestures tailored for the glasses.

This $1,900 laptop ditches the physical display for a pair of AR glasses

“We introduced Spacetop to free people from the constraints of time and space, as we don’t believe people should be stuck in 14″ screens,” says Sightful CEO Tamir Berliner. “We firmly believe in the power of AR glasses as the first step. Physical reality has always been the limiting factor – bulky, uncomfortable headsets, limited battery and processing power, and a world that is not yet built for daily AR.”

Under the hood, the Spacetop G1 packs a Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chip with an Adreno 740 GPU and a Hexagon NPU promising up to 48 TOPS of AI performance. There’s also 16GB LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB UFS 3.1 storage.

Battery life is rated at up to 8 hours on a charge, thanks to a 60Wh cell and 63W fast charging support. That’s just okay for an ARM-based laptop, but at least it does blow the Apple Vision Pro’s 2.5-hour battery life out of the water. There’s even a 5MP webcam for video calls at up to 2592 x 1944 resolution.

Sightful has made some upgrades since the initial unveiling, too. The AR glasses are now based on the Xreal Air 2 Pro with options for prescription lenses. And that magnesium alloy body, which tips the scales at 1.4 kilograms, has been hardened to protect the glasses during transport. This could be an important improvement considering that when snapped shut, the laptop has a protrusion due to the slot for slipping the glasses in.

If you’re feeling adventurous and have $1,900 to spare, you can pre-order the Spacetop G1 now for an October 2024 shipment from the website by plunking down a $100 reservation fee.

[ For more curated Computing news, check out the main news page here]

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