This new laptop replaces the physical screen with a 100-inch virtual display
Since their inception, laptops have had the same clamshell form factor. It's a tried and true design. Tech startup Sightful, though, is doing something different, taking the screen virtual.
The company recently launched the Spacetop, a laptop that consists of nothing more than a keyboard connected to a customized pair of NReal augmented-reality (AR) glasses.
Putting the glasses on allows users to view a massive, 100-inch AR display that only they can see. Multiple windows can be opened at the same time as the screens curve around your point of view in every direction. To see a specific window, all you have to do is turn your head to face the app. The projection is also static, so you don’t have to worry about the windows moving around. Nor do they totally block the real space in front of you. You can still see the world around you.
The Spacetop runs on the proprietary Spacetop OS, but it also runs some third-party software like Microsoft Word and Spotify. The on-device browser does appear to be first-party, however.
Regarding its specs, the Spacetop isn’t the most powerful laptop; it apparently runs on smartphone hardware from 2020.
The Spacetop is powered by a combination of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, Adren 650 GPU, and 8GB of RAM. The keyboard measures 10.47 inches wide and 9.8 inches deep with a height of 1.57 inches (266 x 249 x 10.5 mm). In total, it weighs 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg) without the NReal glasses (the glasses add an extra 0.2 lbs). Battery life lasts a mere five hours on a single charge. Additionally, the Spacetop only comes with two USB-C ports (although they do support fast charging), plus 256GB of storage.
Performance-wise, it's a pretty lightweight laptop. So if you’re a gamer looking for a new way to play the latest titles, you might want to pass on this one. In fact, most people will probably pass this up.
Sightful is pitching the Spacetop as a new way to work remotely. However, a recent report The Verge shows the laptop doesn’t perform all that well. It “crashed early in [the publication’s] demo session and had to be rebooted.” Scrolling through windows was slow. Resizing windows, a pretty benign action, also took a while. The browser even crashed while trying to play YouTube videos.
Despite the middling first impression from The Verge, the system was apparently fun to use. So if you’re looking for a unique, lightweight laptop for doing work on the road, Sightful’s Spacetop might fit the bill. Early adopters can purchase one of 1,000 laptops currently available from Sightful's website. The price tag is unknown although some reports claim it’s $2,000 a pop. We reached out to Sightful for clarification on the price.
Something we neglected to mention is audio comes from the NReal glasses meaning other people can hear you, but the Spacetop does support Bluetooth, so get those earbuds ready.
For those interested in buying this one-of-a-kind laptop, we recommend you first check out TechRadar’s list of the best wireless headphones for 2023 .